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<ul><li><p>Journal of Elementary Science Education Spring 2006 18(1) 1</p><p>Journal of Elementary Science Education,.Vol..18,.No..1.(Spring.2006),.pp..15-31..2006.Department.of.Curriculum.and.Instruction,.College.of.Education.and.Human.Services,.Western.Illinois.University.</p><p>Elementary Preservice Teachers Learning to Teach Science in Science Museums and Nature Centers: A Novel Programs Impact on Science Knowledge, Science Pedagogy, and Confidence TeachingMaura Lobos Jung Karen L. Tonso Wayne State University</p><p>This ethnographic research examined two out-of-school science practica where preservice elementary teachers learned to teach science. We wondered what teachers learned about science and teaching science, how their sense of themselves as science teachers changed, and how such settings might contribute to reform in science education to promote greater scientific literacy. Preservice teachers had positive experiences; found the practica non-threatening; learned hands-on, inquiry-based teaching practices and some science; and developed confidence in their ability to teach. Practicing teachers from earlier practica carried what they learned into their classrooms. We explore implications for incorporating such sites in elementary teacher education programs and suggest further research.</p><p>Introduction</p><p>Calls.for.K-6.students.with.better.science.knowledge.continue.to.influence.how.we.think.about.preparing.teachers.for.teaching.science.in.elementary.schools,.yet.surprisingly,. little. variation. exists. in. the. design. of. science. teacher. preparation.programs. from. institution. to. institution. (Anderson. &amp;. Mitchener,. 1994).. Of.interest. to. us. is. the. potential. for. teacher. preparation. in. science. museums. and.nature.centersplaces.with.extensive.teaching.materials.from.the.real.world.for.hands-on.activities,.experts.with.deep.science.understandings,.and.opportunities.for.repetitive.teaching,.all.of.which.hold.promise.for.learning.to.manage.hands-on.science.activities.and.to.develop.reflective.practice. (Chin.&amp;.Tuan,.2000;.Falk.&amp;. Dierking,. 2000;. Swift,. 1999).. In. an. earlier. time,. science. education. programs.primarily.focused.on.transmitting.knowledge,.even.though.content.alone.was.(and.is).not.enough.for.a.teacher.to.adequately.teach.science.(Anderson.&amp;.Mitchener,.1994)..For.over.a.decade,.the.importance.of.practica.to.learning.to.teach.science.has.been.well-established. (e.g.,.Cannon,.1999;.Mason,.1989).. In. fact,. linking.science.methods. with. a. practicum. reaps. benefits.. For. instance,. in. a. three-year. project.studying.the.science.efficacy.of.two.groups.of.preservice.teachers,.Crowther.and.Cannon.(1999).found.that.order.mattered:.[H]aving.the.methods.first.cut.down.on. many. problems. such. as. understanding. lesson. planning,. hands-on. teaching.</p></li><li><p>16 Journal of Elementary Science Education Spring 2006 18(1)</p><p>methodologies,. and. general. understandings. of. developmentally. appropriate.science. lessons. (p.. 16),. and. after. their. methods. classes. [teacher. education].students.had.......more.in-depth.answers.to.the.questions.and.seemed.to.get.more.out.of.the.science.practicum.(p..15)..Though.most.practica.occur.in.schools,.we.wonder.about.the.potential.of.offering.practica.in.out-of-school.science.learning.communities..Such.sites.are.suggested.not.as.a.replacement.for.in-school.practica,.but.as.places.where.different.opportunities.might.exist.that.enable.learning.useful.teaching.skills.consonant.with.becoming.a.mature.science.educator.. In.order. to.systematically. consider. the. potential. of. out-of-school. sites. for. learning. to. teach science,. our. research. used. an. ethnographic. approach. to. examine. a. practicum.where.preservice.elementary.teachers.are.learning.to.teach.science.at.two.out-of-school.science.settings..In.particular,.we.wondered.what.teachers.learned.about.science.and. teaching.science,.how. their. sense.of. themselves.as. science. teachers.changed,.and.to.what.extent.such.settings.might.contribute.to.reform.in.science.education.to.promote.greater.scientific.literacy.