WorldWideScience

Sample records for school science teachers

  1. Impact of Texas high school science teacher credentials on student performance in high school science

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Anna Ray Bayless

    A study was conducted to determine the relationship between the credentials held by science teachers who taught at a school that administered the Science Texas Assessment on Knowledge and Skills (Science TAKS), the state standardized exam in science, at grade 11 and student performance on a state standardized exam in science administered in grade 11. Years of teaching experience, teacher certification type(s), highest degree level held, teacher and school demographic information, and the percentage of students who met the passing standard on the Science TAKS were obtained through a public records request to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). Analysis was performed through the use of canonical correlation analysis and multiple linear regression analysis. The results of the multiple linear regression analysis indicate that a larger percentage of students met the passing standard on the Science TAKS state attended schools in which a large portion of the high school science teachers held post baccalaureate degrees, elementary and physical science certifications, and had 11-20 years of teaching experience.

  2. Leadership that promotes teacher empowerment among urban middle school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard-Skipper, Joni

    In this study, the focus was on determining leadership strategies that promote teacher empowerment among urban middle school science teachers. The purpose of the paper was to determine if leadership strategies are related to teacher empowerment. The emphasis was on various forms of leadership and the empowerment of teachers in context in restructuring the democratic structure. An effective leadership in science education entails empowering others, especially science teachers. In this regard, no published studies had examined this perspective on empowering teachers and school leadership. Therefore, this study determined if a relationship exists between leadership strategy actions and teacher empowerment. The significance of the study is to determine a relationship between leadership strategies and teacher empowerment as a positive approach toward developing successful schools. Empowerment is essential for implementing serious improvements. Empowering others in schools must form a major component of an effective principal's agenda. It is becoming clearer in research literature that complex changes in education sometimes require active initiation. For this study, a quantitative methodology was used. Primary data enabled the research questions to be answered. The reliability and validity of the research were ensured. The results of this study showed that 40% of the administrators establish program policies with teachers, and 53% of teachers make decisions about new programs in schools. Furthermore, the findings, their implications, and recommendations are discussed.

  3. Science and Technology Teachers' Views of Primary School Science and Technology Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yildiz-Duban, Nil

    2013-01-01

    This phenomenographic study attempts to explicit science and technology teachers' views of primary school science and technology curriculum. Participants of the study were selected through opportunistic sampling and consisted of 30 science and technology teachers teaching in primary schools in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey. Data were collected through an…

  4. Middle School Science Teachers' Perceptions of Social Justice: A Study of Two Female Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upadhyay, Bhaskar

    2010-01-01

    The focus of this qualitative study is to document two middle school science teachers' perceptions of social justice and how these teachers implement various aspects of social justice in their science instruction. The two teachers teach science in an urban school that serves students from low-income, immigrant, and ethnic minority families. The…

  5. High School Science Teachers' Views on Science Process Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gultepe, Nejla

    2016-01-01

    The current research is a descriptive study in which a survey model was used. The research involved chemistry (n = 26), physics (n = 27), and biology (n = 29) teachers working in Science High Schools and Anatolian High Schools in Turkey. An inventory that consisted of seven questions was designed to ascertain what teachers' think about the…

  6. Science and Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Beliefs of Pre-School Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydogdu, Bülent; Peker, Murat

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this research was to examine science and mathematics teaching efficacy beliefs of pre-school teachers in terms of some variables. The sample of the study was comprised of 191 pre-school teachers working in a city in Aegean Region of Turkey. Since it attempted to define self-efficacy beliefs of pre-school teachers toward science and…

  7. What Teachers Want: Supporting Primary School Teachers in Teaching Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Angela; Schneider, Katrin

    2013-01-01

    Impending change can provide us with the opportunity to rethink and renew the things that we do. The first phase of the Australian Curriculum implementation offers primary school teachers the chance to examine their approaches to science learning and teaching. This paper focuses on the perceptions of three primary school teachers regarding what…

  8. Characteristics of High School Students' and Science Teachers' Cognitive Frame about Effective Teaching Method for High School Science Subject

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Duk Ho; Park, Kyeong-Jin; Cho, Kyu Seong

    2016-04-01

    We investigated the cognitive frame of high school students and inservice high school science teachers about effective teaching method, and we also explored how they understood about the teaching methods suggested by the 2009 revised Science Curriculum. Data were collected from 275 high school science teachers and 275 high school students. We analyzed data in terms of the words and the cognitive frame using the Semantic Network Analysis. The results were as follows. First, the teachers perceived that an activity oriented class was the effective science class that helped improve students'' problem-solving abilities and their inquiry skills. The students had the cognitive frame that their teacher had to present relevant and enough teaching materials to students, and that they should also receive assistance from teachers in science class to better prepare for college entrance exam. Second, both students and teachers retained the cognitive frame about the efficient science class that was not reflected 2009 revised Science Curriculum exactly. Especially, neither groups connected the elements of ''convergence'' as well as ''integration'' embedded across science subject areas to their cognitive frame nor cognized the fact that many science learning contents were closed related to one another. Therefore, various professional development opportunities should be offered so that teachers succinctly comprehend the essential features and the intents of the 2009 revised Science Curriculum and thereby implement it in their science lessons effectively. Keywords : semantic network analysis, cognitive frame, teaching method, science lesson

  9. Urban High School Teachers' Beliefs Concerning Essential Science Teaching Dispositions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Rommel

    2012-01-01

    This qualitative study addresses the link between urban high school science teachers' beliefs about essential teaching dispositions and student learning outcomes. The findings suggest that in order to help students to do well in science in urban school settings, science teachers should possess essential teaching dispositions which include…

  10. Determination of in-service needs of Turkish high school science teachers in Istanbul

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogan, Feral

    The purposes of this study were to identify the in-service needs of high school science teachers in Istanbul, Turkey according to the subgroups such as school type and gender and determine the priority obstacles preventing these science teachers from attendance at in-service programs. Moreover, this study aimed to find the other greatest needs of high school science teachers that are not mentioned in the survey instrument. The data for this research was gathered by conducting a survey in Istanbul, Turkey in Fall 2001 and Spring 2002 Semesters. Turkish translation of the modified version of a science teacher's needs inventory, Science Teacher Inventory of Need (STIN), entitled STIN-2 was used as the survey instrument. The subjects consisted of 75 high school science teachers who were selected from 369 high schools by using stratified random sampling in grades nine through eleven. By personally administering the survey, 422 science teachers from 75 high schools completed the survey and a 97% response rate was achieved. The results obtained in this study show that Turkish high school science teachers in Istanbul have a number of shared needs. One other indication is that they also have a number of needs, which are specific to subgroups of those science teachers.

  11. The Supply of Science Teachers to Secondary Schools in Ondo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Male science teachers were in greater numbers than female science teachers in the schools. The number of science teachers supplied from higher institutions outside the State was greater than the number supplied from higher institutions within the State The supply of science teachers did not match the demand for them in ...

  12. Teaching planetary sciences to elementary school teachers: Programs that work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebofsky, Larry A.; Lebofsky, Nancy R.

    1993-01-01

    Planetary sciences can be used to introduce students to the natural world which is a part of their lives. Even children in an urban environment are aware of such phenomena as day and night, shadows, and the seasons. It is a science that transcends cultures, has been prominent in the news in recent years, and can generate excitement in young minds as no other science can. Planetary sciences also provides a useful tool for understanding other sciences and mathematics, and for developing problem solving skills which are important in our technological world. However, only 15 percent of elementary school teachers feel very well qualified to teach earth/space science, while better than 80 percent feel well qualified to teach reading; many teachers avoid teaching science; very little time is actually spent teaching science in the elementary school: 19 minutes per day in K-3 and 38 minutes per day in 4-6. While very little science is taught in elementary and middle school, earth/space science is taught at the elementary level in less than half of the states. It was pointed out that science is not generally given high priority by either teachers or school districts, and is certainly not considered on a par with language arts and mathematics. Therefore, in order to teach science to our youth, we must empower our teachers, making them familiar and comfortable with existing materials. In our earlier workshops, several of our teachers taught in classrooms where the majority of the students were Hispanic (over 90 percent). However, few space sciences materials existed in Spanish. Therefore, most of our materials could not be used effectively in the classroom. To address this issue, NASA materials were translated into Spanish and a series of workshops for bilingual classroom teachers from Tucson and surrounding cities was conducted. Our space sciences workshops and our bilingual classroom workshops and how they address the needs of elementary school teachers in Arizona are

  13. High School Physical Sciences Teachers' Competence in Some ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Teachers' lack of competence in cognitive skills and strategies would be an important limiting factor in the successful implementation of the Physical Sciences curriculum. An urgent need ... Keywords: Cognitive skills, thinking skills, questions testing skills, problem solving, teacher training, high school physical science ...

  14. Opinions of Secondary School Science and Mathematics Teachers on STEM Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yildirim, Bekir; Türk, Cumhur

    2018-01-01

    In this study, the opinions of middle school science teachers and mathematics teachers towards STEM education were examined. The research was carried out for 30 hours with 28 middle school science and mathematics teachers who were working in Istanbul during the spring semester of 2016-2017 academic year. 75% of these teachers are female teachers…

  15. The efficacy beliefs of preservice science teachers in professional development school and traditional school settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsome, Demetria Lynn

    Teachers' efficacy beliefs have been shown to correlate positively with to the successful implementation of science reform measures (National Research Council, 1996) and are context specific (Koul & Rubba, 1999). Studies on teacher efficacy in specific contexts have been conducted including the availability of resources and parent support (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2002), classroom management (Emmer & Hickman, 1990; Raudenbush, Rowen, & Cheong, 1992); and institutional climate and behavior of the principal (Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993). The purpose of this study was to compare the science teaching efficacy beliefs of teacher interns prepared in professional development schools with those of student teachers prepared in traditional school settings. Other variables examined included academic level, academic major, and area of science concentration. Preservice science teacher efficacy beliefs were measured using the Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument for Preservice Science Teachers, STEBI Form B (Enoch & Riggs, 1990) with demographic information being collected by an accompanying questionnaire. Analyses included scoring the surveys on two scales, Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Scale and the Outcome Expectancy Scale, calculating descriptive statistics, as well as performing MANOVAS and correlations. Results indicate that preservice science teachers working in professional development schools exhibit higher personal science teaching efficacy beliefs. This finding corroborates previous studies on the efficacy beliefs of preservice teachers working in PDS schools (Long, 1996; Sandholtz & Dadlez, 2000). Results also show a strong correlation between the personal science teaching efficacy beliefs and the setting where student teaching takes place. In addition, significant differences were found in the personal science teaching efficacy beliefs between elementary education majors and science majors, science education majors, and secondary education majors

  16. The pathways of high school science teachers and policy efforts to alter the pipeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sass, Tim

    2012-03-01

    There is currently much interest in improving the quality of science education in K-12 schools and encouraging more students, particularly minorities and women, to pursue careers in STEM fields. Two interrelated issues are at the forefront: the quality of science teachers and the supply of science teachers. Education research in general finds that the single most important school-based factor affecting student achievement is teacher quality. While there is little evidence that teacher credentials matter for student achievement in the lower grades, there is at least some evidence that content knowledge is an important determinant of teacher quality in middle and secondary schools. However, little is known about the pre-service preparation of high school science teachers and how the training of science teachers affects their performance in the classroom. While there are many efforts underway to increase the supply of science teachers, little is known about the supply of science teachers from different pathways and the factors that lead science teachers to leave the profession. In this presentation I discuss recent work on the supply of teachers from alternative pathways, focusing on high school science teachers. I also summarize the literature on teacher quality and attrition, emphasizing the current state of knowledge on secondary school teachers. Finally, I present current policy initiatives and discuss the likelihood of their success given current research findings.

  17. Preparing perservice teachers to teach elementary school science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Amy D.

    The development of scientifically literate citizens begins in the elementary school. Yet elementary school teachers are ill prepared to teach science (Trygstad, Smith, Banilower, Nelson, & Horizon Research, Inc., 2013). The research base on teacher preparation finds that programs designed to prepare elementary teachers are inadequate in providing both the content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge necessary to teach science effectively (Baumgartner, 2010; Bodzin & Beerer, 2003; Bulunuz & Jarrett 2009). This mixed methods study examined what happened when a science methods course was interactively co-taught by an expert in elementary teaching methods and a physics expert. This study also aimed to discover what aspects of the curriculum pre-service teachers (PSTs) said helped them in developing their understanding of science content and scientific reasoning, and how to implement inquiry practices to teach science. A nested case study of three PSTs provided descriptive portraits of student experiences in the class. A whole class case analysis was used to examine what PSTs learned in terms of science, scientific reasoning skills, and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) from their experiences in the course. It was found that students often conflated science content with the experiences they had in learning the content. Although PSTs felt the interactive co-teaching model effectively created a balance between theory and practice, it was their experiences doing science--conducting physical experiments, developing and discussing scientific models, and the use of inquiry-based instruction--that they credited for their learning. Even with careful curriculum planning, and a course purposely designed to bridge the theory to practice gap, this study found one semester-long methods course to be insufficient in providing the vast content knowledge and PCK elementary school science teachers need.

  18. Teachers' professional development needs and current practices at the Alexander Science Center School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gargus, Gerald Vincent

    This investigation represents an in-depth understanding of teacher professional development at the Alexander Science Center School, a dependent charter museum school established through a partnership between the California Science Center and Los Angeles Unified School District. Three methods of data collection were used. A survey was distributed and collected from the school's teachers, resulting in a prioritized list of teacher professional development needs, as well as a summary of teachers' opinions about the school's existing professional development program. In addition, six key stakeholders in the school's professional development program were interviewed for the study. Finally, documents related to the school's professional development program were analyzed. Data collected from the interviews and documents were used to develop an understand various components of the Alexander Science Center School's professional development program. Teachers identified seven areas that had a high-priority for future professional development including developing skills far working with below-grade-level students, improving the analytical skills of student in mathematics, working with English Language Learners, improving students' overall reading ability levels, developing teachers' content-area knowledge for science, integrating science across the curriculum, and incorporating hands-on activity-based learning strategies to teach science. Professional development needs identified by Alexander Science Center School teachers were categorized based on their focus on content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, or curricular knowledge. Analysis of data collected through interviews and documents revealed that the Alexander Science Center School's professional development program consisted of six venues for providing professional development for teachers including weekly "banked time" sessions taking place within the standard school day, grade-level meetings, teacher support

  19. Preparing prospective physics teachers to teach integrated science in junior high school

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiyanto; Hartono; Nugroho, S. E.

    2018-03-01

    The physics education study program especially prepares its students to teach physics in senior high school, however in reality many its graduates have become science teachers in junior high school. Therefore introducing integrated science to prospective physics teachers is important, because based on the curriculum, science in the junior high school should be taught integratedly. This study analyzed integrated science teaching materials that developed by prospective physics teachers. Results from this study showed that majority of the integration materials that developed by the prospective physics teachers focused on topic with an overlapping concept or theme as connecting between two or three subjects.

  20. Teaching science to English Language Learners: Instructional approaches of high school teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Betty-Vinca N.

    Students who are English Language Learners (ELLs) form the fastest growing segment of the American school population. Prompted by the call for scientific literacy for all citizens, science educators too have investigated the intersection of language and science instruction of ELLs. However these studies have typically been conducted with elementary students. Few studies have explored how high school science teachers, particularly those who have not received any special training, approach science instruction of ELLs and what supports them in this endeavor. This was a qualitative case study conducted with five science teachers in one small urban high school that predominantly served ELLs. The purpose of this study was to examine instructional approaches used by teachers to make science accessible to ELLs and the factors that supported or inhibited them in developing their instructional approaches. This goal encompassed the following questions: (a) how teachers viewed science instruction of ELLs, (b) how teachers designed a responsive program to teach science to ELLs, (c) what approaches teachers used for curriculum development and instruction, (d) how teachers developed classroom learning communities to meet the needs of ELLs. Seven instructional strategies and five perceived sources of support emerged as findings of this research. In summary, teachers believed that they needed to make science more accessible for their ELL students while promoting their literacy skills. Teachers provided individualized attention to students to provide relevant support. Teachers engaged their students in various types of active learning lessons in social contexts, where students worked on both hands-on and meaning-making activities and interacted with their peers and teachers. Teachers also created classroom communities and learning spaces where students felt comfortable to seek and give help. Finally, teachers identified several sources of support that influenced their instructional

  1. Saudi Elementary School Science Teachers' Beliefs: Teaching Science in the New Millennium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alghamdi, Amani K. Hamdan; Al-Salouli, Misfer Saud

    2013-01-01

    This study explored Saudi elementary school science teachers' beliefs about the process of teaching and learning science. This involved the exploration of their views about the new Saudi science curriculum, which emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving. Comprehensive interviews were held in 8 schools with 4 male and 6 female--2 of whom…

  2. Instructional decision making of high school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carver, Jeffrey S.

    The instructional decision-making processes of high school science teachers have not been well established in the literature. Several models for decision-making do exist in other teaching disciplines, business, computer game programming, nursing, and some fields of science. A model that incorporates differences in science teaching that is consistent with constructivist theory as opposed to conventional science teaching is useful in the current climate of standards-based instruction that includes an inquiry-based approach to teaching science. This study focuses on three aspects of the decision-making process. First, it defines what factors, both internal and external, influence high school science teacher decision-making. Second, those factors are analyzed further to determine what instructional decision-making processes are articulated or demonstrated by the participants. Third, by analyzing the types of decisions that are made in the classroom, the classroom learning environments established as a result of those instructional decisions are studied for similarities and differences between conventional and constructivist models. While the decision-making process for each of these teachers was not clearly articulated by the teachers themselves, the patterns that establish the process were clearly exhibited by the teachers. It was also clear that the classroom learning environments that were established were, at least in part, established as a result of the instructional decisions that were made in planning and implementation of instruction. Patterns of instructional decision-making were different for each teacher as a result of primary instructional goals that were different for each teacher. There were similarities between teachers who exhibited more constructivist epistemological tendencies as well as similarities between teachers who exhibited a more conventional epistemology. While the decisions that will result from these two camps may be different, the six step

  3. Professionality of Junior High School (SMP) Science Teacher in Preparing Instructional Design of Earth and Space Sciences (IPBA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marlina, L.; Liliasari; Tjasyono, B.; Hendayana, S.

    2017-02-01

    The teacher is one important factor in the provision of education in schools. Therefore, improving the quality of education means we need to enhance the quality and the professionalism of teachers. We offer a solution through education and training of junior high school science teachers in developing the instructional design of Earth and Space Sciences (IPBA). IPBA is part of the science subjects which is given to students from elementary school to college. This research is a preliminary study of junior high school science teacher professionalism in creating instructional design IPBA. Mixed method design is used to design the research. Preliminary studies conducted on junior high school science teacher in one MGMPs in South Sumatera, and the respondent are 18 teachers from 13 schools. The educational background of science teachers who teach IPBA not only from physical education but also biology and agriculture. The result of preliminary study showed that the ratio of teachers who teach IPBA are 56% from physic education, 39% from biology, and 5% from agriculture. The subjects of IPBA that considered difficult by teachers are the distribution of sun, moon, and satellite motion; specific processes in lithosphere and atmosphere; and the correlation between lithosphere and atmosphere with the environment. The teachers also face difficulty in preparing media, choosing the right methods in teaching IPBA.

  4. Factors Affecting the Retention of First-career and Second-career Science Teachers in Urban High Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rak, Rosemary C.

    The turnover of high school science teachers is an especially troubling problem in urban schools with economically disadvantaged students. Because high teacher turnover rates impede effective instruction, the persistence of teacher attrition is a serious concern. Using an online survey and interviews in a sequential mixed-methods approach, this study investigates the perceptions of high school science teachers regarding factors that contribute to their employment decisions. The study also compares first-career and second-career science teachers' perceptions of retention and attrition factors and identifies conditions that urban school leaders can establish to support the retention of their science teachers. A purposeful sample of 138 science teachers from urban area New England public high schools with 50% or more Free and Reduced Price Lunch-eligible students participated in the survey. Twelve survey respondents were subsequently interviewed. In accord with extant research, this study's results suggest that school leadership is essential to fostering teacher retention. The findings also reveal the importance of autonomy, professional community, and adequate resources to support science instruction. Although mentoring and induction programs receive low importance ratings in this study, career-changers view these programs as more important to their retention than do first-career science teachers. Second-career interviewees, in particular, voice the importance of being treated as professionals by school leaders. Future research may examine the characteristics of mentoring and induction programs that make them most responsive to the needs of first-career and second-career science teachers. Future studies may also investigate the aspects of school leadership and professional autonomy that are most effective in promoting science teacher retention. Keywords: career-changers; school leaders; science teachers; second-career teachers; teacher retention; teacher turnover

  5. Teaching Science in the Primary School: Surveying Teacher Wellbeing and Planning for Survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Anne-Marie

    2012-01-01

    A teacher-researcher in a primary school setting surveyed the middle years' teachers of her school and those in the local science hub group, to determine their confidence and satisfaction levels in relation to teaching science. Her results confirm feelings of inadequacy and reluctance to teach Science, but also indicate ways that schools can…

  6. Exploring science teachers' perceptions of experimentation: implications for restructuring school practical work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Bing; Li, Xiaoxiao

    2017-09-01

    It is commonly recognised that practical work has a distinctive and central role in science teaching and learning. Although a large number of studies have addressed the definitions, typologies, and purposes of practical work, few have consulted practicing science teachers. This study explored science teachers' perceptions of experimentation for the purpose of restructuring school practical work in view of science practice. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 87 science teachers at the secondary school level. In the interviews, science teachers were asked to make a comparison between students' experiments and scientific experiments. Eight dimensions of experimentation were generated from the qualitative data analysis, and the distributions of these eight dimensions between the two types of experiments were compared and analysed. An ideal model of practical work was suggested for restructuring practical work at the secondary school level, and some issues related to the effective enactment of practical work were discussed.

  7. The effects of experience and attrition for novice high-school science and mathematics teachers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Gary T; Fortner, C Kevin; Bastian, Kevin C

    2012-03-02

    Because of the current high proportion of novice high-school teachers, many students' mastery of science and mathematics depends on the effectiveness of early-career teachers. In this study, which used value-added models to analyze high-school teachers' effectiveness in raising test scores on 1.05 million end-of-course exams, we found that the effectiveness of high-school science and mathematics teachers increased substantially with experience but exhibited diminishing rates of return by their fourth year; that teachers of algebra 1, algebra 2, biology, and physical science who continued to teach for at least 5 years were more effective as novice teachers than those who left the profession earlier; and that novice teachers of physics, chemistry, physical science, geometry, and biology exhibited steeper growth in effectiveness than did novice non-science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teachers.

  8. High school Physical Sciences teachers' competence in some basic cognitive skills

    OpenAIRE

    Selvaratnam, Mailoo

    2011-01-01

    The successful implementation of the national high school Physical Sciences curriculum in South Africa, which places strong emphasis on critical thinking and reasoning abilities of students, would need teachers who are competent in cognitive skills and strategies. The main objectives of this study were to test South African high school Physical Sciences teachers' competence in the cognitive skills and strategies needed for studying Physical Sciences effectively and also to identify possible r...

  9. An Investigation of Turkish Middle School Science Teachers' Pedagogical Orientations Towards Direct and Inquiry Instructional Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahingoz, Selcuk

    One of the most important goals of science education is preparing effective science teachers which includes the development of a science pedagogical orientation. Helping in-service science teachers improve their orientations toward science teaching begins with identifying their current orientations. While there are many aspects of an effective science teaching orientation, this study specifically focuses on effective pedagogy. The interest of this study is to clarify pedagogical orientations of middle school science teachers in Turkey toward the teaching of science conceptual knowledge. It focuses on what instructional preferences Turkish middle school science teachers have in theory and practice. The purpose of this study is twofold: 1) to elucidate teacher pedagogical profiles toward direct and inquiry instructional approaches. For this purpose, quantitative profile data, using a Turkish version of the Pedagogy of Science Teaching Test (POSTT-TR) assessment instrument, was collected from 533 Turkish middle school science teachers; 2) to identify teaching orientations of middle school science teachers and to identify their reasons for preferring specific instructional practices. For this purpose, descriptive qualitative, interview data was collected from 23 teachers attending a middle school science teacher workshop in addition to quantitative data using the POSTT-TR. These teachers sat for interviews structured by items from the POSTT-TR. Thus, the research design is mixed-method. The design provides a background profile on teacher orientations along with insights on reasons for pedagogical choices. The findings indicate that instructional preference distributions for the large group and smaller group are similar; however, the smaller workshop group is more in favor of inquiry instructional approaches. The findings also indicate that Turkish middle school science teachers appear to have variety of teaching orientations and they have varied reasons. Moreover, the

  10. Becoming a science teacher: The competing pedagogies of schools and teacher education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozelle, Jeffrey J.

    A culminating student teaching or internship experience is a central component of nearly every teacher education program and has been for most of teacher education's history. New teachers cite field experience and student teaching as the most beneficial, authentic, or practical aspect of teacher education. Teacher educators, however, have cause to view student teaching skeptically; student teachers often move away from the reform-minded practices espoused in teacher education. This multi-site ethnographic study investigated a full-year internship experience for six science interns at three diverse high schools as part of a teacher preparation program at a large state university. In taking an ecological perspective, this study documented the dynamic and evolving relationships between interns, cooperating teachers, teacher educators, and the school and classroom contexts. The goals of the study were to describe the changes in interns throughout the course of a year-long internship as a science teacher and to determine the relative influences of the various aspects of the ecology on interns. Data include fieldnotes from 311 hours of participant observation, 38 interviews with interns, cooperating teachers, and teacher educators, and 190 documents including course assignments, evaluations, and reflective journals. Interns' teaching practices were strongly influenced by their cooperating teachers. During the first two months, all six interns "used their mentor's script." When teaching, they attempted to re-enact lessons they witnessed their cooperating teachers enact earlier in the day. This included following the lesson structure, but also borrowing physical mannerisms, representations, anecdotes, and jokes. When interns could no longer follow their cooperating teacher due to an increased teaching load, they "followed their mentors' patterns"---implementing instruction that emphasized similar strategies---regardless of whether they were experiencing success in the

  11. Middle School Teacher Misconceptions and Anxieties Concerning Space Science Disciplinary Core Ideas in NGSS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Kristine

    2017-01-01

    The Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are grouped into the broad disciplinary areas of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, and Engineering, Technology and Application of Science, and feature learning progressions based on endpoint targets for each grade band. Since the Middle School DCIs build on the expected learning achievements to be reached by the end of Fifth Grade, and High School DCI similarly build on the expected learning achievements expected for the end of Eighth Grade, the Middle School grade band is of particular importance as the bridge between the Elementary and High School curriculum. In states where there is not a special Middle School Certification many of these science classes are taught by teachers prepared to teach at the Elementary level (and who may have limited content background). As a result, some pre-service and in-service teachers have expressed reduced self-confidence in both their own science content knowledge and their ability to apply it in the NGSS-based classroom, while decades of research has demonstrated the pervasiveness of science misconceptions among teachers. Thus the adoption of NGSS has the potential to drive talented teachers out of the profession who feel that they are ill-prepared for this sweeping transition. The key is providing rigorous education in both content and pedagogy for pre-service teachers and quality targeted professional development for in-service teachers. This report focuses on the Middle School Space Sciences grade band DCIs and presents research on specific difficulties, misconceptions and uncertainties with the material demonstrated by pre-service education students over the past four years in a required university science content course, as well as two year-long granted workshop series for current Middle School teachers. This information is relevant to the development of both new content courses aligned with NGSS for pre

  12. High school science teachers' perceptions of telecommunications utilizing a Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slough, Scott Wayne

    The purpose of this study was to describe high school science teachers' perceptions of telecommunications. The data were collected through open-ended ethnographic interviews with 24 high school science teachers from five different high schools in a single suburban school district who had been in an emerging telecommunications-rich environment for two and one-half years. The interview protocol was adapted from Honey and Henriquez (1993), with the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) (Bailey & Palsha, 1992) providing a conceptual framework for data analysis. For this study, the emerging telecommunications-rich environment included a district-wide infrastructure that had been in place for two and one-half years that included a secure district-wide Intranet, 24 network connections in each classroom, full Internet access from the network, four computers per classroom, and a variety of formal and informal professional development opportunities for teachers. Categories of results discussed include: (a) teacher's profession use of telecommuunications; (b) teachers' perceptions of student's use of telecommunications; (c) teachers' perceptions of barriers to the implementation of telecommunications; (d) teachers' perceptions of supporting conditions for the implementation of telecommunications; (e) teachers' perceptions of the effect of telecommunications on high school science instruction; (f) teachers' perceptions of the effect of telecommunications on student's learning in high school science; and (g) the demographic variables of the sex of the teacher, years of teaching experience, school assignment within the district, course assignment(s), and academic preparation. Implications discussed include: (a) telecommunications can be implemented successfully in a variety of high school science classrooms with adequate infrastructure support and sufficient professional development opportunities, including in classes taught by females and teachers who were not previously

  13. Meeting the Needs of High School Science Teachers in English Language Learner Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Seonhee; McDonnough, Jacqueline T.

    2009-08-01

    This survey study explored high school science teachers’ challenges and needs specific to their growing English language learning (ELL) student population. Thirty-three science teachers from 6 English as a Second language (ESL)-center high schools in central Virginia participated in the survey. Issues surveyed were (a) strategies used by science teachers to accommodate ELL students’ special needs, (b) challenges they experienced, and (c) support and training necessary for effective ELL instruction. Results suggest that language barriers as well as ELL students’ lack of science foundational knowledge challenged teachers most. Teachers perceived that appropriate instructional materials and pedagogical training was most needed. The findings have implications for science teacher preservice and inservice education in regard to working with language minority students.

  14. Case study of science teaching in an elementary school: Characteristics of an exemplary science teacher

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kao, Huey-Lien

    Improving the quality of science teaching is one of the greatest concerns in recent science education reform efforts. Many science educators suggest that case studies of exemplary science teachers may provide guidance for these reform efforts. For this reason, the characteristics of exemplary science teaching practices have been identified in recent years. However, the literature lacks research exploring exemplary teacher beliefs about the nature of science and science pedagogy, the relationships between their beliefs and practices, or how outstanding teachers overcome difficulties in order to facilitate their students' science learning. In this study, Sam-Yu, an identified exemplary science teacher who teaches in an elementary school in Pintung, Taiwan, was the subject. An interpretative research design (Erickson, 1986) based on principles of naturalistic inquiry (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) was used. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed in this case study. The qualitative method involved conducting interviews with the teacher and students, observing classroom activities and analyzing the structure of the learning materials. The quantitative methods involved using the Learning Climate Inventory (LCI) (Lin, 1997) instrument to assess the learning environment of the exemplary science classroom. This study found that Sam-Yu had a blend of views on the nature of science and a varied knowledge about science pedagogy. Personal preferences, past experiences, and the national science curriculum all played important roles in the development and refinement of Sam-Yu's beliefs about science and pedagogy. Regarding his teaching practices, Sam-Yu provided the best learning experiences, as evidenced in both classroom observations and the survey results, for his students by using a variety of strategies. In addition, his classroom behaviors were highly associated with his beliefs about science and pedagogy. However, due to school-based and socio-cultural constraints

  15. An exploration of middle school science teachers' understandings and teaching practice of science as inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, Margaret Ann

    A number of reports have raised a concern that the U.S. is not meeting the demands of 21st century skill preparation of students, teachers, and practitioners in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In 2005 and 2006 five reports were released indicating a need for improvement in science and mathematics education in the U.S. The reports were: Keeping America Competitive: Five Strategies To Improve Mathematics and Science Education (Coble & Allen, 2005); National Defense Education and Innovation Initiative: Meeting America's Economic and Security Challenges in the 21st Century (The Association of American Universities, 2006); Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future (National Academies Press, 2007); Tapping America's Potential: The Education for Innovation Initiative (Business Roundtable Taskforce , 2005); and Waiting for Sputnik: Basic Research and Strategic Competition (Lewis, 2005). Consensus of data in these reports indicates that the U.S., as compared to other industrialized nations, does not fare very well in science achievement and STEM degree attainment. For example, on the 2003 Program for International Assessment (PISA), 15-year-old students in the U.S. ranked 28th in math and 24th in science literacy (Kuenzi, Matthews, & Mangon, 2006). Furthermore, the U.S. ranked 20th among all nations in the proportion of 24-year-olds who earned degrees in natural sciences or engineering (Kuenzi, 2008). As a result, if the U.S. is to remain scientifically and technologically competitive in the world, it is necessary to increase our efforts to incorporate scientific practices associated with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into the science classroom. Middle school is a critical point in students' science education and it is in middle school that they begin to dislike science. Research indicates that when students learn science through inquiry their interest in and

  16. A private school leadership perspective on highly qualified middle school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogaski, Carolyn Siniscalchi

    The purpose of this study was to determine how Florida (FL) private, middle school (MS) leaders define highly qualified (HQ) MS science teachers, and how congruent their definitions are. The study also determines how congruent these leaders' definitions are with FL, national, and National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) definitions. Lastly, the study determines the major challenges these private MS leaders have in hiring MS science teachers who meet the NSTA definition of HQ. A convergent mixed methods survey design (Creswell, 2014) was used, in which qualitative and quantitative data were collected in parallel, analyzed separately, and then merged. Participants in the survey consisted of 119 leaders. A congruency rubric separated responses by religious affiliation and socioeconomic status (SES) level and matched responses with the percentage of congruency with the existing FL, national, and NSTA definitions of HQ. Descriptive statistics, paired samples t-test, and chi-squared test were used to analyze the quantitative and qualitative data. Qualitative data were coded into preliminary and final codes. Final codes were converted into magnitude codes, which allowed the researcher to analyze further the qualitative data statistically. Survey responses received were definitely congruent, except in ranking the importance of a candidate having an out-of-field degree with state certification, and in ranking the importance of a candidate being fully qualified to teach science in their state with a strong knowledge of science content. Segregating the survey responses into registered religious affiliations and SES levels found that the definition of a HQ MS science teacher was mostly congruent among all demographics, with only a couple of exceptions. The study found that these private school leaders' common definition of a HQ MS science teacher is one with adequate science content knowledge, pedagogy including engagement in laboratory activities, ability to relate to

  17. Practices implemented by a Texas charter school system to overcome science teacher shortage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasar, Bilgehan M.

    The purpose of this study was to examine practices used by a charter school system to hire and retain science teachers. The research design for this study was a qualitative case study. This single instrumental case study explored the issue within a bounded system. Purposeful sampling strategy was used to identify the participants who were interviewed individually. Findings of the case study supported that using online resources, advertising in the newspaper, attending job fairs, using alternative certification programs, attracting alumni, contacting the college of educations and hiring internationally helped the charter school system with hiring science teachers. Improving teacher salary scale, implementing teacher mentorship programs, reimbursing teachers for certification and master's programs, providing professional development and supporting teachers helped to retain science teachers. Therefore, this study contributes to determining strategies and techniques, selecting methods and programs, training administrators, and monitoring for successful hiring and retaining science teacher implementation.

  18. A quantitative analysis of factors influencing the professional longevity of high school science teachers in Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgley, James Alexander, Jr.

    This dissertation is an exploratory quantitative analysis of various independent variables to determine their effect on the professional longevity (years of service) of high school science teachers in the state of Florida for the academic years 2011-2012 to 2013-2014. Data are collected from the Florida Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress databases. The following research hypotheses are examined: H1 - There are statistically significant differences in Level 1 (teacher variables) that influence the professional longevity of a high school science teacher in Florida. H2 - There are statistically significant differences in Level 2 (school variables) that influence the professional longevity of a high school science teacher in Florida. H3 - There are statistically significant differences in Level 3 (district variables) that influence the professional longevity of a high school science teacher in Florida. H4 - When tested in a hierarchical multiple regression, there are statistically significant differences in Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 that influence the professional longevity of a high school science teacher in Florida. The professional longevity of a Floridian high school science teacher is the dependent variable. The independent variables are: (Level 1) a teacher's sex, age, ethnicity, earned degree, salary, number of schools taught in, migration count, and various years of service in different areas of education; (Level 2) a school's geographic location, residential population density, average class size, charter status, and SES; and (Level 3) a school district's average SES and average spending per pupil. Statistical analyses of exploratory MLRs and a HMR are used to support the research hypotheses. The final results of the HMR analysis show a teacher's age, salary, earned degree (unknown, associate, and doctorate), and ethnicity (Hispanic and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander); a

  19. Examining Teacher Framing, Student Reasoning, and Student Agency in School-Based Citizen Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Emily Mae

    This dissertation presents three interrelated studies examining opportunities for student learning through contributory citizen science (CS), where students collect and contribute data to help generate new scientific knowledge. I draw on sociocultural perspectives of learning to analyze three cases where teachers integrated CS into school science, one third grade, one fourth grade, and one high school Marine Biology classroom. Chapter 2 is a conceptual investigation of the opportunities for students to engage in scientific reasoning practices during CS data collection activities. Drawing on science education literature and vignettes from case studies, I argue that the teacher plays an important role in mediating opportunities for students to engage in investigative, explanatory, and argumentative practices of science through CS. Chapter 3 focuses on teacher framing of CS, how teachers perceive what is going on (Goffman, 1974) and how they communicate that to students as they launch CS tasks. Through analysis of videos and interviews of two upper elementary school teachers, I found that teachers frame CS for different purposes. These framings were influenced by teachers' goals, orientations towards science and CS, planning for instruction, and prior knowledge and experience. Chapter 4 examines how students demonstrate agency with environmental science as they explore their personal interests across their third grade classroom, school garden, and science lab contexts, through the lens of social practice theory (Holland, Lachicotte, Skinner, & Cain, 1998). Through analysis of classroom observations, student interviews, teacher interviews and important moments for three focal students, I found that student agency was enabled and constrained by the different cultures of the classroom, garden, and science lab. Despite affordances of the garden and science lab, the teachers' epistemic authority in the classroom permeated all three contexts, constraining student agency. In

  20. Teachers' Perception of African American Middle School Girls' Interest in Mathematics and Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Best, Bonnie M.

    Research into African American female underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields has become an area of interest due to the fact that a majority of African American middle school females do not possess the high levels of mathematics and science knowledge because of social and cultural barriers both inside and outside school that challenge their academic success. The purpose of this qualitative interpretative phenomenological study was to explore teachers' shared, lived experiences of teaching mathematics and science to African American middle school girls. Delgado and Stefancic's critical race theory, Pratt-Clarke's critical race feminism, and Baker-Miller's relational-cultural theory were used to guide this study. Research questions focused on the perceptions and experiences of teachers' lived experiences teaching mathematics and science to African American middle school females. Criterion, purposive, and maximum variation sampling techniques were used to recruit 10 teachers who have 3 or more years' experience teaching African American middle school girls. Semistructured face-to-face interviews were the primary data collection source. First cycle and second cycle coding methods were used to support the analysis of this study. Findings suggest that there is a connection between a positive student-teacher relationship and academic success. The results of this study contribute to positive social change by providing empirical evidence policymakers and teachers can use to improve the mathematics and science instruction and practices that are needed to meet the needs of African American middle school females and reduce the underrepresentation and underachievement of African American females in mathematics and science.

  1. Middle school science teachers' reaction and pedagogical response to high stakes accountability: A multiple case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tse, Kenneth

    The purpose of this study was to understand how science teachers reacted to the high stakes accountability and standardized testing in California. In a multiple case study of middle and intermediate schools in Southern California, four research questions focused on the perceptions of secondary science teachers and how they responded to the changes in the accountability specifically geared towards science as a content area, the pedagogical skills teachers were using both outside and inside of the classroom that impact instruction, the pedagogical training received that related specifically to the content standards, the tools or impediments that existed for teachers to successfully utilize these pedagogical methods and types of support and assistance the school site administration and/or school district offered in learning about the California Science Standards and the STAR test. Interviews were conducted with multiple middle/intermediate school teachers, science department chairpersons and school site administrators to gather information about what the classroom teachers were doing pedagogically to improve student performance on the STAR tests. Moreover, the study described the issues that supported the professional development of the teacher and what schools and districts were doing to support them.

  2. Talking about science: An interpretation of the effects of teacher talk in a high school science classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moje, Elizabeth B.

    This paper builds on research in science education, secondary education, and sociolinguistics by arguing that high school classrooms can be considered speech communities in which language may be selectively used and imposed on students as a means of fostering academic speech community identification. To demonstrate the ways in which a high school teacher's language use may encourage subject area identification, the results of an interactionist analysis of data from a 2-year ethnographic study of one high school chemistry classroom are presented. Findings indicate that this teacher's uses of language fell into three related categories. These uses of language served to foster identification with the academic speech community of science. As a result of the teacher's talk about science according to these three patterns, students developed or reinforced particular views of science. In addition, talking about science in ways that fostered identity with the discipline promoted the teacher as expert and built classroom solidarity or community. These results are discussed in light of sociolinguistic research on classroom competence and of the assertions of science educators regarding social and ideologic implications of language use in science instruction.Received: 23 September 1993; Revised: 15 September 1994;

  3. Integrating E-Books into Science Teaching by Preservice Elementary School Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Ching-San

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to discuss the issues of integrating e-books into science teaching by preservice elementary school teachers. The study adopts both qualitative and quantitative research methods. In total, 24 preservice elementary school teachers participated in this study. The main sources of research data included e-books produced by preservice…

  4. Turkish Preservice Primary School Teachers' Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs and Attitudes toward Science: The Effect of a Primary Teacher Education Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayraktar, Sule

    2011-01-01

    The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a primary teacher education program in improving science teaching efficacy beliefs (personal science teaching efficacy beliefs and outcome expectancy beliefs) of preservice primary school teachers. The study also investigated whether the program has an effect on student…

  5. How science teachers balance religion and evolution in the science classroom: A case study of science classes in a Florida Public School District

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willems, Pierre Dominique

    The purpose of this case study was to research how science teachers balance both religion and evolution in the science classroom with as little controversy as possible. In this study I attempted to provide some insight on how teachers are currently teaching evolution in their science classes in light of the religious beliefs of the students as well as their own. The case study was conducted in a school district in Florida where I attempted to answer the following questions: (a) How do science teachers in the Florida School District (FSD) approach the religion--evolution issue in preparing students for a career in a field of science? (b) How do science teachers in the FSD reconcile the subject of evolution with the religious views of their students? (c) How do science teachers in the FSD reconcile their own religious views with the teaching of evolution? (d) How do science teachers in the FSD perceive the relationship between religion and science? The data was collected through interviews with two high school teachers, and one middle school teacher, by observing each participant teach, by collecting site documents and by administering an exploratory survey to student volunteers. Analysis was conducted by open coding which produced four themes from which the research questions were answered and the survey answers were counted to produce the percentages displayed in the tables in chapter four. The teachers avoided discussion on religiously oriented questions or statements by the students and did not reveal their own religious orientation. The topic of microevolution appeared to reduce stress in the classroom environment, as opposed to addressing macroevolution.

  6. Beyond the City Lights: A Multiple-Case Study of Successful, Experienced Secondary Science Teachers in Rural Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeVore-Wedding, Beverly R.

    Recruitment and retention concerns for teachers, particularly in rural school districts and in science, fill the daily news and research literature. The shortage of STEM workers is also another concern as well. Then why do nationally recognized secondary science teachers remain in rural schools with lower salaries, increased responsibilities beyond teaching content, and multi-preparations, stay in those schools? How do they overcome challenges in their schools? This multiple case study focuses on Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) awardees who have taught secondary science in rural school districts 10 years or more. Eight rural PAEMST high school science teachers were identified in Nebraska and the six contiguous states; four consented to participate in this study. Interviews of these teachers and a colleague, principal, and or students were conducted to answer the research questions. Using a lens of resiliency, similarities were identified that show how these teachers overcome adversity and thrived in their rural school and communities. Resilient themes that emerged from this study are adaptability, autonomy, collaborative, competency, connectedness, problem-solvers, and resourcefulness. Common themes of success for teaching in rural schools for the four teachers were autonomy and relationships. Common themes of challenges for teaching in rural schools were diversity, funding, professional isolation, and teaching assignments. These characteristics and strategies may help schools with their recruitment and retention of teachers as well as teachers themselves benefiting from hearing other teachers' stories of success and longevity.

  7. Making the transition to middle schooling: A case study of experienced science teachers coping with change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strong, Donna Dorough

    The increasing popularity of the middle school movement necessitates a need for more interpretive research in middle level education. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore science teachers' perceptions of the transition to a new middle school and the meanings they attached to this new experience. The participants were three eighth grade science teachers, each with 20 plus years of teaching experience. The primary data for analysis was a series of five interviews with each participant. Data collection also included weekly participant observation of team meetings. Findings revealed that the science teachers all had positive feelings attached to the ability to keep track of students' academic progress and behavior problems as a result of teaming. The changes associated with the first year were very stressful for all three, primarily the loss of the traditional junior high departmentalized structure. The two participants who transferred directly from the junior high school were very skeptical of any benefits from an interdisciplinary curriculum, the appropriateness of the middle school philosophy for eighth grade students, and the move to heterogeneously grouped science classes. In contrast, the former junior high teacher who had spent the past ten years teaching sixth grade at the elementary school had positive beliefs about the potential benefits of an interdisciplinary curriculum and heterogeneous grouping. Teacher stress associated with a change in the school setting and the science teachers' constraints to actualizing a meaningful middle schooling experience are illuminated. Teachers' lack of ownership in the reform decision making process, loss of time with their science teacher peers, diminished compliments from high school counterparts, and need for more empirical evidence supporting proposed changes all served as barriers to embracing the reform initiatives. The participants found taking a very slow approach to be their most useful means of

  8. Principals' instructional management skills and middle school science teacher job satisfaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbs-Harper, Nzinga A.

    The purpose of this research study was to determine if a relationship exists between teachers' perceptions of principals' instructional leadership behaviors and middle school teacher job satisfaction. Additionally, this study sought to assess whether principal's instructional leadership skills were predictors of middle school teachers' satisfaction with work itself. This study drew from 13 middle schools in an urban Mississippi school district. Participants included teachers who taught science. Each teacher was given the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS; Hallinger, 2011) and the Teacher Job Satisfaction Questionnaire (TJSQ; Lester, 1987) to answer the research questions. The study was guided by two research questions: (a) Is there a relationship between the independent variables Defining the School's Mission, Managing the Instructional Program, and Developing the School Learning Climate Program and the dependent variable Work Itself?; (b) Are Defining the School's Mission, Managing the Instructional Program, and Developing the School Learning Climate Program predictors of Work Itself? The Pearson's correlation and multiple regression analysis were utilized to examine the relationship between the three dimensions of principals' instructional leadership and teacher satisfaction with work itself. The data revealed that there was a strong, positive correlation between all three dimensions of principals' instructional leadership and teacher satisfaction with work itself. However, the multiple regression analysis determined that teachers' perceptions of principals' instructional management skills is a slight predictor of Defining the School's Mission only.

  9. High school science teacher perceptions of the science proficiency testing as mandated by the State of Ohio Board of Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery, Samuel Shird

    There is a correlation between the socioeconomic status of secondary schools and scores on the State of Ohio's mandated secondary science proficiency tests. In low scoring schools many reasons effectively explain the low test scores as a result of the low socioeconomics. For example, one reason may be that many students are working late hours after school to help with family finances; parents may simply be too busy providing family income to realize the consequences of the testing program. There are many other personal issues students face that may cause them to score poorly an the test. The perceptions of their teachers regarding the science proficiency test program may be one significant factor. These teacher perceptions are the topic of this study. Two sample groups ware established for this study. One group was science teachers from secondary schools scoring 85% or higher on the 12th grade proficiency test in the academic year 1998--1999. The other group consisted of science teachers from secondary schools scoring 35% or less in the same academic year. Each group of teachers responded to a survey instrument that listed several items used to determine teachers' perceptions of the secondary science proficiency test. A significant difference in the teacher' perceptions existed between the two groups. Some of the ranked items on the form include teachers' opinions of: (1) Teaching to the tests; (2) School administrators' priority placed on improving average test scores; (3) Teacher incentive for improving average test scores; (4) Teacher teaching style change as a result of the testing mandate; (5) Teacher knowledge of State curriculum model; (6) Student stress as a result of the high-stakes test; (7) Test cultural bias; (8) The tests in general.

  10. Doing Better: Illuminating a Framework of Equitable Science Pedagogy through a Cross- Case Analysis of Urban High School Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheth, Manali J.

    Students of color are routinely asked to participate in science education that is less intellectually rich and self-affirming. Additionally, teachers have trouble embarking on professional growth related to issues of equity and diversity in science. The purpose of this dissertation research is to develop a multi-dimensional framework for equitable science pedagogy (ESP) through analyzing the efforts and struggles of high school science teachers. This study is grounded in a conceptual framework derived from scholarship in science education, multicultural education, critical science studies, and teacher learning. The following questions guide this research: 1) What visions and enactments emerge in teachers' practices towards equitable science pedagogy? 2) How are teachers' practice decisions towards ESP influenced by their personal theories of race/culture, science, and learning and sociocultural contexts? 3) Why are there consistencies and variances across teachers' practices? This study employs a qualitative multiple case study design with ethnographic data collection to explore the practices of three urban high school science teachers who were identified as being committed to nurturing the science learning of students of color. Data include over 120 hours of classroom observation, 60 hours of teacher interviews, and 500 teacher- and student-generated artifacts. Data analysis included coding teachers' practices using theory- and participant generated codes, construction of themes based on emergent patterns, and cross-case analysis. The affordances and limitations of the participants' pedagogical approaches inform the following framework for equitable science pedagogy: 1) Seeing race and culture and sharing responsibility for learning form foundational dimensions. Practices from the other three dimensions--- nurturing students' identities, re-centering students' epistemologies, and critiquing structural inequities---emerge from the foundation. As emergent practices

  11. Rural School Math and Science Teachers' Technology Integration Familiarization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalonde, Gilbert

    2017-01-01

    This study explored the significance of technology integration familiarization and the subsequent PD provided to rural middle school teachers with several opportunities to gain technological skills for technology use in rural middle school math and science classrooms. In order to explore the use of technology in rural schools, this study surveyed…

  12. Secondary Science Teachers' and Students' Involvement in a Primary School Community of Science Practice: How It Changed Their Practices and Interest in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Anne; Skamp, Keith

    2016-02-01

    MyScience is a primary science education initiative in which being in a community of practice is integral to the learning process. In this initiative, stakeholder groups—primary teachers, primary students and mentors—interact around the `domain' of `investigating scientifically'. This paper builds on three earlier publications and interprets the findings of the views of four secondary science teachers and five year 9 secondary science students who were first-timer participants—as mentors—in MyScience. Perceptions of these mentors' interactions with primary students were analysed using attributes associated with both `communities of practice' and the `nature of science'. Findings reveal that participation in MyScience changed secondary science teachers' views and practices about how to approach the teaching of science in secondary school and fostered primary-secondary links. Year 9 students positively changed their views about secondary school science and confidence in science through participation as mentors. Implications for secondary science teaching and learning through participation in primary school community of science practice settings are discussed.

