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  • Learning to Teach Elementary Science:From Preservice to InductionChange Associated with Readiness, Education, & Efficacy in Reform ScienceDr. Betty Young, PIURI, School of Educationbyoung@uri.eduAccuracy in ScienceContent & InvestigationsPurpose of CAREERSThe CAREERS research project is advancing knowledge about the preparation and induction of elementary science teachers by examining teacher learning and the effects of professional development at the pre-service level over time.

    Use of the Elements of Inquiry LessonsQuestioning Skills

    First lessons of elementary preservice teachers were 83 % accurate.

    Typical indicators of teachers science content knowledge (e.g., science tests, courses or GPA in college science coursework) were not predictive of accurate lessons.

    Preservice teachers often misjudged the complexity of their science topics.

    Elementary preservice teachers often lacked the deep content knowledge for fielding student questions and guiding scientific problem solving and understanding.

    Most elementary preservice teachers were not well prepared to present a science lesson that included an adequate experimental design (e.g.,control of variables).

    Only 4% of the preservice teachers in methods demonstrated a well-developed practice of controlling variables during the investigation.University of Rhode IslandClosing of lessons contributed most in discriminating the high and the low quality inquiry approaches.

    Many lessons did not have students providing evidence to support findings, or teacher asking for evidence in support of student statements. The preservice teachers had the most difficulty with the making meaning or summary parts of the videotaped science lessons. In general, cooperating teachers had significantly stronger Opening, Exploration, and Closing elements of an inquiry lesson than method students or student teachers.During the Exploration in high inquiry instruction, teachers probing questions guided students to evaluate their investigation process and make meaning from their experiments, thereby increasing the depth of student responses. In weaker lessons, students provided short responses without in-depth explanations.

    Innovative Features of CAREERS ProjectMultiple variables compared

    Mixed methods of analysis examining and comparing quantitative and qualitative data

    Collection of longitudinal data along Teacher Professional Continuum

    Interdisciplinary research teams: science education, adult education, scientists, psychologists, school administrators & state educational policy makers

    Research-Practice collaboration

    Case study depth with larger sample:

    Cohort 1 :27 preservice teachers (methods)27 cooperating teachers27 preservice teachers (student teaching) 3 induction teachers

    Cohort 2 :39 preservice teachers (methods)39 cooperating teachers39 preservice teachers (student teaching)? Induction teachersThe ratio of science questions to overall teacher talk was 1:3 across all grade levels.

    While the vast majority of questions would be rated as level 1 in Webbs Depth of Knowledge, there were patterns of questioning sequences in which teachers guided students to make reasonable conclusions or used questioning for management functions to engage student attentiveness.Dr. Betty Young Principal InvestigatorUniversity of Rhode Island School of Educationbyoung@uri.edu

    Variables of InterestData Sources

    Key Findings


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