</p><p>Conceptual Framework</p><p>Science. education. reform. made. scientific. literacy. its. main. goal. (e.g.,. AAAS,.1998;.Ahlgren.&amp;.Rutherford,.1993;.Aldridge,.1992;.NRC,.1996;.NSTA,.2000),.but.some. argued. that. though. the. vision. of. scientific. literacy. reflected. in. reform.proposals.is.broad,.progressive,.and.inclusive,.it.is.being.implemented.in.narrow.and.conventional.ways.(Eisenhart,.Finkel,.&amp;.Marion,.1996,.p..261)..We.will.argue.that.out-of-school.sites.of.science.practice.provide.robust.opportunities. to. learn.science.and.should.inform.science.education..As.innovative.sites.of.science.teacher.preparation,. out-of-school. science. settings. must. account. for. concerns. raised. by.science.education.research..In.Making Science Make Sense,. the.Bayer.Corporation.(2004).reported.that.in.elementary.education.classrooms,.science.continues.to.be.taught.less.often.than.other.subjects,.though.teachers.use.more.hands-on.activities.to. teach. science. now. than. they. did. a. decade. ago.. Their. report. also. states. that.teachers.continue.to. feel. ill-prepared.to. teach.science.and.wished.they.had.had.more. science. teaching. preparation.. In. fact,. the. Bayer. Corporation. study. found.that.science.was.perceived.and.treated.as.a.second-tier.subject.both.in.classrooms.and.in.teacher.education.programs..Many.College.of.Education.deans.surveyed.said.that.elementary.education.programs.should.require.more.elementary.teacher-education.classes.in.science..Anderson.and.Mitchener.(1994).drew.our.attention.to.some.aspects.of.science.education.needing.reform.with.their.focus.on.the.lack.of. adequate. preparation. for. and. interest. in. teaching. science. (especially. among.elementary. teachers),. issues. they. cited. as. central. reasons. for. science. not. being.taught. and,. ultimately,. students. poor. showings. in. science.. Researchers,. trying.to.explain.why.elementary. teachers.avoid. teaching. science,.noted. that. teachers.have.scientific.misunderstandings.(Butts,.Koballa,.&amp;.Elliott,.1997),.a.lack.of.formal.reasoning.ability.(Anderson.&amp;.Mitchener,.1994),.nave.views.about.science.(Abd-El-Khalick. &amp;. BouJaoude,. 1997),. or. a. superficial. understanding. of. concepts. and.processes. (Ginns.&amp;.Watters,. 1995)..Furthermore,. inadequate. science.knowledge.can.lead.to.negative.attitudes.toward.science.and.the.teaching.of.it.(Butts.et.al.,.1997),.which.contributes.to.these.teachers.avoiding.teaching.science.in.their.own.classrooms.(Caton,.Brewer,.&amp;.Manning,.1997;.Ramey-Gassert,.Shroyer,.&amp;.Staver,.1996)..In.fact,.factors.such.as.low.science.teaching.self-efficacy,.negative.attitudes.toward.science,.and.science.anxiety.are.related.(Ramey-Gassert.&amp;.Shroyer,.1992).and.directly.affect.teachers.choosing.to.teach.elementary.science.or.not..Reforming.</p></li><li><p>Journal of Elementary Science Education Spring 2006 18(1) 1</p><p>science. teaching. is. further. complicated. when. teachers. own. school-related.experiences. influence. their. thinking. about. how. to. educate. children,. operate.schools,.and.prepare.teachers,.whether.or.not.these.opinions.are.consistent.with.research.(Akerson.&amp;.Reinkens,.2002;.Harwell,.2000;.Tosun,.2000)..</p><p>Several. authors. suggested. ways. in. which. preservice. teachers. could. be. better.prepared. to. teach. science.. Preservice. teachers,. for. instance,. need. adequate. and.accurate. science. content. and. pedagogy. instruction,. especially. since. elementary.students.have.an.early.interest.in.science.that.diminishes.as.they.progress.through.school.