  13. Teachers' Coping Strategies for Teaching Science in a ``Low-Performing'' School District

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Felicia M.

    2007-10-01

    This study describes how teachers use their personal knowledge of a school district and their students to cope with teaching under stressful situations associated with economic, social, and institutional factors. The 3 teachers dealt with these issues in unique ways, focusing on helping students to overcome negative perceptions, value the importance of an education, and build strong relationships. A model of multicultural science professional development is proposed that complements the strengths that these teachers have. A task for science educators working with teachers and administration in schools and districts that are “critically low performing” is to support everyone in implementing pedagogical methods aimed at empowerment, social justice, and high achievement for all students.

  14. Expanding Computer Science Education in Schools: Understanding Teacher Experiences and Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Aman; Gretter, Sarah; Hambrusch, Susanne; Sands, Phil

    2017-01-01

    The increased push for teaching computer science (CS) in schools in the United States requires training a large number of new K-12 teachers. The current efforts to increase the number of CS teachers have predominantly focused on training teachers from other content areas. In order to support these beginning CS teachers, we need to better…

  15. Writing in elementary school science: Factors that influence teacher beliefs and practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glen, Nicole J.

    Recent calls for scientifically literate citizens have prompted science educators to examine the roles that literacy holds in students' science learning processes. Although many studies have investigated the cognitive gains students acquire when they write in science, these writing-to-learn studies have typically been conducted with only middle and secondary school students. Few studies have explored how teachers, particularly elementary teachers, understand the use of writing in science and the factors that influence their science and writing lessons. This was a qualitative case study conducted in one suburban school with four elementary teachers. The purpose of this study was to understand: (a) how teachers' uses of and purposes for writing in science compared to that in English language arts; (b) the factors that drove teachers' pedagogical decisions to use writing in certain ways; (c) teachers' beliefs about science teaching and learning and its relation to how they used writing; (d) teachers' perceptions of students' writing abilities and its relation to how they used writing; and (e) teachers' views about how writing is used by scientists. Seven main findings resulted from this research. In summary, teachers' main uses of and purposes for writing were similar in science and English language arts. For much of the writing done in both subjects, teachers' expectations of students' writing were typically based on their general literacy writing skills. The teachers believed that scientific writing is factual, for the purpose of communicating about science, and is not as creative or "fun" as other types of writing. The teachers' pedagogical practices in science included teaching by experiences, reading, and the transmission of information. These practices were related to their understanding of scientific writing. Finally, additional factors drove the decisions teachers made regarding the use of writing in science, including time, knowledge of curriculum

  16. Secondary School Science and Mathematics Teachers, Characteristics and Service Loads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Thomas J.

    Determined were the educational and professional backgrounds, and some aspects of the operational environment of teachers of secondary school science and mathematics (Grades 7-12) in the public and private schools of the United States during the school year 1960-61. A stratified random sampling method was used to ensure proportional representation…

  17. What Kills Science in School?: Lessons from Pre-Service Teachers' Responses to Urban children's Science Inquiries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matusov, Eugene

    2018-06-01

    This opportunistic case-study highlights striking differences in 6 urban children's and 12 preservice suburban middle-class teachers' perception of science and discuss consequences of science education and beyond. I found that all of the interviewed urban children demonstrated scientific inquiries and interests outside of the school science education that can be characterized by diverse simultaneous discourses from diverse practices, i.e., "heterodiscoursia" (Matusov in Culture & Psychology, 17(1), 99-119, 2011b), despite their diverse, positive and negative, attitudes toward school science. In contrast to the urban children's mixed attitudes to science, the preservice teachers view science negatively. They could not see science inquiries in the videotaped interviews of the urban children. There seemed to be many reasons for that. One of the possible reasons for that was that the preservice teachers tried to purify the science practice. Another reason was that they did not see a necessity to be interested and engaged in the curriculum that they are going to teach in future. The pedagogical consequences and remedies are discussed.

  18. Virtual school teacher's science efficacy beliefs: The effects of community of practice on science-teaching efficacy beliefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzoff, Phuong Pham

    The purpose of this study was to examine how much K-12 science teachers working in a virtual school experience a community of practice and how that experience affects personal science-teaching efficacy and science-teaching outcome expectancy. The study was rooted in theoretical frameworks from Lave and Wenger's (1991) community of practice and Bandura's (1977) self-efficacy beliefs. The researcher used three surveys to examine schoolteachers' experiences of a community of practice and science-teaching efficacy beliefs. The instrument combined Mangieri's (2008) virtual teacher demographic survey, Riggs and Enochs (1990) Science-teaching efficacy Beliefs Instrument-A (STEBI-A), and Cadiz, Sawyer, and Griffith's (2009) Experienced Community of Practice (eCoP) instrument. The results showed a significant linear statistical relationship between the science teachers' experiences of community of practice and personal science-teaching efficacy. In addition, the study found that there was also a significant linear statistical relationship between teachers' community of practice experiences and science-teaching outcome expectancy. The results from this study were in line with numerous studies that have found teachers who are involved in a community of practice report higher science-teaching efficacy beliefs (Akerson, Cullen, & Hanson, 2009; Fazio, 2009; Lakshmanan, Heath, Perlmutter, & Elder, 2011; Liu, Lee, & Lin, 2010; Sinclair, Naizer, & Ledbetter, 2010). The researcher concluded that school leaders, policymakers, and researchers should increase professional learning opportunities that are grounded in social constructivist theoretical frameworks in order to increase teachers' science efficacy.

  19. Meeting the Demands of Science Reforms: A Comprehensive Professional Development for Practicing Middle School Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Rose M.; Mesa, Jennifer; Hayes, Lynda

    2018-03-01

    Preparing teachers to teach science consistent with current reforms in science education is a daunting enterprise given a lack of high-quality science professional development (PD) adaptable across various contexts (Wilson 2013). This study examines the impact of a comprehensive professional development program on middle school teachers' disciplinary content knowledge and instructional practices. In this mixed methods investigation, data sources included classroom observations, content knowledge assessments, surveys, and a range of interviews. The teachers in the program showed significant improvements in their disciplinary content knowledge and demonstrated through their enactment of a reform-based curriculum, a range of ability levels to translate their knowledge into instructional practices consistent with the principles espoused in the PD. We conclude that programs that attend to elements of effective PD identified in the literature can positively impact middle school science teachers' enactment of reform-based science teaching. Our findings extend these elements to include the strategic engagement of school and district leadership and the provision of a safe learning space for teachers to collectively engage in reciprocal learning and critical practice. This study has worldwide implications for designing PD for science teachers and for extending our understanding of the impact of each element.

  20. Using the Delphi questionnaire technique to create a reading comprehension resource guide for middle school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegner, Molly F.

    As students begin middle school, they are expected to possess and apply a wide array of nonfiction reading strategies if they are to comprehend new concepts from nonfiction texts. Although strategies and resource guides for fiction reading are available, an effective nonfiction reading comprehension resource guide tailored to middle school science teachers is lacking. The conceptual framework guiding this study is based on schema theory that supports the use of prior knowledge as a foundation for learning. The purpose of this project study was to address this local problem by providing middle school science teachers with a user-friendly resource for nonfiction reading comprehension strategies in a science context. The research question examined nonfiction reading comprehension strategies that could supplement middle school science teachers' instructional practices to increase student comprehension in science, as reflected on the results of state standardized tests. This project study consulted science and language arts teachers using a Delphi questionnaire technique to achieve a consensus through multiple iterations of questionnaires. Science teachers identified 7 areas of concern as students read nonfiction texts, and language arts teachers suggested effective reading comprehension strategies to address these areas. Based on the consensus of reading comprehension strategies and review of literature, a resource guide for middle school science teachers was created. By improving reading comprehension in content areas, teachers may not only increase student learning, but also underscore the importance of literacy relating to life-long learning through future occupations, academic endeavors, and society as well.

  1. Confronting Barriers to Teaching Elementary Science: After-School Science Teaching Experiences for Preservice Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Tina; Smith, Suzanne; Hallar, Brittan

    2014-01-01

    This qualitative study examines the transition of eight elementary preservice teachers into student teaching after participating in a science methods course that included a significant amount of teaching after-school science to elementary grade students. These eight participants had a chance to practice teaching inquiry-based science and to reform…

  2. The relationship between school environment, preservice science teachers' science teaching self-efficacy, and their use of instructional strategies at teachers' colleges in Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alshalaan, Nasser A.

    Studies indicate that many teachers have negative beliefs about science, which translates into low teacher efficacy, resulting in avoidance of science teaching or in ineffective science teaching behaviors. Highly efficacious teachers have been found to be more likely to use inquiry and student-centered teaching strategies, while teachers with a low sense of science-teaching efficacy are more likely to use teacher-directed strategies, such as didactic lectures and reading from the textbook (Czemiak, 1990). The purpose of this study was to investigate preservice science teachers' science-teaching self-efficacy changes and their correlation to teaching environment factors during the student teaching semester. Moreover, it explains how teaching environment factors and preservice teachers' science-teaching self-efficacy beliefs may relate to their use of teaching strategies in the science classroom during their student teacher training at teachers' colleges in Saudi Arabia. The population of this study is consisted of 184 middle and elementary preservice science teachers who were doing their student teaching at nine teachers' colleges (i.e., teachers' colleges of Riyadh, Dammam, Alrras, Almadinah, Alihsa, Jeddah, Makah, Altaief, and Abha) in Saudi Arabia during the spring semester of 2005. Three instruments were used to collect data for this study: (1) to measure science teaching self-efficacy, the researcher adapted the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument form B designed specifically for preservice teachers (STEBI-B); (2) to measure the school environment, the researcher adapted the Organizational Health Inventory (OHI), developed by Hoy, Tarter & Kottkamp (1991); and (3) to measure the type and frequency of instructional strategies that preservice science teachers use in the classroom, the researcher adapted the teaching practice subscale from The Local Systemic Change through Teacher Enhancement Science K-8 Teacher Questionnaire (Horizon Research, Inc., 2000

  3. Exploring the positional identities of high school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackwell, Edith Lavonne

    The identity of the teacher has been determined to influence classroom practices. Positional identity is defined as one's perception of self relative to others. This qualitative research study investigates the positional identity of five high school science teachers of different ethnicities and how their positional identities influence their classroom practices. Positional identity is thought to be determined by one's perception of how one's race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion and socioeconomic status position one relative to others. The methods of data collection included classroom observations, structured and semi-structured interviews, book club meetings, teacher journals, and researcher journals, demographic and online questionnaires. The teachers that overcame stereotypes based on race/ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status felt empowered in their positional identities and were able to empower their students. The data also identified those teachers that struggle the most with finding their power within their positional identities were the immigrants that were not able to merge their personal identities within the pre-determined social positions they encountered in this society. The empowerment or powerlessness of the science teachers' positional identities impacted instruction and practices within the science classroom.

  4. The relationship between affect and constructivism as viewed by middle school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Denise L.

    The purpose of this research was to examine middle school science teachers' perceptions of their students' affective behaviors at each level of the affective domain (receiving, responding, valuing, organization, characterization of value system), perceptions of the usefulness of constructivism as a curricular theory, and constructivist teaching strategies. This study investigated the relationship between affect and constructivism to determine if constructivist strategies can predict levels of affective behavior. Affect is a broad generalization that includes elements (i.e., interests, attitudes, values, emotions, and feelings). The importance of this research relates to enhancing learning, increasing achievement, participatory democracy, and facilitating understanding of science, as well as promoting the development of higher order thinking skills. A nonexperimental, descriptive research design was used to determine the relationship between affect and constructivism. A total of 111 middle school teachers participated in this study. Three instruments were used in this study: Taxonomy of Affective Behavior (TAB), Survey of Science Instruction (SSI), and a short demographic survey. Statistical significance obtained from one-sample t-tests provided evidence that teachers were aware that the affective domain was a viable construct. Statistical evidence of one-sample t-tests provided evidence that teachers perceived constructivism was useful to teach science to middle school students. Pearson product moment correlations results indicated statistically significant relationships between perceptions of constructivism and associated constructivist teaching strategies. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis revealed a relationship between affect and constructivism. Teacher responses indicated they felt constrained from implementing constructivism due to an emphasis on testing. Colleges of education, curriculum specialists, science teachers, and school districts may

  5. Self-Efficacy for Science Teaching Scale Development: Construct Validation with Elementary School Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yangin, Selami; Sidekli, Sabri

    2016-01-01

    The measurement of teacher self-efficacy has a history of more than 30 years. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the development and validation of a new scale to measure the science teaching self-efficacy of elementary school teachers. Therefore, a scale has been created to measure elementary teachers' science teaching self-efficacy and…

  6. Confirmatory factors analysis of science teacher leadership in the Thailand world-class standard schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thawinkarn, Dawruwan

    2018-01-01

    This research aims to analyze factors of science teacher leadership in the Thailand World-Class Standard Schools. The research instrument was a five scale rating questionnaire with reliability 0.986. The sample group included 500 science teachers from World-Class Standard Schools who had been selected by using the stratified random sampling technique. Factor analysis of science teacher leadership in the Thailand World-Class Standard Schools was conducted by using M plus for Windows. The results are as follows: The results of confirmatory factor analysis on science teacher leadership in the Thailand World-Class Standard Schools revealed that the model significantly correlated with the empirical data. The consistency index value was x2 = 105.655, df = 88, P-Value = 0.086, TLI = 0.997, CFI = 0.999, RMSEA = 0.022, and SRMR = 0.019. The value of factor loading of science teacher leadership was positive, with statistical significance at the level of 0.01. The value of six factors was between 0.880-0.996. The highest factor loading was the professional learning community, followed by child-centered instruction, participation in development, the role model in teaching, transformational leaders, and self-development with factor loading at 0.996, 0.928, 0.911, 0.907, 0.901, and 0.871, respectively. The reliability of each factor was 99.1%, 86.0%, 83.0%, 82.2%, 81.0%, and 75.8%, respectively.

  7. Difficulties to implement interdisciplinary practices in state schools, appointed by Science teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thaís Gimenez da Silva Augusto

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Teachers who try to introduce interdisciplinarys practices at São Paulo public schools, still find many difficulties. On present research, teachers from area of Sciences from Nature, participants by formation in service indicated which the difficulties for introduce of that practices into the High School. The analysis from the answers of this teachers shows that the main difficulties are: there is not time enough to be together with others teachers, research and dedicate the reading; the lack of knowledge in relation to contents of another disciplines; the difficulties of relationship with the school administration and absence of pedagogical coordination among the teachers´actions, beyond of the disinterest and undisciplined from the students.

  8. The droso4schools project: Long-term scientist-teacher collaborations to promote science communication and education in schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Sanjai; DeMaine, Sophie; Heafield, Joshua; Bianchi, Lynne; Prokop, Andreas

    2017-10-01

    Science communication is becoming an increasingly important part of a scientist's remit, and engaging with primary and secondary schools is one frequently chosen strategy. Here we argue that science communication in schools will be more effective if based on good understanding of the realities of school life, which can be achieved through structured participation and/or collaboration with teachers. For example, the Manchester Fly Facility advocates the use of the fruit fly Drosophila as an important research strategy for the discovery processes in the biomedical sciences. To communicate this concept also in schools, we developed the 'droso4schools' project as a refined form of scientist-teacher collaboration that embraces the expertise and interests of teachers. Within this project, we place university students as teaching assistants in university partner schools to collaborate with teachers and develop biology lessons with adjunct support materials. These lessons teach curriculum-relevant biology topics by making use of the profound conceptual understanding existing in Drosophila combined with parallel examples taken from human biology. By performing easy to implement experiments with flies, we bring living organisms into these lessons, thus endeavouring to further enhance the pupil's learning experience. In this way, we do not talk about flies but rather work with flies as powerful teaching tools to convey mainstream curriculum biology content, whilst also bringing across the relevance of Drosophila research. Through making these lessons freely available online, they have the potential to reach out to teachers and scientists worldwide. In this paper, we share our experiences and strategies to provide ideas for scientists engaging with schools, including the application of the droso4schools project as a paradigm for long-term school engagement which can be adapted also to other areas of science. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All

  9. The meaning-making of science teachers participating in a school-based PD project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund

    The meaning-making of four science teachers involved in collaboratively analyzing video and other artifacts from practice in local science classrooms in a school-based professional development project is examined through repeated interviews and represented as meaning-making maps. The research aim...... is to examine how these collaborative inquiries make sense to the teachers: what they identify as outcomes, how they make use of inputs and support in their classrooms and in collegial interactions and how their ideas about teaching and learning of science might play a role. An adapted version...... learning of science in concrete situations. They refer to outcomes from sharing experiments with new tools and materials and refer to being encouraged to continue collaboration around science at the school. Beside this the teachers emphasize various outcomes apparently for each of them in areas where...

  10. The meaning-making of science teachers participating in as school based PD project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund

    The meaning-making of four science teachers involved in collaboratively analyzing video and other artifacts from practice in local science classrooms in a school-based professional development project is examined through repeated interviews and represented as meaning-making maps. The research aim...... is to examine how these collaborative inquiries make sense to the teachers: what they identify as outcomes, how they make use of inputs and support in their classrooms and in collegial interactions and how their ideas about teaching and learning of science might play a role. An adapted version...... learning of science in concrete situations. They refer to outcomes from sharing experiments with new tools and materials and refer to being encouraged to continue collaboration around science at the school. Beside this the teachers emphasize various outcomes apparently for each of them in areas where...

  11. Science Teacher Beliefs and Classroom Practice Related to Constructivism in Different School Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savasci, Funda; Berlin, Donna F.

    2012-01-01

    Science teacher beliefs and classroom practice related to constructivism and factors that may influence classroom practice were examined in this cross-case study. Data from four science teachers in two schools included interviews, demographic questionnaire, Classroom Learning Environment Survey (preferred/perceived), and classroom observations and…

  12. K-5 mentor teachers' journeys toward reform-oriented science within a professional development school context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manno, Jacqueline L.

    Reform-oriented science teaching with a specific focus on evidence and explanation provides a student-centered learning environment which encourages children to question, seek answers to those questions, experience phenomena, share ideas, and develop explanations of science concepts based on evidence. One of the ways schools have risen to meet the challenge of ever-increasing demands for success in science and all other curricular areas has been in the development of professional development schools (PDSs). Dedicated to the simultaneous renewal of schools and teacher education programs, the structure of a PDS plays a significant role in the change process. The purpose of this research study was to investigate the nature of change in mentor teachers' beliefs and pedagogical practices toward science teaching in the elementary school as conveyed through their own "stories of practice". The major research questions that guided the study were: (1) How do mentor teachers describe their science teaching practices and how have they changed as a result of participation in PDS? (a) In what ways do PDS mentor teachers' descriptions of practice reflect contemporary reform ideas and practices in science education? (b) To what extent do their stories emphasize technical aspects of teaching versus epistemological changes in their thinking and knowledge? (c) How is student learning in science reflected in teachers' stories of practice? (2) What is the relationship between the levels and types of involvement in PDS to change in thinking about and practices of teaching science? (3) What is the depth of commitment that mentors convey about changes in science teaching practices? Using case study design, the research explored the ways experienced teachers, working within the context of a PDS community, described changes in the ways they think about and teach science. The connection to the issue of change in teaching practices grew out of interest in understanding the relationship

  13. An examination of the perceived teaching competencies of novice alternatively licensed and traditionally licensed high school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shea, Kathleen A.

    In most states, there are two routes to teacher licensure; traditional and alternative. The alternative route provides an accelerated entry into the classroom, often without the individual engaging in education coursework or a practicum. No matter the route, teaching skills continue to be learned by novice teachers while in the classroom with the guidance of a school-based mentor. In this study, the perceptions of mentor teachers of traditionally and alternatively licensed high school science teachers were compared with respect to mentees' science teaching competency. Further, the study explored the novice teachers' self-perception of their teaching competency. A survey, consisting of 56 Likert-type questions, was completed by mentors (N = 79) and novice high school science teachers (N = 83) in six northeastern states. The results revealed a statistically significant difference in the perceptions of the mentors of traditionally and alternatively licensed novice high school science teachers in the areas of general pedagogical knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and professional growth, with more favorable perceptions recorded by mentors of traditionally licensed science teachers. There were no differences in the perceptions of the mentors with respect to novice high school teachers' content knowledge. There was no statistical difference in the self-perceptions of competency of the novice teachers. While alternative routes to licensure in science may be a necessity, the results of this study indicate that the lack of professional preparation may need to be addressed at the school level through the agency of the mentor. This study indicates that mentors must be prepared to provide alternatively licensed novice teachers with different assistance to that given to traditionally licensed novice teachers. School districts are urged to develop mentoring programs designed to develop the teaching competency of all novice teachers regardless of the route that led them

  14. Teachers' perceptions on primary science teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kijkuakul, Sirinapa

    2018-01-01

    This qualitative research aimed to review what primary teachers think about how to teach science in rural school contexts. Three primary schools in Thailand were purposively chosen for this study. Eleven primary science teachers of these schools were the research participants. Questionnaires, interviews, and observations were implemented to reveal the primary school teachers' educational backgrounds, science teaching context, and need for self-driven professional development. Content and discourse analysis indicated that the non-science educational background and the science teaching context implied a need for self-driven professional development. The non-science educational background teachers were generally unfamiliar with the current national science curriculum, and that they would not be comfortable when the researcher observed their science teaching practice. They also believed that experimentation was the only one strategy for teaching science, and that the priority for their teaching support was teaching media rather than their understanding of scientific concepts or teaching strategies. As implication of this research, subsequent developments on science teacher profession in rural context, therefore, need to promote teachers' understandings of nature of science and technological and pedagogical content knowledge. In addition, they should be challenged to practice on critically participatory action research for academic growth and professional learning community.

  15. Crossing borders: High school science teachers learning to teach the specialized language of science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrick, Jennifer Drake

    The highly specialized language of science is both challenging and alienating to adolescent readers. This study investigated how secondary science teachers learn to teach the specialized language of science in their classrooms. Three research questions guided this study: (a) what do science teachers know about teaching reading in science? (b) what understanding about the unique language demands of science reading do they construct through professional development? and (c) how do they integrate what they have learned about these specialized features of science language into their teaching practices? This study investigated the experience of seven secondary science teachers as they participated in a professional development program designed to teach them about the specialized language of science. Data sources included participant interviews, audio-taped professional development sessions, field notes from classroom observations, and a prior knowledge survey. Results from this study suggest that science teachers (a) were excited to learn about disciplinary reading practices, (b) developed an emergent awareness of the specialized features of science language and the various genres of science writing, and (c) recognized that the challenges of science reading goes beyond vocabulary. These teachers' efforts to understand and address the language of science in their teaching practices were undermined by their lack of basic knowledge of grammar, availability of time and resources, their prior knowledge and experiences, existing curriculum, and school structure. This study contributes to our understanding of how secondary science teachers learn about disciplinary literacy and apply that knowledge in their classroom instruction. It has important implications for literacy educators and science educators who are interested in using language and literacy practices in the service of science teaching and learning. (Full text of this dissertation may be available via the University

  16. Connecting university science experiences to middle school science teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Gordon; Laughran, Laura; Tamppari, Ray; Thomas, Perry

    1991-06-01

    Science teachers naturally rely on their university science experiences as a foundation for teaching middle school science. This foundation consists of knowledge far too complex for the middle level students to comprehend. In order for middle school science teachers to utilize their university science training they must search for ways to adapt their college experiences into appropriate middle school learning experience. The criteria set forth above provide broad-based guidelines for translating university science laboratory experiences into middle school activities. These guidelines are used by preservice teachers in our project as they identify, test, and organize a resource file of hands-on inquiry activities for use in their first year classrooms. It is anticipated that this file will provide a basis for future curriculum development as the teacher becomes more comfortable and more experienced in teaching hands-on science. The presentation of these guidelines is not meant to preclude any other criteria or considerations which a teacher or science department deems important. This is merely one example of how teachers may proceed to utilize their advanced science training as a basis for teaching middle school science.

  17. Leadership styles in secondary school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Michael A.

    A comparison of United States secondary school science teachers who mentor high quality student research and teachers who do not mentor research was conducted using a demographic survey and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire-Form 5X. The major demographic difference between the two groups was a significantly greater number of years of teaching experience in the research group, a factor that correlated significantly with Extra Effort in students. Research group teachers self-reported higher mean scores than non-research group teachers on the five transformational leadership scales plus the transactional scale of Contingent Reward; however, a Multivariate Analysis of Variance found no significant difference between the groups. Independent t-tests found no significant difference between the groups based upon the remaining transactional scales. The research group was found to be significantly higher on the outcome variable of Extra Effort generated by students while the non-research group rated themselves significantly higher on Satisfaction of students. Transformational leadership in teachers should be addressed by future studies as a possible method of identifying motivational teachers.

  18. Implementation of National Science Education Standards in suburban elementary schools: Teachers' perceptions and classroom practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Rubina Samer

    2005-07-01

    This was an interpretive qualitative study that focused on how three elementary school science teachers from three different public schools perceived and implemented the National Science Education Standards based on the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol and individual interviews with the teachers. This study provided an understanding of the standards movement and teacher change in the process. Science teachers who were experienced with the National Science Education Standards were selected as the subjects of the study. Grounded in the theory of teacher change, this study's phenomenological premise was that the extent to which a new reform has an effect on students' learning and achievement on standardized tests depends on the content a teacher teaches as well as the style of teaching. It was therefore necessary to explore how teachers understand and implement the standards in the classrooms. The surveys, interviews and observations provided rich data from teachers' intentions, reflections and actions on the lessons that were observed while also providing the broader contextual framework for the understanding of the teachers' perspectives.

  19. Analysis on the science literacy ability of vocational school physics teacher using NOSLiT indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahayu, P. P.; Masykuri, M.; Soeparmi

    2018-04-01

    Professional Physics teacher must be able to manage science learning process by associating science itself with the daily life. At first the teacher must have competency in the ability of science literacy. The target of this research is vocational school Physics teachers for the purpose to describe their ability on science literacy. This research is a survey research using test method. The test instrument is The NOSLiT by Wenning.Research results are: 1) Scientific Nomenclature : 38.46 %, 2) Basic experimental and observational abilities : 38.46 %, 3) Rules of scientific evidence : 0%, 4) Postulate science: 15.38%, 5) scientific disposition: 7. 69%.Conclusion: The result of each indicator shows that the ability of science literacy of vocational school Physics teachers has not met the expectations yet. It’s can be used as the reflection for education experts to improve their science literacy ability so that can be applied to the learning process that directly or indirectly will have an impact on improving the students’ science literacy.

  20. Science teachers in deaf education: A national survey of K-8 teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Cynthia

    A survey was conducted with 67 science teachers who taught deaf children at the elementary school level. Teacher background variables, information about teacher preparation and certification, preferred teaching methods, communication methodologies, curriculum, and the use of technology were gathered. A purposeful, convenience sampling technique was employed. Utilizing a non-experimental, basic research design and survey methodology, the researcher reviewed both quantitative and qualitative data. The majority of science teachers in this survey at the elementary school level are female and hearing. More than half have deaf education masters degrees. Few have science degrees. The majority of teachers had less than 10 years teaching experience with deaf students. Sixty percent were highly qualified in science; only forty percent were certified in science. They were equally employed at either a state residential school or a public day school. Two-way chi-square analyses were carried out. Hearing teachers preferred to observe other teachers teaching science compared to deaf teachers chi2 (1, N = 67) = 5.39, p translanguaging than hearing teachers (chi2 (1, N = 67) = 4.54, p < .05). Hearing teachers used the computer more often in the classroom than deaf teachers (chi 2 (1, N = 67) = 4.65, p < .01). Hearing teachers had their students use the computer more regularly than deaf teachers (chi2 (1, N = 67) = 11.49, p < .01). Teachers who worked in residential schools compared to working in public schools attended more state department of education science workshops chi2 (1, N = 67) = 6.83, p < .01, attended national or state science meetings chi2 (1, N = 67) = 7.96, p < .01, were familiar with the Star Schools program chi2 (1, N=67) = 13.23, p < .01, and participated more in Star Schools programs chi 2 (1, N = 67) = 15.96, p < .01. Compared to hearing teachers, the deaf teachers used web-based science materials (chi2 (1, N = 67) = 4.65, p < .01), used codeswitching chi2 (1, N

  1. Teachers' Perspectives on Online Virtual Labs vs. Hands-On Labs in High School Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohr, Teresa M.

    This study of online science teachers' opinions addressed the use of virtual labs in online courses. A growing number of schools use virtual labs that must meet mandated laboratory standards to ensure they provide learning experiences comparable to hands-on labs, which are an integral part of science curricula. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine teachers' perceptions of the quality and effectiveness of high school virtual labs. The theoretical foundation was constructivism, as labs provide student-centered activities for problem solving, inquiry, and exploration of phenomena. The research questions focused on experienced teachers' perceptions of the quality of virtual vs. hands-on labs. Data were collected through survey questions derived from the lab objectives of The Next Generation Science Standards . Eighteen teachers rated the degree of importance of each objective and also rated how they felt virtual labs met these objectives; these ratings were reported using descriptive statistics. Responses to open-ended questions were few and served to illustrate the numerical results. Many teachers stated that virtual labs are valuable supplements but could not completely replace hands-on experiences. Studies on the quality and effectiveness of high school virtual labs are limited despite widespread use. Comprehensive studies will ensure that online students have equal access to quality labs. School districts need to define lab requirements, and colleges need to specify the lab experience they require. This study has potential to inspire positive social change by assisting science educators, including those in the local school district, in evaluating and selecting courseware designed to promote higher order thinking skills, real-world problem solving, and development of strong inquiry skills, thereby improving science instruction for all high school students.

  2. Science Teacher Beliefs and Classroom Practice Related to Constructivism in Different School Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savasci, Funda; Berlin, Donna F.

    2012-02-01

    Science teacher beliefs and classroom practice related to constructivism and factors that may influence classroom practice were examined in this cross-case study. Data from four science teachers in two schools included interviews, demographic questionnaire, Classroom Learning Environment Survey (preferred/perceived), and classroom observations and documents. Using an inductive analytic approach, results suggested that the teachers embraced constructivism, but classroom observations did not confirm implementation of these beliefs for three of the four teachers. The most preferred constructivist components were personal relevance and student negotiation; the most perceived component was critical voice. Shared control was the least preferred, least perceived, and least observed constructivist component. School type, grade, student behavior/ability, curriculum/standardized testing, and parental involvement may influence classroom practice.

  3. Turkish preservice science teachers' socioscientific issues-based teaching practices in middle school science classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genel, Abdulkadir; Sami Topçu, Mustafa

    2016-01-01

    Background: Despite a growing body of research and curriculum reforms including socioscientific issues (SSI) across the world, how preservice science teachers (PST) or in-service science teachers can teach SSI in science classrooms needs further inquiry. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the abilities of PSTs to teach SSI in middle school science classrooms, and the research question that guided the present study is: How can we characterize Turkish PSTs' SSI-based teaching practices in middle school science classrooms (ages 11-14)? Sample: In order to address the research question of this study, we explored 10 Turkish PSTs' SSI-based teaching practices in middle school science classrooms. A purposeful sampling strategy was used, thus, PSTs were specifically chosen because they were ideal candidates to teach SSI and to integrate SSI into the science curricula since they were seniors in the science education program who had to take the field experience courses. Design and method: The participants' SSI teaching practices were characterized in light of qualitative research approach. SSI-based teaching practices were analyzed, and the transcripts of all videotape recordings were coded by two researchers. Results: The current data analysis describes Turkish PSTs' SSI-based teaching practices under five main categories: media, argumentation, SSI selection and presentation, risk analysis, and moral perspective. Most of PSTs did not use media resources in their lesson and none of them considered moral perspective in their teaching. While the risk analyses were very simple and superficial, the arguments developed in the classrooms generally remained at a simple level. PSTs did not think SSI as a central topic and discussed these issues in a very limited time and at the end of the class period. Conclusions: The findings of this study manifest the need of the reforms in science education programs. The present study provides evidence that moral, media

  4. Secondary School Teachers' Perspectives on Teaching about Topics That Bridge Science and Religion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billingsley, Berry; Riga, Fran; Taber, Keith S.; Newdick, Helen

    2014-01-01

    The question of where to locate teaching about the relationships between science and religion has produced a long-running debate. Currently, science and religious education (RE) are statutory subjects in England and are taught in secondary schools by different teachers. This paper reports on an interview study in which 16 teachers gave their…

  5. Inquiry-based science education: towards a pedagogical framework for primary school teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Uum, Martina S. J.; Verhoeff, Roald P.; Peeters, Marieke

    2016-02-01

    Inquiry-based science education (IBSE) has been promoted as an inspiring way of learning science by engaging pupils in designing and conducting their own scientific investigations. For primary school teachers, the open nature of IBSE poses challenges as they often lack experience in supporting their pupils during the different phases of an open IBSE project, such as formulating a research question and designing and conducting an investigation. The current study aims to meet these challenges by presenting a pedagogical framework in which four domains of scientific knowledge are addressed in seven phases of inquiry. The framework is based on video analyses of pedagogical interventions by primary school teachers participating in open IBSE projects. Our results show that teachers can guide their pupils successfully through the process of open inquiry by explicitly addressing the conceptual, epistemic, social and/or procedural domain of scientific knowledge in the subsequent phases of inquiry. The paper concludes by suggesting further research to validate our framework and to develop a pedagogy for primary school teachers to guide their pupils through the different phases of open inquiry.

  6. The Black Cultural Ethos and science teachers' practices: A case study exploring how four high school science teachers meet their African American students' needs in science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strachan, Samantha L.

    The underachievement of African American students in science has been a persistent problem in science education. The achievement patterns of African American students indicate that researchers must take a closer look at the types of practices that are being used to meet these students' needs in science classrooms. Determining why science teachers decide to employ certain practices in their classrooms begins with a careful examination of teachers' beliefs as well as their instructional approaches. The purpose of this study was to explore four urban high school science teachers' beliefs about their African American students' learning needs and to investigate how these teachers go about addressing students' needs in science classrooms. This research study also explored the extent to which teachers' practices aligned with the nine dimensions of an established cultural instructional theory, namely the Black Cultural Ethos. Qualitative research methods were employed to gather data from the four teachers. Artifact data were collected from the teachers and they were interviewed and observed. Believing that their students had academic-related needs as well as needs tied to their learning preferences, the four science teachers employed a variety of instructional strategies to meet their students where they were in learning. Overall, the instructional strategies that the teachers employed to meet their students' needs aligned with five of the nine tenets of the Black Cultural Ethos theory.

  7. Teacher Self-Efficacy According to Turkish Cypriot Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olmez, Cemil; Ozbas, Serap

    2017-01-01

    This study examined the self-efficacy of Turkish Cypriot science teachers working at high schools in Northern Cyprus. The study sample was 200 science teachers who participated in the survey. The Teacher Self-Efficacy (TSE) Scale was used as a data source. It was observed that the science teachers' efficacy beliefs about student engagement in…

  8. Investigating Teachers' Beliefs in the Implementation of Science Inquiry and Science Fair in Three Boston High Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Barros Miller, Anne Marie

    In previous decades, inquiry has been the focus of science education reform in the United States. This study sought to investigate how teachers' beliefs affect their implementation of inquiry science and science fair. It was hypothesized that science teachers' beliefs about inquiry science and science fair are predictive of their implementation of such strategies. A case study approach and semi-structured interviews were employed to collect the data, and an original thematic approach was created to analyze the data. Findings seem to suggest that science teachers who embrace science inquiry and science fair believe these practices enhance students' performance, facilitate their learning experience, and allow them to take ownership of their learning. However, results also suggest that teachers who do not fully embrace inquiry science as a central teaching strategy tend to believe that it is not aligned with standardized tests and requires higher cognitive skills from students. Overall, the study seems to indicate that when inquiry is presented as a prescribed teaching approach, this elicits strong negative feelings/attitudes amongst science teachers, leading them not only to resist inquiry as a teaching tool, but also dissuading them from participating in science fair. Additionally, the findings suggest that such feelings among teachers could place the school at risk of not implementing inquiry science and science fair. In conclusion, the study reveals that science inquiry and science fair should not be prescribed to teachers as a top-down, mandatory approach for teaching science. In addition, the findings suggest that adequate teacher training in content knowledge and pedagogy in science inquiry and science fair should be encouraged, as this could help build a culture of science inquiry and implementation amongst teachers. This should go hand-in-hand with offering mentoring to science teachers new to inquiry and science fair for 2-5 years.

  9. A science methods course in a professional development school context: A case study of student teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sopko, Linda Diane

    The purpose of this case study was to explore how six student teachers constructed their personal understanding about teaching science to elementary students in the context of a professional development school (PDS). The science methods course was one of five university courses that they attended at the PDS site. The participants spent the remainder of the school day in an assigned classroom where they assisted the classroom teacher in a paraprofessional role. This study was an attempt to determine the knowledge that the participants constructed of science instruction and the school during the preservice semester of their PDS experience and what knowledge was transferred into their student teaching practices. The methodology selected was qualitative. A case study was conducted to determine the constructs of the participants. Data collection included documents concerning the PDS school and personal artifacts of the student teachers. Student teachers, cooperating teachers, and administrators were interviewed. The student teachers were also observed teaching. Triangulation was achieved with the use of multiple data sources, a reflexive journal, and peer debriefers. A cross case comparison was used to identify issues salient to the research questions. The PDS context immediately challenged the participants' prior conceptions about how children learn and should be instructed. Participants believed that the situational knowledge constructed during the PDS semester contributed to their self-confidence during student teaching. The instructional emphasis on standardized tests in the PDS and the limited emphasis on science curriculum and instruction constructed an image of science as a minor component in the elementary curriculum. The student teachers were able to transfer knowledge of inquiry-based instructional strategies, as modeled and practiced in their science methods course, into their science lesson during student teaching. One student teacher used inquiry

  10. Teacher-student interactions and domain-specific motivation: The relationship between students' perceptions of teacher interpersonal behavior and motivation in middle school science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, Julie Brockman

    2009-11-01

    This study examined interactions between middle school science students' perceptions of teacher-student interactions and their motivation for learning science. Specifically, in order to better understand factors affecting middle school students' motivation for science, this study investigated the interactions between middle school students' perceptions of teacher interpersonal behavior in their science classroom and their efficacy, task value, mastery orientations, and goal orientation for learning science. This mixed methods study followed a sequential explanatory model (Cresswell & Plano-Clark, 2007). Quantitative and qualitative data were collected in two phases, with quantitative data in the first phase informing the selection of participants for the qualitative phase that followed. The qualitative phase also helped to clarify and explain results from the quantitative phase. Data mixing occurred between Phase One and Phase Two (participant selection) and at the interpretation level (explanatory) after quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed separately. Results from Phase One indicated that students' perceptions of teacher interpersonal behaviors were predictive of their efficacy for learning science, task value for learning science, mastery orientation, and performance orientation. These results were used to create motivation/perception composites, which were used in order to select students for the qualitative interviews. A total of 24 students with high motivation/high perceptions, low motivation/low perceptions, high motivation/low perceptions, and low motivation/high perceptions were selected in order to represent students whose profiles either supported or refuted the quantitative results. Results from Phase Two revealed themes relating to students' construction of their perceptions of teacher interpersonal behavior and dimensions of their efficacy and task value for science. Students who reported high motivation and high perceptions of teacher

  11. Reflection after teaching a lesson: Experiences of secondary school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halstead, Melissa A.

    Secondary science teachers spend most of their time planning, collaborating, and teaching, but spend little time reflecting after teaching a single lesson. The theoretical framework of the adult learning theory and the transformative learning theory was the basis of this study. This qualitative research study was conducted to understand the reflective experiences of secondary science educators after teaching a single or several lessons. The collection of data consisted of interviews from a group of purposefully selected secondary science teachers who met the criteria set forth by the researcher. Through a qualitative analysis of interviews and field notes, the researcher determined that the secondary science teachers in this study shared similar as well as different experiences regarding collaborative and individual reflection after teaching a single or several lessons. The findings from this study also suggested that secondary science educators prefer to collaboratively reflect and then reflect alone to allow for further thought. Additionally, a supportive school culture increases the secondary science teacher’s desire to engage in collaborative as well as individual reflection. The information from this study could be used to close the gaps that exist in the teacher professional development programs.

  12. Impetus and barriers to teaching ocean literacy: A perspective from landlocked middle school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillan, Amy Larrison

    The demand for a more ocean literate citizenry is growing rapidly in response to an ocean increasingly in peril. Discovering how to include students far removed from the ocean in our teaching about the ocean is imperative to meeting that charge. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the extent to which middle school science teachers in landlocked states addressed important ocean literacy concepts and what they perceived to be barriers and motivators to their doing so. This descriptive study was based on a nation-wide survey of middle school science teachers and content analyses of their most commonly used science textbooks and their state science standards. Data was analyzed quantitatively. Results indicated that landlocked and coastal teachers are similar in terms of their infrequency of teaching about the ocean, yet a number of their perceptions of barriers and motivators to do so vary. The barrier most often mentioned was middle school state science standards, which characteristically ignore the ocean sciences. The results are discussed in terms of their impact on ocean literacy professional development providers, science textbook publishers, and state science standards revision committees.

  13. National Science Resources Center Project for Improving Science Teaching in Elementary Schools. Appendix A. School Systems With Exemplary Elementary Science Programs. Appendix B. Elementary Science Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-12-01

    Glass, Lawrence, Deer Park High School Glass, Millard, K-12 Science Supervisor Bloomfield Municipal School District Glassman, Neil, Gleason, Steve...Superientendent Vaughn Municipal Schools Knop, Ronald N., Teacher Grissom Junior High School Knox, Amie, Director of Master Teacher Program W. Wilson...Science Supervisor Pequannock Township Public Schools Mercado , Roberto, Science Coordinator Colegio Radians, Inc. Merchant, Edwin, K-12 Science

  14. Quality Science Teacher Professional Development and Student Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubner, J.

    2007-12-01

    Studies show that socio-economic background and parental education accounts for 50-60 percent of a child's achievement in school. School, and other influences, account for the remaining 40-50 percent. In contrast to most other professions, schools require no real apprenticeship training of science teachers. Overall, only 38 percent of United States teachers have had any on-the-job training in their first teaching position, and in some cases this consisted of a few meetings over the course of a year between the beginning teacher and the assigned mentor or master teacher. Since individual teachers determine the bulk of a student's school experiences, interventions focused on teachers have the greatest likelihood of affecting students. To address this deficiency, partnerships between scientists and K-12 teachers are increasingly recognized as an excellent method for improving teacher preparedness and the quality of science education. Columbia University's Summer Research Program for Science Teachers' (founded in 1990) basic premise is simple: teachers cannot effectively teach science if they have no firsthand experience doing science, hence the Program's motto, "Practice what you teach." Columbia University's Summer Research Program for Science Teachers provides strong evidence that a teacher research program is a very effective form of professional development for secondary school science teachers and has a direct correlation to increased student achievement in science. The author will present the methodology of the program's evaluation citing statistically significant data. The author will also show the economic benefits of teacher participation in this form of professional development.

  15. Reshaping teacher thinking, planning and practice using embedded assessment: Case studies of three middle school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeranyama, Letina Ngwenya

    At the dawn of the 21st century the science education community is seeking ways of improving science education to produce a scientific literate citizenry. They have put forth new goals. Teachers are key to all efforts to improve schools, that without their full participation, any move to reform education nor matter how well intentioned is doomed to failure. The changes in the goals of science education imply that teachers have to change the way they teach science. Some scholars have suggested that one way to help teachers attain the reform goals is by using embedded assessment. Embedded assessment is defined as a cyclical and ongoing process whereby teachers gather data about students' understanding as they teach, they analyze the data formally or informally and use the analysis to plan or adjust teaching immediately, for the next hour, day, topic, unit or year. The next day's activities also include embedded assessment and so the cycle repeats itself. This study investigates how teachers make sense of embedded assessment, how embedded assessment looks in practice, how it influences teachers and their classroom environments and the challenges teachers face as they use embedded assessment. Three middle school science teachers were involved in the study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions, participant observations and professional development conversations. Data were analyzed using the qualitative method of constant comparative analysis. The findings indicate that teachers passed through different stages in conceptualizing embedded assessment. This conceptualization influenced the way embedded assessment looked in the classroom. Embedded assessment took many forms and shapes in the teachers' classrooms. Embedded assessment influenced the teachers' perspectives about the curriculum, students, teaching, assessment, planning and reflection in ways that enabled the teachers to be investigators of their students' understanding

  16. Journal Article: Using Scientists and Real-World Scenarios in Professional Development for Middle School Science Teachers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morrison, Judith A.; Estes, Jeffrey C.

    2007-04-01

    Middle school science teachers were involved in a problem-solving experience presented and guided by research scientists. Data on the teachers’ perspectives about this professional development and any impact it may have had on their teaching practices were collected through interviews, surveys, and classroom observations. The findings show that the professional development experience was positive, although one concern expressed by teachers was their lack of understanding of the scientists’ vocabulary. Using scientists and real-world scenarios was shown to be an effective strategy for encouraging middle school teachers to teach science as a process and help them strengthen their science content understanding.

  17. Voices of Successful Science Teachers in an Urban Diverse Single Gender Girls' School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhan, Jyoti

    2016-01-01

    This research study was conducted as a qualitative case study of four successful science teachers of female students in a diverse, title 1, urban, public girls' school. The study was designed to hear the 'muted' voices of successful science teachers concerning their beliefs and practices when they effectively provide learning opportunities for…

  18. Teacher and Student Perceptions on High School Science Flipped Classrooms: Educational Breakthrough or Media Hype?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunley, Rebecca C.

    For years educators have struggled to ensure students meet the rigors of state mandated tests. Challenges that often impede student success are student absences, school closings due to weather, and remediation for students who need additional help while advanced students can move ahead. Many educators, especially secondary math and science teachers, have responded to these issues by implementing a teaching strategy called the flipped classroom where students view lectures, power points, or podcasts outside of school and class time shifts to allow opportunities for collaborative learning. The purpose of this research was to evaluate teacher and student perceptions of high school flipped science classrooms. A qualitative phenomenological study was conducted to observe 3 high school science teachers from Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee selected through purposeful sampling who have used the flipped classroom method for a minimum of 2 years. Analysis of data from an online survey, direct observation, teacher interviews, and student focus groups helped to identify challenges and benefits of this teaching and learning strategy. Findings indicated that teachers find the flipped classroom beneficial to build student relationships but requires a significant amount of time to develop. Mixed student reactions revealed benefits of a flipped classroom as a successful learning tool for current and future endeavors for college or career preparation.

  19. Science teachers' beliefs about teaching and reform: Case studies from a restructured high school

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Elizabeth A.

    A qualitative research study of the beliefs of three science teachers about teaching and educational reform was carried out at a restructured high school belonging to the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), a nationally prominent restructuring movement. One problem of educational reform is to sustain change in the science classroom. A new wave of reform is shifting the focus away from curriculum changes and towards professionalism of teachers empowered to restructure schools. The beliefs of the teachers are key to decisions made in the classroom. The teachers and staff of Metro High School adopted the Ten Common Principles of CES as their guide to restructuring and sustaining change. Changes included increased authority for teachers in shared decision making, increased staff time for professional development, grouping students heterogeneously, grouping students and faculty in teams for extended time periods, and organizing instruction around small group and individual student study (student-centered). The theoretical framework centers on the constructivist theory of learning, particularly Vygotsky's socio-cultural model, and Bakhtin's dialogic function of language. Nespor's belief system model was used to describe the four characteristic features of beliefs: episodic memories, alternativity, existential presumption, and evaluative loading. My research questions were: What memories of teaching have influenced the teachers? What are the teachers' beliefs about the learning environment? What are the teachers' beliefs about their students? What are the teachers' beliefs about student activities? Interviews were the primary data source for the case studies of the three teachers, with additional data from lesson plans, photo-voice, and other artifacts. The teachers shared many common beliefs including that strong peer support is necessary for reform. The teachers' beliefs allied themselves to the majority of the common principles of CES, especially personalization and

  20. Primary School Teachers' Understanding of Science Process Skills in Relation to Their Teaching Qualifications and Teaching Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahali, Edy H. M.; Halim, Lilia; Treagust, David F.; Won, Mihye; Chandrasegaran, A. L.

    2017-04-01

    This study investigated the understanding of science process skills (SPS) of 329 science teachers from 52 primary schools selected by random sampling. The understanding of SPS was measured in terms of conceptual and operational aspects of SPS using an instrument called the Science Process Skills Questionnaire (SPSQ) with a Cronbach's alpha reliability of 0.88. The findings showed that the teachers' conceptual understanding of SPS was much weaker than their practical application of SPS. The teachers' understanding of SPS differed by their teaching qualifications but not so much by their teaching experience. Emphasis needs to be given to both conceptual and operational understanding of SPS during pre-service and in-service teacher education to enable science teachers to use the skills and implement inquiry-based lessons in schools.

  1. Elementary school science teachers' reflection for nature of science: Workshop of NOS explicit and reflective on force and motion learning activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patho, Khanittha; Yuenyong, Chokchai; Chamrat, Suthida

    2018-01-01

    The nature of science has been part of Thailand's science education curriculum since 2008. However, teachers lack of understanding about the nature of science (NOS) and its teaching, particularly element school science teachers. In 2012, the Science Institute of Thailand MOE, started a project of Elementary Science Teacher Professional Development to enhance their thinking about the Nature of Science. The project aimed to enhance teachers' understanding of NOS, science teaching for explicit and reflective NOS, with the aim of extending their understanding of NOS to other teachers. This project selected 366 educational persons. The group was made up of a teacher and a teacher supervisor from 183 educational areas in 74 provinces all Thailand. The project provided a one week workshop and a year's follow up. The week-long workshop consisted of 11 activities of science teaching for explicit reflection on 8 aspects of NOS. Workshop of NOS explicit and reflective on force and motion learning activity is one of eight activities. This activity provided participants to learn force and motion and NOS from the traditional toy "Bang-Poh". The activity tried to enhance participants to explicit NOS for 5 aspects including empirical basis, subjectivity, creativity, observation and inference, and sociocultural embeddedness. The explicit NOS worksheet provided questions to ask participants to reflect their existing ideas about NOS. The paper examines elementary school science teachers' understanding of NOS from the force and motion learning activity which provided explicit reflection on 5 NOS aspects. An interpretive paradigm was used to analyse the teachers' reflections in a NOS worksheet. The findings indicated that majority of them could reflect about the empirical basis of science and creativity but few reflected on observation and inference, or sociocultural embeddedness. The paper will explain the teachers' NOS thinking and discuss the further enhancing of their understanding

  2. The Impact of Science Teachers' Beliefs on Teaching Science: The Case of Saudi Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alabdulkareem, Saleh Abdullah

    2016-01-01

    The researcher aims to investigate Saudi science teachers' beliefs about learning and teaching issues. The sample consisted of 247 middle school teachers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The study conducted in the academic school year 2014/2015, and utilized a questionnaire and an interview that included 10% of the sample. The questionnaire targeted the…

  3. A Case Study Exploring the Identity of an In-Service Elementary Science Teacher: a Language Teacher First

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marco-Bujosa, Lisa; Levy, Abigail Jurist; McNeill, Katherine

    2018-01-01

    Teachers are central to providing high-quality science learning experiences called for in recent reform efforts, as their understanding of science impacts both what they teach and how they teach it. Yet, most elementary teachers do not enter the profession with a particular interest in science or expertise in science teaching. Research also indicates elementary schools present unique barriers that may inhibit science teaching. This case study utilizes the framework of identity to explore how one elementary classroom teacher's understandings of herself as a science specialist were shaped by the bilingual elementary school context as she planned for and provided reform-based science instruction. Utilizing Gee's (2000) sociocultural framework, identity was defined as consisting of four interrelated dimensions that served as analytic frames for examining how this teacher understood her new role through social positioning within her school. Findings describe the ways in which this teacher's identity as a science teacher was influenced by the school context. The case study reveals two important implications for teacher identity. First, collaboration for science teaching is essential for elementary teachers to change their practice. It can be challenging for teachers to form an identity as a science teacher in isolation. In addition, elementary teachers new to science teaching negotiate their emerging science practice with their prior experiences and the school context. For example, in the context of a bilingual school, this teacher adapted the reform-based science curriculum to better meet the unique linguistic needs of her students.

  4. Looking at Life. Teacher's Guide. Unit A2. ZIM-SCI, Zimbabwe Secondary School Science Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosking, Bunty

    The Zimbabwe Secondary School Science Project (ZIM-SCI) developed student study guides, corresponding teaching guides, and science kits for a low-cost science course which could be taught during the first 2 years of secondary school without the aid of qualified teachers and conventional laboratories. This teaching guide, designed to be read in…

  5. Science teachers' meaning-making when involved in a school-based professional development project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund

    2012-01-01

    A group of teachers' meaning-making when they are collaboratively analyzing artifacts from practice in local science classrooms in a school-based professional development (PD) project is examined through repeated interviews and represented as meaning-makig maps. The interpretation of the teachers......' meaning-making includes both their reference to outcomes from the project and their expressed ideas about teaching and learning of science. All four teachers refer to experiences from experimenting in their classrooms and interpret the collected artifacts in relation to students' learning. Furthermore......, they all felt encouraged to continue collaboration around science. During the interviews, the teachers emphasize various elements apparently connected to concrete challenges they each experience in their professional work. Implications in relation to the design of PD are discussed....

  6. Engaging High School Science Teachers in Field-Based Seismology Research: Opportunities and Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, M. D.

    2015-12-01

    Research experiences for secondary school science teachers have been shown to improve their students' test scores, and there is a substantial body of literature about the effectiveness of RET (Research Experience for Teachers) or SWEPT (Scientific Work Experience Programs for Teachers) programs. RET programs enjoy substantial support, and several opportunities for science teachers to engage in research currently exist. However, there are barriers to teacher participation in research projects; for example, laboratory-based projects can be time consuming and require extensive training before a participant can meaningfully engage in scientific inquiry. Field-based projects can be an effective avenue for involving teachers in research; at its best, earth science field work is a fun, highly immersive experience that meaningfully contributes to scientific research projects, and can provide a payoff that is out of proportion to a relatively small time commitment. In particular, broadband seismology deployments provide an excellent opportunity to provide teachers with field-based research experience. Such deployments are labor-intensive and require large teams, with field tasks that vary from digging holes and pouring concrete to constructing and configuring electronics systems and leveling and orienting seismometers. A recently established pilot program, known as FEST (Field Experiences for Science Teachers) is experimenting with providing one week of summer field experience for high school earth science teachers in Connecticut. Here I report on results and challenges from the first year of the program, which is funded by the NSF-CAREER program and is being run in conjunction with a temporary deployment of 15 seismometers in Connecticut, known as SEISConn (Seismic Experiment for Imaging Structure beneath Connecticut). A small group of teachers participated in a week of field work in August 2015 to deploy seismometers in northern CT; this experience followed a visit of the

  7. How science teachers' concerns about school-based assessment of practical work vary with time: the Hong Kong experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Derek; Yip, Din-Yan

    2004-02-01

    School-based assessment of science students' practical skills has two important roles--as a complement to written papers in public examinations and as a catalyst for enriching the science curriculum in schools. This article describes a quantitative study of the concerns chemistry and biology teachers experience as they engage in the process of implementation of a school-based assessment scheme for practical work. A 23-item questionnaire was developed to measure five categories of teacher concern: evaluation, information, management, consequence and refocusing. The nature of each category of teacher concern is discussed in relation to innovation adoption and implementation. Data were collected from 400 chemistry and 412 biology teachers in Hong Kong. Teachers' information and management concerns lessened in intensity when they became experienced users of a school-based assessment scheme. However, teaching experience alone could not motivate teachers to think more about the impact of school-based assessment on student learning, their professional development in student assessment and the possible refinements in their school-based assessment scheme. Concerns-based interventions are suggested to help teachers grow professionally.

  8. The Challenges Faced by New Science Teachers in Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsharari, Salman

    Growing demand for science teachers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, fed by increasing numbers of public school students, is forcing the Saudi government to attract, recruit and retain well-qualified science teachers. Beginning science teachers enter the educational profession with a massive fullfilment and satisfaction in their roles and positions as teachers to educating children in a science classroom. Nevertheless, teachers, over their early years of practice, encounter numerous challenges to provide the most effective science instruction. Therefore, the current study was aimed to identify academic and behavioral classroom challenges faced by science teachers in their first three years of teaching in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition, new science teacher gender, school level and years of teaching experience differences in perceptions of the challenges that they encountered at work were analyzed. The present study also investigated various types of support that new science teachers may need to overcome academic and behavioral classroom challenges. In order to gain insights about ways to adequately support novice science teachers, it was important to examine new science teachers' beliefs, ideas and perceptions about effective science teaching. Three survey questionnaires were developed and distributed to teachers of both sexes who have been teaching science subjects, for less than three years, to elementary, middle and high school students in Al Jouf public schools. A total of 49 novice science teachers responded to the survey and 9 of them agreed to participate voluntarily in a face-to-face interview. Different statistical procedures and multiple qualitative methodologies were used to analyze the collected data. Findings suggested that the top three academic challenges faced by new science teachers were: poor quality of teacher preparation programs, absence of appropriate school equipment and facilities and lack of classroom materials and instructional

  9. Exploring the use of lesson study with six Canadian middle-school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Terry James

    This qualitative case study explores the use of lesson study over a ten-week period with six Ontario middle school science teachers. The research questions guiding this study were: (1) How does participation in science-based lesson study influence these teachers': (a) science subject matter knowledge (science SMK), (b) science pedagogical content knowledge (science PCK), and (c) confidence in teaching science?, and (2) What benefits and challenges do they associate with lesson study? Data sources for this study were: teacher questionnaires, surveys, reflections, pre- and post- interviews, and follow-up emails; researcher field notes and reflections; pre- and post- administration of the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument; and audio recordings of group meetings. The teachers demonstrated limited gains in science SMK. There was evidence for an overall improvement in teacher knowledge of forces and simple machines, and two teachers demonstrated improvement in over half of the five scenarios assessing teacher science SMK. Modest gains in teacher science PCK were found. One teacher expressed more accurate understanding of students' knowledge of forces and a better knowledge of effective science teaching strategies. The majority of teachers reported that they would be using three-part lessons and hands-on activities more in their science teaching. Gains in teacher pedagogical knowledge (PK) were found in four areas: greater emphasis on anticipation of student thinking and responses, recognition of the importance of observing students, more intentional teaching, and anticipated future use of student video data. Most teachers reported feeling more confident in teaching structures and mechanisms, and attributed this increase in confidence to collaboration and seeing evidence of student learning and engagement during the lesson teachings. Teacher benefits included: learning how to increase student engagement and collaboration, observing students, including video data

  10. Becoming a science teacher: moving toward creolized science and an ethic of cosmopolitanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiler, Gale

    2011-03-01

    Although communities and schools in North America are increasingly diverse and positioned in a global web, schools continue to adhere to Western norms and the teacher workforce remains largely White, continuing an ideology of collective sameness and conformity. Hybridization of teacher identity and of science teaching are suggested as ways to advance an ethic of solidarity through difference (cosmopolitanism) with science teaching as its vehicle. In this paper, I explore identity hybridization among non-dominant science teachers as they merge identity narratives, or who they are around science and science teaching, with who they are out-of-school. Our attention is focused on their experiences of dis-identification with science in terms of diaspora, or the sense of being taken away from what one knows and values. By generating a creolized approach to science teaching, teachers create possibilities for greater student identification with science in school, which in turn has potential for changing the face of who does science and of science itself.

  11. California teachers' perceptions of standards-based reform in middle school science: A mixed-methods study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leggett, Allison Gail Wilson

    The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 presented one of the most significant and comprehensive literacy reforms in many years (McDonnell, 2005; U.S. Department of Education, 2006). The era of school accountability and standards based reform has brought many challenges and changes to public schools. Increasingly, public officials and educational administrators are asked to use standards based assessments to make high-stakes decisions, such as whether a student will move on to the next grade level or receive a diploma (American Psychological Association, 2005). It is important to understand any shifts in teachers' perceptions and to identify the changes teachers are making as they implement standards-based reform. This mixed-methods study was designed to assess teachers' perceptions of changes related to standards-based reform as supported by Fullan's (2001) change theory and transformational leadership theory. Survey questions sought to identify teacher perceptions of changes in curriculum, instruction and daily practice as schools documented and incorporated standards-based reform and began focusing on preparing students for the California Standards Test in Science (CSTS). Using descriptive statistical analysis and in-depth interviews, results show favorable insight towards standards-based reform. The survey was distributed to 30 middle school science teachers from 10 low-performing schools in Los Angeles, California. Results were analyzed using Spearman rank-ordered correlations. Interviews were conducted on middle school teachers represented by each grade level. Teachers who receive more support from administrators have more positive attitudes toward all aspects of SBR and the CSTS as measured in this study. No school should overlook the potential of a supportive administration in its effort to improve school programs.

  12. Resources and instructional strategies effective middle school science teachers use to improve content area reading skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaver, Melanie S.

    This study examined the resources and instructional strategies effective middle school science teachers use to improve content area reading skills. Reading instruction in the middle school years should follow the natural cognitive progression that occurs in the adolescent brain from learning to read to reading to learn. Scientific reading is a different type of reading than most middle school students are accustomed to. It is important to understand that students will continue to be expected to read non-fiction critically for success in the 21st century. Effective teachers know this, and they perceive themselves as teachers of reading regardless of the content area in which their expertise lies. This qualitative research study was conducted at a rural middle school with three science teachers who employ before, during, and after literacy strategies when reading the textbook content with their students. The methodologies used in this study were interviews, observations, and document collection. The results of this study revealed the students' reading difficulties perceived by the teacher participants, the literacy strategies used by the teacher participants, the instructional resources the teacher participants used to improve comprehension, and the need for professional development in content area literacy.

  13. FORMATION OF ICT COMPETENCES FUTURE TEACHER OF COMPUTER SCIENCE IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL VIA DELPHI SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hrihorii Pustovit

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available In article, authors clarified the concept of "ICT competence of future teachers of computer science in the elementary school"; improved criteria for formation of the ICT competences future teachers of computer science in the elementary school to identify the system ready for use Delphi during process of visual programming in professional activity. We present the model of the formation of the ICT competence future teachers of computer science in the elementary school via visual programming tools, where importance given to the construction of individual learning paths, taking into account individual learning rhythm, because students have different levels of training, they are different in nature perception of information. It is proved that the proposed model will make it possible to carry out training, starting from the result of the educational process at the university, which takes into account the impact of external and internal variables, as well as a feedback mechanism that allows adjustment of the process at different stages. Authors presented developed method of forming ICT competences future teachers of computer science in the elementary school via Delphi tools during learning of visual programming, feature of which is that to present course materials were chosen LMS Moodle platform.

  14. A phenomenological study on middle-school science teachers' perspectives on utilization of technology in the science classroom and its effect on their pedagogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajbanshi, Roshani

    With access to technology and expectation by the mainstream, the use of technology in the classroom has become essential these days. However, the problem in science education is that with classrooms filled with technological equipment, the teaching style is didactic, and teachers employ traditional teacher-centered methods in the classroom. In addition, results of international assessments indicate that students' science learning needs to be improved. The purpose of this study is to analyze and document the lived experience of middle-school science teachers and their use of technology in personal, professional lives as well as in their classroom and to describe the phenomenon of middle-school science teachers' technological beliefs for integration of digital devices or technology as an instructional delivery tool, knowledge construction tool and learning tool. For this study, technology is defined as digital devices such as computer, laptops, digital camera, iPad that are used in the science classroom as an instructional delivery tool, as a learning tool, and as a knowledge construction tool. Constructivism is the lens, the theoretical framework that guides this qualitative phenomenological research. Observation, interview, personal journal, photo elicitation, and journal reflection are used as methods of data collection. Data was analyzed based on a constructivist theoretical framework to construct knowledge and draw conclusion. MAXQDA, a qualitative analysis software, was also used to analyze the data. The findings indicate that middle-school science teachers use technology in various ways to engage and motivate students in science learning; however, there are multiple factors that influence teachers' technology use in the class. In conclusion, teacher, students, and technology are the three sides of the triangle where technology acts as the third side or the bridge to connect teachers' content knowledge to students through the tool with which students are

  15. Chinese and US Middle-School Science Teachers' Autonomy, Motivation, and Instructional Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Laura; Jones, M. Gail

    2013-06-01

    This study examined Chinese and US middle-school science teachers' perceptions of autonomy support. Previous research has documented the link between teachers' perceptions of autonomy and the use of student-oriented teaching practices for US teachers. But is not clear how the perception of autonomy may differ for teachers from different cultures or more specifically how motivation factors differ across cultures. The survey measured teachers' motivation, perceptions of constraints at work, perceptions of students' motivation, and level of autonomy support for students. Exploratory factor analysis of responses for the combined teacher sample (n = 201) was carried out for each of the survey assessments. Significance testing for Chinese (n = 107) and US (n = 94) teachers revealed significant differences in teachers' motivation and perceptions of constraints at work and no significant differences for perceptions of students' motivation or their level of autonomy support for students. Chinese teachers' perceptions of constraints at work, work motivation, and perceptions of student motivation were found to significantly predict teachers' autonomy support. For the US teachers, teacher motivation was the only significant predictor of teachers' autonomy support. A sub-sample of teachers (n = 19) was interviewed and results showed that teachers in both countries reported that autonomy was important to their motivation and the quality of science instruction they provided to students. The primary constraints on teaching reported by the US teachers related to materials and laboratory space while the Chinese teachers reported constraints related to the science curriculum and standards.

  16. The Most Common Patterns of Classroom Dialogue Used by Science Teachers in Omani Cycle Two Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alshaqsi, Hanan; Ambusaidi, Abdullah

    2018-01-01

    This study aimed to identify the patterns of classroom dialogue used by science teachers in science classes at Omani schools with respect to their gender. The study sample consisted of science teachers: three males and three females. To achieve the aims of the study, mixed methods with three instruments were used. These are an observation card or…

  17. Observing Some Life Cycles. Teacher's Guide. Unit E3. ZIM-SCI, Zimbabwe Secondary School Science Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitepo, Thoko; And Others

    The Zimbabwe Secondary School Science Project (ZIM-SCI) developed student study guides, corresponding teaching guides, and science kits for a low-cost science course which could be taught during the first 2 years of secondary school without the aid of qualified teachers and conventional laboratories. This teaching guide contains instructional…

  18. Incorporating nanoscale science and technology into secondary school curriculum: Views of nano-trained science teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antti Laherto

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The growing societal significance of nanoscience and nanotechnology (NST entails needs for addressing these topics in school curricula. This study lays groundwork for responding to those needs in Finland. The purpose was to analyse the appropriateness of NST for secondary school curriculum contents. First, a week-long in-service teacher training course was arranged on content knowledge of NST. After attending the course, 23 experienced science teachers were surveyed regarding their views on the educational significance of these issues, and on prospects for including them into the curriculum. A questionnaire with open-ended questions was used. Qualitative content analysis of the responses revealed that the respondents considered NST as desirable contents for secondary school, but arranging instruction is problematic. The teachers emphasised the educational significance of many applications, scientific principles and ethical issues related to NST. The outcomes are discussed with reference to recent studies on teachers’ barriers and educational concerns regarding NST.

  19. Beginning science teachers' strategies for communicating with families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloom, Nena E.

    Science learning occurs in both formal and informal spaces. Families are critical for developing student learning and interest in science because they provide important sources of knowledge, support and motivation. Bidirectional communication between teachers and families can be used to build relationships between homes and schools, leverage family knowledge of and support for learners, and create successful environments for science learning that will support both teaching and student learning. To identify the communication strategies of beginning science teachers, who are still developing their teaching practices, a multiple case study was conducted with seven first year secondary science teachers. The methods these teachers used to communicate with families, the information that was communicated and shared, and factors that shaped these teachers' continued development of communication strategies were examined. Demographic data, interview data, observations and documentation of communication through logs and artifacts were collected for this study. Results indicated that the methods teachers had access to and used for communication impacted the frequency and efficacy of their communication. Teachers and families communicated about a number of important topics, but some topics that could improve learning experiences and science futures for their students were rarely discussed, such as advancement in science, student learning in science and family knowledge. Findings showed that these early career teachers were continuing to learn about their communities and to develop their communication strategies with families. Teachers' familiarity with their school community, opportunities to practice strategies during preservice preparation and student teaching, their teaching environment, school policies, and learning from families and students in their school culture continued to shape and influence their views and communication strategies. Findings and implications for

  20. Differentiating Science Instruction: Secondary science teachers' practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeng, Jennifer L.; Bell, Randy L.

    2015-09-01

    This descriptive study investigated the implementation practices of secondary science teachers who differentiate instruction. Participants included seven high school science teachers purposefully selected from four different schools located in a mid-Atlantic state. Purposeful selection ensured participants included differentiated instruction (DI) in their lesson implementation. Data included semi-structured interviews and field notes from a minimum of four classroom observations, selected to capture the variety of differentiation strategies employed. These data were analyzed using a constant-comparative approach. Each classroom observation was scored using the validated Differentiated Instruction Implementation Matrix-Modified, which captured both the extent to which critical indicators of DI were present in teachers' instruction and the performance levels at which they engaged in these components of DI. Results indicated participants implemented a variety of differentiation strategies in their classrooms with varying proficiency. Evidence suggested all participants used instructional modifications that required little advance preparation to accommodate differences in students' interests and learning profile. Four of the seven participants implemented more complex instructional strategies that required substantial advance preparation by the teacher. Most significantly, this study provides practical strategies for in-service science teachers beginning to differentiate instruction and recommendations for professional development and preservice science teacher education.

  1. Forces. 'O' Level Teacher's Guide. Unit 1. ZIM-SCI, Zimbabwe Secondary School Science Project. Year 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udwin, Martin

    The Zimbabwe Secondary School Science Project (ZIM-SCI) developed student study guides, corresponding teaching guides, and science kits for a low-cost science course which could be taught during the third year of secondary school without the aid of qualified teachers and conventional laboratories. This teaching guide, designed to be read in…

  2. A descriptive study of the reported effects of state-mandated testing on the instructional practices and beliefs of middle school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Font-Rivera, Miriam Josefa

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of state-level testing on the instructional practices and beliefs of middle school science teachers. The study addressed four questions: (a) What are the beliefs of middle school science teachers regarding the pressure to improve their students' test scores? (b) What are the beliefs of middle school science teachers about how standardized tests influence their class time? (c) What are the attitudes of middle school science teachers toward state testing? and (d) What commonalities emerge from teachers' responses about the state tests? The sample was composed of 86 middle school science teachers from states that have state mandated testing programs in the area of science. Descriptive statistics and an inductive analysis were performed to answer the research questions. Teachers reported that they and their students were under a great amount of pressure to increase test scores from central office administrators and from the school principal. Teachers reported spending considerable time on certain test preparation activities throughout the school year. Teachers reported that the three strongest influences in instructional planning were reviewing the content and skills covered on the state tests prior to the test administration, having to prepare students for state tests, and adjusting the curriculum sequence based on the content tested by the state tests. Multiple-choice items were reported to be the most often used assessment strategy. Teachers reported that state-mandated tests were not very helpful because the test results presented an inaccurate picture of student learning. The categories formed from the teachers' written comments reflected the findings of the survey questions. Comments concentrated on the negative effects of the tests in the areas of pressure, overemphasis on the test, accountability, reduction of instructional time due to test preparation, and negative uses of state-mandated tests

  3. Teacher and student perspectives on motivation within the high school science classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickens, Melanie Turnure

    The purpose of this study was to investigate teacher and student perspectives on the motivation of high school science students and to explore specific motivational strategies used by teachers as they attempt to enhance student motivation. Four science teachers took part in an initial audio-taped interview, classroom observations with debriefing conversations, and a final audio-taped interview to discuss findings and allow member checking for data triangulation and interpretation. Participating teachers also took part in a final focus group interview. Student participants from each teacher's class were given a Likert style anonymous survey on their views about motivation and learning, motivation in science class, and specific motivational strategies that emerged in their current science class. This study focused on effective teaching strategies for motivation commonly used by the four teachers and on specific teaching strategies used by two of these four teachers in different tracks of science classes. The intent was to determine not only what strategies worked well for all types of science classes, but also what specific motivational approaches were being used in high and low tracked science classes and the similarities and differences between them. This approach provided insight into the differences in motivating tracked students, with the hope that other educators in specific tracks might use such pedagogies to improve motivation in their own science classrooms. Results from this study showed that science teachers effectively motivate their students in the following ways: Questioning students to engage them in the lesson, exhibiting enthusiasm in lesson presentations, promoting a non-threatening environment, incorporating hands-on activities to help learn the lesson concepts, using a variety of activities, believing that students can achieve, and building caring relationships in the classroom. Specific to the higher tracked classroom, effective motivational

  4. Science teachers' meaning-making when involved in a school-based professional development project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund

    2012-01-01

    A group of teachers’ meaning-making when they are collaboratively analyzing artifacts from practice in local science classrooms in a school-based professional development (PD) project is examined through repeated interviews and represented as meaning-making maps. The interpretation of the teachers......’ meaningmaking includes both their reference to outcomes from the project and their expressed ideas about teaching and learning of science. All four teachers refer to experiences from experimenting in their classrooms and interpret the collected artifacts in relation to students’ learning. Furthermore, they all...... felt encouraged to continue collaboration around science. During the interviews, the teachers emphasize various elements apparently connected to concrete challenges they each experience in their professional work. Implications in relation to the design of PD are discussed....

  5. Influencing Science Teaching Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Primary School Teachers: A Longitudinal Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinnon, Merryn; Lamberts, Rod

    2014-01-01

    The science teaching self-efficacy beliefs of primary school teachers influence teaching practice. The purpose of this research was to determine if informal education institutions, such as science centres, could provide professional development that influences the science teaching self-efficacy beliefs of pre-service and in-service primary school…

  6. The Figured Worlds of High School Science Teachers: Uncovering Three-Dimensional Assessment Decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewald, Megan

    As a result of recent mandates of the Next Generation Science Standards, assessments are a "system of meaning" amidst a paradigm shift toward three-dimensional assessments. This study is motivated by two research questions: 1) how do high school science teachers describe their processes of decision-making in the development and use of three-dimensional assessments and 2) how do high school science teachers negotiate their identities as assessors in designing three-dimensional assessments. An important factor in teachers' assessment decision making is how they identify themselves as assessors. Therefore, this study investigated the teachers' roles as assessors through the Sociocultural Identity Theory. The most important contribution from this study is the emergent teacher assessment sub-identities: the modifier-recycler , the feeler-finder, and the creator. Using a qualitative phenomenological research design, focus groups, three-series interviews, think-alouds, and document analysis were utilized in this study. These qualitative methods were chosen to elicit rich conversations among teachers, make meaning of the teachers' experiences through in-depth interviews, amplify the thought processes of individual teachers while making assessment decisions, and analyze assessment documents in relation to teachers' perspectives. The findings from this study suggest that--of the 19 participants--only two teachers could consistently be identified as creators and aligned their assessment practices with NGSS. However, assessment sub-identities are not static and teachers may negotiate their identities from one moment to the next within socially constructed realms of interpretation known as figured worlds. Because teachers are positioned in less powerful figured worlds within the dominant discourse of standardization, this study raises awareness as to how the external pressures from more powerful figured worlds socially construct teachers' identities as assessors. For teachers

  7. Teaching science and technology at primary school level: Theoretical and practical considerations for primary school teachers' professional training.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Walma van der Molen, Julie Henriëtte; van Aalderen-Smeets, Sandra; Asma, L.

    2010-01-01

    This paper focuses on the importance of starting science and technology education at a young age and at the consequential importance of providing primary school teachers with enough professional background to be able to effectively incorporate science and technology into their teaching. We will

  8. Developing networks to support science teachers work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sillasen, Martin Krabbe; Valero, Paola

    2012-01-01

    In educational research literature constructing networks among practitioners has been suggested as a strategy to support teachers’ professional development (Huberman, 1995; Jackson & Temperley, 2007; Van Driel, Beijaard, & Verloop, 2001). The purpose of this paper is to report on a study about how...... networks provide opportunities for teachers from different schools to collaborate on improving the quality of their own science teaching practices. These networks exist at the meso-level of the educational system between the micro-realities of teachers’ individual practice and the macro-level, where...... to develop collaborative activities in primary science teacher communities in schools to improve individual teachers practice and in networks between teachers from different schools in each municipality. Each network was organized and moderated by a municipal science coordinator....

  9. Primary school children and teachers discover the nature and science of planet Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhans, Maarten; Verkade, Alex; Bastings, Mirjam; Reichwein, Maarten

    2016-04-01

    For various reasons primary schools emphasise language and calculus rather than natural sciences. When science is taught at all, examination systems often favour technological tricks and knowledge of the 'right' answer over the process of investigation and logical reasoning towards that answer. Over the long term, this is not conducive to curiosity and scientific attitude in large parts of the population. Since the problem is more serious in primary than in secondary education, and as children start their school career with a natural curiosity and great energy to explore their world, we focus our efforts on primary school teachers in close collaboration with teachers and researchers. Our objective was to spark children's curiosity and their motivation to learn and discover, as well as to help teachers develop self-afficacy in science education. To this end we developed a three-step program with a classroom game and sand-box experiments related to planet Earth and Mars. The classroom game Expedition Mundus simulates science in its focus on asking questions, reasoning towards answers on the basis of multiple sources and collaboration as well as growth of knowledge. Planet Mundus is entirely fictitional to avoid differences in foreknowledge between pupils. The game was tested in hundreds of classes in primary schools and the first years of secondary education and was printed (in Dutch) and distributed over thousands of schools as part of teacher education through university science hubs. Expedition Mundus was developed by the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and De Praktijk. The tested translations in English and German are available on http://www.expeditionmundus.org. Following the classroom game, we conducted simple landscape experiments in sand boxes supported by google earth imagery of real rivers, fans and deltas on Earth and Mars. This was loosely based on our fluvial morphodynamics research. This, in the presence of a

  10. Research Experiences for Science Teachers: The Impact On Their Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubner, J.

    2005-12-01

    Deficiencies in science preparedness of United States high school students were recognized more than two decades ago, as were some of their underlying causes. Among the primary causes are the remoteness of the language, tools, and concepts of science from the daily experiences of teachers and students, and the long-standing national shortage of appropriately prepared science teachers. Secondary school science teachers are challenged each school year by constantly changing content, new technologies, and increasing demands for standards-based instruction. A major deficiency in the education of science teachers was their lack of experience with the practice of science, and with practicing scientists. Providing teachers with opportunities to gain hands-on experience with the tools and materials of science under the guidance and mentorship of leading scientists in an environment attuned to professional development, would have many beneficial effects. They would improve teachers' understanding of science and their ability to develop and lead inquiry- and standards-based science classes and laboratories. They would enable them to communicate the vitality and dynamism of science to their students and to other teachers. They would enhance their ability to motivate and guide students. From its inception, Columbia University's Summer Research Program for Science Teacher's goal has been to enhance interest and improve performance in science of students in New York City area schools. The program seeks to achieve this goal by increasing the professional competence of teachers. Our ongoing program evaluation shows that following completion of the program, the teachers implement more inquiry-based classroom and laboratory exercises, increase utilization of Internet resources, motivate students to participate in after school science clubs and Intel-type science projects; and create opportunities for students to investigate an area of science in greater depth and for longer periods

  11. A museum-based urban teacher residency program's approach to strengthening the STEM pipeline: Channeling highly qualified Earth Science teachers into high needs schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ustunisik, G. K.; Zirakparvar, N. A.

    2015-12-01

    Channeling better prepared Earth Science teachers into secondary schools with low achievement rates in STEM subjects is essential to ensuring that the students attending these schools are ultimately afforded the opportunity to take advantage of projected growth in the global geoscience workforce. Here, a museum-based urban teacher residency (UTR) program's approach to building subject specific content knowledge and research experience in Earth Science teacher candidates is described. In the museum-based program, graduate-level science courses and research experiences are designed and implemented specifically for the UTR by active Earth and Space research scientists that account for almost half of the program's faculty. Because these courses and research experiences are designed specifically for the teacher candidates, they are different than many science courses and research experiences available to pre-service teachers in a university setting. At the same time, the museum-based program is the only UTR to incorporate such a rigorous science curriculum, and some possible advantages and disadvantages of the program's approach are also considered here. While the impact of the program's approach on student achievement rates has yet to be evaluated, there is promise in the well documented links between a teacher's own experience with the practice of science and that teacher's ability to leverage effective pedagogical content knowledge in the teaching of science. Because the museum-based program's science curriculum is balanced against the educational coursework and teaching residencies that necessarily form the program's backbone, the museum's approach to strengthening the teacher candidate's science background may also inform the faculty and administration of other UTRs in cases where one of their program goals is to further expand their teacher candidate's content knowledge and practical subject matter experience.

  12. Elementary Science Indoors and Out: Teachers, Time, and Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrier, Sarah J.; Tugurian, Linda P.; Thomson, Margareta M.

    2013-10-01

    In this article, we present the results from a mixed-methods research study aimed to document indoor and outdoor fifth grade science experiences in one school in the USA in the context of accountability and standardized testing. We used quantitative measures to explore students' science knowledge, environmental attitudes, and outdoor comfort levels, and via qualitative measures, we examined views on science education and environmental issues from multiple sources, including the school's principal, teachers, and students. Students' science knowledge in each of the four objectives specified for grade 5 significantly improved during the school year. Qualitative data collected through interviews and observations found limited impressions of outdoor science. Findings revealed that, despite best intentions and a school culture that supported outdoor learning, it was very difficult in practice for teachers to supplement their classroom science instruction with outdoor activities. They felt constrained by time and heavy content demands and decided that the most efficient way of delivering science instruction was through traditional methods. Researchers discuss potentials and obstacles for the science community to consider in supporting teachers and preparing elementary school teachers to provide students with authentic experiential learning opportunities. We further confront teachers' and students' perceptions that science is always best and most efficiently learned inside the classroom through traditional text-driven instruction.

  13. Doing gender/teaching science: A feminist poststructural analysis of middle school science teachers' identity negotiations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowell, Scott P.

    This research joins the gender equity conversation within science education by providing a feminist poststructural analysis of teachers' doing gender and teaching science. Feminist poststructuralism is used in recognition of the oppressive nature of dualistic modes of thought, which often reduce reality into a limiting either/or fallacy and can be theoretically constraining as research within any particular field becomes more sophisticated. By uprooting the concept of gendered identity from the unproductive grip of essentialism, and conceptualizing it instead as a shifting 'work in progress,' feminist poststructuralism provides an invigorating theoretical framework from which to conduct inquiries. From a this perspective, the identity of a teacher, as any identity, is not a fixed entity, but rather an unfinished project, swarmed upon by a variety of competing discourses. Situated in a rural middle school in the Florida panhandle, this research explores how numerous discourses compete to define what it means to be a female science teacher. More specifically, the aims of this research are to explore: (a) how the participants negotiated successful gendered identities within science and (b) how this taking up of subject positions crystallized into classroom practices which worked to reproduce and/or challenge commonsense notions of the heteropatriarchal gender dualism as well as the enmeshment of masculinity and science. Findings illustrate a wide array of classroom pedagogical practices, ranging from antioppressive emancipatory constructions of both gender and science to more traditional objectivist constructions that validated the patriarchal status quo. Explicating teacher identity as effects of these pedagogical approaches proved insightful in unveiling notions of resistance, frustration, enthusiasm, and agency as the teachers reflected on their practice.

  14. News Conference: Serbia hosts teachers' seminar Resources: Teachers TV website closes for business Festival: Science takes to the stage in Denmark Research: How noise affects learning in secondary schools CERN: CERN visit inspires new teaching ideas Education: PLS aims to improve perception of science for school students Conference: Scientix conference discusses challenges in science education

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-01

    Conference: Serbia hosts teachers' seminar Resources: Teachers TV website closes for business Festival: Science takes to the stage in Denmark Research: How noise affects learning in secondary schools CERN: CERN visit inspires new teaching ideas Education: PLS aims to improve perception of science for school students Conference: Scientix conference discusses challenges in science education

  15. Teachers' Understanding and Operationalisation of `Science Capital'

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Heather; Nomikou, Effrosyni; Archer, Louise; Regan, Elaine

    2015-12-01

    Across the globe, governments, industry and educationalists are in agreement that more needs to be done to increase and broaden participation in post-16 science. Schools, as well as teachers, are seen as key in this effort. Previous research has found that engagement with science, inclination to study science and understanding of the value of science strongly relates to a student's science capital. This paper reports on findings from the pilot year of a one-year professional development (PD) programme designed to work with secondary-school teachers to build students' science capital. The PD programme introduced teachers to the nature and importance of science capital and thereafter supported them to develop ways of implementing science capital-building pedagogy in their practice. The data comprise interviews with the participating teachers (n = 10), observations of classroom practices and analyses of the teachers' accounts of their practice. Our findings suggest that teachers found the concept of science capital to be compelling and to resonate with their own intuitive understandings and experiences. However, the ways in which the concept was operationalised in terms of the implementation of pedagogical practices varied. The difficulties inherent in the operationalisation are examined and recommendations for future work with teachers around the concept of science capital are developed.

  16. "Partners in Science": A Model Cooperative Program Introducing High School Teachers and Students to Leading-Edge Pharmaceutical Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woska, Joseph R., Jr.; Collins, Danielle M.; Canney, Brian J.; Arcario, Erin L.; Reilly, Patricia L.

    2005-01-01

    "Partners in Science" is a cooperative program between Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and area high schools in the community surrounding our Connecticut campus. It is a two-phase program that introduces high school students and teachers to the world of drug discovery and leading-edge pharmaceutical research. Phase 1 involves…

  17. Profile of elementary school science teacher instruction in disaster risk reduction: case study of volcano disaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pujianto; Prabowo; Wasis

    2018-04-01

    This study examined the profile of science' teacher instruction in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), as a feature of instructional quality, on students’ learning experiences. A qualitative study was done to observe teacher activities in teaching of disaster preparedness. Science teacher and 14 students at grade 4 of SDN (elementary school) Kiyaran 2 are involved as the subject of this study. Teacher’ instruction was coded with regard to preparation, action, and evaluation using observation sheets and documentation. Data analysis results showed a positive significant effect of the readiness during preparation on learning process of disaster risk reduction and an indirect effect of teacher’ action on students’ learning experiences. There is a lack of teaching materials about volcano disaster in the elementary school. Teacher found difficulties on evaluation of student achievement in disaster preparedness. These findings highlight the importance of DRR in uphold science teachers’ education. Items of teachers’ skill in preparing of DRR may be used to offer model of concrete instruction situation during university workshop for maintain teacher education.

  18. Developing Partnerships between Higher Education Faculty, K-12 Science Teachers, and School Administrators via MSP initiatives: The RITES Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caulkins, J. L.; Kortz, K. M.; Murray, D. P.

    2011-12-01

    The Rhode Island Technology Enhanced Science Project (RITES) is a NSF-funded Math and Science Partnership (MSP) project that seeks to improve science education. RITES is, at its core, a unique partnership that fosters relationships between middle and high school science teachers, district and school administrators, higher education (HE) faculty members, and science education researchers. Their common goal is to enhance scientific inquiry, increase classroom technology usage, and improve state level science test scores. In one of the more visible examples of this partnership, middle and high school science teachers work closely with HE science faculty partners to design and teach professional development (PD) workshops. The PD sessions focus on technology-enhanced scientific investigations (e.g. use of probes, online simulations, etc.), exemplify inquiry-based instruction, and relate expert content knowledge. Teachers from these sessions express substantial satisfaction in the program, report increased comfort levels in teaching the presented materials (both via post-workshop surveys), and show significant gains in content knowledge (via pre-post assessments). Other benefits to this kind of partnership, in which K-12 and HE teachers are considered equals, include: 1) K-12 teachers are empowered through interactions with HE faculty and other science teachers in the state; 2) HE instructors become more informed not only about good pedagogical practices, but also practical aspects of teaching science such as engaging students; and 3) the PD sessions tend to be much stronger than ones designed and presented solely by HE scientists, for while HE instructors provide content expertise, K-12 teachers provide expertise in K-12 classroom practice and implementation. Lastly, the partnership is mutually beneficial for the partners involved because both sides learn practical ways to teach science and inquiry at different levels. In addition to HE faculty and K-12 science teacher

  19. Working with Science Teachers to Transform the Opportunity Landscape for Regional and Rural Youth: A Qualitative Evaluation of the Science in Schools Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, Grania R.; Mosse, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    This article reports on a qualitative evaluation of the Science in Schools program; a suite of science based activities delivered by staff of a regional university campus and designed to provide professional development for science teachers working in non-metropolitan schools in a socioeconomically disadvantaged region of Australia. The research…

  20. Teacher Use of Constructivism in High School Science Courses: Perception versus Reality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Alisha M.

    With all of the research devoted to the use and effectiveness of constructivist learning principles in high school science classes, it is somewhat surprising to find that there is very little research devoted to constructivism's use in international settings. The problem that this lack of research poses is that classrooms are increasingly diverse as families are more and more frequently choosing to live in countries that they do not share a cultural background with. This means that there is an increasingly diverse range of cultural norms and expectations within a classroom, both of which are known to affect the effectiveness of learning strategies in general as the students will approach the problems in different ways. The purpose of this study, then, was to begin looking at whether teachers of international classrooms believe in the ideas of constructivism and whether those beliefs translate into classroom practice. A multiple case study approach was used to determine whether the beliefs of seven high school science classroom teachers and one high school administrator are consistent with constructivism and to what extent constructivist learning principles are being used to empower and engage students. The interview data suggested that most of the participants have some beliefs consistent with constructivism but do not fully embrace the learning theory. The observational evidence supported this by failing to provide evidence of constructivist activities in the classrooms. It was concluded that most of the participants in the study do not hold beliefs consistent with constructivism and that they are not using the learning theory to empower and engage students in the learning of science. Recommendations for future study include: exploring why teachers are not using constructivism to empower and engage students; provide training and support to help teachers successfully implement constructivism to engage and empower students; and expanding this study to determine

  1. Science initial teacher education and superdiversity: educating science teachers for a multi-religious and globalised science classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Carvalho, Roussel

    2016-06-01

    Steven Vertovec (2006, 2007) has recently offered a re-interpretation of population diversity in large urban centres due to a considerable increase in immigration patterns in the UK. This complex scenario called superdiversity has been conceptualised to help illuminate significant interactions of variables such as religion, language, gender, age, nationality, labour market and population distribution on a larger scale. The interrelationships of these themes have fundamental implications in a variety of community environments, but especially within our schools. Today, London schools have over 300 languages being spoken by students, all of whom have diverse backgrounds, bringing with them a wealth of experience and, most critically, their own set of religious beliefs. At the same time, Science is a compulsory subject in England's national curriculum, where it requires teachers to deal with important scientific frameworks about the world; teaching about the origins of the universe, life on Earth, human evolution and other topics, which are often in conflict with students' religious views. In order to cope with this dynamic and thought-provoking environment, science initial teacher education (SITE)—especially those catering large urban centres—must evolve to equip science teachers with a meaningful understanding of how to handle a superdiverse science classroom, taking the discourse of inclusion beyond its formal boundaries. Thus, this original position paper addresses how the role of SITE may be re-conceptualised and re-framed in light of the immense challenges of superdiversity as well as how science teachers, as enactors of the science curriculum, must adapt to cater to these changes. This is also the first in a series of papers emerging from an empirical research project trying to capture science teacher educators' own views on religio-scientific issues and their positions on the place of these issues within science teacher education and the science classroom.

  2. Teacher Identity and Self-efficacy Development in an Alternative Licensure Program for Middle and High School Math and Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Robert J.

    This mixed-method case study focused on the phenomenon of the transition from student to teacher. The educational system in the United States is constantly shifting to provide the correct number of teachers for our nations' schools. There is no simple formula for this process and occasionally an area of need arises that is not being met. Recently, the demand for science and math teachers in the K-12 system has outpaced the supply of new teachers (Business-Higher Education Forum, 2011). To complicate the problem further, teachers are leaving the field in record numbers both through retirement and attrition (National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, 2007). Particularly hard hit are poor rural schools with low-performing students, such as the schools of Appalachia (Barley, 2009; Goodpaster, Adedokun, & Weaver, 2012). Out of this need, alternative licensure programs for teachers have developed. The alternative teacher-training program studied in this research is the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship (WWTF) website, "The Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship seeks to attract talented, committed individuals with backgrounds in the STEM fields---science, technology, engineering, and mathematics---into teaching in high-need Ohio secondary schools" (para. 2) . The researcher was interested in the formation of teacher identity and self-efficacy as these constructs have been shown to manifest in highly effective teachers that are likely to remain in the field of teaching (Beaucamp & Thomas 2009; Klassen, Tze, Betts, & Gordon, 2010). The research method included in-depth interviews, mixed with pretest/posttest administrations of the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy 2001) given during the teacher-training period and again following the first year of professional teaching. Results from both the TSES and the interviews indicate that the participants had a successful transition into teaching. They both felt and demonstrated that

  3. Teachers discovering nuclear science for the 90's

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Otto, R.J.

    1990-01-01

    High school and junior high school teachers from across the country have rediscovered nuclear science through summer participation as teacher research associates at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. As a result of their new knowledge and awareness of the broad range of applications of nuclear science with obvious positive benefit to society, these teachers are putting nuclear chemistry and physics back into their curriculum. Through direct research participation teachers become a primary resource for students. The Department of Energy is now supporting over 150 teacher research associates in its TRAC program in all areas of science. The eight week teacher research associate appointments provide an in-depth experience for the teacher, and an opportunity for teachers and scientists to become engaged in new curriculum and materials development

  4. Needs assessment of science teachers in secondary schools in Kumasi, Ghana: A basis for in-service education training programs at the Science Resource Centers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyamfi, Alexander

    The purpose of this study was twofold. First, it identified the priority needs common to all science teachers in secondary schools in Kumasi, Ghana. Second, it investigated the relationship existing between the identified priority needs and the teacher demographic variables (type of school, teacher qualification, teaching experience, subject discipline, and sex of teacher) to be used as a basis for implementing in-service education training programs at the Science Resource Centers in Kumasi Ghana. An adapted version of the Moore Assessment Profile (MAP) survey instrument and a set of open-ended questions were used to collect data from the science teachers. The researcher handed out one hundred and fifty questionnaire packets, and all one hundred and fifty (100%) were collected within a period of six weeks. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, content analysis, and inferential statistics. The descriptive statistics reported the frequency of responses, and it was used to calculate the Need Index (N) of the identified needs of teachers. Sixteen top-priority needs were identified, and the needs were arranged in a hierarchical order according to the magnitude of the Need Index (0.000 ≤ N ≤ 1.000). Content analysis was used to analyze the responses to the open-ended questions. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test the null hypotheses of the study on each of the sixteen identified top-priority needs and the teacher demographic variables. The findings of this study were as follows: (1) The science teachers identified needs related to "more effective use of instructional materials" as a crucial area for in-service training. (2) Host and Satellite schools exhibited significant difference on procuring supplementary science books for students. Subject discipline of teachers exhibited significant differences on utilizing the library and its facilities by students, obtaining information on where to get help on effective science teaching

  5. Comparing levels of school performance to science teachers' reports on knowledge/skills, instructional use and student use of computers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Rebecca

    The purpose of this descriptive quantitative and basic qualitative study was to examine fifth and eighth grade science teachers' responses, perceptions of the role of technology in the classroom, and how they felt that computer applications, tools, and the Internet influence student understanding. The purposeful sample included survey and interview responses from fifth grade and eighth grade general and physical science teachers. Even though they may not be generalizable to other teachers or classrooms due to a low response rate, findings from this study indicated teachers with fewer years of teaching science had a higher level of computer use but less computer access, especially for students, in the classroom. Furthermore, teachers' choice of professional development moderated the relationship between the level of school performance and teachers' knowledge/skills, with the most positive relationship being with workshops that occurred outside of the school. Eighteen interviews revealed that teachers perceived the role of technology in classroom instruction mainly as teacher-centered and supplemental, rather than student-centered activities.

  6. EIROForum science goes to school

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN Bulletin

    The first EIROForum school was held at CERN last week. In about four days, 35 teachers from 15 countries were able to get a flavour of the science done in four of the seven organizations participating in EIROForum. This was a chance for them to feel part of top-level European scientific research.   The 35 teachers participating in thefirst EIROForum school organized at CERN. Inspiring teachers to motivate students: the formula is well-known at CERN. Here, more than 20 schools for science teachers are organized every year. Some of them are attended by teachers from all over Europe, others are organized for national groups. The successful experience of CERN has served as a model to the other six international organizations that are members of EIROForum (sea box). “The title of this first common school is ‘The evolution of the Universe’”, explains Rolf Landua, head of the CERN Education group and organizer of the school. “The programme of lectures ...

  7. Science Teachers' Misconceptions in Science and Engineering Distinctions: Reflections on Modern Research Examples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antink-Meyer, Allison; Meyer, Daniel Z.

    2016-10-01

    The aim of this exploratory study was to learn about the misconceptions that may arise for elementary and high school science teachers in their reflections on science and engineering practice. Using readings and videos of real science and engineering work, teachers' reflections were used to uncover the underpinnings of their understandings. This knowledge ultimately provides information about supporting professional development (PD) for science teachers' knowledge of engineering. Six science teachers (two elementary and four high school teachers) participated in the study as part of an online PD experience. Cunningham and Carlsen's (Journal of Science Teacher Education 25:197-210, 2014) relative emphases of science and engineering practices were used to frame the design of PD activities and the analyses of teachers' views. Analyses suggest misconceptions within the eight practices of science and engineering from the US Next Generation Science Standards in four areas. These are that: (1) the nature of the practices in both science and engineering research is determined by the long-term implications of the research regardless of the nature of the immediate work, (2) engineering and science are hierarchical, (3) creativity is inappropriate, and (4) research outcomes cannot be processes. We discuss the nature of these understandings among participants and the implications for engineering education PD for science teachers.

  8. the relationship between primary school teachers extrinsic

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF EKWUEME

    Primary School Teachers Motivation Questionnaire (PSTMQ) and objective test items in English Language, Mathematics and Primary Science to measure students' performance. ... Mathematics and Primary Science. ... teachers as those who mediate pupils learning and act as facilitators ..... Students' perception of teacher- ...

  9. Science That Matters: Exploring Science Learning and Teaching in Primary Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Angela; Smith, Kathy

    2016-01-01

    To help support primary school students to better understand why science matters, teachers must first be supported to teach science in ways that matter. In moving to this point, this paper identifies the dilemmas and tensions primary school teachers face in the teaching of science. The balance is then readdressed through a research-based…

  10. Pre-service elementary teachers' understanding of scientific inquiry and its role in school science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macaroglu, Esra

    The purpose of this research was to explore pre-service elementary teachers' developing understanding of scientific inquiry within the context of their elementary science teaching and learning. More specifically, the study examined 24 pre-service elementary teachers' emerging understanding of (1) the nature of science and scientific inquiry; (2) the "place" of scientific inquiry in school science; and (3) the roles and responsibilities of teachers and students within an inquiry-based learning environment. Data sources consisted primarily of student-generated artifacts collected throughout the semester, including pre/post-philosophy statements and text-based materials collected from electronic dialogue journals. Individual data sources were open-coded to identify concepts and categories expressed by students. Cross-comparisons were conducted and patterns were identified. Assertions were formed with these patterns. Findings are hopeful in that they suggest pre-service teachers can develop a more contemporary view of scientific inquiry when immersed in a context that promotes this perspective. Not surprisingly, however, the prospective teachers encountered a number of barriers when attempting to translate their emerging ideas into practice. More research is needed to determine which teacher preparation experiences are most powerful in supporting pre-service teachers as they construct a framework for science teaching and learning that includes scientific inquiry as a central component.