(Ginns.&amp;.Watters,.1995)..Wilson.(1996).promoted.improving.the.teaching.of.science.with.inquiry-based,.hands-on.activities.early.in.preservice.field.experiences,.allowing. preservice. teachers. to. practice. presenting. science. information,. to.use. science. materials,. and. to. learn. to. manage. equipment,. as. well. as. to. observe.educators.who.model.these.teaching.practices.and.reflect.on.their.own.practices..Similarly,.Ramey-Gassert.et.al..(1996).suggested.that.science.learning.occurs.in.an.environment.that.promotes.cooperative.learning,.collegial.support,.an.inviting.and.noncompetitive.atmosphere,.and.links.to.current.societal.issues..Preservice.teachers.need.to.actually.see.science.at.work.to. internalize.science.and.understand.the.extent.to.which.it.is.a.part.of.our.everyday.lives.(Lederman,.1999)..</p><p>Also,. the. structure. of. preservice. teachers. preparation. impacts. their. future.science. teaching. experiences. once. in. the. classroom.. Wilson. and. Berne. (1999).expressed. concern. with. teacher. preparation. programs. whose. mandatory. and.voluntary.aspects.are.patched.together.into.a.curriculum.of.methods.courses.and.subject-matter. courses. taught. in.different.departments..When. there. is. little.coordination.between.the.two,.preservice.teachers.must.synthesize.science.content.with.methods.courses,.which.can.lead.to.disjointed.information..Science.methods.courses.are.sometimes.criticized.for.their.lack.of.rigor;.for.a.duplication.of.materials.covered.in.other.classes;.for.incorporating.more.than.one.subject.(such.as.science.and.math);.and.for.being.organized.haphazardly,.diluted.in.content,.or.otherwise.inadequate.(Anderson.&amp;.Mitchener,.1994)..Furthermore,.even.when.teachers.have.science.majors.or.minors,.they.might.only.be.knowledgeable.in.a.narrow.area.of.science,.though.elementary.teachers.will.be.expected.to.teach.in.all.science.areas.(Lenton.&amp;.Turner,.1999)..</p><p>Thus,.support.for.using.out-of-school.science.settings.for.educating.preservice.teachers. developed. (Chin,. 2004;. Falk. &amp;. Dierking,. 2000;. Hofstein. &amp;. Rosenfeld,.1996;.Kelly,.2000)..Such.sites.provide.opportunities.to.manipulate.real.objects.and.engage.visitors.in.active.participation,.thus.countering.concerns.that.elementary.classrooms.diminish.curiosity.with.an.emphasis.on.rote.learning.(Ramey-Gassert,.Walberg,. &amp;. Walberg,. 1994,. p.. 345)..Advocates. of. teacher. preparation. in. out-of-school. science. settings. recommended. forming. a. partnership. or. collaboration.among. these. alternative. science. settings. and. universities. (Chesebrough,. 1994),.sharing.methodologies.(Bailey,.1998),.and.providing.preservice.teacher.training.for.using.the.outdoors.(Ferry,.1995a,.1995b)..According.to.Paris.(1997),.Universities.can.increase.their.service.learning.by.involving.undergraduates.in.school.outreach.programs.. Museums. have. creative. educational. staff. members. and. physical.resources.that.can.augment.school.curricula.if.teachers.have.access.to.them.and.are.shown.how.to.incorporate.the.materials.(p..26)..</p><p>Though. an. increasingly. expansive. literature. about. students. learning. in. out-of-school.sites.is.emerging.(which.is.beyond.the.scope.of.this.article),.there.have.been. relatively. few. studies. about. teacher preparation. at. these. sites. (Chin,. 2004;.Chin. &amp;. Tuan,. 2000);. however,. those. studies. that. exist. suggest. the. potential. to.positively. impact. elementary. science. teaching.. Neathery. (1998). studied. the..</p></li><li><p>18 Journal of Elementary Science Education Spring 2006 18(1)</p><p>out-of-school.learning.experiences.of.twenty.public.and.private.elementary.