  11. TEACHER TRAINING: How to Produce Better Math and Science Teachers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mervis, J

    2000-09-01

    Two National Research Council panels have released new reports on improving science and math education in the United States. One panel says that the best way to improve teacher education is to make it a continuum, with school districts taking more responsibility for the initial preparation of new teachers and university faculty playing a bigger role in ongoing professional development. The other panel says that more recent science Ph.D.s would be willing to teach high school science and math if the government helped with the transition, if the certification process were compressed, and if they could retain ties to research.

  12. A Multi-Year Study of the Impact of the Rice Model Teacher Professional Development on Elementary Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaconu, Dana Viorica; Radigan, Judy; Suskavcevic, Milijana; Nichol, Carolyn

    2012-01-01

    A teacher professional development program for in-service elementary school science teachers, the Rice Elementary Model Science Lab (REMSL), was developed for urban school districts serving predominately high-poverty, high-minority students. Teachers with diverse skills and science capacities came together in Professional Learning Communities, one…

  13. The personal is professional: Connecting white urban middle school science teachers' biographies to their teaching of all students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oey, Esther Ruth

    The purpose of this study was to examine if and in what ways white, urban middle school science teachers use experiences of being marginalized or feeling different to connect to students coming from backgrounds unlike their own---especially students who are racially, culturally, linguistically and otherwise different from them, the school culture and the dominant society. Personal biography was used to frame this study. Data consisted of structured and semi-structured interviews and classroom observations of one female and two male science teachers gathered over one academic year. Results indicated that experiences with difference may be used to inform teachers' practices, but personal biography alone was insufficient to enable the teachers to reflect on their experiences with race, class, gender, and difference. Also, attending to emotions appeared to be an important factor in helping students develop cognitive skills in science classrooms.

  14. Using AN Essea Earth Systems Science Course in a Web-Enhanced Setting for Pre-Service Middle School Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, W.

    2003-12-01

    The ESSEA Middle School course was originally designed as an asynchronous on-line tool for teacher professional development. The ESSEA course uses real world events such as deforestation, volcanic eruptions and hurricanes to develop content understandings of Earth systems processes and to model pedagogical best practices appropriate for middle school students. The course is structured as multiple three-week learning cycles. During week one of each cycle, participants are formed into Sphere groups to study the impact of the event under consideration on the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, or lithosphere. During week two, Event teams are formed to include members from each of the previous week's Sphere groups. Together they develop interactions between the different spheres and the event. During week three, teachers develop classroom applications and post them on-line for other participants to comment upon. On-going assessment suggests that in-service teacher participants of the on-line course are more likely to infuse inquiry-based science instruction into their classroom settings and to teach science as a subject integrating Physical science, Life science, and Earth/Space science in their own classrooms It is imperative to develop such characteristics in pre-service teachers as well. Wright State University's undergraduate Middle School teacher preparation program requires that undergraduates seeking Middle Childhood Licensure by the State of Ohio take a course in Earth Systems science that is aligned with the national and state science education standards. Towards this end the ESSEA course has been adapted for use in a web-enhanced setting. Weeks one and two (Sphere and Event study) of the ESSEA Middle School course are used as an integral component of this Earth Systems science course. In this way content knowledge and pedagogical strategies are modeled just as they are in the fully on-line course. Questions raised on-line are the topic of research or

  15. Preschool Teachers' Attitudes and Beliefs Toward Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, Sharon Henry

    In the United States, a current initiative, Advancing Active STEM Education for Our Youngest Learners, aims to advance science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in early childhood. The purpose of this study was to understand preschool teachers' proficiency with science and address the problem of whether or not science learning opportunities are provided to young children based on teachers' attitudes and beliefs. A theoretical framework for establishing teachers' attitudes toward science developed by van Aalderen-Smeets, van der Molen, and Asma, along with Bandura's theory of self-efficacy were the foundations for this research. Research questions explored preschool teachers' attitudes and beliefs toward science in general and how they differed based on education level and years of preschool teaching experience. Descriptive comparative data were collected from 48 preschool teacher participants using an online format with a self-reported measure and were analyzed using nonparametric tests to describe differences between groups based on identified factors of teacher comfort, child benefit, and challenges. Results indicated that the participants believed that early childhood science is developmentally appropriate and that young children benefit from science instruction through improved school-readiness skills. Preschool teachers with a state credential or an associate's degree and more teaching experience had more teacher comfort toward science based on attitudes and beliefs surveyed. The data indicated participating preschool teachers experienced few challenges in teaching science. The study may support positive social change through increased awareness of strengths and weaknesses of preschool teachers for the development of effective science professional development. Science is a crucial component of school-readiness skills, laying a foundation for success in later grades.

  16. Negotiating science and engineering: an exploratory case study of a reform-minded science teacher

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzey, S. Selcen; Ring-Whalen, Elizabeth A.

    2018-05-01

    Engineering has been slowly integrated into K-12 science classrooms in the United States as the result of recent science education reforms. Such changes in science teaching require that a science teacher is confident with and committed to content, practices, language, and cultures related to both science and engineering. However, from the perspective of the science teacher, this would require not only the development of knowledge and pedagogies associated with engineering, but also the construction of new identities operating within the reforms and within the context of their school. In this study, a middle school science teacher was observed and interviewed over a period of nine months to explore his experiences as he adopted new values, discourses, and practices and constructed his identity as a reform-minded science teacher. Our findings revealed that, as the teacher attempted to become a reform-minded science teacher, he constantly negotiated his professional identities - a dynamic process that created conflicts in his classroom practices. Several differences were observed between the teacher's science and engineering instruction: hands-on activities, depth and detail of content, language use, and the way the teacher positioned himself and his students with respect to science and engineering. Implications for science teacher professional development are discussed.

  17. Especially for High School Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, J. Emory

    2001-05-01

    Literature Cited National Science Education Standards; National Academy Press: Washington, DC, 1996; http://www. nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/. Principles and Standards for School Mathematics; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Washington, DC, 2000; http://standards.nctm.org/. Visit CLIC, an Online Resource for High School Teachers at http://jchemed.chem.wisc.edu/HS/

  18. Inspiring Instructional Change in Elementary School Science: The Relationship Between Enhanced Self-efficacy and Teacher Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandholtz, Judith Haymore; Ringstaff, Cathy

    2014-10-01

    This longitudinal study examined the extent to which teachers' participation in a 3-year professional development program enhanced their self-efficacy and prompted changes in science instruction in the early elementary grades. The study used a mixed-methods design, and included 39 teachers who taught in kindergarten, first grade, or second grade classrooms in rural school districts. Data sources, administered pre-program and at the end of each year, included a self-efficacy assessment and teacher survey. Interviews and classroom observations provided corroborating data about teachers' beliefs and science instruction. Results showed significant increases in teachers' overall self-efficacy in teaching science, personal efficacy, and outcome expectancy efficacy during the 3 years. Gains in self-efficacy were correlated with changes in reported instructional practices, particularly student participation activities. However, changes in self-efficacy tended not to be correlated with changes in instructional time. Contextual factors beyond teachers' direct control, such as curricular and testing requirements in mathematics and language arts influenced time allotted to science instruction.

  19. Atoms and Molecules. 'O' Level. Teacher's Guide. Unit 2. ZIM-SCI, Zimbabwe Secondary School Science Project. Year 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandizha, George

    The Zimbabwe Secondary School Science Project (ZIM-SCI) developed student study guides, corresponding teaching guides, and science kits for a low-cost science course which could be taught during the third year of secondary school without the aid of qualified teachers and conventional laboratories. This teaching guide, designed to be used in…

  20. The effects of a professional development geoscience education institute upon secondary school science teachers in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llerandi Roman, Pablo Antonio

    The geographic and geologic settings of Puerto Rico served as the context to develop a mixed methods investigation on: (1) the effects of a five-day long constructivist and field-based earth science education professional development institute upon 26 secondary school science teachers' earth science conceptual knowledge, perceptions of fieldwork, and beliefs about teaching earth science; and (2) the implementation of participants' newly acquired knowledge and experience in their science lessons at school. Qualitative data included questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, reflective journals, pre-post concept maps, and pre-post lesson plans. The Geoscience Concept Inventory and the Science Outdoor Learning Environment Inventory were translated into Spanish and culturally validated to collect quantitative data. Data was analyzed through a constructivist grounded theory methodology, descriptive statistics, and non-parametric methods. Participants came to the institute with serious deficiencies in earth science conceptual understanding, negative earth science teaching perspectives, and inadequate earth science teaching methodologies. The institute helped participants to improve their understanding of earth science concepts, content, and processes mostly related to the study of rocks, the Earth's structure, plate tectonics, maps, and the geology of Puerto Rico. Participants also improved their earth science teaching beliefs, perceptions on field-based education, and reflected on their environmental awareness and social responsibility. Participants greatly benefited from the field-based learning environment, inquiry-based teaching approaches modeled, the attention given to their affective domain, and reflections on their teaching practice as part of the institute's activities. The constructivist learning environment and the institute's contextualized and meaningful learning conceptual model were effective in generating interest and confidence in earth science teaching

  1. An analysis of the relationship between K--5 elementary school teachers' perceptions of principal instructional leadership and their science teaching efficacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Ian

    The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between K-5 elementary school teachers' perceptions of principal instructional leadership and their science teaching efficacy. The influence of background variables on both leadership and efficacy is also analyzed. A sequential mixed methods approach was used in this study. The survey sample was comprised of teachers in the elementary divisions of schools from the nine international school regional associations. Teacher participation was obtained through an email containing an online survey link. Following the analysis of survey responses (N=356), in-depth interviews (N=17) were conducted. Reliability for the instructional leadership scale was found to be .94 (coefficient alpha) and .69 for the personal science teaching efficacy (PSTE) scale. The results show a significant correlation between elementary school teachers' perceptions of principal instructional leadership and their PSTE levels, with the most significant correlation that between the study of a science-related major or minor at college and higher PSTE scores. Strong correlations were also found between PSTE levels and having principals who discussed goals at faculty meetings, participated in science curricular review, supported recognition of student progress, encouraged new skills and concepts, discussed student progress with faculty, and used assessments to see science progress towards easily understood goals. PSTE levels were also higher in schools where principals had grade or school level science coordinators in place and where they supported the use of science kits.

  2. An Assessment of Need for Instructional Professional Development for Middle School Science Teachers Using Interactive Lessons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Amanda

    Numerous studies on the impact of interactive lessons on student learning have been conducted, but there has been a lack of professional development (PD) programs at a middle school focusing on ways to incorporate interactive lessons into the science classroom setting. The purpose of this case study was to examine the instructional practices of science teachers to determine whether the need for an interactive lessons approach to teaching students exists. This qualitative case study focused on teachers' perceptions and pedagogy to determine whether the need to use interactive lessons to meet the needs of all students is present. The research question focused on identifying current practices and determining whether a need for interactive lessons is present. Qualitative data were gathered from science teachers at the school through interviews, lesson plans, and observations, all of which were subsequently coded using an interpretative analysis. The results indicated the need for a professional development (PD) program centered on interactive science lessons. Upon completion of the qualitative study, a detailed PD program has been proposed to increase the instructional practices of science teachers to incorporate interactive lessons within the science classroom. Implications for positive social change include improved teaching strategies and lessons that are more student-centered resulting in better understanding and comprehension, as well as performance on state-mandated tests.

  3. GSA's Teacher Advocate Program - getting teachers to be advocates for Earth Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, G. B.

    2011-12-01

    After parents, teachers are they most influential people when it comes to students leaning about their world. However, when it comes to Earth science, the vast majority of our teachers have little to no Earth science training and lack the resources to run exciting and challenging classes on Earth science topics for their students. The Geological Society of America (GSA) is committed to reversing that trend by developing easy to use resources and training teachers on how to use them in their classrooms. Through a program called the Teacher Advocate Program (TAP), GSA has already had teachers using Earth science materials with over 6 million students (1.3 million a year). Formally established in 2003, TAP aims to raise the number of teachers who are advocates for geoscience in their classrooms, schools and school districts by providing those teachers with: Low cost teaching resources that provide them with teaching notes, teaching materials (images, models etc) and usable class room activities. Low cost training opportunities for teachers on how to use TAP materials. In-field experiences for teachers to provide them with teaching materials and insights.

  4. Voices of successful science teachers in an urban diverse single gender girls' school

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhan, Jyoti

    This research study was conducted as a qualitative case study of four successful science teachers of female students in a diverse, title 1, urban, public girls' school. The study was designed to hear the 'muted' voices of successful science teachers concerning their beliefs and practices when they effectively provide learning opportunities for female students of color in their classrooms. Ethic of Care, equity pedagogy and culturally responsive pedagogy, created the theoretical framework for interpretation of the powerful narratives and storytelling that influenced this group of successful teachers. Data were collected by conducting in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Constant comparative method and narrative analysis were used to code and categorize the data. Analysis was conducted after each interview to discover emergent themes. Teachers conducted member checks throughout the process. The findings from the study yielded the following: (1) teachers had a passion for science and incorporated ongoing scientific developments and real-life examples and applications in their teaching, (2) teachers adopted a caring, concerned, and student-centered approach to teaching, (3) teachers acknowledged certain benefits to a single-sex girls education which included fewer distractions, increased confidence and comfort level of students, (5) teachers built relationships with students that encouraged students to engage with rigorous course content and meet higher expectations for performance. Themes that emerged included: care, culturally responsive pedagogy and culturally relevant curriculum.

  5. Efficacy development in science: Investigating the effects of the Teacher-to-Teacher (T2T) professional development model in Hilo elementary schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinner, Pascale Creek

    Conderman and Sheldon Woods (2008) suggest that although science plays a central role in our world today, science instruction seems to be minimized particularly at the elementary grade levels. Research has investigated the construct of efficacy (Bandura, 1977, 2006a; Riggs & Enochs, 1990; Ramey-Gassert, Shroyer & Staver, 1996; Tschannen-Moran, Hoy & Hoy, 1998, 2001). Professional and conceptual development in teachers has also been explored (Gordon, 1990; Sheerer, 1997; Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2007). The purpose of this research was to describe the changes in efficacy elementary teachers experience as they participated in science professional development. Data from a Math/Science Partnership (MSP) grant sample suggested significant changes in science self-efficacy and improved pedagogy. Mixed methods revealed connections resulting in a multi-faceted Progression of Efficacy Growth flowchart. The results suggest that utilizing the Teacher-to-Teacher (T2T) professional development model has created a pathway for more science teaching across the Hilo elementary schools.

  6. Assessing the Attitudes and Beliefs of Preservice Middle School Science Teachers toward Biologically Diverse Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagler, Ron; Wagler, Amy

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between United States (US) preservice middle school science teacher characteristics, their attitude toward a specific animal and their belief concerning the likelihood of incorporating information about that specific animal into their future science classroom. The study participants…

  7. Understanding primary school science teachers' pedagogical content knowledge: The case of teaching global warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chordnork, Boonliang; Yuenyong, Chokchai

    2018-01-01

    This aim of this research was to investigate primary school science teachers understanding and teaching practice as well as the influence on teaching and learning a topic like global warming. The participants were four primary science teachers, who were not graduated in science education. Methodology was the case study method, which was under the qualitative research regarded from interpretive paradigm. Data were collected by openended questionnaire, semi-structure interview, and document colleting. The questionnaire examined teachers' background, teachers' understanding of problems and threats of science teaching, desiring of development their PCK, sharing the teaching approaches, and their ideas of strength and weakness. a semi-structured interview was conducted based on the approach for capturing PCK of Loughran [23] content representation (CoRe). And, the document was collected to clarify what evidence which was invented to effect on students' learning. These document included lesson plan, students' task, and painting about global warming, science projects, the picture of activities of science learning, the exercise and test. Data analysis employed multiple approach of evidence looking an issue from each primary science teachers and used triangulation method to analyze the data with aiming to make meaning of teachers' representation of teaching practice. These included descriptive statistics, CoRe interpretation, and document analysis. The results show that teachers had misunderstanding of science teaching practice and they has articulated the pedagogical content knowledge in terms of assessment, goal of teaching and linking to the context of socio cultural. In contrast, knowledge and belief of curriculum, students' understanding of content global warming, and strategies of teaching were articulated indistinct by non-graduate science teacher. Constructing opportunities for personal development, the curiosity of the student learning center, and linking context

  8. An Investigation of Experienced and Inexperienced Primary School Teachers' Teaching Process in Science and Technology Classes in Terms of Metacognitive Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doganay, Ahmet; Ozturk, Ayse

    2011-01-01

    This comparative case study aimed to investigate whether experienced elementary school teachers' science and technology teaching processes differed from inexperienced teachers' teaching processes in terms of using metacognitive strategies. 14 elementary school teachers, including 7 experienced and 7 inexperienced, participated in the study. The…

  9. Spanish Secondary-School Science Teachers' Beliefs About Science-Technology-Society (STS) Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez-Alonso, Ángel; García-Carmona, Antonio; Manassero-Mas, María Antonia; Bennàssar-Roig, Antoni

    2013-05-01

    This study analyzes the beliefs about science-technology-society, and other Nature of Science (NOS) themes, of a large sample (613) of Spanish pre- and in-service secondary education teachers through their responses to 30 items of the Questionnaire of Opinions on Science, Technology and Society. The data were processed by means of a multiple response model to generate the belief indices used as the bases for subsequent quantitative and qualitative analyses. Other studies have reported a negative profile of teachers' understanding in this area, but the diagnosis emerging from the present work is more complex. There was a mix of appropriate beliefs coexisting with others that are inappropriate on the topics analyzed. The overall assessment, however, is negative since clearly teachers need to have a better understanding of these questions. There were scant differences between the pre- and in-service teachers, and hence no decisive evidence that the practice of teaching contributes to improving the in-service teachers' understanding. These results suggest there is an urgent need to bring the initial and continuing education of science teachers up to date to improve their understanding of these topics of science curricula, and thus improve the teaching of science.

  10. Elementary science education: Dilemmas facing preservice teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Sherry Elaine

    Prospective teachers are involved in a process of induction into a culture of teaching that has rules, or codes of conduct for engaging in teaching practice. This same culture of teaching exists within a larger culture of schooling that also has values and norms for behaviors, that over time have become institutionalized. Teacher educators are faced with the challenging task of preparing preservice teachers to resolve dilemmas that arise from conflicts between the pressure to adopt traditional teaching practices of schooling, or to adopt inquiry-based teaching practices from their university methods classes. One task for researchers in teacher education is to define with greater precision what factors within the culture of schooling hinder or facilitate implementation of inquiry-based methods of science teaching in schools. That task is the focus of this study. A qualitative study was undertaken using a naturalistic research paradigm introduced by Lincoln and Guba in 1985. Participant observation, interviews, discourse analysis of videotapes of lessons from the methods classroom and written artifacts produced by prospective teachers during the semester formed the basis of a grounded theory based on inductive analysis and emergent design. Unstructured interviews were used to negotiate outcomes with participants. Brief case reports of key participants were also written. This study identified three factors that facilitated or hindered the prospective teachers in this research success in implementing inquiry-based science teaching in their field placement classrooms: (a) the culture of teaching/teacher role-socialization, (b) the culture of schooling and its resistance to change, and (c) the culture of teacher education, especially in regards to grades and academic standing. Some recommendations for overcoming these persistent obstacles to best practice in elementary science teaching include: (a) preparing prospective teachers to understand and cope with change

  11. Characteristics of effective professional development for early career science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Shirley; Campbell, Sandra; Johnson, Sally; Stylianidou, Fani

    2011-04-01

    The research reported here set out to investigate the features in schools and science departments that were seen as effective in contributing to the continuing professional development (CPD) of early career science teachers. Ten schools took part in the study, selected on the basis of their reputation for having effective CPD practices. To gain different perspectives from within the organisations we conducted interviews with senior members of staff, heads of science departments and early career teachers. A thematic analysis of the interviews is presented, drawing on findings from across the 10 schools, and exemplified in more detail by a vignette to show specific features of effective CPD practice. The study has revealed a wealth of practice across the 10 schools, which included a focus on broadening experience beyond the classroom, having an open, sharing, non-threatening culture and systemic procedures for mentoring and support that involved ring-fenced budgets. The schools also deployed staff judiciously in critical roles that model practice and motivate early career science teachers. Early career teachers were concerned primarily with their overall development as teachers, though some science specific examples such as observing practical work and sessions to address subject knowledge were seen as important.

  12. The Perceptions of Elementary School Teachers Regarding Their Efforts to Help Students Utilize Student-to-Student Discourse in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Jennifer Lovejoy

    The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the perceptions of elementary teachers who teach science as opposed to science teacher specialists regarding their efforts to help students use student-to-student discourse for improving science learning. A growing body of research confirms the importance of a) student-to-student discourse for making meaning of science ideas and b) moving students' conceptual development towards a more scientific understanding of the natural world. Based on those foundations, the three research questions that guided this study examined the value elementary teachers place on student-to-student discourse, the various approaches teachers employ to promote the use of student-to-student discourse for learning science, and the factors and conditions that promote and inhibit the use of student-to-student discourse as an effective pedagogical strategy in elementary science. Data were gathered from 23 elementary teachers in a single district using an on-line survey and follow-up interviews with 8 teachers. All data were analyzed and evolving themes led to the following findings: (1) elementary teachers value student-to-student discourse in science, (2) teachers desire to increase time using student-to-student discourse, (3) teachers use a limited number of student-to-student discourse strategies to increase student learning in science, (4) teachers use student-to-student discourse as formative assessment to determine student learning in science, (5) professional development focusing on approaches to student-to-student discourse develops teachers' capacity for effective implementation, (6) teachers perceive school administrators' knowledge of and support for student-to-student discourse as beneficial, (7) time and scheduling constraints limit the use of student-to-student discourse in science. Implications of this study included the necessity of school districts to focus on student-to-student discourse in science, provide teacher and

  13. Science Teachers' Understanding and Practice of Inquiry-Based Instruction in Uganda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ssempala, Fredrick

    High school students in Uganda perform poorly in science subjects despite the Ugandan government's efforts to train science teachers and build modern science laboratories in many public high schools. The poor performance of students in science subjects has been largely blamed on the inability by many science teachers to teach science through Inquiry-Based Instruction (IBI) to motivate the students to learn science. However, there have been no empirical studies done to establish the factors that influence science teachers' understanding and practice of IBI in Uganda. Most of the published research on IBI has been conducted in developed countries, where the prevailing contexts are very different from the contexts in developing countries such as Uganda. Additionally, few studies have explored how professional development (PD) training workshops on inquiry and nature of science (NOS) affect chemistry teachers' understanding and practice of IBI. My purpose in this multi-case exploratory qualitative study was to explore the effect of a PD workshop on inquiry and NOS on chemistry teachers' understanding and practice of IBI in Kampala city public schools in Uganda. I also explored the relationship between chemistry teachers' NOS understanding and the nature of IBI implemented in their classrooms and the internal and external factors that influence teachers' understanding and practice of IBI. I used a purposive sampling procedure to identify two schools of similar standards from which I selected eight willing chemistry teachers (four from each school) to participate in the study. Half of the teachers (those from School A) attended the PD workshop on inquiry and NOS for six days, while the control group (those from School B) did not. I collected qualitative data through semi-structured interviews, classroom observation, and document analysis. I analyzed these data by structural, conceptual and theoretical coding approach. I established that all the participating chemistry

  14. Inquiry-Based Science Education Competencies of Primary School Teachers: A literature study and critical review of the American National Science Education Standards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alake-Tuenter, Ester; Biemans, Harm J. A.; Tobi, Hilde; Wals, Arjen E. J.; Oosterheert, Ida; Mulder, Martin

    2012-11-01

    Inquiry-based science education is an important innovation. Researchers and teachers consider it to be stimulating for pupils' application of research skills, construction of meaning and acquiring scientific knowledge. However, there is ambiguity as to what competencies are required to teach inquiry-based science. Our purpose is to develop a profile of professional competence, required for effective inquiry-based science teaching in primary schools in the Netherlands. This article reviews literature and compares the outcomes to the American National Science Education Standards (NSES). In so doing, it seeks to answer the following research questions: What elements of competencies required by primary school teachers who teach inquiry-based science are mentioned, discussed and researched in recent literature? To what extent are the American NSES (introduced 15 years ago) consistent with elements of competencies found in recent literature? A comprehensive literature review was conducted using Educational Resources Information Centre and Google Scholar databases. Fifty-seven peer-reviewed scientific journal articles from 2004 to 2011 were found using keyword combinations. Analysis of these articles resulted in the identification and classification of 22 elements of competencies. This outcome was compared to the American NSES, revealing gaps in the standards with respect to a lack of focus on how teachers view science teaching and themselves as teachers. We also found that elements of competencies are connected and poor mastery of one may affect a teacher's mastery of another. Therefore, we propose that standards for the Netherlands should be presented in a non-linear, holistic, competence-based model.

  15. Improving Early Career Science Teachers' Ability to Teach Space Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, G. R.; Slater, T. F.; Wierman, T.; Erickson, J. G.; Mendez, B. J.

    2012-12-01

    The GEMS Space Science Sequence is a high quality, hands-on curriculum for elementary and middle schools, created by a national team of astronomers and science educators with NASA funding and support. The standards-aligned curriculum includes 24 class sessions for upper elementary grades targeting the scale and nature of Earth's, shape, motion and gravity, and 36 class sessions for middle school grades focusing on the interactions between our Sun and Earth and the nature of the solar system and beyond. These materials feature extensive teacher support materials which results in pre-test to post-test content gains for students averaging 22%. Despite the materials being highly successful, there has been a less than desired uptake by teachers in using these materials, largely due to a lack of professional development training. Responding to the need to improve the quantity and quality of space science education, a collaborative of space scientists and science educators - from the University of California, Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) and Center for Science Education at the Space Sciences Laboratory (CSE@SSL), the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), the University of Wyoming, and the CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education - experimented with a unique professional development model focused on helping master teachers work closely with pre-service teachers during their student teaching internship field experience. Research on the exodus of young teachers from the teaching profession clearly demonstrates that early career teachers often leave teaching because of a lack of mentoring support and classroom ready curriculum materials. The Advancing Mentor and Novice Teachers in Space Science (AMANTISS) team first identified master teachers who supervise novice, student teachers in middle school, and trained these master teachers to use the GEMS Space Science Sequence for Grades 6-8. Then, these master teachers were mentored in how to coach their

  16. The Workshop Program on Authentic Assessment for Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rustaman, N. Y.; Rusdiana, D.; Efendi, R.; Liliawati, W.

    2017-02-01

    A study on implementing authentic assessment program through workshop was conducted to investigate the improvement of the competence of science teachers in designing performance assessment in real life situation at school level context. A number of junior high school science teachers and students as participants were involved in this study. Data was collected through questionnaire, observation sheets, and pre-and post-test during 4 day workshop. This workshop had facilitated them direct experience with seventh grade junior high school students during try out. Science teachers worked in group of four and communicated each other by think-pair share in cooperative learning approach. Research findings show that generally the science teachers’ involvement and their competence in authentic assessment improved. Their knowledge about the nature of assessment in relation to the nature of science and its instruction was improved, but still have problem in integrating their design performance assessment to be implemented in their lesson plan. The 7th grade students enjoyed participating in the science activities, and performed well the scientific processes planned by group of science teachers. The response of science teachers towards the workshop was positive. They could design the task and rubrics for science activities, and revised them after the implementation towards the students. By participating in this workshop they have direct experience in designing and trying out their ability within their professional community in real situation towards their real students in junior high school.

  17. From Students to Teachers: Investigating the Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs and Experiences of Graduate Primary Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deehan, James; Danaia, Lena; McKinnon, David H.

    2018-03-01

    The science achievement of primary students, both in Australia and abroad, has been the subject of intensive research in recent decades. Consequently, much research has been conducted to investigate primary science education. Within this literature, there is a striking juxtaposition between tertiary science teaching preparation programs and the experiences and outcomes of both teachers and students alike. Whilst many tertiary science teaching programs covary with positive outcomes for preservice teachers, reports of science at the primary school level continue to be problematic. This paper begins to explore this apparent contradiction by investigating the science teaching efficacy beliefs and experiences of a cohort of graduate primary teachers who had recently transitioned from preservice to inservice status. An opportunity sample of 82 primary teachers responded to the science teaching efficacy belief instrument A (STEBI-A), and 10 graduate teachers provided semi-structured interview data. The results showed that participants' prior science teaching efficacy belief growth, which occurred during their tertiary science education, had remained durable after they had completed their teaching degrees and began their careers. Qualitative data showed that their undergraduate science education had had a positive influence on their science teaching experiences. The participants' school science culture, however, had mixed influences on their science teaching. The findings presented within this paper have implications for the direction of research in primary science education, the design and assessment of preservice primary science curriculum subjects and the role of school contexts in the development of primary science teachers.

  18. Science Engagement at the Museum School: Teacher Perspectives on the Contribution of Museum Pedagogy to Science Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watermeyer, Richard

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores the accounts of science teachers working within the UK's only "museum school" and what they perceive as the benefits and shortcomings of "museum pedagogy" as a process of object-based teaching (and learning). Museum pedagogy is in this context considered for its potential in harmonising informal and formal…

  19. The Level of Utilizing Blended Learning in Teaching Science from the Point of View of Science Teachers in Private Schools of Ajman Educational Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Derbashi, Khaled Y.; Abed, Osama H.

    2017-01-01

    This study aims to define the level of utilizing blended learning in teaching science from the point of view of science teachers (85 male and female teachers) who are working in private schools of Ajman Educational Zone. The study also aims to find if there are significant differences according to gender, years of experience, or the fact that…

  20. Teachers' participation in research programs improves their students' achievement in science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverstein, Samuel C; Dubner, Jay; Miller, Jon; Glied, Sherry; Loike, John D

    2009-10-16

    Research experience programs engage teachers in the hands-on practice of science. Program advocates assert that program participation enhances teachers' skills in communicating science to students. We measured the impact of New York City public high-school science teachers' participation in Columbia University's Summer Research Program on their students' academic performance in science. In the year before program entry, students of participating and nonparticipating teachers passed a New York State Regents science examination at the same rate. In years three and four after program entry, participating teachers' students passed Regents science exams at a rate that was 10.1% higher (P = 0.049) than that of nonparticipating teachers' students. Other program benefits include decreased teacher attrition from classroom teaching and school cost savings of U.S. $1.14 per $1 invested in the program.

  1. An exploratory study of the influence of national and state standards on middle school science teachers' classroom assessment practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    McWaters, Kathy Jean

    2001-07-01

    Classroom assessment practices of middle school science teachers were identified and the influence of national and state science standards on these practices was examined. In Phase I of this study a mail questionnaire was sent to 450 middle school (grades 5,6,7 and 8) science teachers in 17 parishes in Louisiana to obtain information about their classroom assessment practices. In Phase II, nine middle school teachers in eight departmentalized classrooms, two classes at each grade, participated in a qualitative study. Data were collected through questionnaires, classroom observations, interviews and document analysis. Data analysis revealed three major categories of classroom assessment targets: (a) student achievement, (b) student attitudes and, (c) student products. Results indicated that most teachers are using different assessment methods when assessing different achievement targets, as recommended by science reform documents. It was also determined that many teachers are using appropriate methods to assess student learning. While teachers reported that students spend an inordinate amount of time engaged in assessment activities, classroom observations suggested that the activities were not always written tests or graded activities. Another key finding is that there is a disconnect between the quality of teaching and the quality of assessment. Teachers who teach the material recommended by science reform documents and use recommended instructional strategies were observed to stop teaching and engage students in a "test rehearsal" geared towards rote memorization of factual information. Data suggest that the national and state science content standards are influencing the content and the format of teacher-made tests. Teachers' reported using the standards during assessment construction or selection in a wide variety of ways. The most direct use of the standards reported was to select content, format and cognitive level for test items. A more circumspect approach

  2. South African physical sciences teachers' perceptions of new ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper reports on South African teachers' perceptions of the educational value of new topics in a revised physical sciences high school curriculum, their content .... identify the core issues surrounding teachers' views on the new topics, and ... A were generated, enabling us to construct a profile of schools and teachers.

  3. The compatibility of reform initiatives in inclusion and science education: Perceptions of science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Su-Hsiang

    The purposes of this investigation were to examine science teachers' instructional adaptations, testing and grading policies, as well as their perceptions toward inclusion. In addition, whether the perceptions and adaptations differ among three disability areas (learning disabilities, emotional handicaps, and mental handicaps), school level (elementary, middle, and high school), course content (life and physical science), instructional approach (textbook-oriented or activity-oriented), and other related variables was examined. Especially, the intention was to determine whether the two educational reform efforts (inclusion and excellence in science education) are compatible. In this study, 900 questionnaires were mailed to teachers in Indiana and 424 (47%) were returned. Due to incomplete or blank data, 38 (4%) responses were excluded. The final results were derived from a total of 386 respondents contributing to this investigation. The descriptive data indicated that teachers adapted their instruction moderately to accommodate students' special needs. In particular, these adaptations were made more frequently for students with mental handicaps (MH) or learning disabilities (LD), but less for students with emotional handicaps (EH). With respect to testing policies, less than half of the teachers (44.5%) used "same testing standards as regular students" for integrated LD students, while a majority of the teachers (57%) used such a policy for EH students. Unfortunately, considerably fewer teachers modified their grading policies for these two groups of students. In contrast, approximately two thirds of the teachers indicated that they used different testing or grading policies for MH students who were in the regular settings. Moreover, the results also showed that changes in classroom procedure did not occur much in the science teachers' classrooms. Perceptions of science teachers toward inclusion practices were somewhat mixed. Overall, teachers had neutral attitudes

  4. Changes in Attitudes towards Science-Technology-Society of Pre-Service Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaya, Osman Nafiz; Yager, Robert; Dogan, Alev

    2009-01-01

    This research focuses on use of a triadic teaching approach in a science-technology-society (STS) course designed for future science teachers for middle schools in Turkey. Forty-three pre-service science teachers were enrolled in a semester-long course organized around issues students identified and used throughout the semester. The triadic…

  5. The perception of science teachers on the role of student relationships in the classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattison, Cheryl Ann

    With the increased accountability of educators comes the responsibility of the entire educational community to find ways in which we can help our students succeed in the classroom. In addition, it is important to discover what it takes to keep those students in school Many science teachers enter the profession unprepared to handle the regular classroom routine. Classroom management, grading, lesson planning, setting up labs, and the myriad of other obligations, can leave teachers overwhelmed and sometimes can get in the way of actually helping students be successful. This study investigated how science teachers viewed the importance of developing strong teacher/student relationships to the increase of student success in a science classroom. I attempted to answer 4 major questions: · How do science teachers in a select high school community view the role of interactive relationships in their classrooms and how that might impact their students? · How do science teachers in a select high school community believe they establish successful interactive relationships with their students? · What do science teachers in a select high school community believe are some of the outcomes of those relationships? · What do science teachers suggest to increase the teacher's ability to form good relationships with their students? A qualitative research method was used including observations, interviews and group discussions of 5 high school science teachers in a small urban school.

  6. Taiwan High School Biology Teachers' Acceptance and Understanding of Evolution and the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Evolution is the cornerstone of biological sciences, but anti-evolution teaching has become a global controversy since the introduction of evolutionary ideas into the United States high school science curricula in 1914. It is suggested that teachers' attitude toward and acceptance of the theory of evolution will influence their effect of teaching…

  7. Science Lab Restructuring of a Public School Elementary and High School

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisiane da Costa Moro

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the process of restructuring the science lab of a state school in Caxias do Sul, whose main objective was to create a space where teachers could develop practical and experimental activities with their students. The restructuring of the science lab this school, was only possible through the project "More and Better Students and Teachers in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technologies" Initiation Program in Science and Mathematics, Engineering, Creative Technologies and Letters - PICMEL sponsored jointly by the University of Caxias do Sul, the SEDUC-RS, FAPERGS and CAPES. The project was developed at school by a teacher of physics and three high school students. Through the restructuring of the science lab, practical activities were developed and workshops where students had the opportunity to be more active in the process of teaching and learning. With the development of such activities was observed that the students were more willing to learn Science and Mathematics and could relate scientific knowledge to their daily lives, giving greater meaning to their learning.

  8. Model program for the recruitment and preparation of high ability elementary mathematics/science teachers: A collaborative project among scientists, teacher educators and classroom teachers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-12-01

    This teacher education program will provide a model for recruiting, educating and retaining high ability students to become mathematics and science lead teachers in elementary schools. The quality experiences and support provided these students will help them develop the knowledge and attitudes necessary to provide leadership for elementary mathematics and science programs. Students will have research experiences at the Ames Laboratory, high quality field experiences with nationally recognized mathematics and science teachers in local schools and opportunities to meaningfully connect these two experiences. This program, collaboratively designed and implemented by scientists, teacher educators and classroom teachers, should provide a replicatable model for other teacher education institutions. In addition, materials developed for the project should help other laboratories interface more effectively with K-8 schools and help other teacher education programs incorporate real science and mathematics experience into their curriculum.

  9. Teaching controversial issues in the secondary school science classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Rooy, Wilhelmina

    1993-12-01

    A sample of fourteen secondary school biology teachers chosen from twelve schools were interviewed. The purpose was to determine their views on how controversial issues in science might be handled in the secondary school science classroom and whether the issues of surrogacy and human embryo experimentation were suitable controversial issues for discussion in schools. In general, teachers indicated that controversial issues deserve a more prominent place in the science curriculum because they have the potential to foster thinking, learning, and interest in science. The issues of surrogacy and human embryo experimentation were seen as appropriate contexts for learning, provided that teachers were well informed and sensitive to both the students and to the school environment.

  10. The Factors that Affect Science Teachers' Participation in Professional Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, Judi Ann

    Scientific literacy for our students and the possibilities for careers available in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) areas are important topics for economic growth as well as global competitiveness. The achievement of students in science learning is dependent upon the science teachers' effectiveness and experienced science teachers depend upon relevant professional development experiences to support their learning. In order to understand how to improve student learning in science, the learning of science teachers must also be understood. Previous research studies on teacher professional development have been conducted in other states, but Minnesota science teachers comprised a new and different population from those previously studied. The purpose of this two-phase mixed methods study was to identify the current types of professional development in which experienced, Minnesota secondary science teachers participated and the factors that affect their participation in professional development activities. The mixed-methods approach s utilized an initial online survey followed by qualitative interviews with five survey respondents. The results of the quantitative survey and the qualitative interviews indicated the quality of professional development experiences and the factors which affected the science teachers' participation in professional development activities. The supporting and inhibiting factors involved the availability of resources such as time and money, external relationships with school administrators, teacher colleagues, and family members, and personal intrinsic attributes such as desires to learn and help students. This study also describes implications for science teachers, school administrators, policymakers, and professional development providers. Recommendations for future research include the following areas: relationships between and among intrinsic and extrinsic factors, science-related professional development activities

  11. Portrait of a Teacher-Led School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazareno, Lori

    2013-01-01

    Imagine a school with no principal and with a leadership structure that holds teachers accountable for the learning of all students. About 50 such teacher-led schools currently operate across the United States, and this article tells the story of one of them. The Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy (MSLA) in Denver, Colorado, serves about…

  12. The Correlation between Teacher Professional Competence and Natural Science Learning Achievement in Elementary School

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Ketut Ngurah Ardiawan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This present study aims at investigating the correlation between teachers’ professional competence and natural science learning achievement in elementary schools in Buleleng regency. The population in this study are all sixth grade teachers, which it is further narrowed down to 30 teachers as the sample. In order to gather the data, the researcher employs questionnaire regarding teacher professional competence and document study toward students’ achievement on national examination in academic year 2016/2017. Further, ex post facto is chosen as the design of the study. Meanwhile, the data are analysed through correlation analysis with assistance of SPSS 16 software. Based on the analysis, it was obtained that the correlation between teacher professional competence and the learning achievement on natural science subject is in the interval of 0.40-0.59 with correlation coefficient at rho=0.506. This means there is a significant correlation between teacher professional competence and students’ learning achievement on natural science in national examination in academic year 2016/2017 (tcount = 3.103 > ttable =2.048 with significance level at α = 0,05 and coefficient of determination at 0.2560 (25.60%

  13. Summer workshops for high-school science teachers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Young, H.H.; Kohl, J.

    1975-01-01

    A total of 52 summer workshops attended by over 1700 high-school science teachers have been given by 27 universities in the period of 1971 to 1974. These workshops are funded by ERDA to provide factual material through educational channels so that the public could obtain an informed perspective of the role of nuclear energy as an electrical power source. The workshops have included lectures, panel discussions, laboratories, and field trips, and have emphasized providing teachers with materials for use in their classrooms. Actual use of workshop material has been monitored through workshop reports, meetings, and visits. Participants have used their workshop experience for classroom presentations, talks to the public, and for assembly programs. The material developed and the experience of presenting it has proved valuable for the nuclear engineering faculty members giving the workshops. They have used their experience in other courses, for public lectures, and for other workshops. And they have gained personal experience in methods of dealing with the nuclear power controversy. A review of these workshops indicates that they offer at a reasonable cost a productive method of presenting factual information on the various solutions to the complex electrical generation problem

  14. Working Alongside Scientists. Impacts on Primary Teacher Beliefs and Knowledge About Science and Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Dayle; Moeed, Azra

    2017-05-01

    Current curriculum demands require primary teachers to teach about the Nature of Science; yet, few primary teachers have had opportunity to learn about science as a discipline. Prior schooling and vicarious experiences of science may shape their beliefs about science and, as a result, their science teaching. This qualitative study describes the impact on teacher beliefs about science and science education of a programme where 26 New Zealand primary (elementary) teachers worked fulltime for 6 months alongside scientists, experiencing the nature of work in scientific research institutes. During the 6 months, teachers were supported, through a series of targeted professional development days, to make connections between their experiences working with scientists, the curriculum and the classroom. Data for the study consisted of mid- and end-of-programme written teacher reports and open-ended questionnaires collected at three points, prior to and following 6 months with the science host and after 6 to 12 months back in school. A shift in many teachers' beliefs was observed after the 6 months of working with scientists in combination with curriculum development days; for many, these changes were sustained 6 to 12 months after returning to school. Beliefs about the aims of science education became more closely aligned with the New Zealand curriculum and its goal of developing science for citizenship. Responses show greater appreciation of the value of scientific ways of thinking, deeper understanding about the nature of scientists' work and the ways in which science and society influence each other.

  15. Design and validation of a standards-based science teacher efficacy instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Patricia Reda

    National standards for K--12 science education address all aspects of science education, with their main emphasis on curriculum---both science subject matter and the process involved in doing science. Standards for science teacher education programs have been developing along a parallel plane, as is self-efficacy research involving classroom teachers. Generally, studies about efficacy have been dichotomous---basing the theoretical underpinnings on the work of either Rotter's Locus of Control theory or on Bandura's explanations of efficacy beliefs and outcome expectancy. This study brings all three threads together---K--12 science standards, teacher education standards, and efficacy beliefs---in an instrument designed to measure science teacher efficacy with items based on identified critical attributes of standards-based science teaching and learning. Based on Bandura's explanation of efficacy being task-specific and having outcome expectancy, a developmental, systematic progression from standards-based strategies and activities to tasks to critical attributes was used to craft items for a standards-based science teacher efficacy instrument. Demographic questions related to school characteristics, teacher characteristics, preservice background, science teaching experience, and post-certification professional development were included in the instrument. The instrument was completed by 102 middle level science teachers, with complete data for 87 teachers. A principal components analysis of the science teachers' responses to the instrument resulted in two components: Standards-Based Science Teacher Efficacy: Beliefs About Teaching (BAT, reliability = .92) and Standards-Based Science Teacher Efficacy: Beliefs About Student Achievement (BASA, reliability = .82). Variables that were characteristic of professional development activities, science content preparation, and school environment were identified as members of the sets of variables predicting the BAT and BASA

  16. Examining Science Teachers' Argumentation in a Teacher Workshop on Earthquake Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavlazoglu, Baki; Stuessy, Carol

    2018-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine changes in the quality of science teachers' argumentation as a result of their engagement in a teacher workshop on earthquake engineering emphasizing distributed learning approaches, which included concept mapping, collaborative game playing, and group lesson planning. The participants were ten high school science teachers from US high schools who elected to attend the workshop. To begin and end the teacher workshop, teachers in small groups engaged in concept mapping exercises with other teachers. Researchers audio-recorded individual teachers' argumentative statements about the inclusion of earthquake engineering concepts in their concept maps, which were then analyzed to reveal the quality of teachers' argumentation. Toulmin's argumentation model formed the framework for designing a classification schema to analyze the quality of participants' argumentative statements. While the analysis of differences in pre- and post-workshop concept mapping exercises revealed that the number of argumentative statements did not change significantly, the quality of participants' argumentation did increase significantly. As these differences occurred concurrently with distributed learning approaches used throughout the workshop, these results provide evidence to support distributed learning approaches in professional development workshop activities to increase the quality of science teachers' argumentation. Additionally, these results support the use of concept mapping as a cognitive scaffold to organize participants' knowledge, facilitate the presentation of argumentation, and as a research tool for providing evidence of teachers' argumentation skills.

  17. Qualities of effective secondary science teachers: Perspectives of university biology students

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCall, Madelon J.

    This research was an attempt to hear the student voice concerning secondary science teacher effectiveness and to share that voice with those who impact the educational process. It was a snapshot of university freshmen biology students' opinions of the qualities of effective secondary science teachers based on their high school science experiences. The purpose of this study was to compile a list of effective secondary science teacher qualities as determined through a purposeful sampling of university second semester biology students and determine the role of the secondary science teacher in promoting interest and achievement in science, as well as the teacher's influence on a students' choice of a science career. The research was a mixed methods design using both quantitative and qualitative data obtained through the use of a 24 question electronic survey. There were 125 participants who provided information concerning their high school science teachers. Respondents provided information concerning the qualities of effective secondary science teachers and influences on the students' present career choice. The quantitative data was used to construct a hierarchy of qualities of effective secondary science teachers, divided into personal, professional, and classroom management qualities. The qualitative data was used to examine individual student responses to questions concerning secondary science teacher effectiveness and student career choice. The results of the research indicated that students highly value teachers who are both passionate about the subject taught and passionate about their students. High school science students prefer teachers who teach science in a way that is both interesting and relevant to the student. It was determined that the greatest influence on a secondary student's career choice came from family members and not from teachers. The secondary teacher's role was to recognize the student's interest in the career and provide encouragement

  18. Facilitating Creativity in Science Students' through Teacher ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study ascertained how teachers facilitate the creativity skills of the Pupils as an outcome of professional development. 450 primary school pupils and 50 Basic science teachers in the primary schools were sampled. The study adopted the Solomon four group design. The Torrance Test for Creative thinking (TTCT) and ...

  19. The Effects of Teacher Efficacy, Teacher Certification Route, Content Hours in the Sciences, Field-Based Experiences and Class Size on Middle School Student Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado, Robina

    No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed into law in 2002 with the idea that all students, no matter the circumstances can learn and that highly qualified teachers should be present in every classrooms (United Stated Department of Education, 2011). The mandates of NCLB also forced states to begin measuring the progress of science proficiency beginning in 2007. The study determined the effects of teacher efficacy, the type of certification route taken by individuals, the number of content hours taken in the sciences, field-based experience and class size on middle school student achievement as measured by the 8th grade STAAR in a region located in South Texas. This data provides knowledge into the effect different teacher training methods have on secondary school science teacher efficacy in Texas and how it impacts student achievement. Additionally, the results of the study determined if traditional and alternative certification programs are equally effective in properly preparing science teachers for the classroom. The study described was a survey design comparing nonequivalent groups. The study utilized the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI). A 25-item efficacy scale made up of two subscales, Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Belief (PSTE) and Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy (STOE) (Bayraktar, 2011). Once the survey was completed a 3-Way ANOVA, MANOVA, and Multiple Linear Regression were performed in SPSS to calculate the results. The results from the study indicated no significant difference between route of certification on student achievement, but a large effect size was reported, 17% of the variances in student achievement can be accounted for by route of certification. A MANOVA was conducted to assess the differences between number of science content hours on a linear combination of personal science teacher efficacy, science teaching outcome expectancy and total science teacher efficacy as measured by the STEBI. No significant

  20. Engaging a middle school teacher and students in formal-informal science education: Contexts of science standards-based curriculum and an urban science center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, Shamarion Gladys

    This is a three-article five chapter doctoral dissertation. The overall purpose of this three-pronged study is to engage a middle school science teacher and students in formal-informal science education within the context of a science standards-based curriculum and Urban Science Center. The goals of the study were: (1) to characterize the conversations of formal and informal science educators as they attempted to implement a standards-based curriculum augmented with science center exhibits; (2) to study the classroom discourse between the teacher and students that foster the development of common knowledge in science and student understanding of the concept of energy before observing science center exhibits on energy; (3) to investigate whether or not a standards-driven, project-based Investigating and Questioning our World through Science and Technology (IQWST) curriculum unit on forms and transformation of energy augmented with science center exhibits had a significant effect on urban African-American seventh grade students' achievement and learning. Overall, the study consisted of a mixed-method approach. Article one consists of a case study featuring semi-structured interviews and field notes. Article two consists of documenting and interpreting teacher-students' classroom discourse. Article three consists of qualitative methods (classroom discussion, focus group interviews, student video creation) and quantitative methods (multiple choice and open-ended questions). Oral discourses in all three studies were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. In article one, the community of educators' conversations were critically analyzed to discern the challenges educators encountered when they attempted to connect school curriculum to energy exhibits at the Urban Science Center. The five challenges that characterize the emergence of a third space were as follows: (a) science terminology for lesson focus, (b) "dumb-down" of science exhibits, (c) exploration distracts

  1. Towards Science Education for all: Teacher Support for Female ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Towards Science Education for all: Teacher Support for Female Pupils in the Zimbabwean Science Class. ... Annals of Modern Education ... One hundred female pupils studying sciences at either Ordinary or Advanced level, and 10 science teachers from 10 selected secondary schools in one province in Zimbabwe, ...

  2. What is motivating middle-school science teachers to teach climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeal, Peggy; Petcovic, Heather; Reeves, Patricia

    2017-05-01

    Adoption of science content standards that include anthropogenic climate change has prompted widespread instruction in climate change for the first time. However, the controversial nature of the topic can be daunting and many teachers share misconceptions that lead to weak treatment of climate change in classrooms. Nevertheless, numerous teachers have embraced the topic and are providing illustrations of deliberate climate change education. In this study we investigated teacher motivation using focus groups with middle school teachers who currently teach climate change. Qualitative analysis of the collective teacher voices yielded underlying motivations. Our findings suggest that these teachers' interest in environmentalism naturally translates to climate change advocacy and motivates teaching the topic. Their knowledge and expertise gives them confidence to teach it. These teachers see themselves as scientists, therefore their views align with the scientific consensus. They practice authentic scientific research with their students, thus confirming valued characteristics of their scientist identity. Finally, our findings suggest that teaching climate change gives these teachers a sense of hope as they impact the future through their students. This study contrasts with skepticism over the state of climate change education and contributes to an understanding of how climate change education is motivated in teachers.

  3. Exploring Connections Between Earth Science and Biology - Interdisciplinary Science Activities for Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vd Flier-Keller, E.; Carolsfeld, C.; Bullard, T.

    2009-05-01

    To increase teaching of Earth science in schools, and to reflect the interdisciplinary nature and interrelatedness of science disciplines in today's world, we are exploring opportunities for linking Earth science and Biology through engaging and innovative hands-on science activities for the classroom. Through the NSERC-funded Pacific CRYSTAL project based at the University of Victoria, scientists, science educators, and teachers at all levels in the school system are collaborating to research ways of enriching the preparation of students in math and science, and improving the quality of science education from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Our primary foci are building authentic, engaging science experiences for students, and fostering teacher leadership through teacher professional development and training. Interdisciplinary science activities represent an important way of making student science experiences real, engaging and relevant, and provide opportunities to highlight Earth science related topics within other disciplines, and to expand the Earth science taught in schools. The Earth science and Biology interdisciplinary project builds on results and experiences of existing Earth science education activities, and the Seaquaria project. We are developing curriculum-linked activities and resource materials, and hosting teacher workshops, around two initial areas; soils, and marine life and the fossil record. An example activity for the latter is the hands-on examination of organisms occupying the nearshore marine environment using a saltwater aquarium and touch tank or beach fieldtrip, and relating this to a suite of marine fossils to facilitate student thinking about representation of life in the fossil record e.g. which life forms are typically preserved, and how are they preserved? Literacy activities such as fossil obituaries encourage exploration of paleoenvironments and life habits of fossil organisms. Activities and resources are being tested with teachers

  4. Impacting the Science Community through Teacher Development: Utilizing Virtual Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulay, Rachel; van Raalte, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Commitment to the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) pipeline is slowly declining despite the need for professionals in the medical field. Addressing this, the John A. Burns School of Medicine developed a summer teacher-training program with a supplemental technology-learning component to improve science teachers' knowledge and skills of Molecular Biology. Subsequently, students' skills, techniques, and application of molecular biology are impacted. Science teachers require training that will prepare them for educating future professionals and foster interest in the medical field. After participation in the program and full access to the virtual material, twelve high school science teachers completed a final written reflective statement to evaluate their experiences. Using thematic analysis, knowledge and classroom application were investigated in this study. Results were two-fold: teachers identified difference areas of gained knowledge from the teacher-training program and teachers' reporting various benefits in relation to curricula development after participating in the program. It is concluded that participation in the program and access to the virtual material will impact the science community by updating teacher knowledge and positively influencing students' experience with science.

  5. Learning to teach science in urban schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobin, Kenneth; Roth, Wolff-Michael; Zimmermann, Andrea

    2001-10-01

    Teaching in urban schools, with their problems of violence, lack of resources, and inadequate funding, is difficult. It is even more difficult to learn to teach in urban schools. Yet learning in those locations where one will subsequently be working has been shown to be the best preparation for teaching. In this article we propose coteaching as a viable model for teacher preparation and the professional development of urban science teachers. Coteaching - working at the elbow of someone else - allows new teachers to experience appropriate and timely action by providing them with shared experiences that become the topic of their professional conversations with other coteachers (including peers, the cooperating teacher, university supervisors, and high school students). This article also includes an ethnography describing the experiences of a new teacher who had been assigned to an urban high school as field experience, during which she enacted a curriculum that was culturally relevant to her African American students, acknowledged their minority status with respect to science, and enabled them to pursue the school district standards. Even though coteaching enables learning to teach and curricula reform, we raise doubts about whether our approaches to teacher education and enacting science curricula are hegemonic and oppressive to the students we seek to emancipate through education.

  6. UWHS Climate Science: Uniting University Scientists and High School Teachers in the Development and Implementation of a Dual-Credit STEM-Focused Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertram, M. A.; Thompson, L.; Ackerman, T. P.

    2012-12-01

    The University of Washington is adapting a popular UW Atmospheric Sciences course on Climate and Climate Change for the high school environment. In the process, a STEM-focused teaching and learning community has formed. With the support of NASA Global Climate Change Education 20 teachers have participated in an evolving professional development program that brings those actively engaged in research together with high school teachers passionate about bringing a formal climate science course into the high school. Over a period of several months participating teachers work through the UW course homework and delve deeply into specific subject areas. Then, during a week-long summer institute, scientists bring their particular expertise (e.g. radiation, modeling) to the high school teachers through lectures or labs. Together they identify existing lectures, textbook material and peer-reviewed resources and labs available through the internet that can be used to effectively teach the UW material to the high school students. Through this process the scientists learn how to develop teaching materials around their area of expertise, teachers engage deeply in the subject matter, and both the university and high school teachers are armed with the tools to effectively teach a STEM-focused introductory course in climate science. To date 12 new hands-on modules have been completed or are under development, exploring ice-cores, isotopes, historical temperature trends, energy balance, climate models, and more. Two modules have been tested in the classroom and are ready for peer-review through well-respected national resources such as CLEAN or the National Earth Science Teachers Association; three others are complete and will be implemented in a high school classroom this year, and the remainder under various stages of development. The UWHS ATMS 211 course was piloted in two APES (Advanced Placement Environmental Science classrooms) in Washington State in 2011/2012. The high school

  7. Teachers Learning to Teach Science by Doing Science at the University of Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangin, K. L.; Thompson, R. M.; Wilch, M.

    2006-12-01

    Many departments across the College of Science at the University of Arizona provide the opportunity for teachers to do original scientific research. These programs either provide skills and curriculum that can be translated into the classroom or include direct participation by K-12 students with their teachers. This paper introduces three of the many unique programs that UA offers for teacher professional development. The College of Science offers a teacher professional development course to accompany a public lecture series that runs each semester on a different topic of current social and scientific interest. During the Spring 2006 semester, the series subject was evolution, with attendance at each lecture running in excess of 600. This fall, the topic is climate change. In addition to attending lectures and participating in group discussions with the speakers, the teachers conduct research into regional climate change using the Western Regional Climate Center's publicly available, web-hosted climate data. The teachers brainstorm about possible influences on the data other than anthropogenic alteration of atmospheric composition, and control for these influences in their experimental design as best they can. Such influences might include urbanization, instrumental change, and natural variability. The College of Science is developing collaborations with community partners, including a local high school science magnet and a high school in the Galapagos Islands. Among several programs created in partnership with Tucson High School, Science and Nature in Tandem for Youth (SANITY) brings science teachers and students to the Southwest Research Station to conduct ecological research of their own design including the investigation of the effects of drought and other physical factors on the biosphere. The Southwest Research Station is located in the Chiricahua Mountains, one of the so-called "sky islands" and a crucial cradle of biodiversity vulnerable to the effects of

  8. The Natural Science Institute for Teachers of Minority Students: Performance report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ervin, C.J.

    1995-02-01

    The purpose of the Natural Science Institute for Teachers of Minority Students is to enhance the science knowledge and skills of grades four through twelve science teachers in the District of Columbia Public Schools. The Institute brings school teachers together with practicing scientists and experienced science educators who are currently doing or involved in research and publication, especially in the area of global change. Special emphasis is placed on the interdisciplinary nature of science and the part played by the understanding and teaching about the dynamics of the environment and global change. In addition to these goals, teachers will learn a number of successful alternate strategies for teaching science to minority, disabled and non-English speaking students.

  9. The Challenges Faced by New Science Teachers in Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsharari, Salman

    2016-01-01

    Growing demand for science teachers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, fed by increasing numbers of public school students, is forcing the Saudi government to attract, recruit and retain well-qualified science teachers. Beginning science teachers enter the educational profession with a massive fullfilment and satisfaction in their roles and positions…

  10. Pre-Service Science Teachers' Views on Their Online Argumentation about What Is Happening in Middle School Science Classrooms during Their Practicum Period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaya, Osman Nafiz; Dogan, Alev; Kilic, Ziya; Ebenezer, Jazlin

    2004-01-01

    In this study, Pre-service Science Teachers' (PSTs) views about the potential benefits and existing barriers of their argumentation on the World Wide Web about what is happening in middle school science classrooms during two semesters of their practicum experiences were investigated. "Special Web Group" called the "Collaborative…

  11. Pre-service secondary school science teachers science teaching ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF.MIREKU

    pre-service secondary science teachers' self-efficacy beliefs with regard to gender and educational .... outcome. As a consequence, instruments for the determination of self-efficacy ...... Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 42, 119–31. Bursal, M.

  12. Ghanaian Junior High School Science Teachers' attitude towards ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Contextualising science instruction has been found to improve pupils' understanding of science content since it links science content to the context of the pupil. Science teachers play vital roles in this effort to make science teaching relevant to the Ghanaian child through contextualisation of science instruction.

  13. Teaching and nature: Middle school science teachers' relationship with nature in personal and classroom contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Nadine Butcher

    2000-10-01

    This qualitative study describes three middle-school science teachers' relationship-with-nature in personal and classroom contexts. Participating teachers had more than 7 years experience and were deemed exemplary practitioners by others. Interview data about personal context focused on photographs the teacher took representing her/his relationship-with-nature in daily life. Interview data for classroom context explored classroom events during three or more researcher observations. Transcripts were analyzed using a multiple-readings approach to data reduction (Gilligan, Brown & Rogers, 1990; Miles & Huberman, 1994, p. 14, 141). Readings generated categorical information focused on portrayals of: nature; self; and relationship-with-nature. Categorical data were synthesized into personal and teaching case portraits for each teacher, and cross case themes identified. Participants indicated the portraits accurately represented who they saw themselves to be. Additional readings identified sub-stories by plot and theme. Narrative data were clustered to highlight elements of practice with implications for the relationship-with-nature lived in the classroom. These individual-scale moments were compared with cultural-scale distinctions between anthropocentric and ecological world views. Cross case themes included dimensions of exemplary middle-school science teaching important to teacher education and development, including an expanded conception of knowing and skillful use of student experience. Categorical analysis revealed each teacher had a unique organizing theme influencing their interpretation of personal and classroom events, and that nature is experienced differently in personal as opposed to teaching contexts. Narrative analysis highlights teachers' stories of classroom pets, dissection, and student dissent, illustrating an interplay between conceptual distinctions and personal dimensions during moments of teacher decision making. Results suggest teachers

  14. Schools of California Online Resources for Education: History-Social Science One Stop Shopping for California's Social Studies Teachers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Margaret; Benoit, Robert

    1998-01-01

    Reviews the resources available for social studies teachers from the Schools of California Online Resources for Education (SCORE): History Social Science World Wide Web site. Includes curriculum-aligned resources and lessons; standards and assessment information; interactive projects and field trips; teacher chat area; professional development…

  15. Why Do They Stay? A Phenomenological Study of Secondary Science Teacher Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lastica, Joelle Ramirez

    In 2004, The U.S. Department of Education reported that 20% of schoolteachers (public and private) leave their classrooms during the first year of teaching, and nearly twice as many leave within the first three years of teaching (Koppich, 2004). According to the 2007 Condition of Education report, the U.S. Department of Education estimated there were nearly 380,000 public school math and science teachers during the 2003-2004 school year, and of those, approximately 23,000 left the teaching profession the following school year. Yet despite these reports, in 2004-2005, approximately 360,000 public school math and science teachers remained in their classrooms. In this phenomenological dissertation study, I sought to discover how eight secondary science teachers (whose years of teaching experience range from five to 30 years) make meaning of their decisions to remain in teaching. Through semi-structured interviews, these teacher participants and I discussed how each of them decided to become a science teacher, how each of them think of themselves as a science teacher, and how each of them decided to remain teaching despite the ever-growing list of challenges (s)he faces in and out of his/her classroom. These teacher participants chose to become science teachers because they loved their subject area and working with secondary students. These teachers enjoyed working with their students and their teaching colleagues. However, they acknowledged there were also tensions and frustrations in their work, including not feeling supported by school and district administrators and being overwhelmed with the demands of their workload and time. These eight science teachers chose to remain classroom teachers because they have a profound love for their students, a deep admiration for their colleagues, and a strong sense of mission in their work. It is my intent that the stories shared by the teacher participants in this study will shed light upon concerns, tensions and experiences

  16. Working Alongside Scientists: Impacts on Primary Teacher Beliefs and Knowledge about Science and Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Dayle; Moeed, Azra

    2017-01-01

    Current curriculum demands require primary teachers to teach about the Nature of Science; yet, few primary teachers have had opportunity to learn about science as a discipline. Prior schooling and vicarious experiences of science may shape their beliefs about science and, as a result, their science teaching. This qualitative study describes the…

  17. Materials Science and Technology Teachers Handbook

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wieda, Karen J.; Schweiger, Michael J.; Bliss, Mary; Pitman, Stan G.; Eschbach, Eugene A.

    2008-09-04

    The Materials Science and Technology (MST) Handbook was developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in Richland, Washington, under support from the U.S. Department of Energy. Many individuals have been involved in writing and reviewing materials for this project since it began at Richland High School in 1986, including contributions from educators at the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory, Central Washington University, the University of Washington, teachers from Northwest Schools, and science and education personnel at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Support for its development was also provided by the U.S. Department of Education. This introductory course combines the academic disciplines of chemistry, physics, and engineering to create a materials science and technology curriculum. The course covers the fundamentals of ceramics, glass, metals, polymers and composites. Designed to appeal to a broad range of students, the course combines hands-on activities, demonstrations and long term student project descriptions. The basic philosophy of the course is for students to observe, experiment, record, question, seek additional information, and, through creative and insightful thinking, solve problems related to materials science and technology. The MST Teacher Handbook contains a course description, philosophy, student learning objectives, and instructional approach and processes. Science and technology teachers can collaborate to build the course from their own interests, strengths, and experience while incorporating existing school and community resources. The course is intended to meet local educational requirements for technology, vocational and science education.

  18. Job Sharing Their First Year: A Narrative of Two Partnered Teachers' Induction into Middle School Science Teaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eick, Charles J.

    2002-01-01

    Examines the induction of two middle school science teachers as partners in a job sharing arrangement in lieu of student teaching, describing how they worked together and supported each other's attempts to implement student-centered practices and likening their mutual support to a marriage partnerships. The two teachers mentored each other through…

  19. Levels of use of an elementary school inquiry-based instructional innovation among a selected group of teacher participants in the Delaware Elementary Science Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchelle, Henry Ellsworth Wirt, III

    Science education in Delaware's public elementary and middle schools has experienced much change in recent years as a result of the adoption of state standards and, in particular, the adoption by school districts of the Smithsonian/National Science Resources Council-sponsored inquiry-based instruction modules as part of the "Elementary Science Initiative." As part of this adoption process, each participating elementary teacher and middle school science teacher receives extensive training in the use of several discrete science kits. The trainings include reinforcement and development of content knowledge, in addition to the modeling of and practice with complementary pedagogy. One measure of the effectiveness of the science kit training process (and perhaps the Initiative itself) is the teachers' levels of use of the Initiative. The purpose of this study was to determine the participating teachers' use of the science kit innovation through the use of the Concerns-based Adoption Model Levels of Use Questionnaire. Eight K--5 elementary classroom teachers who had completed at least three science kit trainings participated. The results of this study indicate that on the Overall Level of Use Rating Scale, teachers who had completed training in at least three science kits generally scored at the Routine (IVA) level. All of the teachers, regardless of the wide range in the number of years of experience, had achieved the Mechanical Use level in Overall (III) LoU, and 6 of the 8 participants (75%) were operating at no less than the Refinement (IVA) Overall LoU level.

  20. Partners in Science: A Model Cooperative Program Introducing High School Teachers and Students to Leading-Edge Pharmaceutical Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woska, Joseph R., Jr.; Collins, Danielle M.; Canney, Brian J.; Arcario, Erin L.; Reilly, Patricia L.

    2005-12-01

    Partners in Science is a cooperative program between Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and area high schools in the community surrounding our Connecticut campus. It is a two-phase program that introduces high school students and teachers to the world of drug discovery and leading-edge pharmaceutical research. Phase 1 involves a series of lectures, tours, and demonstrations given by scientists within our research and development division (R&D). Phase 2 involves the selection of a small group of participants to intern for the summer in a research laboratory, working side by side with a scientist within R&D. In this manuscript, the specific aims, goals, and development of the Partners in Science program are described, as well as the syllabus/agenda, the logistics surrounding the operation of the program, and our shared personal experiences with students and teachers who have participated. Some of the pitfalls/problems associated with the program will be presented, and finally, the future direction of the program including areas of improvement and expansion are described.

  1. Nuclear science summer school for high scholl students

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foster, D.E.; Stone, C.A.

    1997-01-01

    We have developed a two-week summer lecture and laboratory course that introduces hihg school students to concepts in nuclear science. The program has operated at the San Jose State University Nuclear Science Facility for two years. Experienced high school science teachers run the summer scholl, assisted by other science teachers. Students consider the program to be effective. Its popularity is shown by numerous requests for reservations and the necessity to offer multiple sections in 1997. (author)

  2. An analysis of factors that influence secondary science teachers in an urban school district in South Texas to remain in the teaching profession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, Bonnie

    This quantitative study is an examination of personal and professional factors that contribute to science teachers continuing to teach science in an urban area in South Texas despite the growing demands of the profession. This study examines why teachers in general leave the profession but focuses on what factors influenced these teachers to stay. Personal retention factors measured included being an effective teacher and positive rapport with students. Professional retention factors included administrative support and adequate time to meet professional obligations. There are 149 secondary science teachers in this large urban school district. Data was gathered from 109 of these educators to analyze factors personal and professional factors in regards to why these teachers remain in the field. For the purposes of this study a secondary science teacher will be any teacher who teaches science in grades 6-12, which is considered middle (6 through 8) and high school (9 through 12) in this area. The data for this quantitative study was collected by a paper survey (N=109) that was distributed at a professional learning session at the beginning of the school year. A Principal Component Analysis was run followed by three multiple regression analyses of the pertinent components to determine if there is any relationship between the demographics of the participants and personal and professional factors that cause these teachers to remain in the field. The results of this study will contribute to the literature regarding teacher education and theory that examines teacher practice affecting change. The results showed that professional factors like the amount of resources and the quality of those resources to assist teachers with job efficacy mattered as much as the personal factors such as positive teaching experience and an intrinsic sense of being an effective educator. Further implications of this study include an exploration of Generalist certifications at the middle grades

  3. Life histories of female elementary teachers and their science/teacher role construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramseur, Aletha Johnson

    The research conducted in this study focuses on life histories of female elementary teachers and their science/teacher role construction. Identity theorists argue that the self consists of a collection of identities founded on occupying a particular role. Who we are depends on the roles we occupy. These roles are often referred to as "role identities". In the case of these participants, many role identities (mother, wife, sibling, and teacher) exist. This study focuses primarily on their (science) teacher role identity. Literature on women's lives, as learners and teachers, suggest that women's experiences, currently and throughout history influenced their teacher role construction. There is however, little knowledge of women's lives as elementary teachers of science and the affect of their experiences, currently and throughout history, on their (science) teacher identity construction. Schools delineated by race, class, and gender relations, are similar to other sectors of society's, social and cultural spheres within which race, class, and gender identities are constructed. Using in-depth-interviews female elementary teachers were encouraged to actively reconstruct their life and work-life experiences focusing on family, school and science interactions. They addressed the intellectual and emotional connections between their life and work experiences by focusing on details of their past and present experiences and examining the meaning of those experiences. It was the scrutiny of these connections between their life and work experiences, the meaning derived from them and historical events, and the constraints imposed on their personal choices by broader power relations, such as those of class, race, and gender that informed why we teach, how we teach, and what we teach.

  4. A cohort of novice Danish science teachers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund

    2011-01-01

    A survey on science background and argumentation about science teaching was conducted on a local cohort of newly qualified Danish science teachers. The survey was administered before the novice teachers began their first jobs in primary and lower secondary schools and focused on their reflections...... on specific scenarios of science teaching and themselves as teachers in various science fields. Three areas of concern were identified:There was evidence of reflection upon and argumentation for the practice of science teaching being student centered, but many respondents showed a tendency to focus...... on students' activities as a goal in themselves, few considered what the students learned through the activities. Results furthermore suggest that the teachers' own assessment of their subject matter knowledge in the physics field may, for a large subgroup in the cohort, affect their approach to teaching...

  5. National Science Resources Center Project to Improve Science Teaching in Elementary Schools with Special Emphasis on Department of Defense Dependents Schools and Other Schools Serving Children of Military Personnel

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-10-01

    2555. NCTM to Publish Resource Directory ANNOUNCEMENTS The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics ’ ( NCTM ) Committee for a Coin- Coalition Launches...science and mathematics education: • DOD Apprenticeship Programs * DOD Teacher Internship Programs * DOD Partnership Programs * DOD Dependents Schools...elementary school teachers . The units also link science with other curriculum areas, including mathematics , language arts, social studies, and art. In

  6. Women and girls in science education: Female teachers' and students' perspectives on gender and science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crotty, Ann

    Science is a part of all students' education, PreK-12. Preparing students for a more scientifically and technologically complex world requires the best possible education including the deliberate inclusion and full contributions of all students, especially an underrepresented group: females in science. In the United States, as elsewhere in the world, the participation of girls and women in science education and professional careers in science is limited, particularly in the physical sciences (National Academy of Sciences [NAS], 2006). The goal of this research study is to gain a better understanding of the perspectives and perceptions of girls and women, both science educators and students, related to gender and participation in science at the time of an important course: high school chemistry. There is a rich body of research literature in science education that addresses gender studies post---high school, but less research that recognizes the affective voices of practicing female science teachers and students at the high school level (Bianchini, Cavazos, & Helms, 2000; Brown & Gilligan, 1992; Gilligan, 1982). Similarly, little is known with regard to how female students and teachers navigate their educational, personal, and professional experiences in science, or how they overcome impediments that pose limits on their participation in science, particularly the physical sciences. This exploratory study focuses on capturing voices (Brown & Gilligan, 1992; Gilligan, 1982) of high school chemistry students and teachers from selected urban and suburban learning communities in public schools in the Capital Region of New York State. Through surveys, interviews, and focus groups, this qualitative study explores the intersection of the students' and teachers' experiences with regard to the following questions: (1) How do female chemistry teachers view the role gender has played in their professional and personal lives as they have pursued education, degree status, and

  7. Examining Teachers' Hurdles to `Science for All'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southerland, Sherry; Gallard, Alejandro; Callihan, Laurie

    2011-11-01

    The goal of this research is to identify science teachers' beliefs and conceptions that play an important role in shaping their understandings of and attempts to enact inclusive science teaching practices. We examined the work products, both informal (online discussions, email exchanges) and formal (papers, unit plans, peer reviews), of 14 teachers enrolled in a master's degree course focused on diversity in science teaching and learning. These emerging understandings were member-checked via a series of interviews with a subset of these teachers. Our analysis was conducted in two stages: (1) describing the difficulties the teachers identified for themselves in their attempts to teach science to a wide range of students in their classes and (2) analyzing these self-identified barriers for underlying beliefs and conceptions that serve to prohibit or allow for the teachers' understanding and enactment of equitable science instruction. The teachers' self-identified barriers were grouped into three categories: students, broader social infrastructure, and self. The more fundamental barriers identified included teacher beliefs about the ethnocentrism of the mainstream, essentialism/individualism, and beliefs about the meritocracy of schooling. The implications of these hurdles for science teacher education are discussed.

  8. Life Skills from the Perspectives of Classroom and Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurtdede-Fidan, Nuray; Aydogdu, Bülent

    2018-01-01

    The aim of this study is to determine classroom and science teachers' views about life skills. The study employed phenomenological method. The participants of the study were 24 teachers; twelve of them were classroom teachers and the remaining were science teachers. They were working at public schools in Turkey. The participants were selected…

  9. The Pedagogical Orientations of South African Physical Sciences Teachers Towards Inquiry or Direct Instructional Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramnarain, Umesh; Schuster, David

    2014-08-01

    In recent years, inquiry-based science instruction has become widely advocated in science education standards in many countries and, hence, in teacher preparation programmes. Nevertheless, in practice, one finds a wide variety of science instructional approaches. In South Africa, as in many countries, there is also a great disparity in school demographic situations, which can also affect teaching practices. This study investigated the pedagogical orientations of in-service physical sciences teachers at a diversity of schools in South Africa. Assessment items in a Pedagogy of Science Teaching Test (POSTT) were used to identify teachers' science teaching orientations, and reasons for pedagogical choices were probed in interviews. The findings reveal remarkable differences between the orientations of teachers at disadvantaged township schools and teachers at more privileged suburban schools. We found that teachers at township schools have a strong `active direct' teaching orientation overall, involving direct exposition of the science followed by confirmatory practical work, while teachers at suburban schools exhibit a guided inquiry orientation, with concepts being developed via a guided exploration phase. The study identified contextual factors such as class size, availability of resources, teacher competence and confidence, time constraints, student ability, school culture and parents' expectations as influencing the methods adopted by teachers. In view of the recent imperative for inquiry-based learning in the new South African curriculum, this study affirms the context specificity of curriculum implementation (Bybee 1993) and suggests situational factors beyond the curriculum mandate that need to be addressed to achieve successful inquiry-based classroom instruction in science.

  10. How static media is understood and used by high school science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Miguel

    The purpose of the present study is to explore the role of static media in textbooks, as defined by Mayer (2001) in the form of printed images and text, and how these media are viewed and used by high school science teachers. Textbooks appeared in the United States in the late 1800s, and since then pictorial aids have been used extensively in them to support the teacher's work in the classroom (Giordano, 2003). According to Woodward, Elliott, and Nagel (1988/2013) the research on textbooks prior to the 1970s doesn't present relevant work related to the curricular role and the quality and instructional design of textbooks. Since then there has been abundant research, specially on the use of visual images in textbooks that has been approached from: (a) the text/image ratio (Evans, Watson, & Willows, 1987; Levin & Mayer, 1993; Mayer, 1993; Woodward, 1993), and (b) the instructional effectiveness of images (Woodward, 1993). The theoretical framework for this study comes from multimedia learning (Mayer, 2001), information design (Pettersson, 2002), and visual literacy (Moore & Dwyer, 1994). Data was collected through in-depth interviews of three high school science teachers and the graphic analyses of three textbooks used by the interviewed teachers. The interview data were compared through an analytic model developed from the literature, and the graphic analyses were performed using Mayer's multimedia learning principles (Mayer, 2001) and the Graphic Analysis Protocol (GAP) (Slough & McTigue, 2013). The conclusions of this study are: (1) pictures are specially useful for teaching science because science is a difficult subject to teach, (2) due this difficulty, pictures are very important to make the class dynamic and avoid students distraction, (3) static and dynamic media when used together can be more effective, (4) some specific type of graphics were found in the science textbooks used by the participants, in this case they were naturalistic drawings, stylized

  11. School of Political Science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. D. Voskresensky

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Out of all the departments of political sciences in Russia - the Department at MGIMO-University is probably the oldest one. In fact it is very young. While MGIMO-University is celebrating its 70th anniversary the Department of Political Sciences turns 15. Despite the fact that political analyst is a relatively new profession in Russia, it acquired a legal standing only in the 1990s, the political science school at MGIMO-University is almost as old as the university itself. Unlike many other universities, focused on the training teachers of political science or campaign managers MGIMO-University has developed its own unique political science school of "full cycle", where students grow into political sciences from a zero level up to the highest qualifications as teachers and researchers, and campaign managers, consultants and practitioners. The uniqueness of the school of political science at MGIMO-University allows its institutional incarnation -the Department of Political Science - to offer prospective studentsa training in a wide range of popular specialties and specializations, while ensuring a deep theoretical and practical basis of the training. Studying at MGIMO-University traditionally includes enhanced linguistic component (at least two foreign languages. For students of international relations and political science learning foreign languages is particularly important.It allows not only to communicate, but also to produce expertise and knowledge in foreign languages.

  12. Student and Teacher Perceptions of Teacher Immediacy Behaviors and the Influence of Teacher Immediacy Behaviors on Student Motivation to Learn Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Littlejohn, Vania

    The National Assessment on Educational Progress signals that American students are not being adequately prepared to compete globally in an ever changing scientific society. As a result, legislation mandated that all students be assessed and show proficiency in scientific literacy beginning in Grade 4 with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2002 also known as No Child Left Behind. Research indicates a disturbing decline in the number of U.S. students pursuing more rigorous science courses in high school, majoring in scientific areas in college, and choosing future careers in science. With a need to improve science instruction and enhance science literacy for all students, this study focuses on immediate communication behaviors of the classroom teacher as a deciding factor in the opinions of high school students towards science. The purpose of this study was to reveal high school science student perceptions of teacher communication patterns, both verbal and nonverbal, and how they influence their motivation to learn science. The researcher utilized a nonexperimental, quantitative research design to guide this study. Teacher and student data were collected using the Teacher Communication Behavior Questionnaire (TCBQ). The Student Motivation to Learn Instrument (SMLI) across gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status survey was used to evaluate student motivation in science. Participants were encouraged to be honest in reporting and sharing information concerning teacher communication behaviors. The data revealed that teacher immediacy behaviors, both verbal and nonverbal, were perceived differently in terms of student gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class. The results showed that teachers who display positive communication behaviors and use challenging questioning followed with positive responses create pathways to potentially powerful relationships. These relationships between teachers and students can lead to increased student

  13. Science teachers understanding of inquiry-based science teaching ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    owner

    This paper aims at finding out Rwandan lower secondary school science teachers' ... enterprise, which in the context of the present study has a focus on inquiry. .... methods was adopted and both quantitative and qualitative data collected.

  14. Ways to prepare future teachers to teach science in multicultural classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billingsley, Berry

    2016-06-01

    Roussel De Carvalho uses the notion of superdiversity to draw attention to some of the pedagogical implications of teaching science in multicultural schools in cosmopolitan cities such as London. De Carvalho makes the case that if superdiverse classrooms exist then Science Initial Teacher Education has a role to play in helping future science teachers to become more knowledgeable and reflective about how to teach school students with a range of worldviews and religious beliefs. The aim of this paper is to take that proposition a step further by considering what the aims and content of a session in teacher education might be. The focus is on helping future teachers develop strategies to teach school students to think critically about the nature of science and what it means to have a scientific worldview. The paper draws on data gathered during an interview study with 28 students at five secondary schools in England. The data was analysed to discover students' perceptions of science and their perceptions of the way that science responds to big questions about being human. The findings are used to inform a set of three strategies that teachers could use to help young people progress in their understanding of the nature of science. These strategies together with the conceptual framework that underpins them are used to develop a perspective on what kinds of pedagogical content knowledge teacher education might usefully provide.

  15. In-Service Science Teachers' and the Use of Multimedia as a Teaching Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ameyaw, Y.; Quansah, E.

    2013-01-01

    The study investigated the attitudes of in-service teachers' towards the use of multimedia as a tool for science teaching in Junior High Schools in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The population sample consisted of 100 Junior High School (JHS) science teachers made up of 60 urban teachers and 40 rural teachers from three selected districts…

  16. Becoming a Science Teacher: Moving toward Creolized Science and an Ethic of Cosmopolitanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiler, Gale

    2011-01-01

    Although communities and schools in North America are increasingly diverse and positioned in a global web, schools continue to adhere to Western norms and the teacher workforce remains largely White, continuing an ideology of collective sameness and conformity. Hybridization of teacher identity and of science teaching are suggested as ways to…

  17. Exploring the development of science self-efficacy in preservice elementary school teachers participating in a science education methods course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunning, Amanda M.

    The demands of society's increasing dependence on science and technology call for our students to have a solid foundation in science education, starting in the earliest grades. However, elementary school teachers often lack the necessary experiences to deliver that education. This qualitative study seeks to explore the development of six preservice elementary teachers in a semester-long science methods course. The course consisted of many components; one in particular was a microteaching experience, which emerged as especially significant. The participants' experiences throughout the semester were studied primarily through the lens of self-efficacy, but were also examined considering learning theories and mental models. It was found that two participants in particular were self-directed learners and were able to construct for themselves a self-selected cognitive apprenticeship. Other findings include the significance of a microteaching experience on development of self-efficacy in science teaching and the role mental models may or may not play in development of self-efficacy in the science methods course. This study has implications both for preservice elementary education in science and in general.

  18. Visualizing Culturally Relevant Science Pedagogy Through Photonarratives of Black Middle School Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldston, M. Jenice; Nichols, Sharon

    2009-04-01

    This study situated in a Southern resegregated Black middle school involved four Black teachers and two White science educators’ use of photonarratives to envision culturally relevant science pedagogy. Two questions guided the study: (1) What community referents are important for conceptualizing culturally relevant practices in Black science classrooms? and (2) How do teachers’ photonarratives serve to open conversations and notions of culturally relevant science practices? The research methodologically drew upon memory-work, Black feminism, critical theory, visual methodology, and narrative inquiry as “portraiture.” Issues of positionality and identity proved to be central to this work, as three luminaries portray Black teachers’ insights about supports and barriers to teaching and learning science. The community referents identified were associated with church and its oral traditions, inequities of the market place in meeting their basic human needs, and community spaces.

  19. Science and Scientific Curiosity in Pre-school—The teacher's point of view

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spektor-Levy, Ornit; Kesner Baruch, Yael; Mevarech, Zemira

    2013-09-01

    Nowadays, early science education is well-accepted by researchers, education professionals and policy makers. Overall, teachers' attitudes and conceptions toward the science subject domain and science education influence their ways of teaching and engagement. However, there is a lack of research regarding factors that affect this engagement in pre-school years. The main assumption of this study is that teachers' attitudes regarding science in pre-school can shape children's engagement in science and develop their scientific curiosity. Therefore, the main objectives of this study are to investigate the attitudes of pre-school teachers toward engaging in science and to explore their views about the nature of curiosity: who is a curious child and how can a child's natural curiosity be fostered? An extensive survey was conducted among 146 pre-school teachers by employing both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Results indicate that most of the participants believe that scientific education should begin in early childhood; very young children can investigate and take part in a process of inquiry; and scientific activities in pre-school can influence children's long-term attitudes toward science. Despite these views, most participants felt they did not possess sufficient scientific knowledge. Furthermore, participants expressed diverse opinions when asked to identify what constitutes curiosity, how the curious child can be identified and how a child's curiosity can be fostered. The research findings carry significant implications regarding how to implement scientific activities in pre-school, and how to encourage pre-school teachers to engage children in scientific activities in a way that will nurture their natural curiosity.

  20. Science Specialists or Classroom Teachers: Who Should Teach Elementary Science?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Abigail Jurist; Jia, Yueming; Marco-Bujosa, Lisa; Gess-Newsome, Julie; Pasquale, Marian

    2016-01-01

    This study examined science programs, instruction, and student outcomes at 30 elementary schools in a large, urban district in the northeast United States in an effort to understand whether there were meaningful differences in the quality, quantity and cost of science education when provided by a science specialist or a classroom teacher. Student…

  1. High school teacher enhancement in the sciences

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mohamed, A. [Jackson State Univ., MS (United States). School of Science and Technology; Shepard, R.L. [Science and Engineering Alliance, Inc., Washington, DC (United States)

    1997-03-01

    As part of an effort to improve the teaching of science in a four-State region (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas), the Science and Engineering Alliance (SEA) initiated a series of teacher enhancement workshops in science. The workshops focus on teaching problem solving through experience gained in laboratory, field work, classroom discussions and interactions/debates, critical analysis of the literature, obtaining a greater appreciation of the application of mathematics in science, and interactions with experts in various fields of science.

  2. Development and exemplification of a model for Teacher Assessment in Primary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, D. J.; Earle, S.; McMahon, K.; Howe, A.; Collier, C.

    2017-09-01

    The Teacher Assessment in Primary Science project is funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust and based at Bath Spa University. The study aims to develop a whole-school model of valid, reliable and manageable teacher assessment to inform practice and make a positive impact on primary-aged children's learning in science. The model is based on a data-flow 'pyramid' (analogous to the flow of energy through an ecosystem), whereby the rich formative assessment evidence gathered in the classroom is summarised for monitoring, reporting and evaluation purposes [Nuffield Foundation. (2012). Developing policy, principles and practice in primary school science assessment. London: Nuffield Foundation]. Using a design-based research (DBR) methodology, the authors worked in collaboration with teachers from project schools and other expert groups to refine, elaborate, validate and operationalise the data-flow 'pyramid' model, resulting in the development of a whole-school self-evaluation tool. In this paper, we argue that a DBR approach to theory-building and school improvement drawing upon teacher expertise has led to the identification, adaptation and successful scaling up of a promising approach to school self-evaluation in relation to assessment in science.

  3. Teaching Science as Science Is Practiced: Opportunities and Limits for Enhancing Preservice Elementary Teachers' Self-Efficacy for Science and Science Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avery, Leanne M.; Meyer, Daniel Z.

    2012-01-01

    Science teaching in elementary schools, or the lack thereof, continues to be an area of concern and criticism. Preservice elementary teachers' lack of confidence in teaching science is a major part of this problem. In this mixed-methods study, we report the impacts of an inquiry-based science course on preservice elementary teachers' self-efficacy…

  4. Cognitive dissonance of science and religion in pre-service elementary school teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malloy, Robert Earl, Sr.

    Throughout history science and religion have been in conflict. Many of the theories of science do not agree with the religious beliefs of pre-service teachers. Those teachers who will be teaching in the science classroom, must be able to present science without prejudice of personal religious beliefs. Are pre-service teachers prepared for science/religion conflicts? How much conflict do pre-service teachers have between science and religion? This study suggests that pre-service teachers may have a high degree of conflict between science and religion, and that they have received no educational experience on how to deal with this conflict. Such conflict poses a potential problem when presenting science in the classroom, in that non-science information may not be separated from the science presented.

  5. Elementary Teachers' Perceptions of Their Professional Teaching Competencies: Differences between Teachers of Math/Science Majors and Non-Math/Science Majors in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Li-Chen; Chao, Li-ling; Cheng, Pi-Yun; Tuan, Hsiao-Lin; Guo, Chorng-Jee

    2018-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to probe the differences of perceived professional teaching competence between elementary school math/science teachers in Taiwan who are majored in math/science and those who are not. A researcher-developed Math/Science Teachers' Professional Development Questionnaire was used in a nationwide survey, using a two-stage…

  6. Construction of teacher knowledge in context: Preparing elementary teachers to teach mathematics and science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowery, Maye Norene Vail

    1998-12-01

    The purposes of this study were to further the understanding of how preservice teacher construct teacher knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge of elementary mathematics and science and to determine the extent of that knowledge in a school-based setting. Preservice teachers, university instructors, inservice teachers, and other school personnel were involved in this context-specific study. Evidence of the preservice teachers' knowledge construction (its acquisition, its dimensions, and the social context) was collected through the use of a qualitative methodology. Collected data included individual and group interviews, course documents, artifacts, and preservice teaching portfolios. Innovative aspects of this integrated mathematics and science elementary methods course included standards-based instruction with immediate access to field experiences. Grade-level teams of preservice and inservice teachers planned and implemented lessons in mathematics and science for elementary students. An on-site, portable classroom building served as a mathematics and science teaching and learning laboratory. A four-stage analysis was performed, revealing significant patterns of learning. An ecosystem of learning within a constructivist learning environment was identified to contain three systems: the university system; the school system; and the cohort of learners system. A mega system for the construction of teacher knowledge was revealed in the final analysis. Learning venues were discovered to be the conduits of learning in a situated learning context. Analysis and synthesis of data revealed an extensive acquisition of teacher knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge through identified learning components. Patience, flexibility, and communication were identified as necessities for successful teaching. Learning components included: collaboration with inservice teachers; implementation of discovery learning and hands-on/minds-on learning; small groupwork; lesson planning

  7. Digital Science Notebooks: Perspectives from an Elementary Classroom Teacher

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paek, Seungoh; Fulton, Lori A.

    2017-01-01

    This study investigates how tablet-based note-taking applications can be integrated into elementary science classes as digital science notebooks. A teacher with 20 students in Grades 4-5 from a public charter school in Hawaii participated in the study. The participating science teacher introduced a tablet-based note taking application (TNA) to her…

  8. Persisting mathematics and science high school teachers: A Q-methodology study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins-Lavicka, Michelle M.

    There is a lack of qualified mathematics and science teachers at all levels of education in Arkansas. Lasting teaching initiative programs are needed to address retention so qualified teachers remain in the classroom. The dearth of studies regarding why mathematics and science teachers persist in the classroom beyond the traditional 5-year attrition period led this Q-methodological study to evaluate the subjective perceptions of persistent mathematics and science teachers to determine what makes them stay. This study sought to understand what factors persisting mathematics and science teachers used to explain their persistence in the classroom beyond 5 years and what educational factors contributed to persisting mathematics and science teachers. Q-methodology combines qualitative and quantitative techniques and provided a systematic means to investigate personal beliefs by collecting a concourse, developing a Q-sample and a person-sample, conducting a Q-sorting process, and analyzing the data. The results indicated that to encourage longevity within mathematics and science classrooms (a) teachers should remain cognizant of their ability to influence student attitudes toward teaching; (b) administrators should provide support for teachers and emphasize the role and importance of professional development; and (c) policy makers should focus their efforts and resources on developing recruitment plans, including mentorship programs, while providing and improving financial compensation. Significantly, the findings indicate that providing mentorship and role models at every level of mathematics and science education will likely encourage qualified teachers to remain in the mathematics and science classrooms, thus increasing the chance of positive social change.

  9. Personalizing and Contextualizing Multimedia Case Methods in University-based Teacher Education: An Important Modification for Promoting Technological Design in School Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bencze, Larry; Hewitt, Jim; Pedretti, Erminia

    2009-01-01

    Results of various studies suggest that multimedia ‘case methods’ (activities associated with case documentaries) have many benefits in university-based teacher education contexts. They can, for example, help to ‘bridge the gap’ between perspectives and practices held by academic teacher educators and those held by student-teachers - who may adhere to perspectives and practices commonly supported in schools. On the other hand, some studies, along with theoretical arguments, suggest that there are limits to the effectiveness of multimedia case methods - because, for example, they can never fully represent realities of teaching and learning in schools. Furthermore, often missing from multimedia case methods is the student-teacher in the role of teacher. To address these concerns, we modified an existing multimedia case method by associating it with a special practice teaching situation in a school context. Qualitative data analyzed using constant comparative methods suggest that student-teachers engaged in this modified multimedia case method developed relatively deep commitments to encouraging students to conduct technology design projects - a non-traditional practice in school science. Factors that appeared to influence development of this motivation included student-teachers’ pre-instructional perspectives about science and the personalization and contextualization inherent to the modified multimedia case method.

  10. Exploring the effects of developing collaboration in a primary science teacher community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sillasen, Martin Krabbe

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents findings from a qualitative study to explore factors that may facilitate sustainable changes of collaboration in a primary science teacher community in one school. The context for this study is a development project aimed at improving science teaching by changing teacher......’s collective work in schools and developing network between schools. The objective is to improve the collaboration within primary science teacher communities on sharing best practice and developing new ways of teaching. This study represents an in-depth approach to explore possibilities and constraints for how...... a development project can facilitate sustainable change in primary science teachers’ collaboration. The purpose of the research project introduced here is to examine closer, why many development projects fail to produce sustainable results. The framework of McLaughlin and Talbert (2006) on building teacher...

  11. Exploring teachers' perspectives on the impact of out-of-school science-based programs for secondary level physics classrooms in Nebraska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baquerizo-Birth, Marisol

    This exploratory phenomenological study investigates the lived experiences of six high school physics teachers in Nebraska regarding their perceptions on the impact of participating in a science-based out-of-school program. By exploring the research question, we discover how this experience relates to these teachers' self-concept and professional growth. Open-ended, semi-structured, one-on-one interviews are used as the data collection method to explore teachers' perceptions. Responses reveal that teachers participating in the Cosmic Ray Observatory Project (CROP) as a means of exploring advanced, extracurricular physics projects perceive their participation as an opportunity for enrichment, collaboration, helping their students, and empowerment. Intertwined in the presented narratives, teachers refer to their schools' limited administrative support as a source of struggle tied to the challenge of balancing school and teaching responsibilities with CROP participants' responsibilities. This study proposes teachers must feel confident with their specific subject area to achieve a progressive view of self, and that supplemental professional development opportunities are crucial to physics teaching.

  12. Teacher Quality Indicators as Predictors of Instructional Assessment Practices in Science Classrooms in Secondary Schools in Barbados

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogunkola, Babalola J.; Archer-Bradshaw, Ramona E.

    2013-02-01

    This study investigated the self-reported instructional assessment practices of a selected sample of secondary school science teachers in Barbados. The study sought to determine if there were statistically significant differences in the instructional assessment practices of teachers based on their sex and teacher quality (teaching experience, professional qualification and teacher academic qualification). It also sought to determine the extent to which each of these four selected variables individually and jointly affected the teachers' report of their instructional assessment practices. A sample of 55 science teachers from nine secondary schools in Barbados was randomly selected to participate in this study. Data was collected by means of a survey and was analyzed using the means and standard deviations of the instructional assessment practices scores and linear, multiple and binary logistic regression. The results of the study were such that the majority of the sample reported good overall instructional assessment practices while only a few participants reported moderate assessment practices. The instructional assessment practices in the area of student knowledge were mostly moderate as indicated by the sample. There were no statistically significant differences between or among the mean scores of the teachers' reported instructional assessment practices based on sex ( t = 0.10; df = 53; p = 0.992), teaching experience ( F[4,50] = 1.766; p = 0.150), the level of professional qualification (F[3,45] = 0.2117; p = 0.111) or the level of academic qualification (F[2,52] = 0.504; p = 0.607). The independent variables (teacher sex, teaching experience, teacher professional qualification or teacher academic qualification) were not significant predictors of the instructional assessment practices scores. However, teacher sex was a significant predictor of the teachers' report of good instructional assessment practices. The study also found that the joint effect of the

  13. Science Teacher Training Programme in Rural Schools: An ODL Lesson from Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Misheck Mhishi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This case study looked at 76 randomly selected preservice science teachers from Mbire and Guruve districts who were learning at the Mushumbi Centre in Zimbabwe and assessed their motivations for enrolling under the Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE’s Virtual and Open Distance Learning (VODL programme. It also looked at the challenges they faced, their views on how instruction under the programme can be improved, and their deployment preferences after graduation. The districts are located in the remote Zambezi Valley, which is characterized by poor infrastructure, pests and diseases, frequent attacks by wild animals on people, domestic animals, and crops, harsh climatic conditions, and seasonal floods, which make it very difficult to attract and retain qualified teachers. Through targeted recruitment, BUSE’s VODL programme sought to train relief teachers already serving in the area in the hope that personal history and family connections would entice them to continue teaching in these areas after attaining their teacher certification. Data was collected using a questionnaire with closed and open-ended questions. Results obtained indicate that despite a lack of funding, a shortage of reading materials, and the nonavailability of e-learning facilities, the students were motivated to join the programme for personal and professional motives and that the students, the majority of whom had taught for two or more years in the districts, would prefer deployments in the area after graduation. The study therefore recommends that deliberate efforts be directed toward the targeted recruitment of school leavers and relief teachers from disadvantaged rural areas who possess the requisite minimum entry qualifications to train as science teachers in order to improve teacher retention in remote areas. Further research into the intrinsic problems in BUSE’s VODL programme and a close scrutiny of its course development techniques are also

  14. Teachers and Technology Use in Secondary Science Classrooms: Investigating the Experiences of Middle School Science Teachers Implementing the Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Rachel Corinne

    This study investigated the intended teacher use of a technology-enhanced learning tool, Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE), and the first experiences of teachers new to using it and untrained in its use. The purpose of the study was to learn more about the factors embedded into the design of the technology that enabled it or hindered it from being used as intended. The qualitative research design applied grounded theory methods. Using theoretical sampling and a constant comparative analysis, a document review of WISE website led to a model of intended teacher use. The experiences of four middle school science teachers as they enacted WISE for the first time were investigated through ethnographic field observations, surveys and interviews using thematic analysis to construct narratives of each teachers use. These narratives were compared to the model of intended teacher use of WISE. This study found two levels of intended teacher uses for WISE. A basic intended use involved having student running the project to completion while the teacher provides feedback and assesses student learning. A more optimal description of intended use involved the supplementing the core curriculum with WISE as well as enhancing the core scope and sequence of instruction and aligning assessment with the goals of instruction through WISE. Moreover, WISE projects were optimally intended to be facilitated through student-centered teaching practices and inquiry-based instruction in a collaborative learning environment. It is also optimally intended for these projects to be shared with other colleagues for feedback and iterative development towards improving the Knowledge Integration of students. Of the four teachers who participated in this study, only one demonstrated the use of WISE as intended in the most basic way. This teacher also demonstrated the use of WISE in a number of optimal ways. Teacher confusion with certain tools available within WISE suggests that there may be a

  15. Elementary teachers' perceptions of science inquiry and professional development challenges and opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kathleen M.