(K-6).school. teachers.who.had.varying.amounts.of. teaching.experience..Each. teacher.was. given. a. learning. experience. at. sites. such. as. SeaWorld,. EPCOT,. Discovery.Island,.and.a.wildlife.refuge..Neathery.found.that.teachers.responded.favorably.to.this.experience,.especially.learning.valuable.knowledge.to.use.in.developing.their.science.lesson.plans.(p..42)..In.a.small.study.in.Taiwan,.researchers.found.that. including.museum.resources. in.science.methods.courses.helped.preservice.teachers.learn.to.teach.science,.and.such.resources.were.later.incorporated.into.their.own.teaching.(Chin,.2004;.Chin.&amp;.Tuan,.2000)..In.an.internship.program.between.a.science.museum.and.a.school.where.practicing.teachers.took.advantage.of.an.opportunity. for. training. in. the. museum,. participating. teachers. later. conducted.more.science.activities.with.their.students.than.did.teachers.who.did.not.participate.(David.&amp;.Matthews,.1995)..A.small-scale.preservice.teacher.preparation.program.between.a.university.and.a.field.study.(nature).center.revealed.that.attendees.of.the.program.felt.the.program.benefited.them,.increasing.their.science.knowledge.and.confidence.in.their.science.teaching.ability,.even.after.working.only.eight.hours.there. (Ferry,. 1995b).. Increasing. classroom. use. of. science. activities. and. greater.teaching.confidence.also.might.improve.student.learning.since.involving.students.in.hands-on.activities.significantly.helps. them.to.understand.scientific.concepts.(David. &amp;. Matthews,. 1995;. Jacobson. &amp;. Lind,. 1992).. Thus,. promising. results. for.teacher.education.in.out-of-school.science.settings.suggest. the.potential.of.such.preparation.(Chin,.2004).</p><p>Alternative.settings,.such.as.natural.history.and.science.museums.and.nature.centers,.seem.likely.to.promote.active.engagement.in.real.and.simulated.science.activities.. Preservice. teachers. have. the. opportunity. to. interact. with. science.educators.who.have.deep-seated.science.expertise,. to. learn.to.use.collections.of.scientific. materials. and. the. outdoors,. and. to. engage. in. hands-on. activities. and.learn. science. concepts. themselves. as. they. teach. these. to. students. at. the. sites..Also,.such.science.settings.have.the.potential.to.cultivate.the.wonder.of.discovery,.which. might. help. students. appreciate. the. excitement. and. relevance. of. science..Because.the.number.of.science.museums.is.growing.faster.than.other.types,.some.researchers.suggest.that.science.museums,.and.we.argue.other.similar.sites,.could.serve.as.change.agents.for.reform.(e.g.,.St..John,.1990)..Thus,.educating.teachers.in.out-of-school.science.settings.shows.promise.and.deserves.more.attention..The.research.reported.in.this.article.studied.a.practicum.where.preservice.elementary.teachers.learned.to.teach.science.at.two.out-of-school.science.settings..In.particular,.the.authors.looked.into.the.following:</p><p>. What.teachers.learned.about.science.and.teaching.science. How.their.sense.of.themselves.as.science.teachers.changed. To.what.extent.such.settings.might.contribute.to.reform.in.science.education.to.</p><p>promote.greater.scientific.literacy</p><p>Description of Science Teaching Practica Studied</p><p>Since.the.late.1970s,.Midwestern.University.has.required.its.undergraduate.preservice. teachers. who. were. enrolled. in. science. methods. to. concurrently.obtain. science. teaching. experience. in. the. ungraded. practicum. that. we. studied..Here,.preservice.teachers.earn.full.credit.by.completing.the.required.number.of.science.teaching.hours..Like.other.teacher.preparation.programs,.this.requirement.developed. out. of. a. desire. to. enhance. the. science. backgrounds. of. elementary.</p></li><li><p>Journal of Elementary Science Education Spring 2006 18(1) 1</p><p>teachers. and. to. better. prepar...</p></li></ul>

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