    Inquiry science, including a focus on evidence-based discourse, is essential to spark interest in science education in the early grades and maintain that interest throughout children's schooling. The researcher was interested in two broad areas: inquiry science in the elementary classroom and the need/desire for professional development opportunities for elementary teachers related to science education, and specifically professional development focused on inquiry science. A cross sectional survey design was prepared and distributed in May 2005 and usable responses were received from 228 elementary teachers from the south-central area of Pennsylvania which was a representative sample of socio-economical and geographical factors. Areas of particular interest in the results section include: (1) The use of Science Kits which is popular, but may not have the desired impact since they are "adjusted" by teachers often removing the opportunity for evidence-based discourse by the students. This may be partly based on the lack of time dedicated to science instruction and, secondly, the teachers' lack of comfort with the science topics. Another issue arising from science kits is the amount of preparation time required to utilize them. (2) Teachers demonstrated understanding of the high qualities of professional development but, when it came to science content professional development, they were more inclined to opt for short-term opportunities as opposed to long-term learning opportunities. Since elementary teachers are generalists and most schools are not focusing on science, the lack of attention to a subject where they are least comfortable is understandable, but disappointing. (3) There is a great need for more training in evidence--based discourse so teachers can implement this needed skill and increase students' understanding of science content so they are more able to compete in the international science and math measurements. (4) Professional development, especially

  16. Preparing Science Teachers: Strong Emphasis on Science Content Course Work in a Master's Program in Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajhar, Edward A.; Blackwell, E.; Quesada, D.

    2010-05-01

    In South Florida, science teacher preparation is often weak as a shortage of science teachers often prompts administrators to assign teachers to science classes just to cover the classroom needs. This results is poor preparation of students for college science course work, which, in turn, causes the next generation of science teachers to be even weaker than the first. This cycle must be broken in order to prepare better students in the sciences. At St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Florida, our School of Science has teamed with our Institute for Education to create a program to alleviate this problem: A Master of Science in Education with a Concentration in Earth/Space Science. The Master's program consists of 36 total credits. Half the curriculum consists of traditional educational foundation and instructional leadership courses while the other half is focused on Earth and Space Science content courses. The content area of 18 credits also provides a separate certificate program. Although traditional high school science education places a heavy emphasis on Earth Science, this program expands that emphasis to include the broader context of astronomy, astrophysics, astrobiology, planetary science, and the practice and philosophy of science. From this contextual basis the teacher is better prepared to educate and motivate middle and high school students in all areas of the physical sciences. Because hands-on experience is especially valuable to educators, our program uses materials and equipment including small optical telescopes (Galileoscopes), several 8-in and 14-in Celestron and Meade reflectors, and a Small Radio Telescope installed on site. (Partial funding provided by the US Department of Education through Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program grant P120A050062.)

  17. Didactic models in the discourse of science teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gislene Margaret Avelar Guimarães

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the results of research carried out among Science Teachers at Municipal Schools in Goiânia, State of Goiás. In 2000, questionnaires were sent out to all the teachers, of whom 56 (43% replied. Through an analysis of these questionnaires, an identification of the didactic models underlying their ideas on teaching/learning was made in the hope of delineating the profile of municipal science teaching which has been going through a process of curriculum re-structuring at primary school level, since 1998, with the implementation of formation cycles. Results show that teachers are going through a period of conception change which is probably a result of the experience of living through this process of curriculum restructuring. The profile is characterized as an eclectic didactic model, combining shades of different models identified in the literature: traditional, technological, spontaneous-activist and school research models; however, closer to the spontaneous model. The inclusion of certain presuppositions from other didactic models could further indicate a period of evolution in the professional development of Science teachers, which may constitute a significant space for reflection on the aims of education and on day-by-day classroom practices.

  18. A Course in Earth System Science: Developed for Teachers by Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, K.; Read, K.; Charlevoix, D.; Tomkin, J.; Hug, B.; Williams, M.; Pianfetti, E.

    2008-12-01

    ESES 202 is a new general education course in physical science at the University of Illinois's School of Earth, Society and Environment, designed for pre-service K-8 teachers. The goal of the course is to help future classroom teachers become confident with teaching earth science content. The designers of this course include a faculty expert in earth system science, a pre-service teacher and a former middle school science teacher. The goal of the in the curriculum design was to utilize the unique perspectives and experiences of our team. Our poster will highlight the unique nature of the curriculum development outlining the challenges and successes of designing the course. The general format of the class will be a combination of discussions, hands on experiences, and opportunities for students to design their own lessons. Class meetings will be once per week in a three-hour block, allowing students to immediately transfer new content knowledge into classroom activities. The end goal is that they can use these same activities with their students once they are practicing teachers. The content of the course shall be taught using an earth systems approach by showing the relationships among the four spheres: biosphere, hydrosphere, atmospheric, and anthrosphere. There are five units in the course: Introduction to Earth Systems, Carbon Cycle, Water Quality, El Niño and Climate Change. In addition to the science portion of the course, students will spend time reflecting on the classroom activities from the perspective of future educators. Activities will be presented at a late elementary school level; however, time will be devoted to discussing methods to adapt the lesson to different grade levels and differentiation needs within a classroom. Additionally, students in this course will be instructed on how to utilize a multitude of resources from stream tables to science education databases to prepare them for the dynamic nature of the classroom. By the end of the class

  19. The needs of the science teachers of Shenyang area, Northeast China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Chao

    Purpose of the study. The purpose of this research was to survey those individuals teaching science in the middle schools of the Shenyang area, Northeast China. Specifically, the study attempted to differentiate between rural and nonrural teachers with respect to demographic differences, problem areas, instructional activities, and perceived needs. Procedure. A 100-item survey was used to collect data for this study. The sample consisted of 224 science teachers (Rural 114, nonrural 110) who taught at least science class in 1996--97 academic year in a middle school of Shenyang area, Northeast China. Frequencies and percentages presented the needs of the teachers. The differences between rural and nonrural groups were analyzed by Chi Square statistics. Findings. Almost three quarters (74.9%) of returns were younger than 41, and 43.9% of returns held no degree. Significant differences were fond between rural and nonrural groups according to age, classroom experience, school enrollment, lab activities, motivating students to learn science, using science test data bank, peer tutoring and evaluating your own instructional effectiveness as a science teacher. Rural and nonrural teachers shared 10 of 14 greatest needs. Conclusions. Teacher in-service program designers need to establish academic training programs which lead to entry level degrees and certificates and improve young teacher's instructional skills. Increased efforts should be given to meet the perceived needs addressed in this study in order to improve teachers' teaching and students' learning. Lack of person energy or motivation and program fail to meet teachers' needs were considered as barriers of attending inservice programs.

  20. Transformations in Kenyan Science Teachers' Locus of Control: The Influence of Contextualized Science and Emancipated Student Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D.; Nashon, S.; Namazzi, E.; Okemwa, P.; Ombogo, P.; Ooko, S.; Beru, F.

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated Kenyan science teachers' pedagogical transformations, which manifested as they enacted and experienced a reformed contextualized science curriculum in which students' learning experiences were critical catalysts of teacher change. Twelve high school teachers voluntarily participated in the study and were interviewed about…

  1. Portsmouth Atmospheric Science School (PASS) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Clarence D.; Hathaway, Roger (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Portsmouth Atmospheric Science School Project (PASS) Project was granted a one-year no cost extension for 2001-2002. In year three of the project, objectives and strategies were modified based on the previous year-end evaluation. The recommendations were incorporated and the program was replicated within most of the remaining elementary schools in Portsmouth, Virginia and continued in the four middle schools. The Portsmouth Atmospheric Science School Project is a partnership, which includes Norfolk State University, Cooperating Hampton Roads Organizations for Minorities in Engineering (CHROME), NASA Langley Research Center, and the City of Portsmouth, Virginia Public Schools. The project seeks to strengthen the knowledge of Portsmouth Public Schools students in the field of atmospheric sciences and enhance teacher awareness of hands on activities in the atmospheric sciences. The project specifically seeks to: 1) increase the interest and participation of elementary and middle school students in science and mathematics; 2) strengthen existing science programs; and 3) facilitate greater achievement in core subjects, which are necessary for math, science, and technical careers. Emphasis was placed on providing training activities, materials and resources for elementary students (grades 3 - 5) and middle school students (grades 6 - 8), and teachers through a CHROME club structure. The first year of the project focused on introducing elementary students to concepts and activities in atmospheric science. Year two of the project built on the first year's activities and utilizes advanced topics and activities appropriate for middle school students. During the third year of the project, in addition to the approaches used in years one and two, emphasis was placed on activities that enhanced the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL).

  2. Secondary science teachers' view toward and classroom translation of sustained professional development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Elizabeth Blake

    This study concerns the phenomenon of secondary science teacher learning and enacting instructional strategies learned at the Communication in Science Inquiry Project (CISIP) teacher professional development events, as well as teacher perception of, and relationship to, this year-long professional development program. The CISIP program teaches science teachers how to build scientific classroom discourse communities with their students. Some of the science teachers were previous participants in the professional development, and acted as mentor teachers. The research design employed an integrated conceptual framework of situated learning theory with an analytical lens of teachers' professional, institutional and affinity, identities. A multi-method approach was used to generate data. Throughout the 2007-2008 academic year, the teachers' fidelity to the professional development model was measured using a classroom observation instrument aligned with the professional development model. From these observation data a longitudinal model, using hierarchical linear modeling, was constructed. In addition, surveys and interview data were used to construct both whole group and case studies of two high school science teachers who taught biology at the same school. The results indicated that there was a significant difference between previous and new participants; specifically, the longer teachers had participated in the professional development, and adopted a mentorship role, the greater their fidelity of classroom instruction to the CISIP model. Additionally, the case study teacher who developed a CISIP model-aligned affinity identity implemented more of the instructional strategies than the teacher who maintained his school-based institutional identity.

  3. Science Education at Riverside Middle School A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiley, Bettie Ann Pickens

    For more than thirty years the gender gap in science and related careers has been a key concern of researchers, teachers, professional organizations, and policy makers. Despite indicators of progress for women and girls on some measures of achievement, course enrollment patterns, and employment, fewer women than men pursue college degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. According to the results of national assessments, the gender gap in science achievement begins to be evident in the middle school years. Gender and school science achievement involve a complex set of factors associated with schools and child/family systems that may include school leadership, institutional practices, curriculum content, teacher training programs, teacher expectations, student interests, parental involvement, and cultural values. This ethnographic case study was designed to explore the context for science education reform and the participation of middle school girls. The study analyzed and compared teaching strategies and female student engagement in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade science classrooms. The setting was a middle school situated in a district that was well-known for its achievement in reading, math, and technology. Findings from the study indicated that while classroom instruction was predominantly organized around traditional school science, the girls were more disciplined and outperformed the boys. The size of the classrooms, time to prepare for hands-on activities, and obtaining resources were identified as barriers to teaching science in ways that aligned with recent national science reform initiatives. Parents who participated in the study were very supportive of their daughters' academic progress and career goals. A few of the parents suggested that the school's science program include more hands-on activities; instruction designed for the advanced learner; and information related to future careers. Overall the teachers and

  4. Students' awareness of science teachers' leadership, attitudes toward science, and positive thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ying-Yan; Chen, Hsiang-Ting; Hong, Zuway-R.; Yore, Larry D.

    2016-09-01

    There appears to be a complex network of cognitive and affective factors that influence students' decisions to study science and motivate their choices to engage in science-oriented careers. This study explored 330 Taiwanese senior high school students' awareness of their science teacher's learning leadership and how it relates to the students' attitudes toward science and positive thinking. Initial results revealed that the optimism of positive thinking is highly and positively correlated with the future participation in science and learning science in school attitudes toward science and self-concept in science. Moreover, structural equation modelling (SEM) results indicated that the subscale of teachers' leadership with idealised influence was the most predictive of students' attitudes toward science (β = .37), and the leadership with laissez-faire was predictive of students' positive thinking (β = .21). In addition, the interview results were consistent with the quantitative findings. The correlation and SEM results indicate some of the associations and potential relationships amongst the motivational and affective factors studied and students' attitudes toward and intentions to study science, which will increase their likelihood of future involvement in science careers.

  5. Delaware Technical & Community College's response to the critical shortage of Delaware secondary science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Nancy S.

    This executive position paper examines the critical shortage of Delaware high school science teachers and Delaware Technical & Community College's possible role in addressing this shortage. A concise analysis of economic and political implications of the science teacher shortage is presented. The following topics were researched and evaluated: the specific science teacher needs for Delaware school districts; the science teacher education program offerings at Delaware universities and colleges; the Alternative Route to Teacher Certification (ARTC); and the state of Delaware's scholarship response to the need. Recommendations for Delaware Tech's role include the development and implementation of two new Associate of Arts of Teaching programs in physics secondary science education and chemistry secondary science education.

  6. Training teachers to promote Talent Development in Science Students In Science Education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Valk, Ton

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, the interest of governments and schools in challenging gifted and talented (G+T) science students has grown (Taber, 2007). In the Netherlands, the government promotes developing science programmes for talented secondary science students. This causes a need for training teachers, but

  7. Science teacher’s idea about environmental concepts in science learning as the first step of science teacher training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapilouw, M. C.; Firman, H.; Redjeki, S.; Chandra, D. T.

    2018-05-01

    To refresh natural environmental concepts in science, science teacher have to attend a teacher training. In teacher training, all participant can have a good sharing and discussion with other science teacher. This study is the first step of science teacher training program held by education foundation in Bandung and attended by 20 science teacher from 18 Junior High School. The major aim of this study is gathering science teacher’s idea of environmental concepts. The core of questions used in this study are basic competencies linked with environmental concepts, environmental concepts that difficult to explain, the action to overcome difficulties and references in teaching environmental concepts. There are four major findings in this study. First finding, most environmental concepts are taught in 7th grade. Second finding, most difficult environmental concepts are found in 7th grade. Third finding, there are five actions to overcome difficulties. Fourth finding, science teacher use at least four references in mastering environmental concepts. After all, teacher training can be a solution to reduce difficulties in teaching environmental concepts.

  8. The influence inquiry-based science has on elementary teachers' perception of instruction and self-efficacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Felecia J.

    The nature and purpose of this study was to examine the self-efficacy of teachers who use an inquiry-based science program to provide authentic experiences within the elementary school setting. It is essential to explore necessary improvements to bring about effective science education. Using a mixed methods study, the researcher conducted interviews with elementary teachers from five elementary schools within the same school district. The interviews focused on the teachers' experiences with inquiry-based science and their perceptions of quality science instruction. The Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale was used to collect quantitative data regarding the teachers' perception of instructional practice and student engagement. The study revealed that limited science content knowledge, inadequate professional development, and a low sense of self-efficacy have a substantial effect on teacher outcomes, instructional planning, and ability to motivate students to participate in inquiry-based learning. It will take a collective effort from administrators, teachers, parents, and students to discover ways to improve elementary science education.

  9. The Effect of a State Department of Education Teacher Mentor Initiative on Science Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pruitt, Stephen L.; Wallace, Carolyn S.

    2012-06-01

    This study investigated the effectiveness of a southern state's department of education program to improve science achievement through embedded professional development of science teachers in the lowest performing schools. The Science Mentor Program provided content and inquiry-based coaching by teacher leaders to science teachers in their own classrooms. The study analyzed the mean scale scores for the science portion of the state's high school graduation test for the years 2004 through 2007 to determine whether schools receiving the intervention scored significantly higher than comparison schools receiving no intervention. The results showed that all schools achieved significant improvement of scale scores between 2004 and 2007, but there were no significant performance differences between intervention and comparison schools, nor were there any significant differences between various subgroups in intervention and comparison schools. However, one subgroup, economically disadvantaged (ED) students, from high-level intervention schools closed the achievement gap with ED students from no-intervention schools across the period of the study. The study provides important information to guide future research on and design of large-scale professional development programs to foster inquiry-based science.

  10. The Changing Roles of Science Specialists during a Capacity Building Program for Primary School Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbert, Sandra; Xu, Lihua; Kelly, Leissa

    2017-01-01

    Science education starts at primary school. Yet, recent research shows primary school teachers lack confidence and competence in teaching science (Prinsley & Johnston, 2015). A Victorian state government science specialist initiative responded to this concern by providing professional learning programs to schools across Victoria. Drawing on…

  11. The Ohio Partnership for the Far East Region Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beiersdorfer, Raymond; Sturrus, W. Gregg

    2008-03-01

    The Ohio Partnership for Far East Region Science Teachers (OPFERST) is a three-year project funded by Federal Math Science Partnership Funds through a grant to the Ohio Dept. of Education. OPFERST is a partnership (opferst.ysu.edu) of Youngstown State University science and education faculty, trained facilitators and the county and city science consultants. Every (47) school district in the region signed on and during the first year 32 districts participated. During the first two years, 198 teachers representing Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, as well as Warren City and Youngstown City schools have participated. The vision of OPFERST is to improve the teaching and learning of the Ohio Science Academic Content Standards. Project goals are: 1) Increase science content knowledge of teachers; 2) Implement effective instructional practices; 3) Improve students performance in science; and 4) Develop professional learning communities which will lead to programmatic changes within districts. Goals one through three are met by modeling inquiry-based methods for teaching science content standards. Goal four is met by ongoing meetings through-out the school year, classroom visits by YSU faculty and fieldtrips to the YSU Campus by classes led by OPFERST teachers. Evaluation of OPFERST includes demographic and classroom practice data, pre- and post-tests of participants, journals, homework and the administration of evaluation instruments with some OPFERST participants' students.

  12. Teachers Training Teachers: Four Perspectives on an Innovative Mentoring Program for Intern Science Teachers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diehl, Christine L.; Harris, Jerilyn; Barrios, David; O'Connor, Heather; Fong, Jennifer

    The Graduate School of Education (GSE) at the University of California at Berkeley (UCB), the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have collaborated to pilot an on-site training and mentoring program for intern science teachers. Exit interviews suggest that its innovative mentoring…

  13. Professional development and poststructural analysis: Stories of African-American science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Felicia Michelle

    2003-10-01

    This interpretivist study focused on the professional development of three African American science teachers from a small rural school district, Carver School District (pseudonym), in the southeastern United States. Stories teachers shared of their experiences in teaching and learning science and in their professional development were analyzed using a feminist poststructural analysis of power, knowledge/meaning, language, and difference. For science teaching, power was viewed as a form of ownership or possession and also as effect and processes that impact teaching, learning, and professional development. Teachers through instructional practices exerted a certain amount of power in their classrooms. Teaching practices heavily influenced student learning in science classrooms. For teacher professional development, power was viewed as effecting relationships between administration, peers, and students as a shifting force within different social contexts. Science teachers were perceived as objects of the system and as active social agents who in particular relations of power acted in their best interests as they developed as science teachers. Teachers negotiated for themselves certain power relations to do as they wished for teaching science and for participating in teacher professional development activities. Power was an inherent and critically important aspect in understanding what science teachers do in their classrooms, in teaching and learning science, and in developing as science teachers. Knowledge was closely tied to relations of power in that teachers acquired knowledge about themselves, their teaching of science, and their students from their past experiences and professional development activities. Through language, interactions between teachers and students enabled or disabled access to the culture of power via instructional practices. Language was implicated in teacher professional development as a powerful force for advancing or hindering teachers

  14. Qualifying in-service education of Science Teachers (QUEST)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Keld; Nielsen, Birgitte Lund; Pontoppidan, Birgitte

    The Danish QUEST-project is a large-scale (450 teachers), long-term (4 years) professional development project for science teachers. The project aims at closing the gap between the present inconsequential practice in in-service education and recent research results documenting conditions for effe......The Danish QUEST-project is a large-scale (450 teachers), long-term (4 years) professional development project for science teachers. The project aims at closing the gap between the present inconsequential practice in in-service education and recent research results documenting conditions...... and peer involvement in collaborative practices in the school science teacher group is specifically addressed and targeted throughout the project. A special way of working (the QUEST-Rhythm) has been developed to increase the degree of teacher collaboration and networking over the 4 years. The accompanying...

  15. The Sources of Science Teaching Self-efficacy among Elementary School Teachers: A mediational model approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ya-Ling; Tsai, Chin-Chung; Wei, Shih-Hsuan

    2015-09-01

    This study aimed to investigate the factors accounting for science teaching self-efficacy and to examine the relationships among Taiwanese teachers' science teaching self-efficacy, teaching and learning conceptions, technological-pedagogical content knowledge for the Internet (TPACK-I), and attitudes toward Internet-based instruction (Attitudes) using a mediational model approach. A total of 233 science teachers from 41 elementary schools in Taiwan were invited to take part in the study. After ensuring the validity and reliability of each questionnaire, the results indicated that each measure had satisfactory validity and reliability. Furthermore, through mediational models, the results revealed that TPACK-I and Attitudes mediated the relationship between teaching and learning conceptions and science teaching self-efficacy, suggesting that (1) knowledge of and attitudes toward Internet-based instruction (KATII) mediated the positive relationship between constructivist conceptions of teaching and learning and outcome expectancy, and that (2) KATII mediated the negative correlations between traditional conceptions of teaching and learning and teaching efficacy.

  16. Choice and control in a museal environment: a study with science teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Tiago dos Santos Soares

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to understand teachers’ strategies of planning students’ visits to science museums and how they intend to relate this visit to formal science teaching. The study was conducted with 21 teachers of Science, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, randomly identified among visitors to a science museum, who were accompanying their students. Interviews and written records of teachers about teachers strategies were analyzed using the textual discursive analysis revealed five levels of control (or choice adopted by teachers for planning and tracking of students' visits to the museum. The results showed that most teachers surveyed use control elements, requesting notes for reports to be retrieved in school. The evaluation mechanisms planned by teachers after the visit showed an intention for preserving and contextualization of the museum experience in other contexts, like in school.

  17. Bringing Science to Life for Students, Teachers and the Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratt, K.

    2012-04-01

    Bringing Science to Life for Students, Teachers and the Community Prior to 2008, 5th grade students at two schools of the New Haven Unified School District consistently scored in the bottom 20% of the California State Standards Test for science. Teachers in the upper grades reported not spending enough time teaching science, which is attributed to lack of time, resources or knowledge of science. A proposal was written to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Bay Watershed Education Grant program and funding was received for Bringing Science to Life for Students, Teachers and the Community to address these concerns and instill a sense of stewardship in our students. This program engages and energizes students in learning science and the protection of the SF Bay Watershed, provides staff development for teachers, and educates the community about conservation of our local watershed. The project includes a preparation phase, outdoor phase, an analysis and reporting phase, and teacher training and consists of two complete units: 1) The San Francisco Bay Watershed Unit and 2) the Marine Environment Unit. At the end of year 5, our teachers were teaching more science, the community was engaged in conservation of the San Francisco Bay Watershed and most importantly, student scores increased on the California Science Test at one site by over 121% and another site by 152%.

  18. Engaging Nature of Science to Preservice Teachers through Inquiry-Based Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuangchalerm, Prasart

    2013-01-01

    Inquiry-based classroom is widely distributed in the school science based on its useful and effective instruction. Science teachers are key elements allowing students to have scientific inquiry. If teachers understand and imply inquiry-based learning into science classroom, students will learn science as scientific inquiry and understand nature of…

  19. Texas Science Teacher Characteristics and Conceptual Understanding of Newton's Laws of Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busby, Karin Burk

    Misconceptions of Newtonian mechanics and other physical science concepts are well documented in primary and pre-service teacher populations (Burgoon, Heddle, & Duran, 2009; Allen & Coole, 2012; Kruger, Summers, & Palacio, 1990; Ginns & Watters, 1995; Trumper, 1999; Asikainen & Hirovonen, 2014). These misconceptions match the misconceptions held by students, leaving teachers ill-equipped to rectify these concepts in the classroom (Kind, 2014; Kruger et al., 1990; Cochran & Jones, 1998). Little research has been devoted to misconceptions held by in-service secondary teachers, the population responsible for teaching Newtonian mechanics. This study focuses on Texas in-service science teachers in middle school and high school science, specifically sixth grade science, seventh grade science, eighth grade science, integrated physics and chemistry, and physics teachers. This study utilizes two instruments to gauge conceptual understanding of Newton's laws of motion: the Force Concept Inventory [FCI] (Hestenes, Wells, & Swackhamer, 1992) and a custom instrument developed for the Texas Regional Collaboratives for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching (Urquhart, M., e-mail, April 4, 2017). Use of each instrument had its strengths and limitations. In the initial work of this study, the FCI was given to middle and high school teacher volunteers in two urban school districts in the Dallas- Fort Worth area to assess current conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics. Along with the FCI, each participant was asked to complete a demographic survey. Demographic data collected included participant's sex, years of service in teaching position, current teaching position, degrees, certification type, and current certifications for science education. Correlations between variables and overall average on the FCI were determined by t-tests and ANOVA tests with a post-hoc Holm-Bonferroni correction test. Test questions pertaining to each of Newton's three laws of motion were

  20. Turkish Preservice Science Teachers' Socioscientific Issues-Based Teaching Practices in Middle School Science Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genel, Abdulkadir; Topçu, Mustafa Sami

    2016-01-01

    Background: Despite a growing body of research and curriculum reforms including socioscientific issues (SSI) across the world, how preservice science teachers (PST) or in-service science teachers can teach SSI in science classrooms needs further inquiry. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the abilities of PSTs to teach SSI in middle…

  1. Planning for Reform-Based Science: Case Studies of Two Urban Elementary Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangiante, Elaine Silva

    2018-02-01

    The intent of national efforts to frame science education standards is to promote students' development of scientific practices and conceptual understanding for their future role as scientifically literate citizens (NRC 2012). A guiding principle of science education reform is that all students receive equitable opportunities to engage in rigorous science learning. Yet, implementation of science education reform depends on teachers' instructional decisions. In urban schools serving students primarily from poor, diverse communities, teachers typically face obstacles in providing reform-based science due to limited resources and accountability pressures, as well as a culture of teacher-directed pedagogy, and deficit views of students. The purpose of this qualitative research was to study two white, fourth grade teachers from high-poverty urban schools, who were identified as transforming their science teaching and to investigate how their beliefs, knowledge bases, and resources shaped their planning for reform-based science. Using the Shavelson and Stern's decision model for teacher planning to analyze evidence gathered from interviews, documents, planning meetings, and lesson observations, the findings indicated their planning for scientific practices was influenced by the type and extent of professional development each received, each teacher's beliefs about their students and their background, and the mission and learning environment each teacher envisioned for the reform to serve their students. The results provided specific insights into factors that impacted their planning in high-poverty urban schools and indicated considerations for those in similar contexts to promote teachers' planning for equitable science learning opportunities by all students.

  2. Teacher Efficacy of Secondary Special Education Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonton, Celeste

    Students with disabilities are a specific group of the student population that are guaranteed rights that allow them to receive a free and unbiased education in an environment with their non-disabled peers. The importance of this study relates to providing students with disabilities with the opportunity to receive instruction from the most efficient and prepared educators. The purpose of this study is to determine how specific factors influence special education belief systems. In particular, educators who provide science instruction in whole group or small group classrooms in a large metropolitan area in Georgia possess specific beliefs about their ability to provide meaningful instruction. Data was collected through a correlational study completed by educators through an online survey website. The SEBEST quantitative survey instrument was used on a medium sample size (approximately 120 teachers) in a large metropolitan school district. The selected statistical analysis was the Shapiro-Wilk and Mann-Whitney in order to determine if any correlation exists among preservice training and perceived self-efficacy of secondary special education teachers in the content area of science. The results of this study showed that special education teachers in the content area of science have a higher perceived self-efficacy if they have completed an alternative certification program. Other variables tested did not show any statistical significance. Further research can be centered on the analysis of actual teacher efficacy, year end teacher efficacy measurements, teacher stipends, increased recruitment, and special education teachers of multiple content areas.

  3. Middle school girls: Experiences in a place-based education science classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shea, Charlene K.

    The middle school years are a crucial time when girls' science interest and participation decrease (Barton, Tan, O'Neill, Bautista-Guerra, & Brecklin, 2013). The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of middle school girls and their teacher in an eighth grade place-based education (PBE) science classroom. PBE strives to increase student recognition of the importance of educational concepts by reducing the disconnection between education and community (Gruenewald, 2008; Smith, 2007; Sobel, 2004). The current study provides two unique voices---the teacher and her students. I describe how this teacher and her students perceived PBE science instruction impacting the girls' participation in science and their willingness to pursue advanced science classes and science careers. The data were collected during the last three months of the girls' last year of middle school by utilizing observations, interviews and artifacts of the teacher and her female students in their eighth grade PBE science class. The findings reveal how PBE strategies, including the co-creation of science curriculum, can encourage girls' willingness to participate in advanced science education and pursue science careers. The implications of these findings support the use of PBE curricular strategies to encourage middle school girls to participate in advance science courses and science careers.

  4. "Physics and Life" for Europe's Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-04-01

    The EIROforum Contribution to the European Science and Technology Week 2003 [Physics on Stage 3 Logo] What do you know about modern science? Was your school science teacher inspiring and enthusiastic? Or was physics class a good time to take a nap? Unfortunately, many young Europeans don't have the fondest memories of science in school, and the result is a widespread disinterest and lack of understanding of science among adults. This has become a real problem - especially at a time when science is having a growing impact on our daily lives, and when society needs more scientists than ever! What can be done? Some of Europe's leading research organisations, scientists and teachers have put their heads together and come up with a unique approach called "Physics on Stage" . This will be the third year that these institutes, with substantial support from the European Commission, are running this project - attacking the problem at its roots. EIROforum and "Physics on Stage 3" [EIROforum Logo] "Physics On Stage 3" is based on the very successful "Physics On Stage" concept that was introduced in 2000. It is directed towards science teachers and students in Europe's secondary schools. It is a part of the year-long build-up to the European Science and Technology Week 2003 (3-9 November), an initiative by the European Commission, and is run by seven of Europe's leading Intergovernmental Research Organizations (the EIROforum) [1]. The project addresses the content and format of science teaching in European schools , seeking to improve the quality of teaching and to find new ways to stimulate pupils to take an interest in science. Innovative and inspirational science teaching is seen as a key component to attract young people to deal with scientific issues, whether or not they finally choose a career in science. Hence, "Physics On Stage 3" aims to stimulate the interest of young people through the school teachers, who can play a key role in reversing the trend of falling

  5. The perceptions and practices of selected high school teachers in special admission schools regarding writing across the curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Rebecca Hayward

    The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measured the writing achievement of 55,000 American school children. The students performed at the basic or lower level. In 1988, "The Writing Report Card of the NAEP," and in 1996, the Pennsylvania Mathematics and Reading Assessment along with the Stanford 9 Exam concluded that students, of all racial/ethnic backgrounds, are unable to write well except in response to the simplest tasks. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions and practices of math, science, and social studies high school teachers in special admission schools regarding writing across the curriculum (WAC). Specifically, this study attempted to answer: (1) Do math, science, and social studies teachers differ in their perceptions and practices regarding student writing in their classrooms? (2) Are teacher characteristics related to the perceptions and practices of math, science, and social studies teachers regarding the need for student writing in their classrooms? The questions led to the following null hypotheses: (1) There is no significant difference among math, science, and social studies teachers regarding their perceptions and practices for student writing in their classrooms. (2) There is no significant relationship between the highest degree earned, the length of teaching experience, and the level of grades taught by math, science, and social studies teachers and their perceptions and practices regarding the need for student writing in their classrooms. A review of the literature since 1992 using ERIC and Dissertation Abstracts revealed that there were no studies concerned with the focus of this particular study. A cross sectional survey of School District of Philadelphia math, science, and social studies high school teachers in special admission schools was conducted. A questionnaire was developed to obtain the data. A panel of experts was selected to establish validity of the instrument. Thirty-two usable

  6. Elementary and middle school science improvement project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcguire, Saundra Y.

    1989-01-01

    The Alabama A and M University Elementary and Middle School Science Improvement Project (Project SIP) was instituted to improve the science knowledge of elementary and middle school teachers using the experimental or hands-on approach. Summer workshops were conducted during the summers of 1986, 1987, and 1988 in the areas of biology, chemistry, physics, and electricity, and magnetism. Additionally, a manual containing 43 lessons which included background information, experiments and activities for classroom and home use was provided to each teacher. During the course of the project activities, the teachers interacted with various university faculty members, scientists, and NASA staff. The administrative aspects of the program, the delivery of the services to participating teachers, and the project outcome are addressed.

  7. High School Science Teachers' Perceptions of the Effects of Oneto- one Computing Devices on Student Engagement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocchino, Herbert S., III

    The identified problem of practice for the present action research study centers on ways in which teacher-participants in a working class poor, rural, southern high school can use the iPads in daily science classroom activities to more effectively to engage these students in their classrooms and make the curriculum meaningful. Data in the form of classroom observations, semi-structured interviews, and teacher in-service seminars was collected over a six week period. The results of the present action research study indicate a need for more professional development for incorporating iPads into science coursework for these teacher-participants at RHS despite their claim that they are well prepared to use the iPads in their science curriculum and pedagogy. The Action Plan that resulted from the present study is in the form of professional development for teachers that focuses on how iPads can be used in a constructivist pedagogy to enable better equity of historically marginalized groups of students such as young women, people of color, rural people, and working class poor people to access higher level science courses and post-secondary careers. The Action Plan details tools for iPad use with project-based learning that lends itself to student discovery, the creation of products, and personal meaning-making.

  8. Revolutionizing Climate Science: Using Teachers as Communicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warburton, J.; Crowley, S.; Wood, J.

    2012-12-01

    PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program in which K-12 teachers participate in hands-on field research experiences in the Polar Regions. Teachers are the dynamic conduits for communicating climate science. In the PolarTREC final report, researchers found that teachers were vital in refining the language of their science and have shaped the goals of the scientific project. Program data demonstrates that science in classrooms is better understood when teachers have a full-spectrum grasp of project intricacies from defining the project, to field data collection, encountering situations for creativity and critical thinking, as well as participating in data and project analysis. Teachers' translating the authentic scientific process is integral in communicating climate science to the broader public. Teachers playing a major role in polar science revolutionize the old paradigm of "in-school learning". Through daily online journaling and forums, social media communication, live webinars with public, and professional development events, these teachers are moving beyond classrooms to communicate with society. Through teachers, climate policy can be shaped for the future by having scientifically literate students as well as assessable science. New paradigms come as teachers attain proficient levels of scientific understanding paired with the expert abilities for communication with years of experience. PolarTREC teachers are a model for new interactions peer-to-peer learning and mentorship for young scientists. Our programmatic goal is to expand the opportunities for PolarTREC teachers to share their involvement in science with additional formal and informal educators. 'Teaching the teachers' will reach exponential audiences in media, policy, and classrooms. Modeling this program, we designed and conducted a teacher training on climate science in Denali National Park. Utilizing expert university

  9. Perception of Science Standards' Effectiveness and Their Implementation by Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klieger, Aviva; Yakobovitch, Anat

    2011-06-01

    The introduction of standards into the education system poses numerous challenges and difficulties. As with any change, plans should be made for teachers to understand and implement the standards. This study examined science teachers' perceptions of the effectiveness of the standards for teaching and learning, and the extent and ease/difficulty of implementing science standards in different grades. The research used a mixed methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative research methods. The research tools were questionnaires that were administered to elementary school science teachers. The majority of the teachers perceived the standards in science as effective for teaching and learning and only a small minority viewed them as restricting their pedagogical autonomy. Differences were found in the extent of implementation of the different standards and between different grades. The teachers perceived a different degree of difficulty in the implementation of the different standards. The standards experienced as easiest to implement were in the field of biology and materials, whereas the standards in earth sciences and the universe and technology were most difficult to implement, and are also those evaluated by the teachers as being implemented to the least extent. Exposure of teachers' perceptions on the effectiveness of standards and the implementation of the standards may aid policymakers in future planning of teachers' professional development for the implementation of standards.

  10. From inside the black box: Teacher perceptions of science instruction at the elementary level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrini, Cynthia D.

    Science education reform projects aimed at elementary school children arose in the 1960's. The most prevalent of these reforms utilized the inquiry, or hands-on, science method. Billions of dollars have been invested in these reforms. Yet, reports indicate that science is not being taught at the level one might expect in elementary schools. This research was an analysis of the problems and concerns teachers at one school district faced as they tried to implement and sustain elementary inquiry science instruction. The district chosen was a large suburban district in the Western United States. The population was ninety percent Caucasian with a slightly more ethnically diverse school population. This district was chosen because it had an elementary science program for over twenty years and had received national acclaim for that program. The district had a stable and homogeneous staff there was a low administrator and teacher turnover rate and the elementary teaching population was ninety percent Caucasian and ninety percent female. Interviews with administrators and teachers were conducted. Data were collected from focus groups of teachers and science partners. Observations of elementary science classroom instruction and professional development sessions were made. Results of this research indicated that one important key to elementary science reform rests in the hands of teachers. Once the door to the classroom is closed, the teacher can decide to teach or not to teach science. The findings of this research illustrate that teachers hold ideas about science and science instruction that are antithetical to some tenets of inquiry science. Until these ideas are addressed it will be difficult, if not impossible, to implement a systemic elementary inquiry science program. This study demonstrates that professional development for elementary teachers in science needs to change from a focus on the mechanical usage of individual units to a focus on teacher expectations for

  11. Central Computer Science Concepts to Research-Based Teacher Training in Computer Science: An Experimental Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zendler, Andreas; Klaudt, Dieter

    2012-01-01

    The significance of computer science for economics and society is undisputed. In particular, computer science is acknowledged to play a key role in schools (e.g., by opening multiple career paths). The provision of effective computer science education in schools is dependent on teachers who are able to properly represent the discipline and whose…

  12. Summer Institute for Physical Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maheswaranathan, Ponn; Calloway, Cliff

    2007-04-01

    A summer institute for physical science teachers was conducted at Winthrop University, June 19-29, 2006. Ninth grade physical science teachers at schools within a 50-mile radius from Winthrop were targeted. We developed a graduate level physics professional development course covering selected topics from both the physics and chemistry content areas of the South Carolina Science Standards. Delivery of the material included traditional lectures and the following new approaches in science teaching: hands-on experiments, group activities, computer based data collection, computer modeling, with group discussions & presentations. Two experienced master teachers assisted us during the delivery of the course. The institute was funded by the South Carolina Department of Education. The requested funds were used for the following: faculty salaries, the University contract course fee, some of the participants' room and board, startup equipment for each teacher, and indirect costs to Winthrop University. Startup equipment included a Pasco stand-alone, portable Xplorer GLX interface with sensors (temperature, voltage, pH, pressure, motion, and sound), and modeling software (Wavefunction's Spartan Student and Odyssey). What we learned and ideas for future K-12 teacher preparation initiatives will be presented.

  13. Infusing Science, Technology, and Society Into an Elementary Teacher Education Program: The Impact on Preservice Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Mary Beth; Peterson, Barbara R.; King, Kenneth Paul

    2011-01-01

    In an effort to improve science and social studies instruction, preservice teachers developed original science, technology, and society units to teach in elementary and middle school classrooms during their clinical field experience. Data revealed that the preservice teachers fell into categories of being skeptics, open-minded instructors, or…

  14. Teaching science as argument: Prospective elementary teachers' knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreto-Espino, Reizelie

    For the past two decades there has been increasing emphasis on argumentation in school science. In 2007, the National Research Council published a synthesis report that emphasizes the centrality of constructing, evaluating, and using scientific explanations. Participating in argumentation is seen as fundamental to children's science learning experiences. These new expectations increase challenges for elementary teachers since their understanding of and experiences with science are overwhelmingly inconsistent with teaching science as argument. These challenges are further amplified when dealing with prospective elementary teachers. The current study was guided by the following research questions: (1) What are the ways in which preservice elementary teachers appropriate components of "teaching science as argument" during their student teaching experience? (2) To what extent do components from prospective elementary teachers' reflections influence planning for science teaching? (3) What elements from the context influence preservice elementary teachers' attention to teaching science as argument? This study followed a multi-participant case study approach and analyses were informed by grounded theory. Three participants were selected from a larger cohort of prospective elementary teachers enrolled in an innovative Elementary Professional Development School (PDS) partnership at a large Northeast University. Cross-case analysis allowed for the development of five key assertions: (1) The presence of opportunities for interacting with phenomena and collecting first hand data helped participants increase their emphasis on evidence-based explanations. (2) Participants viewed science talks as an essential mechanism for engaging students in the construction of evidence-based explanations and as being fundamental to meaning-making. (3) Participants demonstrated attention to scientific subject matter during instruction rather than merely focusing on activities and/or inquiry

  15. Nanotechnology and Secondary Science Teacher's Self-Efficacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Elena K.

    The recommendations of the United States President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the multi-agency National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) identified the need to prepare the workforce and specialists in the field of nanotechnology in order for the United States to continue to compete in the global marketplace. There is a lack of research reported in recent literature on the readiness of secondary science teachers to introduce higher level sciences---specifically nanotechnology---in their classes. The central research question of this study examined secondary science teachers' beliefs about teaching nanotechnology comfortably, effectively, and successfully. Bandura's self-efficacy theory provided the conceptual framework for this phenomenological study. A data analysis rubric was used to identify themes and patterns that emerged from detailed descriptions during in-depth interviews with 15 secondary science teachers. The analysis revealed the shared, lived experiences of teachers and their beliefs about their effectiveness and comfort in teaching higher-level sciences, specifically nanotechnology. The results of the study indicated that, with rare exceptions, secondary science teachers do not feel comfortable or effective, nor do they believe they have adequate training to teach nanotechnology concepts to their students. These teachers believed they were not prepared or trained in incorporating these higher level science concepts in the curriculum. Secondary science teachers' self-efficacy and personal beliefs of effectiveness in teaching nanotechnology can be an important component in achieving a positive social change by helping to familiarize high school students with nanotechnology and how it can benefit society and the future of science.

  16. Investigation the opinions of the primary science teachers toward practice of teaching and learning activities in science learning area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamnanwong, Pornpaka; Thathong, Kongsak

    2018-01-01

    In preparing a science lesson plan, teachers may deal with numerous difficulties. Having a deep understanding of their problems and their demands is extremely essential for the teachers in preparing themselves for the job. Moreover, it is also crucial for the stakeholders in planning suitable and in-need teachers' professional development programs, in school management, and in teaching aid. This study aimed to investigate the primary school science teachers' opinion toward practice of teaching and learning activities in science learning area. Target group was 292 primary science teachers who teach Grade 4 - 6 students in Khon Kaen Province, Thailand in the academic year of 2014. Data were collected using Questionnaire about Investigation the opinions of the primary science teachers toward practice of teaching and learning activities in science learning area. The questionnaires were consisted of closed questions scored on Likert scale and open-ended questions that invite a sentence response to cover from LS Process Ideas. Research findings were as follow. The primary science teachers' level of opinion toward teaching and learning science subject ranged from 3.19 - 3.93 (mean = 3.43) as "Moderate" level of practice. The primary school science teachers' needs to participate in a training workshop based on LS ranged from 3.66 - 4.22 (mean = 3.90) as "High" level. The result indicated that they were interested in attending a training course under the guidance of the Lesson Study by training on planning of management of science learning to solve teaching problems in science contents with the highest mean score 4.22. Open-ended questions questionnaire showed the needs of the implementation of the lesson plans to be actual classrooms, and supporting for learning Medias, innovations, and equipment for science experimentation.

  17. The implementation of a discovery-oriented science education program in a rural elementary school

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liddell, Martha Sue

    2000-10-01

    This study focused on the implementation of a discovery-oriented science education program at a rural elementary school in Mississippi. The instructional leadership role of the principal was examined in the study through identification and documentation of processes undertaken by the principal to implement a discovery-oriented science education program school. The goal of the study was to develop a suggested approach for implementing a discovery-oriented science education program for principals who wish to become instructional leaders in the area of science education at their schools. Mixed methods were used to collect, analyze, and interpret data. Subjects for the study consisted of teachers, students, and parents. Data were collected through field observation; observations of science education being taught by classroom teachers; examination of the principal's log describing actions taken to implement a discovery-oriented science education program; conducting semi-structured interviews with teachers as the key informants; and examining attitudinal data collected by the Carolina Biological Supply Company for the purpose of measuring attitudes of teachers, students, and parents toward the proposed science education program and the Science and Technology for Children (STC) program piloted at the school. To develop a suggested approach for implementing a discovery-oriented science education program, data collected from field notes, classroom observations, the principal's log of activities, and key informant interviews were analyzed and group into themes pertinent to the study. In addition to descriptive measures, chi-square goodness-of-fit tests were used to determine whether the frequency distribution showed a specific pattern within the attitudinal data collected by the Carolina Biological Supply Company. The pertinent question asked in analyzing data was: Are the differences significant or are they due to chance? An alpha level of .01 was selected to determine

  18. Evaluating Junior Secondary Science Textbook Usage in Australian Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Christine V.

    2016-08-01

    A large body of research has drawn attention to the importance of providing engaging learning experiences in junior secondary science classes, in an attempt to attract more students into post-compulsory science courses. The reality of time and resource constraints, and the high proportion of non-specialist science teachers teaching science, has resulted in an overreliance on more transmissive pedagogical tools, such as textbooks. This study sought to evaluate the usage of junior secondary science textbooks in Australian schools. Data were collected via surveys from 486 schools teaching junior secondary (years 7-10), representing all Australian states and territories. Results indicated that most Australian schools use a science textbook in the junior secondary years, and textbooks are used in the majority of science lessons. The most highly cited reason influencing choice of textbook was layout/colour/illustrations, and electronic technologies were found to be the dominant curricula material utilised, in addition to textbooks, in junior secondary science classes. Interestingly, the majority of respondents expressed high levels of satisfaction with their textbooks, although many were keen to stress the subsidiary role of textbooks in the classroom, emphasising the textbook was `one' component of their teaching repertoire. Importantly, respondents were also keen to stress the benefits of textbooks in supporting substitute teachers, beginning teachers, and non-specialist science teachers; in addition to facilitating continuity of programming and staff support in schools with high staff turnover. Implications from this study highlight the need for high quality textbooks to support teaching and learning in Australian junior secondary science classes.

  19. Examining small "c" creativity in the science classroom: Multiple case studies of five high school teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasky, Dorothea Shawn

    As the US continues to strive toward building capacity for a workforce in STEM fields (NSF, 2006), educational organizations and researchers have constructed frameworks that focus on increasing competencies in creativity in order to achieve this goal (ISTE, 2007; Karoly & Panis, 2004; Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2007). Despite these recommendations, many teachers either do not believe in the relevance of nurturing creativity in their students (Kaufman & Sternberg, 2007) or accept the importance of it, but do not know how best to foster it in their classrooms (Kampylis et al., 2009). Researchers conclude that teachers need to revise their ideas about the kind of creativity they can expect from their students to reflect the idea of small 'c' versus large 'C' creativity. There is a dearth of literature that looks closely at teacher practice surrounding creativity in the US and gives teachers a set of practical suggestions they can follow easily. I examined five case studies of teachers as they participated in and implemented a large-scale, NSF-funded project premised on the idea that training teachers in 21 st century pedagogies, (for example, problem-based learning), helps teachers create classrooms that increase science competencies in students. I investigated how teachers' curricular choices affect the amount of student creativity produced in their classrooms. Analysis included determining CAT scores for student products and continua scores along the Small 'c' Creativity Framework. In the study, I present an understanding of how teachers' beliefs influence practice and how creativity is fostered in students through various styles of teacher practice. The data showed a relationship between teachers' CAT scores, framework scores, and school context. Thus, alongside CAT, the framework was determined to be a successful tool for understanding the degree to which teachers foster small 'c' creativity. Other themes emerged, which included teachers' allotment of

  20. Secondary Science Teachers' Implementation of CCSS and NGSS Literacy Practices: A Survey Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew, Sally Valentino; Thomas, Jeffrey

    2018-01-01

    Most middle and high school students struggle with reading and writing in science. This may be because science teachers are reluctant to teach literacy in science class. New standards now require a shift in the way science teachers develop students' literacy in science. This survey study examined the extent to which science teachers report…

  1. Reform-based science teaching: A mixed-methods approach to explaining variation in secondary science teacher practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jetty, Lauren E.

    The purpose of this two-phase, sequential explanatory mixed-methods study was to understand and explain the variation seen in secondary science teachers' enactment of reform-based instructional practices. Utilizing teacher socialization theory, this mixed-methods analysis was conducted to determine the relative influence of secondary science teachers' characteristics, backgrounds and experiences across their teacher development to explain the range of teaching practices exhibited by graduates from three reform-oriented teacher preparation programs. Data for this study were obtained from the Investigating the Meaningfulness of Preservice Programs Across the Continuum of Teaching (IMPPACT) Project, a multi-university, longitudinal study funded by NSF. In the first quantitative phase of the study, data for the sample (N=120) were collected from three surveys from the IMPPACT Project database. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to examine the separate as well as the combined influence of factors such as teachers' personal and professional background characteristics, beliefs about reform-based science teaching, feelings of preparedness to teach science, school context, school culture and climate of professional learning, and influences of the policy environment on the teachers' use of reform-based instructional practices. Findings indicate three blocks of variables, professional background, beliefs/efficacy, and local school context added significant contribution to explaining nearly 38% of the variation in secondary science teachers' use of reform-based instructional practices. The five variables that significantly contributed to explaining variation in teachers' use of reform-based instructional practices in the full model were, university of teacher preparation, sense of preparation for teaching science, the quality of professional development, science content focused professional, and the perceived level of professional autonomy. Using the results

  2. Contextualizing Earth Science Professional Development Courses for Geoscience Teachers in Boston

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, R. F.; Pelletier, P.; Dorsen, J.; Douglas, E. M.; Pringle, M. S.; Karp, J.

    2009-12-01

    Inquiry-based, hands-on, graduate content courses have been developed specifically for Boston Public School middle school teachers of Earth Science. Earth Science I: Weather and Water and Earth Science II: The Solid Earth--Earth History and Planetary Systems have been taught a total of seven times to over 120 teachers. Several key attributes to these successful courses have been identified, including co-instruction by a university professor and a high school and a middle school teacher that are familiar with the Boston curriculum, use of hands-on activities that are closed related to those used in the Boston curriculum, pre- and post-course local field trips, and identification of key learning objectives for each day. This model of professional development was developed over several years in all disciplines (Earth Science, Physics, Biology, Chemistry) by the Boston Science Partnership (BSP), an NSF-funded Math Science Partnership program. One of the core strategies of the BSP is these Contextualized Content Courses (CCC), graduate level, lab-based courses taught at either UMass Boston or Northeastern University during summer intensive or semester formats. Two of the eleven courses developed under the grant are Earth Science I & II. This presentation shares the model of the CCC, the impact on teacher participants, the value of these courses for the professor, and lessons learned for successful professional development. Findings about the courses’ impact and effectiveness come from our external evaluation by the Program Evaluation Research Group (PERG). The combination of content and modeling good instructional practices have many positive outcomes for teachers, including increased self-efficacy in science understanding and teaching, positive impacts on student achievement, and teacher shifts from more traditional, more lecture-based instructional models to more inquiry approaches. STEM faculty members become involved in science education and learn and practice new

  3. STEM Education through the Perspectives of Secondary Schools Teachers and School Administrators in Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çevik, Mustafa; Özgünay, Esma

    2018-01-01

    The aim of this study is to explore the views of science, mathematics and information technologies teachers working in secondary schools and administrators of the schools, in which these teachers are working, regarding STEM. This research is based on a survey model in which quantitative data tools were used to directly obtain the opinions of…

  4. Science teachers' perceptions of the effectiveness of technology in the laboratories: Implications for science education leadership

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaseen, Niveen K.

    2011-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify science teachers' perceptions concerning the use of technology in science laboratories and identify teachers' concerns and recommendations for improving students' learning. Survey methodology with electronic delivery was used to gather data from 164 science teachers representing Texas public schools. The data confirmed that weaknesses identified in the 1990s still exist. Lack of equipment, classroom space, and technology access, as well as large numbers of students, were reported as major barriers to the implementation of technology in science laboratories. Significant differences were found based on gender, grade level, certification type, years of experience, and technology proficiency. Females, elementary teachers, traditionally trained teachers, and less experienced teachers revealed a more positive attitude toward the use of technology in science laboratories. Participants in this study preferred using science software simulations to support rather than replace traditional science laboratories. Teachers in this study recommended professional development programs that focused on strategies for a technology integrated classroom.

  5. Science teachers' worldviews and values regarding nature and the environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Wendy P.

    According to the National Science Education Standards (1996), science educators are challenged with the goal of educating future citizens and policy makers to make informed decisions concerning socio-scientific issues. Previous science education research has not explored the influence of science teachers' personal worldviews and values in achieving this educational goal. The purpose of this study was to investigate secondary science teachers' worldviews and values as they relate to nature and environmental education in their science classrooms. The participants' descriptions of their environmental personae and their perception of its influence in their classrooms were also examined. The participants represented a purposeful sample of twelve certified secondary school science teachers who teach in a suburban Atlanta, Georgia school. The study employed an interpretive, qualitative methodology using a constant comparative, inductive analysis design to develop grounded theory. Each participant's worldview, values, and environmental personae regarding the natural world and the environment were explored using William Cobern's (2000) Nature Card Sort instrument, responses to five environmental scenarios and individual interviews that addressed each participant's interpretation of the effect that personal worldviews and values have in their science classrooms. The participants' worldviews and values were disproportionately reflective of both science and society with far more weight given to the contextual values of society rather than the constitutive values of science. Most of these teachers had strong spiritual worldviews of nature; however, these views were of a Puritanical nature rather than Aboriginal. The participants felt conflicted about the appropriate course of action in many environmental issues. Contrary to other studies conducted in this field, there were few philosophical differences between teachers in the different disciplines of science, with the exception

  6. Teacher change and professional development: A case study of teachers engaged in an innovative constructivist science curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akura, Okong'o. Gabriel

    This study examined both the changes that elementary school teachers experienced when they implemented a reform-based science curriculum and the impact of professional development on this transformation. The research involved a case study of three purposefully selected teachers implementing the Linking Food and the Environment (LIFE) program during the 2002--2003 school year. The LIFE program is a curriculum designed to enhance science literacy among learners from high poverty urban environments. While the study was grounded in the tradition of critical theory (Carspecken, 1996), the theoretical perspective of hermeneutic phenomenology (van Manen, 1990) guided data collection and analysis. Extensive observations of the teachers were made in order to capture and record the teacher change phenomenon. Data were recorded by means of field notes, audio and videotapes, semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and video Stimulated Recall (SR) interviews. Emerging themes relating to teacher change, knowledge interests, constructivist pedagogy, and professional development illustrated how teachers grapple with various aspects of implementing a reform-based science curriculum. The teachers in this study were similar to those in earlier investigations, which found that sustained professional development programs involving mentoring and constant reflection enable elementary science teachers to change their instructional strategies from the technical-realist orientation towards the practical-hermeneutic and emancipatory-liberatory orientations. The study has implications for science curriculum developers and designers of professional development programs.

  7. Reforming High School Science for Low-Performing Students Using Inquiry Methods and Communities of Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolden, Marsha Gail

    Some schools fall short of the high demand to increase science scores on state exams because low-performing students enter high school unprepared for high school science. Low-performing students are not successful in high school for many reasons. However, using inquiry methods have improved students' understanding of science concepts. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to investigate the teachers' lived experiences with using inquiry methods to motivate low-performing high school science students in an inquiry-based program called Xtreem Science. Fifteen teachers were selected from the Xtreem Science program, a program designed to assist teachers in motivating struggling science students. The research questions involved understanding (a) teachers' experiences in using inquiry methods, (b) challenges teachers face in using inquiry methods, and (c) how teachers describe student's response to inquiry methods. Strategy of data collection and analysis included capturing and understanding the teachers' feelings, perceptions, and attitudes in their lived experience of teaching using inquiry method and their experience in motivating struggling students. Analysis of interview responses revealed teachers had some good experiences with inquiry and expressed that inquiry impacted their teaching style and approach to topics, and students felt that using inquiry methods impacted student learning for the better. Inquiry gave low-performing students opportunities to catch up and learn information that moved them to the next level of science courses. Implications for positive social change include providing teachers and school district leaders with information to help improve performance of the low performing science students.

  8. Need for Danish science teachers' continual professional development after pre-service training

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund

    2010-01-01

    about their own subject matter knowledge may, for a large subgroup in the cohort, affect how the teachers‘ approach the physics content when teaching primary Science & Technology (grade 1-6 in the Danish schools). Beside this the cohort can be divided into subgroups with great variation in strengths......Results from a survey of a local cohort of newly qualified Danish science teachers before they began their first jobs in primary and lower secondary schools (n=110) show a need for continual Professional Development (PD). The results highlight two main areas of concern based on the newly qualified...... teachers´ reflections on scenarios of science teaching, their considerations about themselves as future science teachers etc. These include a tendency for the teachers to limit Inquiry Based Science Teaching to activity driven science, which suggests there is a need both in in-service PD and pre...

  9. Students' Awareness of Science Teachers' Leadership, Attitudes toward Science, and Positive Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ying-Yan; Chen, Hsiang-Ting; Hong, Zuway-R.; Yore, Larry D.

    2016-01-01

    There appears to be a complex network of cognitive and affective factors that influence students' decisions to study science and motivate their choices to engage in science-oriented careers. This study explored 330 Taiwanese senior high school students' awareness of their science teacher's learning leadership and how it relates to the students'…

  10. The Role of School District Science Coordinators in the District-Wide Appropriation of an Online Resource Discovery and Sharing Tool for Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Victor R.; Leary, Heather M.; Sellers, Linda; Recker, Mimi

    2014-06-01

    When introducing and implementing a new technology for science teachers within a school district, we must consider not only the end users but also the roles and influence district personnel have on the eventual appropriation of that technology. School districts are, by their nature, complex systems with multiple individuals at different levels in the organization who are involved in supporting and providing instruction. Varying levels of support for new technologies between district coordinators and teachers can sometimes lead to counterintuitive outcomes. In this article, we examine the role of the district science coordinator in five school districts that participated in the implementation of an online resource discovery and sharing tool for Earth science teachers. Using a qualitative approach, we conducted and coded interviews with district coordinators and teachers to examine the varied responsibilities associated with the district coordinator and to infer the relationships that were developed and perceived by teachers. We then examine and discuss two cases that illustrate how those relationships could have influenced how the tool was adopted and used to differing degrees in the two districts. Specifically, the district that had high support for online resource use from its coordinator appeared to have the lowest level of tool use, and the district with much less visible support from its coordinator had the highest level of tool use. We explain this difference in terms of how the coordinator's promotion of teacher autonomy took distinctly different forms at those two districts.

  11. Communities of practice: Participation patterns and professional impact for high school mathematics and science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Printy, Susan M.

    Improving the quality of teachers in schools is a keystone to educational improvement. New and veteran teachers alike need to enhance their content knowledge and pedagogical skills, but they must also examine, and often change, their underlying attitudes, beliefs, and values about the nature of knowledge and the abilities of students. Best accomplished collectively rather than individually, the interactions between teachers as they undertake the process of collaborative inquiry create "communities of practice." This dissertation investigates the importance of science and mathematics teachers' participation in communities of practice to their professional capabilities. The study tests the hypothesis that the social learning inherent in community of practice participation encourages teachers to learn from others with expertise, enhances teachers' sense of competence, and increases the likelihood that teachers' will use student-centered, problem-based instructional techniques aligned with national disciplinary standards. The researcher conceptualizes communities of practice along two dimensions that affect social learning: legitimate participation in activities and span of engagement with school members. Differences in teachers' subject area and the curricular track of their teaching assignment contribute to variation in teachers' participation in communities of practice along those dimensions. Using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study, first and second follow-up, the study has two stages of multi-level analysis. The first stage examines factors that contribute to teachers' participation in communities of practice, including teachers' social and professional characteristics and school demographic and organizational characteristics. The second stage investigates the professional impact of such participation on the three outcome variables: teacher learning, teacher competence, and use of standards-based pedagogy. Hierarchical linear models provide

  12. A New Era of Science Education: Science Teachers' Perceptions and Classroom Practices of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hui-Hui

    Quality STEM education is the key in helping the United States maintain its lead in global competitiveness and in preparing for new economic and security challenges in the future. Policymakers and professional societies emphasize STEM education by legislating the addition of engineering standards to the existing science standards. On the other hand, the nature of the work of most STEM professionals requires people to actively apply STEM knowledge to make critical decisions. Therefore, using an integrated approach to teaching STEM in K-12 is expected. However, science teachers encounter numerous difficulties in adapting the new STEM integration reforms into their classrooms because of a lack of knowledge and experience. Therefore, high quality STEM integration professional development programs are an urgent necessity. In order to provide these high quality programs, it is important to understand teachers' perceptions and classroom practices regarding STEM integration. A multiple-case study was conducted with five secondary school science teachers in order to gain a better understanding of teachers' perceptions and classroom practices in using STEM integration. This study addresses the following research questions: 1) What are secondary school science teachers' practices of STEM integration? 2) What are secondary science teachers' overall perceptions of STEM integration? and 3) What is the connection between secondary science teachers' perceptions and understanding of STEM integration with their classroom practices? This research aims to explore teachers' perceptions and classroom practices in order to set up the baseline for STEM integration and also to determine STEM integration professional development best practices in science education. Findings from the study provide critical data for making informed decision about the direction for STEM integration in science education in K-12.

  13. The connection between students' out-of-school experiences and science learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Natalie A.

    This study sought to understand the connection between students' out-of-school experiences and their learning in science. This study addresses the following questions: (a) What effects does contextualized information have on student achievement and engagement in science? (b) To what extent do students use their out-of-school activities to construct their knowledge and understanding about science? (c) To what extent do science teachers use students' skills and knowledge acquired in out-of-school settings to inform their instructional practices? This study integrates mixed methods using both quantitative and qualitative approaches to answer the research questions. It involves the use of survey questionnaire and science assessment and features two-level hierarchical analyses of student achievement outcomes nested within classrooms. Hierarchical Linear Model (HLM) analyses were used to account for the cluster effect of students nested within classrooms. Interviews with students and teachers were also conducted to provide information about how learning opportunities that take place in out-of-school settings can be used to facilitate student learning in science classrooms. The results of the study include the following: (a) Controlling for student and classroom factors, students' ability to transfer science learning across contexts is associated with positive learning outcomes such as achievement, interest, career in science, self-efficacy, perseverance, and effort. Second, teacher practice using students' out-of-school experiences is associated with decrease in student achievement in science. However, as teachers make more connection to students' out-of-school experiences, the relationship between student effort and perseverance in science learning and transfer gets weaker, thus closing the gaps on these outcomes between students who have more ability to establish the transfer of learning across contexts and those who have less ability to do so. Third, science teachers

  14. Elementary science teachers' integration of engineering design into science instruction: results from a randomised controlled trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeng, Jennifer L.; Whitworth, Brooke A.; Gonczi, Amanda L.; Navy, Shannon L.; Wheeler, Lindsay B.

    2017-07-01

    This randomised controlled trial used a mixed-methods approach to investigate the frequency and how elementary teachers integrated engineering design (ED) principles into their science instruction following professional development (PD). The ED components of the PD were aligned with Cunningham and Carlsen's [(2014). Teaching engineering practices. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 25, 197-210] guidelines for ED PD and promoted inclusion of ED within science teaching. The treatment group included 219 teachers from 83 schools. Participants in the control group included 145 teachers from 60 schools in a mid-Atlantic state. Data sources, including lesson overviews and videotaped classroom observations, were analysed quantitatively to determine the frequency of ED integration and qualitatively to describe how teachers incorporated ED into instruction after attending the PD. Results indicated more participants who attended the PD (55%) incorporated ED into instruction compared with the control participants (24%), χ2(1, n = 401) = 33.225, p .05) through ED lessons. In ED lessons, students typically conducted research and created and tested initial designs. The results suggest the PD supported teachers in implementing ED into their science instruction and support the efficacy of using Cunningham and Carlsen's (2014) guidelines to inform ED PD design.

  15. Building Future Directions for Teacher Learning in Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kathy; Lindsay, Simon

    2016-04-01

    In 2013, as part of a process to renew an overall sector vision for science education, Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) undertook a review of its existing teacher in-service professional development programs in science. This review led to some data analysis being conducted in relation to two of these programs where participant teachers were positioned as active learners undertaking critical reflection in relation to their science teaching practice. The conditions in these programs encouraged teachers to notice critical aspects of their teaching practice. The analysis illustrates that as teachers worked in this way, their understandings about effective science pedagogy began to shift, in particular, teachers recognised how their thinking not only influenced their professional practice but also ultimately shaped the quality of their students' learning. The data from these programs delivers compelling evidence of the learning experience from a teacher perspective. This article explores the impact of this experience on teacher thinking about the relationship between pedagogical choices and quality learning in science. The findings highlight that purposeful, teacher-centred in-service professional learning can significantly contribute to enabling teachers to think differently about science teaching and learning and ultimately become confident pedagogical leaders in science. The future of quality school-based science education therefore relies on a new vision for teacher professional learning, where practice explicitly recognises, values and attends to teachers as professionals and supports them to articulate and share the professional knowledge they have about effective science teaching practice.

  16. An Investigation of the Teaching Approach Used by Tutors to Prepare Science and Mathematics Teachers during Training at Morogoro Teachers' College

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mungure, Daudi Mika

    2017-01-01

    This paper investigated the teaching approach used by tutors to prepare science and mathematics teachers during training at Morogoro teachers' college. For six years consecutive the performance of science and mathematics in secondary school has become very poor even though the training colleges produce science and mathematics teachers every year…

  17. Primary school mathematics teachers' ideas, beliefs, and practices ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    kofi.mereku

    African Journal of Educational Studies in Mathematics and Sciences Vol. 12, 2016. 45 ... The study explored Ghanaian primary school mathematics teachers' ideas, beliefs and ...... Journal of science and technology, 24(2), 106 -115. Palmer ...

  18. Socioscience and Ethics in Science Classrooms: Teacher Perspectives and Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadler, Troy D.; Amirshokoohi, Aidin; Kazempour, Mahsa; Allspaw, Kathleen M.

    2006-01-01

    This study explored teacher perspectives on the use of socioscientific issues (SSI) and on dealing with ethics in the context of science instruction. Twenty-two middle and high school science teachers from three US states participated in semi-structured interviews, and researchers employed inductive analyses to explore emergent patterns relative…

  19. Coteaching as a Model for Preservice Secondary Science Teacher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scantlebury, Kathryn; Gallo-Fox, Jennifer; Wassell, Beth

    2008-01-01

    This paper focuses on a 3-year, longitudinal study of the implementation of coteaching, as an innovative approach for preparing high school science teachers enrolled in an undergraduate science teacher education programme located in the United States. The coteaching/co-generative dialogue/co-respect/co-responsibility dialectic is introduced as a…

  20. Teacher collaboration and elementary science teaching: Using action research as a tool for instructional leadership

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Sara Hayes

    The primary purpose of this action research study was to explore an elementary science program and find ways to support science education as an administrator of an elementary school. The study took place in a large suburban school system in the southeastern United States. Seven teachers at a small rural school volunteered to participate in the study. Each participant became an active member of the research by determining what changes needed to take place and implementing the lessons in science. The study was also focused on teacher collaboration and how it influenced the science instruction. The data collected included two interviews, ten observations of science lessons, the implementation of four science units, and informal notes from planning sessions over a five month period. The questions that guided this study focused on how teachers prepare to teach science through active learning and how instruction shifts due to teacher collaboration. Teachers were interviewed at the beginning of the study to gain the perceptions of the participants in the areas of (a) planning, (b) active learning, (c) collaboration, and (d) teaching science lessons. The teachers and principal then formed a research team that determined the barriers to teaching science according to the Standards, designed units of study using active learning strategies, and worked collaboratively to implement the units of study. The action research project reviewed the National Science Education Standards, the theory of constructivism, active learning and teacher collaboration as they relate to the actions taken by a group of teachers in an elementary school. The evidence from this study showed that by working together collaboratively and overcoming the barriers to teaching science actively, teachers feel more confident and knowledgeable about teaching the concepts.

  1. Examining Science Teachers' Development of Interdisciplinary Science Inquiry Pedagogical Knowledge and Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowdhary, Bhawna; Liu, Xiufeng; Yerrick, Randy; Smith, Erica; Grant, Brooke

    2014-12-01

    The current literature relates to how teachers develop knowledge and practice of science inquiry, but little has been reported on how teachers develop interdisciplinary science inquiry (ISI) knowledge and practice. This study examines the effect of university research experiences, ongoing professional development, and in-school support on teachers' development of ISI pedagogical knowledge and practices. It centers on documenting diverse teachers' journeys of experiencing ISI as well as developing knowledge of ISI. It was found that there was variation in ISI understanding and practice among the teachers as a result of the combination of teachers' experiences, beliefs, and participation. Thus, in order to help teachers develop ISI knowledge and pedagogy, barriers to ISI knowledge development and implementation must also be addressed. Professional developers must articulate clear program goals to all stakeholders including an explicit definition of ISI and the ability to recognize ISI attributes during research experiences as well as during classroom implementation. Teachers must also be held accountable for participation and reflection in all aspects of professional development. Program developers must also take into consideration teachers' needs, attitudes, and beliefs toward their students when expecting changes in teachers' cognition and behavior to teach inquiry-rich challenging science.

  2. Leadership among Secondary School Agricultural Science Teachers and Their Job Performance in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben, Camilus Bassey

    2012-01-01

    The main purpose of this study is to investigate leadership among secondary school Agricultural Science teachers and their job performance in Akwa Ibom State. To achieve the aim of this study, three research hypotheses were generated to direct the study. Literature was reviewed based on the variables derived from the postulated hypotheses. Survey…

  3. The roles of teachers' science talk in revealing language demands within diverse elementary school classrooms: a study of teaching heat and temperature in Singapore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seah, Lay Hoon; Yore, Larry D.

    2017-01-01

    This study of three science teachers' lessons on heat and temperature seeks to characterise classroom talk that highlighted the ways language is used and to examine the nature of the language demands revealed in constructing, negotiating, arguing and communicating science ideas. The transcripts from the entire instructional units for these teachers' four culturally and linguistically diverse Grade 4 classes (10 years old) with English as the language of instruction constitute the data for this investigation. Analysis of these transcripts focused on teachers' talk that made explicit reference to the form or function of the language of science and led to the inductive development of the 'Attending to Language Demands in Science' analytical framework. This framework in turn revealed that the major foregrounding purposes of teachers' talk include labelling, explaining, differentiating, selecting and constructing. Further classification of the instances within these categories revealed the extensive and contextualised nature of the language demands. The results challenge the conventional assumption that basic literacy skills dominate over disciplinary literacy skills in primary school science. Potential uses of the analytical framework that could further expand our understanding of the forms, functions and demands of language used in elementary school science are also discussed.

  4. Understanding a High School Physics Teacher's Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Argumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jianlan; Buck, Gayle A.

    2016-08-01

    Scientific argumentation is an important learning objective in science education. It is also an effective instructional approach to constructivist science learning. The implementation of argumentation in school settings requires science teachers, who are pivotal agents of transforming classroom practices, to develop sophisticated knowledge of argumentation. However, there is a lack of understanding about science teachers' knowledge of argumentation, especially the dialogic meaning of argumentation. In this case study, we closely examine a high school physics teacher's argumentation-related pedagogic content knowledge (PCK) in the context of dialogic argumentation. We synthesize the teacher's performed PCK from his argumentation practices and narrated PCK from his reflection on the argumentation practices, from which we summarize his PCK of argumentation from the perspectives of orientation, instructional strategies, students, curriculum, and assessment. Finally, we describe the teacher's perception and adaption of argumentation in his class. We also identity the barriers to argumentation implementation in this particular case and suggest solutions to overcome these barriers.

  5. Factors influencing teacher decisions on school, classroom, and curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crocker, Robert K.; Banfield, Helen

    This article describes a study designed to explore sources of influence on the judgments made by science teachers on school characteristics, classroom features, and properties of a science curriculum. The study had its theoretical basis in the concept that members of a social organization operate under certain functional paradigms, which govern their approach to events within the organization, and particularly to the implementation of innovations. Empirically, the study formed part of the Canadian contribution to the Second International Science Study, and was based on a survey of some 2000 Canadian teachers. The survey used an adaptation of policy capturing methodology, in which teachers were presented with variations in a hypothetical scenario designed to simulate a decision-making situation. Results suggest that teachers' judgments center around a number of factors, the primary ones being concern for student ability and interest, teaching methods, and school spirit and morale. On the other hand, variations in the scientific basis of a curriculum appear to exert little influence. The results are interpreted as indicators of the major elements of teacher functional paradigms.

  6. Teacher participation in science fairs as professional development in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clement K. Mbowane

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This research was undertaken to understand the perceptions of the Physical Sciences teachers who participate in the South African ‘Eskom Expo for Young Scientists’, regarding the educational significance of the science fair, and the extent to which expo participation provides an opportunity for professional development. The educational significance of this article is found in its contribution to the professional identity of teachers in their roles as organisers, mentors and judges. The model of Beijaard et al. (Teach Teach Educ. 2004;20:107–128 was used to characterise the teachers’ professional identity in terms of professional knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, norms and values, as well as emotions and agency. Interviews with the Physical Sciences teachers were analysed using thematic analysis, ultimately interpreting and linking the categories of responses to the theme of professional identity. The study found that expo participation contributes to pedagogical knowledge, content knowledge (as both procedural and declarative or factual knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. Self-efficacy beliefs were strengthened, positive attitudes were developed, and strategies of inquiry-based learning and effective methodological instruction were observed during participation, which contributed to the participants’ school-based teaching. Teachers learn both from their engagement with learners, and through networking opportunities with fellow teachers. Teachers themselves value these aspects, and consequently, science fair participation is a sustainable form of professional development. It is recommended that the opportunity for professional development that is provided by teachers’ participation in such school-level science fairs should be acknowledged and promoted by schools and fair organisers. Significance: Science expos offer professional development to participating teachers and improve learners’ academic performance.

  7. Incorporating Earth Science into Other High School Science Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, C. L. B.; Holzer, M.; Colson, M.; Courtier, A. M. B.; Jacobs, B. E.

    2016-12-01

    As states begin to review their standards, some adopt or adapt the NGSS and others write their own, many basing these on the Framework for K-12 Science Education. Both the NGSS and the Frameworks have an increased emphasis on Earth Science but many high school teachers are being asked to teach these standards in traditional Biology, Chemistry and Physics courses. At the Earth Educators Rendezvous, teachers, scientists, and science education researchers worked together to find the interconnections between the sciences using the NGSS and identified ways to reference the role of Earth Sciences in the other sciences during lectures, activities and laboratory assignments. Weaving Earth and Space sciences into the other curricular areas, the teams developed relevant problems for students to solve by focusing on using current issues, media stories, and community issues. These and other lessons and units of study will be presented along with other resources used by teachers to ensure students are gaining exposure and a deeper understanding of Earth and Space Science concepts.

  8. Preparation Model of Student Teacher Candidate in Developing Integrative Science Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiyanto; Widiyatmoko, Arif

    2016-01-01

    According to 2013 Curriculum in Indonesia, science learning process in Junior High School is integrally held between physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science. To successfully implementing the 2013 Curriculum in school, the education institution which generates science teacher should prepare the student, so that they can develop integrative…

  9. Teachers' Experience from a School-Based Collaborative Teacher Professional Development Programme: Reported Impact on Professional Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svendsen, Bodil

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to find out how science teachers who have participated in a one-year school-based collaborative teacher professional development programme, perceive the programme's impact on their professional development. Constant comparative analysis was used on data from three schools to generate the findings in this study. The…

  10. Investigating Your School's Science Teaching and Learning Culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Mistilina; Bartiromo, Margo; Elko, Susan

    2016-01-01

    The authors report on their work with the Academy for Leadership in Science Instruction, a program targeted to help science teachers promote a science teaching and learning culture in their own schools.

  11. Pre-Service Teachers' Attitudes toward Teaching Science and Their Science Learning at Indonesia Open University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suprapto, Nadi; Mursid, Ali

    2017-01-01

    This study focuses on attitudes toward (teaching) science and the learning of science for primary school among pre-service teachers at the Open University of Indonesia. A three-year longitudinal survey was conducted, involving 379 students as pre-service teachers (PSTs) from the Open University in Surabaya regional office. Attitudes toward…

  12. Science school and culture school: improving the efficiency of high school science teaching in a system of mass science education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlton, Bruce G

    2006-01-01

    Educational expansion in western countries has been achieved mainly by adding years to full-time education; however, this process has probably reduced efficiency. Sooner or later, efficiency must improve, with a greater educational attainment per year. Future societies will probably wish more people to study science throughout high school (aged c. 11-19 years) and the first college degree. 'Science' may be defined as any abstract, systematic and research-based discipline: including mathematics, statistics and the natural sciences, economics, music theory, linguistics, and the conceptual or quantitative social sciences. Since formal teaching is usually necessary to learn science, science education should be regarded as the core function of high schools. One standard way to improve efficiency is the 'division of labour', with increased specialization of function. Modern schools are already specialized: teachers are specialized according to age-group taught, subject matter expertise, and administrative responsibilities. School students are stratified by age and academic aptitude. I propose a further institutional division of school function between science education, and cultural education (including education in arts, sports, ethics, social interaction and good citizenship). Existing schools might split into 'science school' and 'culture school', reflected in distinct buildings and zones, separate administrative structures, and the recruitment of differently-specialized teaching personnel. Science school would be distinguished by its focus on education in disciplines which promote abstract systematic cognition. All students would spend some part of each day (how much would depend on their aptitude and motivation) in the 'science school'; experiencing a traditional-style, didactic, disciplined and rigorous academic education. The remainder of the students' time at school would be spent in the cultural division, which would focus on broader aspects, and aim to generate

  13. Use of a computerized kiosk in an assessment of food safety knowledge of high school students and science teachers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endres, J; Welch, T; Perseli, T

    2001-01-01

    A multimedia touch-screen kiosk was used to assess food safety knowledge and convey food safety principles to 93 high school science teachers and 165 students. The kiosk program based on the FightBAC messages informed users of correct responses and reasons for the response. Teachers correctly answered more questions than students; however, for the areas of hand washing, sources of foodborne illness, and handling of leftover foods, at least 40% of both students and teachers provided incorrect answers.

  14. Exploring Relationships: Teacher Characteristics and Student Learning in Physical Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Close, Eleanor; Vokos, S.; Seeley, L.

    2006-12-01

    The Department of Physics and the School of Education at Seattle Pacific University, together with FACET Innovations, LLC, are beginning the second year of a five-year NSF TPC grant, Improving the Effectiveness of Teacher Diagnostic Skills and Tools. We are working in partnership with school districts in Washington State to identify and characterize widespread productive and unproductive modes of reasoning employed by both pre-college students and teachers on foundational topics in physical science. In the first year of the grant, base-line preand post-test data were collected from a large number (N 2300) of middle and high school students. We will discuss relationships between preand post-test results, student learning gains, and student and teacher characteristics. * Supported in part by NSF grant #ESI-0455796, The Boeing Corporation, and the SPU Science Initiative.

  15. National Science Foundation Grant Implementation: Perceptions of Teachers and Graduate Fellows in One School Regarding the Barriers and Successes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickering, Sharon Durham

    The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the perceptions of partner teachers and graduate fellows in 1 school regarding the barriers and successes made during their participation in a National Science Foundation Grant. This study included 9 partner teachers and 7 graduate fellows who participated in the Science First! NSF GK-12 Grant. There were 16 participants in this study. This study was conducted at North Side Elementary and East Tennessee State University. Partner teachers and graduate fellows were interviewed to gain perceptions of the barriers and successes of their participation in the implementation of the Science First! grant at North Side and East Tennessee State University from 2008-2013. A list of possible participants in the study was provided from the grant leadership team. The 16 participants in the study were chosen through purposeful sampling. During data analysis, 4 themes arose as successes and 4 themes arose as barriers. The success themes were (a) relationships, (b) mutual appreciation, (c) increased academic depth, and (d) professional growth. The barriers were (a) communication, (b) time, (c) expectations, and (d) preparation. Based on the research, the following conclusions were presented. The coordination of a major NSF-GK12 grant can provide STEM support and academic rigor for a high poverty school with leadership. Positive relationships between the graduate fellows and partner teachers as well as the 2 participating institutions are critical in fostering successful grant implementation. Professional growth through the grant partnerships was obtained. The participants gained a mutual appreciation for the roles and responsibilities of each other. There are ups and downs in implementing a large grant at 1 elementary school with a university, but the rewards of the potential to influence teacher practices in STEM and student learning are great. Recommendations from the study findings may assist future grant award winners or

  16. Investigating School-Guided Visits to an Aquarium: What Roles for Science Teachers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, Cláudia; Chagas, Isabel

    2013-01-01

    The main goals of this study were to understand the different roles played by teachers and students during a school-guided tour to an aquarium and to analyse their different perspectives about the visit. The study focused on students' and teachers' behaviour during school-guided visits to an aquarium; students' and teachers' perspectives about…

  17. The Impact of High School Science Teachers' Beliefs, Curricular Enactments and Experience on Student Learning during an Inquiry-Based Urban Ecology Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeill, Katherine L.; Pimentel, Diane Silva; Strauss, Eric G.

    2013-01-01

    Inquiry-based curricula are an essential tool for reforming science education yet the role of the teacher is often overlooked in terms of the impact of the curriculum on student achievement. Our research focuses on 22 teachers' use of a year-long high school urban ecology curriculum and how teachers' self-efficacy, instructional practices,…

  18. The Integration of Mathematics in Middle School Science: Student and Teacher Impacts Related to Science Achievement and Attitudes Towards Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHugh, Luisa

    Contemporary research has suggested that in order for students to compete globally in the 21st century workplace, pedagogy must shift to include the integration of science and mathematics, where teachers effectively incorporate the two disciplines seamlessly. Mathematics facilitates a deeper understanding of science concepts and has been linked to improved student perception of the integration of science and mathematics. Although there is adequate literature to substantiate students' positive responses to integration in terms of attitudes, there has been little empirical data to support significant academic improvement when both disciplines are taught in an integrated method. This research study, conducted at several school districts on Long Island and New York City, New York, examined teachers' attitudes toward integration and students' attitudes about, and achievement on assessments in, an integrated 8th grade science classroom compared to students in a non-integrated classroom. An examination of these parameters was conducted to analyze the impact of the sizeable investment of time and resources needed to teach an integrated curriculum effectively. These resources included substantial teacher training, planning time, collaboration with colleagues, and administration of student assessments. The findings suggest that students had positive outcomes associated with experiencing an integrated science and mathematics curriculum, though these were only weakly correlated with teacher confidence in implementing the integrated model successfully. The positive outcomes included the ability of students to understand scientific concepts within a concrete mathematical framework, improved confidence in applying mathematics to scientific ideas, and increased agreement with the usefulness of mathematics in interpreting science concepts. Implications of these research findings may be of benefit to educators and policymakers looking to adapt integrated curricula in order to

  19. Spanish Secondary-School Science Teachers' Beliefs about Science-Technology-Society (STS) Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vazquez-Alonso, Angel; Garcia-Carmona, Antonio; Manassero-Mas, Maria Antonia; Bennassar-Roig, Antoni

    2013-01-01

    This study analyzes the beliefs about science-technology-society, and other Nature of Science (NOS) themes, of a large sample (613) of Spanish pre- and in-service secondary education teachers through their responses to 30 items of the Questionnaire of Opinions on Science, Technology and Society. The data were processed by means of a multiple…

  20. Enhancing Teacher and Student Engagement and Understanding of Marine Science Through Classroom Citizen Science Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodale, T. A.

    2016-02-01

    Overview This paper presentation shares findings from a granted funded project that sought to expand teacher content knowledge and pedagogy within the fields of marine science and coastal resource management through the implementation of classroom citizen science projects. A secondary goal was to increase middle and high school student interest and participation in marine science and natural resources research. Background A local science & engineering fair has seen a rapid decline in secondary student participants in the past four years. Research has demonstrated that when students are a part of a system of knowledge production (citizen science) they become much more aware, involved and conscious of scientific concepts compared to traditional school laboratory and nature of science activities. This project's primary objectives were to: (a) enhance teacher content expertise in marine science, (b) enrich teacher professional learning, (c) support citizen science classroom projects and inspire student activism and marine science engagement. Methods Project goals were addressed through classroom and meaningful outdoor educational experiences that put content knowledge into field based practices. Teachers learned to apply thier expanded content knowlege through classroom citizen science projects that focus on marine resource conservation issues such as fisheries management, water quality, turtle nesting and biodiversity of coastal ecosystems. These projects would eventually become potential topics of citizen science research topics for their students to pursue. Upon completion of their professional development, participants were urged to establish student Marine Science clubs with the goal of mentoring student submissions into the local science fair. Supplemental awards were possible for the students of project participants. Findings Based on project measures participants significantly increased their knowledge and awareness of presented material marine science and

  1. What Frameworks Are Helpful to Science Teachers and Their Pupils When Thinking about the Relationship between Science and Religion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgeaud, Jane

    2018-01-01

    Secondary school science teachers report that their approaches to some topics are affected by the recognition that some pupils hold religious beliefs, while primary school teacher trainees express concern about teaching evolution to children with a religious faith. Pupils in British schools and internationally often assume a conflict between…

  2. Science teacher's discourse about reading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Martins

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available In this research we start from the assumption that teachers act as mediators of reading practices in school and problematise their practices, meanings and representations of reading. We have investigated meanings constructed by a group of teachers of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, working at a federal technical school. Having French discourse analysis as our theoretical-methodological framework, we considered that meanings, concepts and conceptions of reading are built historically through discourses, which produce meanings that determine ideological practices. Our results show that, for that group of teachers, there were no opportunities during either initial training or on-going education for reflecting upon the role of reading in science teaching and learning. Moreover, there seems to be an association between the type of discourse and modes of reading, so that unique meanings are attributed to scientific texts and their reading are linked to search and assimilation of information.

  3. Principles of Professionalism for Science Educators. National Science Teachers Association Position Statement

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Science Teachers Association (NJ1), 2010

    2010-01-01

    Science educators play a central role in educating, inspiring, and guiding students to become responsible, scientifically literate citizens. Therefore, teachers of science must uphold the highest ethical standards of the profession to earn and maintain the respect, trust, and confidence of students, parents, school leaders, colleagues, and other…

  4. Information training for secondary school level teachers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chateau Thierry, A. de

    1994-01-01

    The INSTN (National Institute for Nuclear Sciences and Techniques) in France, organizes each year an information training concerning the nuclear field for secondary school level teachers; created in 1957, the two-weeks session is concerned with radioactivity and nuclear reactor principles and a four-day practical teaching. Since 1968, 1150 teachers assisted to the session

  5. Supporting new science teachers in pursuing socially just science education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggirello, Rachel; Flohr, Linda

    2017-10-01

    This forum explores contradictions that arose within the partnership between Teach for America (TFA) and a university teacher education program. TFA is an alternate route teacher preparation program that places individuals into K-12 classrooms in low-income school districts after participating in an intense summer training program and provides them with ongoing support. This forum is a conversation about the challenges we faced as new science teachers in the TFA program and in the Peace Corps program. We both entered the teaching field with science degrees and very little formal education in science education. In these programs we worked in a community very different from the one we had experienced as students. These experiences allow us to address many of the issues that were discussed in the original paper, namely teaching in an unfamiliar community amid challenges that many teachers face in the first few years of teaching. We consider how these challenges may be amplified for teachers who come to teaching through an alternate route and may not have as much pedagogical training as a more traditional teacher education program provides. The forum expands on the ideas presented in the original paper to consider the importance of perspectives on socially just science education. There is often a disconnect between what is taught in teacher education programs and what teachers actually experience in urban classrooms and this can be amplified when the training received through alternate route provides a different framework as well. This forum urges universities and alternate route programs to continue to find ways to authentically partner using practical strategies that bring together the philosophies and goals of all stakeholders in order to better prepare teachers to partner with their students to achieve their science learning goals.

  6. Differences in the classroom: learning about practices of two science teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elaine Soares França

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In this research, a case study, we adopted ethnography as logic of inquiry to learn about teaching for diverse groups in middle school science classrooms. Multiple data sources were used: participant observation, video and audio records, field notes and semi-structured interviews. We analyzed interviews with two teachers, as well as classroom episodes to construct, through contrast, a characterization of two types of practice involving diversity in the classroom. The first teacher show concerns with introducing students in school culture. She tried to “translate” terms that students do not understand, explaining their meanings. In this process, teaching subject matter knowledge (SMK is a secondary goal. The other teacher emphasized SMK, trying to establish connections between science content and students’ everyday life experiences. Both teachers do not acknowledge significant influences in science learning related to gender, social class, and ethnicity.

  7. The Learning Assistant Model for Science Teacher Recruitment and Preparation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otero, Valerie

    2006-04-01

    There is a shortage of high quality physical science teachers in the United States. In 2001, less than 50% of teachers who taught physics held a major or minor in physics or physics education (Neuschatz & McFarling, 2003). Studies point to content knowledge as one of the two factors that is positively correlated with teacher quality. However, those directly responsible for the science content preparation of teachers, specifically science research faculty, are rarely involved in focused efforts to improve teacher quality or to create alternative paths for becoming a teacher. What role should science research faculty play in the recruitment and preparation of science teachers? How might teacher recruitment and preparation be conceived so that science research faculty members' participation in these efforts is not at odds with the traditional scientific research foci of science research departments? To address this issue, we have coupled our teacher recruitment and preparation efforts with our efforts for transforming our large-enrollment, undergraduate science courses. This is achieved through the undergraduate Learning Assistant (LA) program, where talented mathematics and science majors are hired to assist in transforming large enrollment courses to student-centered, collaborative environments. These LAs are the target of our teacher recruitment efforts. Science research faculty, in collaboration with faculty from the school of education have established a community that supports LAs in making decisions to explore K12 teaching as a career option. Fifteen percent of the LAs who have participated in this program have entered teaching credential programs and now plan to become K12 teachers. An added effect of this program is that research faculty have developed skills and knowledge regarding inquiry-based and student-centered pedagogy and theories of student learning. The Learning Assistant program has led to increased subject matter knowledge among learning

  8. The Study of Literacy Reinforcement of Science Teachers in Implementing 2013 Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewi, W. S.; Festiyed, F.; Hamdi, H.; Sari, S. Y.

    2018-04-01

    This research aims to study and collect data comprehensively, new and actual about science literacy to improve the ability of educators in implementing the 2013 Curriculum at Junior High School Padang Pariaman District. The specific benefit of this research is to give description and to know the problem of science literacy problem in interaction among teacher, curriculum, facilities and infrastructure, evaluation, learning technology and students. This study uses explorative in deep study approach, studying and collecting data comprehensively from the interaction of education process components (curriculum, educator, learner, facilities and infrastructure, learning media technology, and evaluation) that influence the science literacy. This research was conducted in the districts of Padang Pariaman consisting of 17 subdistricts and 84 junior high schools managed by the government and private. The sample of this research is science teachers of Padang Pariaman District with sampling technique is stratified random sampling. The instrument used in this study is a questionnaire to the respondents. Research questionnaire data are processed by percentage techniques (quantitative). The results of this study explain that the understanding of science teachers in Padang Pariaman District towards the implementation of 2013 Curriculum is still lacking. The science teachers of Padang Pariaman District have not understood the scientific approach and the effectiveness of 2013 Curriculum in shaping the character of the students. To improve the understanding of the implementation of Curriculum 2013, it is necessary to strengthen the literacy toward science teachers at the Junior High School level in Padang Pariaman District.

  9. Evaluation of the implementation of sport science programme in Malaysian secondary schools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wee Eng Hoe

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated a new sport science curriculum in Malaysian secondary schools. Four implementation dimensions (‘teaching ability’, ‘administration of sport science programme’, ‘teaching duty allocation’ and ‘non-human factors’ were examined. 135 schools and 94 teachers were surveyed. 81% teachers were male and 85% were under 40. About half of the respondents were trained in sport science and had 1-2 years teaching experience. Over 90% of teachers perceived they have knowledge to teach and can manage students. However, 80% felt they need more exposure and training. Male teachers were better than female teachers in managing students and conducting activities/experiments. Experienced teachers were better in conducting activities and experiments. Teachers majoring in sport science were more knowledgeable while PE majors found teaching sport science challenging. Most teachers perceived that teaching facilities, financial allocation and reference resources were inadequate. Majority of the administrators consulted teachers before assigning teaching load but failed to observe teaching. This research provides invaluable feedbacks on the implementation of the programme.

  10. Making science accessible through collaborative science teacher action research on feminist pedagogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capobianco, Brenda M.

    The underrepresentation of women and minorities in science is an extensively studied yet persistent concern of our society. Major reform movements in science education suggest that better teaching, higher standards, and sensitivity to student differences can overcome long-standing obstacles to participation among women and minorities. In response to these major reform movements, researchers have suggested teachers transform their goals, science content, and instructional practices to make science more attractive and inviting to all students, particularly young women and minorities (Barton, 1998; Brickhouse, 1994; Mayberry & Rees, 1999; Rodriguez, 1999; Roychoudhury, Tippins, & Nichols, 1995). One of the more dominant approaches currently heralded is the use of feminist pedagogy in science education. The purpose of this study was to examine the ways eleven middle and high school science teachers worked collaboratively to engage in systematic, self-critical inquiry of their own practice and join with other science teachers to engage in collaborative conversations in effort to transform their practice for a more equitable science education. Data were gathered via semi-structured interviews, whole group discussions, classroom observations, and review of supporting documents. Data analysis was based on grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990) and open coding (Miles and Huberman, 1994). This study described the collective processes the science teachers and university researcher employed to facilitate regular collaborative action research meetings over the course of six months. Findings indicated that engaging in collaborative action research allowed teachers to gain new knowledge about feminist science teaching, generate a cluster of pedagogical possibilities for inclusive pedagogy, and enhance their understanding for science teaching. Additional findings indicated dilemmas teachers experienced including resistance to a feminist agenda and concerns for validity in action

  11. Moving to higher ground: Closing the high school science achievement gap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mebane, Joyce Graham

    The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of West High School constituents (students, parents, teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors) about the readiness and interest of African American students at West High School to take Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) science courses as a strategy for closing the achievement gap. This case study utilized individual interviews and questionnaires for data collection. The participants were selected biology students and their parents, teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors at West High School. The results of the study indicated that just over half the students and teachers, most parents, and all guidance counselors thought African American students were prepared to take AP science courses. Only one of the three administrators thought the students were prepared to take AP science courses. Between one-half and two-thirds of the students, parents, teachers, and administrators thought students were interested in taking an AP science course. Only two of the guidance counselors thought there was interest among the African American students in taking AP science courses. The general consensus among the constituents about the readiness and interest of African American students at West High School to take IB science courses was that it is too early in the process to really make definitive statements. West is a prospective IB school and the program is new and not yet in place. Educators at the West High School community must find reasons to expect each student to succeed. Lower expectations often translate into lower academic demands and less rigor in courses. Lower academic demands and less rigor in courses translate into less than adequate performance by students. When teachers and administrators maintain high expectations, they encourage students to aim high rather than slide by with mediocre effort (Lumsden, 1997). As a result of the study, the following suggestions should

  12. Physics Teachers' Challenges in Using History and Philosophy of Science in Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henke, Andreas; Höttecke, Dietmar

    2015-01-01

    The inclusion of the history and philosophy of science (HPS) in science teaching is widely accepted, but the actual state of implementation in schools is still poor. This article investigates possible reasons for this discrepancy. The demands science teachers associate with HPS-based teaching play an important role, since these determine teachers'…

  13. Pre-Service Science and Mathematics Teachers' Thoughts about Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aran, Özge Can; Derman, Ipek; Yagci, Esed

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to investigate pre-service teachers' opinions about the technology. In this respect, the opinions of pre-service science and mathematics teachers were taken. The study was carried out at a university, located in the capital of Turkey. The data were collected from 20 pre-service teachers in the department of secondary school science…

  14. Perceptions of teachers of the application of science process skills in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This article reports on teachers' perceptions of the application of science process skills in the teaching of Geography in secondary schools in the Free State province. A teachers' questionnaire on the application of the science process skills in the teaching of Geography was constructed and the questionnaire was content ...

  15. Exploring the impact of an industrial volunteer/school science partnership on elementary teaching strategies and attitudes about future science study: A case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Michael Robert

    This study reports the results of research designed to explore the impact of industrial volunteer/school partnerships on elementary science teaching behaviors and students' attitudes about future science study. Since these partnerships involved teachers and students in hands-on or laboratory-type science experiences, the study will add an elementary school component to a series of other studies conducted through the Science Education Program at Temple University that have addressed how to improve the learning outcomes from these experiences. Three suburban elementary schools were randomly selected by a single school district's science supervisor to be involved in this study. Two of the buildings were designated as the experimental schools and teachers worked directly with the researcher as an industrial partner. The third school served as a control with no organized industrial partner. An additional school building in a second suburban school district was selected to serve as a comparison school and a second scientist participated as an industrial volunteer. Unlike the researcher, this scientist had no formal training in science education. Each phase of the study included instruments piloted and reviewed by experienced elementary teachers for appropriateness or by objective experts in the field of education. A student attitude survey and selected tasks from the Inventory of Piagetian Developmental Tasks were administered to all students involved in the study. Empirical data collected through videotaped analysis using the validated Modified-Revised Vickery Science Teacher Behavior Inventory led to the development of a pattern of the most frequently used behaviors during elementary science instruction. A profile of each participating teacher was developed through the use of a validated attitude survey, notes taken during classroom interactions and from information collected during ethnographic interviews. A major conclusion drawn from this study is that neither type

  16. Scientist-teacher collaboration: Integration of real data from a coastal wetland into a high school life science ecology-based research project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagan, Wendy L.

    Project G.R.O.W. is an ecology-based research project developed for high school biology students. The curriculum was designed based on how students learn and awareness of the nature of science and scientific practices so that students would design and carry out scientific investigations using real data from a local coastal wetland. This was a scientist-teacher collaboration between a CSULB biologist and high school biology teacher. Prior to implementing the three-week research project, students had multiple opportunities to practice building requisite skills via 55 lessons focusing on the nature of science, scientific practices, technology, Common Core State Standards of reading, writing, listening and speaking, and Next Generation Science Standards. Project G.R.O.W. culminated with student generated research papers and oral presentations. Outcomes reveal students struggle with constructing explanations and the use of Excel to create meaningful graphs. They showed gains in data organization, analysis, teamwork and aspects of the nature of science.

  17. New science teachers' descriptions of inquiry enactment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreon, Oliver, Jr.

    This phenomenological study demonstrates the influence that affective factors have on beginning teachers' ability to enact instructional practices. Through narratives shared in interviews and web log postings, two beginning science teachers' emotional engagement with their instructional practices, especially that of implementing inquiry-based instruction, and the resulting impact these emotions had on professional decision-making were evidenced. Anxiety emerged as the most significant impacting emotion on instructional decision-making with the participants. Through their stories, the two participants describe how their emotions and views of self influence whether they continue using inquiry pedagogy or alter their lesson to adopt more didactic means of instruction. These emotions arise from their feelings of being comfortable teaching the content (self-efficacy), from the unpredictability of inquiry lessons (control beliefs), from how they perceive their students as viewing them (teacher identity) and from various school constraints (agency). This research also demonstrates how intertwined these aspects are, informing each other in a complex, dialectical fashion. The participants' self-efficacy and professional identity emerge from their interactions with the community (their students and colleagues) and the perceived agency afforded by their schools' curricula and administration. By providing descriptions of teachers' experiences enacting inquiry pedagogy, this study expands our understanding of factors that influence teachers' instructional practices and provides a basis for reforming science teacher preparation.

  18. Understanding understanding in secondary school science: An interpretive study

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Maureen Gail

    This study investigated the teaching of secondary school science with an emphasis on promoting student understanding. In particular, I focused on two research questions: What are the possible meanings of teaching for understanding? And, how might one teach secondary school science for understanding? After semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 secondary school science teachers, grounded theory methodology was used to interpret the data. As a result of the selective coding process, I was able to identify 14 connected components of teaching for understanding (TfU). The process of TfU involves: puzzle-solving, a specific pedagogy and a conscious decision. The teacher must be a reflective practitioner who has some knowledge of the facets of understanding. The teacher comes to a critical incident or crisis in his or her pedagogy and adopts a mindset which highlights TfU as a personal problematic. Teachers operate with student-centred rather than teacher-centred metaphors. TfU requires a firm belief in and passion for the process, a positive attitude and excellent pedagogical content knowledge. It hinges on a performance view of understanding and demands risk-taking in the science classroom. Abstracting these ideas to a theory led me to the notion of Purposive Teaching . In their purposive-driven role as pedagogues, these teachers have placed TfU at the core of their daily practice. Constraints and challenges facing TfU as well as implications of the findings are discussed. Keywords. science teaching, teaching for understanding, purposive teaching, constructivism, understanding, pedagogy, pedagogical content knowledge, memorization, meaningful learning, reflective practice.

  19. The importance of teacher-student interpersonal relationships for Turkish students' attitudes towards science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telli, Sibel; den Brok, Perry; Cakiroglu, Jale

    2010-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine associations between Turkish high school students' perceptions of their science teachers' interpersonal behaviour and their attitudes towards science. Students' perceptions of the teacher-student interpersonal relationship were mapped with the Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction (QTI), which uses two relational dimensions: influence and proximity. Data on Students' subject-related attitudes were collected with the Test of Science Related Attitudes (TOSRA). A total of 7484 students (Grades 9 to 11) from 278 science classes (55 public schools) in 13 major Turkish cities participated in the study. Multilevel analyses of variance indicated that influence was related with student enjoyment, while proximity was associated with attitudes towards inquiry and with enjoyment.

  20. Secondary school teachers' attitudes towards and beliefs about ability grouping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallam, Susan; Ireson, Judith

    2003-09-01

    Internationally and historically considerable research has been undertaken regarding the attitudes of secondary school teachers towards different types of ability grouping. There has been no recent research taking account of the changing educational context in the UK. This paper aims to explore secondary school teachers' attitudes and beliefs about ability grouping taking account of school type, gender, experience and qualifications. The sample comprised over 1,500 teachers from 45 schools divided into three groups based on their ability grouping practices in years 7-9 (the students were aged 11-14). The sample included all the lower school teachers of mathematics, science and English and a random sample of teachers from other subjects in each school. Teachers responded to a questionnaire which explored their attitudes towards ability grouping through the use of rating scales and open-ended questions. The findings showed that the teachers' beliefs broadly reflected research findings on the actual effects of ability grouping, although there were significant differences relating to the type of school they taught in and the subject that they taught. Separate analysis of school types showed that length of time teaching, individual school differences and teacher qualifications were also significant predictors of attitudes. Teachers' beliefs about ability grouping are influenced by the type of groupings adopted in the school where they work, the subject that they teach, their experience and qualifications. As pedagogical practices are known to be influenced by beliefs these findings have important implications for teacher training.

  1. Teacher Learning in Technology Professional Development and Its Impact on Student Achievement in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyunju; Longhurst, Max; Campbell, Todd

    2017-01-01

    This research investigated teacher learning and teacher beliefs in a two-year technology professional development (TPD) for teachers and its impact on their student achievement in science in the western part of the United States. Middle-school science teachers participated in TPD focused on information communication technologies (ICTs) and their…

  2. The Effect of School Culture on Science Education at an Ideologically Innovative Elementary Magnet School: An Ethnographic Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Lori T.

    2012-11-01

    This ethnographic case study investigated the science practices of teachers at one public elementary magnet school in light of how school culture influenced science curriculum design and instruction. The purpose of the study was to address how school culture impacted the school's overall treatment of science as a viable content area. Key informant teachers were interviewed to explore their personal beliefs and values, teaching, access to materials, and views of the adopted integrated thematic curriculum model and magnet structure. The resulting data, triangulated with informal observation and artifact collection, were analyzed using a theoretical framework that emphasized five interdependent school culture indicators (values, beliefs, practices, materials, and problems). Findings suggest that the school's culture adversely influenced the treatment of science.

  3. Teacher and student reflections on ICT-rich science inquiry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Williams, John; Otrel-Cass, Kathrin

    2017-01-01

    and different ways for students to engage with, explore and communicate science ideas within inquiry. Sample: This project developed case studies with 6 science teachers of year 9 and 10 students, with an average age of 13 and 14 years in three New Zealand high schools. Teacher participants in the project had...... varying levels of understanding and experience with inquiry learning in science. Teacher knowledge and experience with ICT were equally diverse. Design and Methods: Teachers and researchers developed initially in a joint workshop a shared understanding of inquiry, and how this could be enacted. During......Background: Inquiry learning in science provides authentic and relevant contexts in which students can create knowledge to solve problems, make decisions and find solutions to issues in today’s world. The use of electronic networks can facilitate this interaction, dialogue and sharing, and adds...

  4. Alignment of Content and Pedagogy in an Earth Systems Course for Pre-Service Middle School Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, T.; Teed, R.; Slattery, W.

    2006-12-01

    In 2003 the Ohio Department of Education developed the Ohio K-12 Science Content Standards. These new science standards substantially tracked the goals and objectives of The National Research Council's National Science Education Standards. The Ohio K-12 Science Content Standards followed the National Standards in the content areas of Physical Science, Life Science and Earth and Space Science. At the same time, the state's K-12 schools were gearing up for a new high school graduation requirement, the successful passing of a high-stakes Ohio Graduation Test, given during a student's tenth grade year. Earth and Space science questions make up approximately one third of the science test items. To make it more likely that teachers have the requisite science content knowledge Ohio has recently changed from certification of K-12 teachers to a more content rich licensure standard. This new licensure requirement splits the older certification designation of K-8 into the elementary and middle school licensure areas. Under the new licensure requirements middle school licensure candidates wishing to earn a science concentration now have to take 15 semester hours of content class work in Science. The Ohio Department of Education has strongly suggested that teacher preparation institutions develop new courses for middle school educators in all four areas of concentration, including science. In response to this call for new courses science education faculty in all science areas worked together to develop a comprehensive suite of courses that would target the science content standards guidelines in the state and national standards. The newly developed Earth and Space science course is titled Earth Systems. The course carries 4.5quarter hours of credit and is intended expressly for pre-service middle school (grades 4- 9) science teachers. The content is structured around three modules of study that are designed to develop interdisciplinary science content within the context of past

  5. Examination of instructional strategies: Secondary science teachers of mainstreamed English language learners in two high schools in southern New England

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yangambi, Matthieu Wakalewae

    2005-12-01

    Increasingly, English Language Learners (ELLs) are mainstreamed in science classes. As a result, science teachers must assume responsibility for these students' education. Currently, state tests show a wide performance gap between ELLs and non-ELLs in science and other content area courses. For instance, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) shows a two years average performance of 6% for ELLs and 33% for non-ELLs in English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, and Science and Technology, a 27% performance gap (Lachat, 2000). The use of research based effective teaching strategies for ELLs is indispensable in order to meet ELLs' learning needs (Jarret, 1999). The purpose of this study was to determine if differences exist between ELLs and non-ELLs regarding instructional strategies that secondary science teachers employ. Four areas were examined: instructional strategies mainstreamed ELLs and non-ELLs report as being most frequently employed by their science teachers, instructional strategies ELLs and non-ELLs consider most effective in their learning, the existing differences between ELLs and non-ELLs in the rating of effectiveness of instructional strategies their teachers currently practice, and factors impacting ELLs and non-ELLs' performance on high-stakes tests. This study was conducted in two urban high schools in Southern New England. The sample (N = 71) was based on the non-probability sampling technique known as convenience sampling from students registered in science classes. The questionnaire was designed based on research-based effective teaching strategies (Burnette, 1999; Ortiz, 1997), using a Likert-type scale. Several findings were of importance. First, ELLs and non-ELLs reported similar frequency of use of effective instructional strategies by teachers. However, ELLs and non-ELLs identified different preferences for strategies. Whereas non-ELLs preferred connecting learning to real life situations, ELLs rated that strategy as least

  6. Teacher Learning in a Mathematics and Science Inquiry Professional Development Program: First Steps in Emergent Teacher Leadership

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yow, Jan A.; Lotter, Christine

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the role of an inquiry professional development institute in empowering middle school mathematics and science teachers to develop as teacher leaders. Teachers and coaches jointly attended content sessions and participated in practice teaching sessions with students. The coaches led reflection sessions following the practice…

  7. Science teachers' knowledge, beliefs, values, and concerns of teaching through inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assiri, Yahya Ibrahim

    This study investigated elementary science teachers' knowledge, beliefs, values, and concerns of teaching through inquiry. A mixed-methods research design was utilized to address the research questions. Since this study was designed as a mixed-methods research approach, the researcher gathered two type of data: quantitative and qualitative. The study was conducted in Mohayel School District, Saudi Arabia. The information was collected from 51 participants using a questionnaire with multiple choice questions; also, 11 participants were interviewed. After collecting the data, descriptive and comparative approaches were used. In addition, themes and codes were used to obtain the results. The results indicated that the mean of elementary science teachers' knowledge was 51.23%, which was less than 60% which was the acceptable score. Also, the qualitative results showed that science teachers had a limited background of teaching through inquiry. In addition, the elementary science teachers had a high level of belief to teach science through inquiry since the mean was 3.99 out of 5.00. These quantitative results were confirmed by the qualitative data. Moreover, the overall mean of elementary science teachers was 4.01, which indicated that they believed in the importance of teaching science through inquiry which was also confirmed by the responses of teachers in the interviews. Also, the findings indicated that elementary school science teachers had concerns about teaching science through inquiry since the overall mean was 3.53. In addition, the interviewees mentioned that they faced some obstacles when they teach by inquiry, such as time, resources, class size, and the teachers' background. Generally, the results did not show any significant differences among elementary science teachers' knowledge, beliefs, values, and concerns depending on gender, level of education, and teaching experience. However, the findings indicated there was one significant difference which was

  8. Classroom management at the university level: lessons from a former high school earth science teacher

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazar, C.

    2009-12-01

    Just a few days before my career as a fledgling science teacher began in a large public high school in New York City, a mentor suggested I might get some ideas about how to run a classroom from a book called The First Days Of School by Harry Wong. Although the book seemed to concentrate more on elementary students, I found that many of the principles in the book worked well for high school students. Even as I have begun to teach at the university level, many of Wong’s themes have persisted in my teaching style. Wong’s central thesis is that for learning to occur, a teacher must create the proper environment. In education jargon, a good climate for learning is generated via classroom management, an array of methods used by elementary and secondary school teachers to provide structure and routine to a class period via a seamless flow of complementary activities. Many college professors would likely consider classroom management to be chiefly a set of rules to maintain discipline and order among an otherwise unruly herd of schoolchildren, and therefore not a useful concept for mature university students. However, classroom management is much deeper than mere rules for behavior; it is an approach to instructional design that considers the classroom experience holistically. A typical professorial management style is to lecture for an hour or so and ask students to demonstrate learning via examinations several times in a semester. In contrast, a good high school teacher will manage a class from bell-to-bell to create a natural order and flow to a given lesson. In this presentation, I will argue for an approach to college lesson design similar to the classroom management style commonly employed by high school and elementary school teachers. I will suggest some simple, practical techniques learned during my high school experience that work just as well in college: warm-up and practice problems, time management, group activities, bulletin boards, learning environment

  9. Virginia Earth Science Collaborative: Developing Highly Qualified Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cothron, J.

    2007-12-01

    A collaborative of nine institutes of higher education and non-profits and seventy-one school divisions developed and implemented courses that will enable teachers to acquire an Add-On Earth Science endorsement and to improve their skills in teaching Earth Science. For the Earth Science Endorsement, the five courses and associated credits are Physical Geology (4), Geology of Virginia (4), Oceanography (4), Astronomy (3) and Meteorology (3). The courses include rigorous academic content, research-based instructional strategies, laboratory experiences, and intense field experiences. In addition, courses were offered on integrating new technologies into the earth sciences, developing virtual field trips, and teaching special education students. To date, 39 courses have been offered statewide, with over 560 teachers participating. Teachers showed increased conceptual understanding of earth science topics as measured by pre-post tests. Other outcomes include a project website, a collaborative of over 60 IHE and K-12 educators, pilot instruments, and a statewide committee focused on policy in the earth sciences.

  10. Instructional Management Strategy: A Multi-Sites Study on Science Teaching for Islamic School

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdul Ghofur

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes how management strategies in science learning are done by teachers in Islamic schools. This is motivated by the ranking of Indonesia which 87 percent of the population of Muslims always occupy the lowest position for the ability of science literacy. This research was conducted for four months using descriptive qualitative design with data collection technique of interview, observation and documentation. The subjects of the study were six Islamic schools in Lamongan, East Java. The six Islamic schools were chosen by purposive sampling. The results showed that the learning activities of science more dominated by teachers, students heard more explanation than the practice in verifying the process of science. The majority of teachers use lecture, question and answer methods, and assignments, and occasionally apply discussion and demonstration methods. Science laboratories in schools have not been maximally used, some have limited tools and materials, some of which lack laboratory space and even two schools without a science laboratory. Assessment of student learning progress done through pretest, posttest, daily test, question and answer during lessons, UTS and UAS. Teacher's strategy in managing student learning motivation by using animated video as apperception, integrating science materials with Islamic religious values.

  11. Taking Back the Future with an Innovative Program for Training Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, E. J.; Dickinson, G.; Walker, M. H.; Marder, M. P.; Kumar, P.

    2003-12-01

    Research findings for students in Texas and Alabama indicate that teachers' expertise accounted for about 40% of the variance in mathematics and reading achievement. Given that about one third of high school mathematics and science teachers lack either a major or certification in their field, the impact of underqualified teachers can have far reaching impacts. In 1997, the colleges of Natural Science and Education at the University of Texas, in concert with the local school district and experienced teachers, developed a new joint secondary school science teacher preparation program called UTeach. This program provides early and frequent field experience, instruction from master teachers and university scientists, the development of a teaching portfolio, plus a peer and support network which extends beyond graduation. The innovative and streamlined courses focus on the particulars of secondary science education, project and inquiry teaching methodologies, and lab experiences more true to what actually happens in research. After starting with only 28, UTeach now has approximately 400 students enrolled, and graduates have started fanning out across the country. Two research astronomers (EH & PK) recently joined the program and now work alongside physicists, biologists, and chemists teaching courses or parts of them. In addition to helping some of the students with physics and astronomy projects, the astronomers provide guidance on experiment design and execution principles, statistics, and scientific writing to students working in all fields.

  12. Hands-on earth science with students at schools for the Deaf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, M. L.

    2011-12-01

    Earth science teachers at schools for the Deaf face a variety of challenges. This community of students has a wide range of language skills, teaching resources can be limited and often teachers are not trained in geosciences. An NSF CAREER grant provided an opportunity to make a difference to this community and foster earth science learning at 8 schools for the Deaf around the country. We designed hands-on deformational sandboxes for the teachers and provided accompanying curriculum materials. The sandbox is a physical model of crustal deformation that students can manipulate to test hypotheses. The visual nature of the sandbox was well-suited for the spatial grammar of American Sign Language used by these students. Furthermore, language skills were enhanced by scaffolded observation, sketch, annotation, discussion, interpretation assignments. Geoscience training of teachers was strengthened with workshops and three 5-day field trips for teachers and selected students to Utah, western New England and southern California. The field trips provided opportunity for students to work as geoscientists observing, interpreting, discussing and presenting their investigations. Between field trips, we set up videoconferences from the UMass experimental lab with the high school earth science classrooms. These sessions facilitated dialog between students and researchers at UMass. While the project set out to provide geoscience learning opportunities for students at Schools for the Deaf, the long lasting impact was the improved geoscience training of teachers, most of whom had limited post-secondary earth science training. The success of the project also rested on the dedication of the teachers to their students and their willingness to try new approaches and experiences. By tapping into a community of 6 teachers, who already shared curriculum and had fantastic leadership, the project was able to have significant impact and exceed the initial goals. The project has led to a

  13. Especially for High School Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, J. Emory

    1999-07-01

    Secondary School Feature Articles * Super Science Connections, by Patricia B. McKean, p 916 * A pHorseshoe, by Roger Plumsky, p 935 National Conferences in Your Part of the Country For the past several months, considerable space in this column has been devoted to forthcoming national conferences and conventions and to highlights of conferences past. For some of us, location is fairly unimportant; but for most of us travel costs and time are both factors to consider when choosing a conference. The community of high school chemistry teachers is favored by the number of national conventions and conferences that are held each year in different locations. In 1999, for example, the spring National Meeting of the American Chemical Society was in Anaheim and the National Science Teachers Association National Convention was in Boston. This summer CHEMED '99 will be held in Fairfield, CT, August 1-5, and the fall National ACS Meeting will be in New Orleans. Teachers from the mid-South especially should consider attending the High School Program at New Orleans, described below by Lillie Tucker Akin, Chairperson of the Division's High School Program Committee. The event will be held on Sunday to minimize conflicts with the beginning of the school year. JCE at CHEMED '99 Stop by the JCE booth at CHEMED '99 in the exhibits area to learn more about the wide array of print and nonprint resources you can use in your classroom and laboratory. Members of the editorial staff will be on hand to talk with you. You are invited to participate in a workshop, "Promoting Active Learning through JCE Activity Sheets and Software", on Monday, August 1, 8:30-10:30. The free hands-on workshop is number WT11 and we encourage you to include it among your choices in the blanks provided on the third page of the registration form. We will also conduct an interactive session to listen to ideas for making the Journal more useful to you. Check the final program for location and time or inquire at the JCE

  14. THE ROLE OF SCHOOL TECHNICIANS IN PROMOTING SCIENCE THROUGH PRACTICAL WORK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne T. Helliar

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available This is a review of the role of practical work in UK’s secondary school science lessons, the impact that practical work has in the promotion of science, the challenges created through use of non-specialist science teachers and a possible additional role for science technicians. The paper considers how improved deployment of suitably experienced school science technicians and their recognition, by schools’ management, for their involvement in the delivery of training in the use of practical work, for less experienced teachers, could benefit schools and their students. This together with its companion paper endeavours to show how the more effective use of practical work and technicians can encourage more students to select science at higher, non-compulsory levels.

  15. Teacher Design in Teams as a Professional Development Arrangement for Developing Technology Integration Knowledge and Skills of Science Teachers in Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kafyulilo, Ayoub; Fisser, Petra; Voogt, Joke

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the impact of teacher design teams as a professional development arrangement for developing technology integration knowledge and skills among in-service science teachers. The study was conducted at a secondary school in Tanzania, where 12 in-service science teachers participated in a workshop about technology integration in…

  16. Science and Technology Teachers' Views about the Causes of Laboratory Accidents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydogdu, Cemil

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine science and technology teachers' views about the causes of the problems encountered in laboratories. In this research, phenomenology, a qualitative research design, was used. 21 science and technology teachers who were working in elementary schools in Eskisehir during the 2010-2011 spring semester were the…

  17. Science Teachers' Information Processing Behaviours in Nepal: A Reflective Comparative Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharya, Kamal Prasad

    2017-01-01

    This study examines the investigation of the information processing behaviours of secondary level science teachers. It is based on the data collected from 50 secondary level school science teachers working in Kathmandy valley. The simple random sampling and the Cognitive Style Inventory have been used respectively as the technique and tool to…

  18. Teachers' use of questioning in supporting learners doing science investigations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Umesh Ramnarain

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available I examine how teachers employ a questioning strategy in supporting Grade 9 learners doing science investigations in South African schools. A particular focus of this study was how teachers use questioning in contributing towards the autonomy of these learners. The research adopted a qualitative approach which involved the collection of data by means of classroom observations and interviews with five teachers at schools resourced for practical work. The analysis of transcript data revealed that teachers support learners by asking probing questions at all stages of the investigation. The teachers used a questioning strategy in enabling the learners to understand more clearly the question or hypothesis they intended investigating, to review and reconsider their planning, to rethink some of their actions when collecting data, to make sense of their data, and to revisit and amend their plan after generating incorrect findings. The significance of this study, in making explicit teacher questioning at the stages of the investigation, is that it provides a guideline for teachers on how to support learners attain greater autonomy in doing science investigations.

  19. Caught in the Balance: An Organizational Analysis of Science Teaching in Schools with Elementary Science Specialists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marco-Bujosa, Lisa M.; Levy, Abigail Jurist

    2016-01-01

    Elementary schools are under increasing pressure to teach science and teach it well; yet, research documents that classroom teachers must overcome numerous personal and school-based challenges to teach science effectively at this level, such as access to materials and inadequate instructional time. The elementary science specialist model…

  20. Development and Exemplification of a Model for Teacher Assessment in Primary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, D. J.; Earle, S.; McMahon, K.; Howe, A.; Collier, C.

    2017-01-01

    The Teacher Assessment in Primary Science project is funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust and based at Bath Spa University. The study aims to develop a whole-school model of valid, reliable and manageable teacher assessment to inform practice and make a positive impact on primary-aged children's learning in science. The model is based on a…

  1. Teaching and Learning Science Through Song: Exploring the experiences of students and teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Governor, Donna; Hall, Jori; Jackson, David

    2013-12-01

    This qualitative, multi-case study explored the use of science-content music for teaching and learning in six middle school science classrooms. The researcher sought to understand how teachers made use of content-rich songs for teaching science, how they impacted student engagement and learning, and what the experiences of these teachers and students suggested about using songs for middle school classroom science instruction. Data gathered included three teacher interviews, one classroom observation and a student focus-group discussion from each of six cases. The data from each unit of analysis were examined independently and then synthesized in a multi-case analysis, resulting in a number of merged findings, or assertions, about the experience. The results of this study indicated that teachers used content-rich music to enhance student understanding of concepts in science by developing content-based vocabulary, providing students with alternative examples and explanations of concepts, and as a sense-making experience to help build conceptual understanding. The use of science-content songs engaged students by providing both situational and personal interest, and provided a mnemonic device for remembering key concepts in science. The use of songs has relevance from a constructivist approach as they were used to help students build meaning; from a socio-cultural perspective in terms of student engagement; and from a cognitive viewpoint in that in these cases they helped students make connections in learning. The results of this research have implications for science teachers and the science education community in developing new instructional strategies for the middle school science classroom.

  2. Preservice Teachers' Memories of Their Secondary Science Education Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Peter; Usak, Muhammet; Fančovičová, Jana; Erdoğan, Mehmet; Prokop, Pavol

    2010-12-01

    Understanding preservice teachers' memories of their education may aid towards articulating high-impact teaching practices. This study describes 246 preservice teachers' perceptions of their secondary science education experiences through a questionnaire and 28-item survey. ANOVA was statistically significant about participants' memories of science with 15 of the 28 survey items. Descriptive statistics through SPSS further showed that a teacher's enthusiastic nature (87%) and positive attitude towards science (87%) were regarded as highly memorable. In addition, explaining abstract concepts well (79%), and guiding the students' conceptual development with practical science activities (73%) may be considered as memorable secondary science teaching strategies. Implementing science lessons with one or more of these memorable science teaching practices may "make a difference" towards influencing high school students' positive long-term memories about science and their science education. Further research in other key learning areas may provide a clearer picture of high-impact teaching and a way to enhance pedagogical practices.

  3. Implementation of municipal health promoting projects in primary schools: teachers perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nordin, Lone Lindegard

    2013-01-01

    . The project is funded by the Danish Ministry of Science, University of Aarhus and Silkeborg municipality, and involves 5 primary schools, 23 teachers and 233 pupils from 7th to 9 class. The project is positioned within the critical approach to school health education and health promotion, developed......Implementation of municipally health promoting projects' in primary schools: teachers perspective Research question This paper discusses the findings from a qualitative research, that aimed to investigate how teachers in primary schools implemented municipal health promoting projects focusing...... that there is a “gap” between policy and practice according to aim, content and methods, and that teachers practice can be explained as coping mechanism. The key findings include: • Teachers practice is closer to traditional health education than critical health education. • Teachers priorities the mandatory teaching...

  4. Teaching Teachers of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockman, F. J.; Heatherly, S. A.

    2001-05-01

    Most K-12 teachers of science have never actually done research, and this creates considerable confusion and misunderstanding about the nature of science. For more than 10 years the NRAO at Green Bank has conducted programs of teacher training, funded by the NSF, which provide a research experience in radio astronomy that can be generalized and applied in the classroom. Our program is under the direction of educators from the NRAO and WVU, but uses the unique facilities of the Observatory and the active participation of its scientific staff. Evaluations have shown that the two-week programs are effective in making significant, positive changes in attitude and understanding of the participants. We are in the process of expanding our educational activities so that every student in the region and the State will be able to participate in at least one program at the Observatory before they graduate from high school.

  5. Instructional leaders for all? High school science department heads and instructional leadership across all science disciplines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanborn, Stephen

    Many high school science departments are responding to changes in state standards with respect to both curricular content and instructional practices. In the typical American high school organization, the academic department head is ideally positioned to influence change in the instructional practices of teachers within the department. Even though science department heads are well situated to provide leadership during this period of transition, the literature has not addressed the question of how well science department heads believe they can provide instructional leadership for all of the teachers in their department, whether they are teaching within and outside of the head's own sub-discipline. Nor is it known how science department heads view the role of pedagogical content knowledge in teaching different science disciplines. Using an online survey comprised of 26 objective questions and one open response question, a 54-respondent sample of science department heads provided no strong consensus regarding their beliefs about the role of pedagogical content knowledge in science instruction. However, science department heads expressed a significant difference in their views about their capacity to provide instructional leadership for teachers sharing their science content area compared to teachers instructing other science content areas. Given wide-spread science education reform efforts introduced in response to the Next Generation Science Standards, these findings may serve to provide some direction for determining how to best support the work of science department heads as they strive to provide instructional leadership for the teachers in their departments.

  6. Technology-Enhanced Science Partnership Initiative: Impact on Secondary Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Wan; Fergusson, Jennifer

    2017-07-01

    The issue of student disengagement in school science continues to pose a threat to lifting the participation rates of students undertaking STEM courses and careers in Australia and other countries globally. In Australia, several science initiatives to reverse the problem have been funded over the last two decades. Many of these initiatives involve partnerships with scientists, science educators and with industries, as is the case in this paper. The research in this paper investigated a recent partnership initiative between secondary science teachers, scientists and an educational technology company to produce science e-modules on adaptive learning platforms, enabling students to engage in personalised, inquiry-based learning and the investigation of real-world problems. One of the objectives of the partnership project was to build theoretical and pedagogical skills in teachers to deliver science by exposing them to new ways of engaging students with new digital tools, for example analytics. Using a mixed methods approach, the research investigated science teachers' pedagogical involvement in the partnership project and their perceptions of the project's impact on their teaching and students' learning. The findings indicate that the teachers believed that new technology could enhance their teaching and students' learning and that while their students were motivated by the online modules, there was still a need for scaffolding for many of the students. The effectiveness of this would depend on the teachers' ability to internalise the new technological and content knowledge resulting from the partnership and realign them with their existing pedagogical framework. The research is significant in identifying elements for successful partnership projects as well as challenges that need to be considered. It is significant in facilitating continuous discourse about new evidence-based pedagogical approaches to science education in engaging students to learn STEM subjects in a

  7. Middle School Students' Attitudes toward Science, Scientists, Science Teachers and Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapici, Hasan Özgür; Akçay, Hakan

    2016-01-01

    It is an indispensable fact that having a positive attitude towards science is one of the important factors that promotes students for studying in science. The study is a kind of national study that aims to investigate middle school students', from different regions of Turkey, attitudes toward science, scientists and science classes. The study was…

  8. Examination of factors which may contribute to the underrepresentation of African American teachers certified in science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Rita C. F.

    Throughout this country the student population is becoming increasingly diverse, yet the teacher population does not reflect this diversity. This lack of diversity in the teacher population deprives students of color from having role models of the same race/ethnicity who look like them and who might have experiences which are similar to theirs (Epstein, 2005; Nettles & Perna, 1997). Having role models from their own race in the classroom could have a positive impact on students' attitudes about science (Perine, 2003), and facilitate their learning of the subject matter, and give students an incentive to do well in school (Vegas, Murnane, & Willett, 2001). In 2000, a national survey study of math and science teachers was conducted (Horizon Research, 2001). The majority of biology (90%), chemistry (93%), and physics (94%) teachers who participated in the study were White. Findings of the study revealed that only 55% to 60% of these teachers considered themselves well prepared to effectively teach a culturally diverse student population (Banilower, 2002; Smith, 2002; Wood, 2002). The majority of the teacher pool, which is White, prefer not to teach in urban communities as they have a preference for teaching jobs in the nonurban communities that are similar to those in which they were raised (Boyd, Lankford, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2005; Epstein, 2005). The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine factors that may contribute to the underrepresentation of African American teachers certified in science. More specifically, it was decided to examine the high school experiences of in-service teachers. Study participants were teachers and other certificated faculty in two school districts located in the southern portion of the United States. Findings of the study revealed a statistically significant relationship between a teacher's decision to become certified in science and the following high school experiences: teachers and guidance counselors encouraging students to

  9. Researching Primary Teachers' Professional Agency: Employing Interactive Ethnography to Overcome Reluctance to Teach Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Jenny

    2017-09-01

    This paper provides a report of a case study on the professional agency of an experienced early years teacher, Sarah, who successfully embedded a chemical science program of teaching-learning for her students aged between 6 and 8. Interactive ethnography informs the research design, and discursive psychology provides the tools for the analysis of Sarah's speech acts for her positioning as a responsible agent. Reframing the problem of primary teacher reluctance to teach science in terms of primary teachers' professional agency using discursive psychology, this ontological study provides new insight into issues related to the provision of science education in primary schools and asks: How do primary teachers position themselves and others in relation to science curriculum and education? The research calls for research methodologies and reform efforts in primary science that are better grounded in the local moral orders of primary schools.

  10. Evaluation of a statewide science inservice and outreach program: Teacher and student outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lott, Kimberly Hardiman

    Alabama Science in Motion (ASIM) is a statewide in-service and outreach program designed to provide in-service training for teachers in technology and content knowledge. ASIM is also designed to increase student interest in science and future science careers. The goals of ASIM include: to complement, enhance and facilitate implementation of the Alabama Course of Study: Science, to increase student interest in science and scientific careers, and to provide high school science teachers with curriculum development and staff development opportunities that will enhance their subject-content expertise, technology background, and instructional skills. This study was conducted to evaluate the goals and other measurable outcomes of the chemistry component of ASIM. Data were collected from 19 chemistry teachers and 182 students that participated in ASIM and 6 chemistry teachers and 42 students that do not participate in ASIM using both surveys and student records. Pre-treatment Chi-Square tests revealed that the teachers did not differ in years of chemistry teaching experience, major in college, and number of classes other than chemistry taught. Pre-treatment Chi-Square tests revealed that the students did not differ in age, ethnicity, school classification, or school type. The teacher survey used measured attitudes towards inquiry-based teaching, frequency of technology used by teacher self-report and perceived teaching ability of chemistry topics from the Alabama Course of Study-Science. The student surveys used were the Test of Science Related Attitudes (TOSRA) and a modified version of the Test of Integrated Process Skills (TIPS). The students' science scores from the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT-9) were also obtained from student records. Analysis of teacher data using a MANOVA design revealed that participation in ASIM had a significantly positive effect on teacher attitude towards inquiry-based teaching and the frequency of technology used; however, there was no

  11. Status of teaching elementary science for English learners in science, mathematics and technology centered magnet schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Alyson Kim

    According to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (2001), one in three students speaks a language other than English. Additionally, the Commission stated that a student is considered to be an English learner if the second language acquisition is English. In California more than 1.4 million English learners enter school speaking a variety of languages, and this number continues to rise. There is an imminent need to promote instructional strategies that support this group of diverse learners. Although this was not a California study, the results derived from the nationwide participants' responses provided a congruent assessment of the basic need to provide effective science teaching strategies to all English learners. The purpose of this study was to examine the status of elementary science teaching practices used with English learners in kindergarten through fifth grade in public mathematics, science, and technology-centered elementary magnet schools throughout the country. This descriptive research was designed to provide current information and to identify trends in the areas of curriculum and instruction for English learners in science themed magnet schools. This report described the status of elementary (grades K-5) school science instruction for English learners based on the responses of 116 elementary school teachers: 59 grade K-2, and 57 grade 3-5 teachers. Current research-based approaches support incorporating self-directed learning strategy, expository teaching strategy, active listening strategies, questioning strategies, wait time strategy, small group strategy, peer tutoring strategy, large group learning strategy, demonstrations strategy, formal debates strategy, review sessions strategy, mediated conversation strategy, cooperative learning strategy, and theme-based instruction into the curriculum to assist English learners in science education. Science Technology Society (STS) strategy, problem-based learning strategy, discovery learning

  12. Teachers' tendencies to promote student-led science projects: Associations with their views about science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bencze, J. Lawrence; Bowen, G. Michael; Alsop, Steve

    2006-05-01

    School science students can benefit greatly from participation in student-directed, open-ended scientific inquiry projects. For various possible reasons, however, students tend not to be engaged in such inquiries. Among factors that may limit their opportunities to engage in open-ended inquiries of their design are teachers' conceptions about science. To explore possible relationships between teachers' conceptions about science and the types of inquiry activities in which they engage students, instrumental case studies of five secondary science teachers were developed, using field notes, repertory grids, samples of lesson plans and student activities, and semistructured interviews. Based on constructivist grounded theory analysis, participating teachers' tendencies to promote student-directed, open-ended scientific inquiry projects seemed to correspond with positions about the nature of science to which they indicated adherence. A tendency to encourage and enable students to carry out student-directed, open-ended scientific inquiry projects appeared to be associated with adherence to social constructivist views about science. Teachers who opposed social constructivist views tended to prefer tight control of student knowledge building procedures and conclusions. We suggest that these results can be explained with reference to human psychological factors, including those associated with teachers' self-esteem and their relationships with knowledge-building processes in the discipline of their teaching.

  13. The impact of science methods courses on preservice elementary teachers' science teaching self-efficacy beliefs: Case studies from Turkey and the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bursal, Murat

    Four case studies in two American and two Turkish science methods classrooms were conducted to investigate the changes in preservice elementary teachers' personal science teaching efficacy (PSTE) beliefs during their course periods. The findings indicated that while Turkish preservice elementary teachers (TR sample) started the science methods course semester with higher PSTE than their American peers (US sample), due to a significant increase in the US sample's and an insignificant decline in the TR sample's PSTE scores, both groups completed the science methods course with similar PSTE levels. Consistent with Bandura's social cognitive theory, describing four major sources of self-efficacy, the inclusion of mastery experiences (inquiry activities and elementary school micro-teaching experiences) and vicarious experiences (observation of course instructor and supervisor elementary teacher) into the science methods course, providing positive social persuasion (positive appraisal from the instructor and classmates), and improving physiological states (reduced science anxiety and positive attitudes toward becoming elementary school teachers), were found to contribute to the significant enhancement of the US sample's PSTE beliefs. For the TR sample, although some of the above sources were present, the lack of student teaching experiences and inservice teacher observations, as well as the TR samples' negative attitudes toward becoming elementary school teachers and a lack of positive classroom support were found to make Turkish preservice teachers rely mostly on their mastery in science concepts, and therefore resulted in not benefiting from their science methods course, in terms of enhancing their PSTE beliefs. Calls for reforms in the Turkish education system that will include more mastery experiences in the science methods courses and provide more flexibility for students to choose their high school majors and college programs, and switch between them are made. In

  14. Using the Process and Excitement of Science and Technology to Empower Teachers and Engage their Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crannell, Carol Jo

    2002-01-01

    Students United with NASA Becoming Enthusiastic About Math and Science (SUNBEAMS) is a Partnership between NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). It empowers teachers and inspires students with the process and excitement of science and technology. SUNBEAMS is being developed as a model urban intervention program for sixth grade teachers and their students. The teachers come to Goddard for five weeks during the summer. They partner with Goddard mentors and work much the same way that summer students do. In addition, the teachers are responsible for developing lesson plans that they pilot at their schools and post on the SUNBEAMS web site. During the school year, each teacher brings one class to Goddard for a full week of total immersion in math and science.

  15. `You Have to Give Them Some Science Facts': Primary Student Teachers' Early Negotiations of Teacher Identities in the Intersections of Discourses About Science Teaching and About Primary Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielsson, Anna T.; Warwick, Paul

    2014-04-01

    In the broadest sense, the goal for primary science teacher education could be described as preparing these teachers to teach for scientific literacy. Our starting point is that making such science teaching accessible and desirable for future primary science teachers is dependent not only on their science knowledge and self-confidence, but also on a whole range of interrelated sociocultural factors. This paper aims to explore how intersections between different Discourses about primary teaching and about science teaching are evidenced in primary school student teachers' talk about becoming teachers. The study is founded in a conceptualisation of learning as a process of social participation. The conceptual framework is crafted around two key concepts: Discourse (Gee 2005) and identity (Paechter, Women's Studies International Forum, 26(1):69-77, 2007). Empirically, the paper utilises semi-structured interviews with 11 primary student teachers enrolled in a 1-year Postgraduate Certificate of Education course. The analysis draws on five previously identified teacher Discourses: `Teaching science through inquiry', `Traditional science teacher', `Traditional primary teacher', `Teacher as classroom authority', and `Primary teacher as a role model' (Danielsson and Warwick, International Journal of Science Education, 2013). It explores how the student teachers, at an early stage in their course, are starting to intersect these Discourses to negotiate their emerging identities as primary science teachers.

  16. Emotions and elementary school science teaching: Postmodernism in practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zembylas, Michalinos

    This is an ethnographic study about an elementary school teacher's emotions in her science teaching and pedagogy. This study is an interdisciplinary account of emotions in teaching and draws both methodologically and theoretically from a variety of disciplines: philosophy, sociology, psychology, anthropology, cultural studies and feminist studies. The account developed here is based on my understanding of the role of one teacher's (Catherine) emotions in her classroom life for three years. I describe my approach in terms of what I call emotional genealogies of teaching; referring to an account of the events, objects, persons and their relationships that are present or absent in the realization of emotions, and the ways that these emotions are experienced in relation to the self (individual reality), the others (social interactions) and the world in general (sociopolitical context). Applied to my study, an emotional genealogy of Catherine's science teaching seeks not to trace the gradual evolution of her emotions but to record the singularity of various events that make some emotions present and others absent. My study shows how certain emotions are constructed in the science classroom and how they are transformed over the years (as mediated by values, philosophies, beliefs and so on). Catherine's emotions in science teaching is a "history of the present," a history of her emotions' "presences and absences" in her daffy interactions with her students, parents and administrators in the context of the science classroom. This work raises important questions that go beyond the meaning and interpretation of teachers' emotions: How can teachers' emotions become a legitimate topic in (science) education as well as in efforts for science curricular reform? Further, how can educational institutions (universities and schools) and elementary school science teachers themselves support their personal and professional emotional growth?

  17. Factors Impacting on Teachers' Job Satisfaction Related to Science Teaching: A Mixed Methods Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, S.; Mustafa, M.

    2015-01-01

    Science teachers' job satisfaction is identified as a major factor that affects the quality of a science program. This research investigated to what extent a science program supports science teachers in terms of curriculum materials or extracurricular activities. It also examined the relationships among schools' curriculum support, the number of…

  18. The Acadia Learning Project: Lessons Learned from Engaging High School Teachers and Students in Citizen Science Supporting National Parks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, S. J.; Zoellick, B.; Davis, Y.; Lindsey, E.

    2009-12-01

    In 2007 the authors initiated a citizen science research project, supported with funding from the Maine Department of Education, designed to extend research at Acadia National Park to a broader geographic area while also providing high school students and teachers with an opportunity to engage in authentic research in cooperation with working scientists. The scientific focus of the work has been on providing information about the mercury burden of organisms at different trophic levels across different geographic and environmental settings. The pedagogical focus has been on providing students with immersion in a substantial, field-based project, including background research, hypothesis formulation, data collection and analysis, and presentation of research findings. Starting work with 6 teachers in two schools the first year, the project expanded to involve more than 20 teachers and 350 students in a dozen schools in its second year. In coming years, with support from NOAA and cooperation from other National Parks in the region, the project will expand to include work in other states along the coast of the Gulf of Maine. In this paper the authors describe evolution in the use of the Internet over the first two years of the project, a sharpened focus on professional development for teachers, survey results regarding student views of the nature of science, the importance of focusing on rigorous, useful data collection from an educational perspective, success in establishing that samples collected by students are useful in research, the disjuncture between scientific and pedagogical outcomes, an assessment of the value of student poster presentations, and lessons learned about preparation and use of curriculum support materials. The authors also describe future directions, which include an increased focus on professional development and student work with graphs, a narrower focus in sample collection, and increased use of the Internet to provide participating teachers

  19. Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Needs Assessment of a STEM-Enhanced Food and Nutrition Sciences Curriculum

    OpenAIRE

    Merrill, Cathy A.

    2016-01-01

    Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education concepts are naturally contextualized in the study of food and nutrition. In 2014 a pilot group of Utah high school Career and Technical Education Family and Consumer Sciences teachers rewrote the Food and Nutrition Sciences curriculum to add and enhance the STEM-related content. This study is an online needs assessment by Utah Food and Nutrition 1 teachers on the implementation of the STEM-enhanced curriculum after its first y...

  20. The science teacher as the organic link in science learning: Identity, motives, and capital transfer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexakos, Konstantinos

    This life history study is based on in-depth interviews of five science teachers and explores themes of science teachers' experiences as science learners and how these experiences frame what I have come to call "the subjective aspects of teaching." These themes seem to imply that through such individual experiences individuals develop a personally unique lens through which they view and interpret science, science meanings, and science teaching and learning. Emerging themes created new questions to pursue and they in turn produced new themes. These were further investigated in an attempt to connect science learning and science teachers to broader issues in society. These themes include that of a dynamic, dialectical learning and understanding of science by the participants, developed and influenced through a combination of their families, their schools, and their professional experiences, and in which morals and passion play major roles. The theme of the "organic link" is also introduced and developed in this research. It includes these individuals' views of science and the scientific enterprise, their path to learning, their morals, passions, and choices, and their way of constructing knowledge and the transmission of such a process. As organic links, they are seen as a direct and necessary social connection between science and the science learner, and they foster educational experiences grounded in the social lives of their students. Not only are they seen as "transmitters" of science knowledge and the process of constructing knowledge, but they are also seen as correcting and adjusting perceived diversions of the students' thinking from that of their own. It is in this context that the concept of capital (human and cultural capital, as well as capital exchange) is also explored. These themes are seen as having immense impact on how these science teachers teach, where they teach, what is communicated to their students, and whether they become or remain science

  1. UCLA's outreach program of science education in the Los Angeles schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacio-Cayetano, J; Kanowith-Klein, S; Stevens, R

    1999-04-01

    The UCLA School of Medicine's Interactive Multi-media Exercises (IMMEX) Project began its outreach into pre-college education in the Los Angeles area in 1993. The project provides a model in which software and technology are effectively intertwined with teaching, learning, and assessment (of both students' and teachers' performances) in the classroom. The project has evolved into a special collaboration between the medical school and Los Angeles teachers. UCLA faculty and staff work with science teachers and administrators from elementary, middle, and high schools. The program benefits ethnically and racially diverse groups of students in schools ranging from the inner city to the suburbs. The project's primary goal is to use technology to increase students' achievement and interest in science, including medicine, and thus move more students into the medical school pipeline. Evaluations from outside project evaluators (West Ed) as well as from teachers and IMMEX staff show that the project has already had a significant effect on teachers' professional development, classroom practice, and students' achievement in the Los Angeles area.

  2. An Investigation of Literacy Practices in High School Science Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wexler, Jade; Mitchell, Marisa A.; Clancy, Erin E.; Silverman, Rebecca D.

    2017-01-01

    This study reports findings from an exploration of the literacy practices of 10 high school science teachers. Based on observations of teachers' instruction, we report teachers' use of text, evidence-based vocabulary and comprehension practices, and grouping practices. Based on interviews with teachers, we also report teachers' perceptions…

  3. Teaching and Learning Science through Song: Exploring the Experiences of Students and Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Governor, Donna; Hall, Jori; Jackson, David

    2013-01-01

    This qualitative, multi-case study explored the use of science-content music for teaching and learning in six middle school science classrooms. The researcher sought to understand how teachers made use of content-rich songs for teaching science, how they impacted student engagement and learning, and what the experiences of these teachers and…

  4. Preparing Middle School Teachers to Use Science Models Effectively when Teaching about Weather and Climate Topics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarker, M. B.; Stanier, C. O.; Forbes, C.; Park, S.

    2012-12-01

    According to the National Science Education Standards (NSES), teachers are encouraged to use science models in the classroom as a way to aid in the understanding of the nature of the scientific process. This is of particular importance to the atmospheric science community because climate and weather models are very important when it comes to understanding current and future behaviors of our atmosphere. Although familiar with weather forecasts on television and the Internet, most people do not understand the process of using computer models to generate weather and climate forecasts. As a result, the public often misunderstands claims scientists make about their daily weather as well as the state of climate change. Therefore, it makes sense that recent research in science education indicates that scientific models and modeling should be a topic covered in K-12 classrooms as part of a comprehensive science curriculum. The purpose of this research study is to describe how three middle school teachers use science models to teach about topics in climate and weather, as well as the challenges they face incorporating models effectively into the classroom. Participants in this study took part in a week long professional development designed to orient them towards appropriate use of science models for a unit on weather, climate, and energy concepts. The course design was based on empirically tested features of effective professional development for science teachers and was aimed at teaching content to the teachers while simultaneously orienting them towards effective use of science models in the classroom in a way that both aids in learning about the content knowledge as well as how models are used in scientific inquiry. Results indicate that teachers perceive models to be physical representations that can be used as evidence to convince students that the teacher's conception of the concept is correct. Additionally, teachers tended to use them as ways to explain an idea to

  5. Mothers as informal science class teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Phyllis

    This study explores the participation of mothers as teachers (termed "Adult Leaders") in the Hands On Science Outreach (HOSO) informal science program for pre-kindergarten through sixth grade children. Since women continue to be underrepresented in the sciences (AAUW, 1992; AAUW 1998), there is a need to probe the nature of mothers' choices in science experiences, in the family context, and as role models. Mothers of school age children who choose to lead informal science activities are in a position to teach and learn not only within this alternative setting, but within their homes where values, attitudes, beliefs and motivations are continually cultivated by daily choices (Gordon, 1972; Tamir, 1990; Gerber, 1997). Policy makers recognize that schools are only one environment from many for learning science (National Science Board, 1983; National Research Council, 1996). Using complementary methodology, this study was conducted in two HOSO sessions that extended over six months. Twelve mothers who were HOSO teachers were case study participants. Primary data collection strategies were interviews, journals, and "draw-a-scientist." A larger sample of HOSO mother-teachers (N = 112) also contributed to a surrey, developed from an analysis of the case studies. Informal learning settings must, by their non-compulsory nature, focus on the affective component of learning as a necessity of participation. The framework for the qualitative analysis was from the affective characteristics described by Simpson et al. (1994). The interpretation is informed by sociobiology, science education and adult education theories. The study finds that the twelve mothers began their HOSO teaching believing in science as a way of knowing and valuing the processes and information from its practice. These women perceive their participation as a likely means to increase the success of their child(ren)'s education and are interested in the potential personal gains of leading an informal science

  6. Perspectives on Science Teacher Professional Development: A study of the ASSET Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Katrina; Miller, Scott; Foster, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    The Astronomy Summer School of East Texas (ASSET) is a two-year NASA-funded teacher professional development program created to help improve middle and high school science teachers' knowledge of and attitudes toward astronomy. During an intensive summer astronomy course experience, science teachers are taught astronomy concepts and principles through engaging pedagogical techniques. The workshop models hands-on/minds-on teaching strategies that strengthened teachers' own pedagogical content knowledge and ways of teaching astronomy to students.As part of our second year of ASSET, participants were observed and interviewed before, during and after the workshop experience to ascertain their perspectives on their own professional development and understanding of astronomy. Interview data, participant observations, surveys, and artifact data (journaling, one-minute papers, etc...) were analyzed and three broad themes emerged regarding the significance of the ASSET experience on teacher enhancement of content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), and the significance of teacher professional development communities in teaching and learning science. We will discuss the major implications of our observations and outline what tools and techniques can be best implemented as part of professional development workshops such as ASSET.This project is supported by the NASA Science Mission Directorate Education and Public Outreach for Earth and Space Science (EPOESS), which is part of the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES), Grant Number NNX12AH11G.

  7. Authoritative school climate, aggression toward teachers, and teacher distress in middle school.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Juliette K; Cornell, Dewey

    2016-03-01

    Aggression toward teachers is linked to burnout and disengagement from teaching, but a positive school climate may reduce aggression and associated teacher distress. Using authoritative school climate theory, the study examined whether schools with high disciplinary structure and student support were associated with less aggression and less distress. The sample of 9,134 teachers in 389 middle schools came from the Virginia Secondary School Climate Survey, a statewide survey administered to all public schools with 7th and 8th grade enrollment. The majority of teachers (75%) were female. More than half (53%) reported that they had more than 10 years of teaching experience; 23% reported 6 to 10 years; 24% reported 1 to 5 years. Students reported on the degree to which their schools were structured and supportive. Teachers reported on their experiences of aggression by students, their level of distress, and their feelings of safety. Staff-related infractions computed from Department of Education records were also used. Multilevel modeling revealed that teachers in authoritative schools experienced less aggression and felt safer and less distressed. Lower aggression by students mediated the association between more authoritative schools and lower distress such that more structured and supportive schools had greater teacher safety and, in turn, less distress. The findings support the idea that more structured and supportive schools relate to greater safety for teachers and, in turn, less distress. Research limitations and implications for practice are discussed. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  8. Preparing teachers for ambitious and culturally responsive science teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiler, Gale

    2013-03-01

    Communities, schools and classrooms across North America are becoming more ethnically, racially, and linguistically diverse, particularly in urban areas. Against this backdrop, underrepresentation of certain groups in science continues. Much attention has been devoted to multicultural education and the preparation of teachers for student diversity. In science education, much research has focused on classrooms as cultural spaces and the need for teachers to value and build upon students' everyday science knowledge and ways of sense-making. However it remains unclear how best to prepare science teachers for this kind of culturally responsive teaching. In attempting to envision how to prepare science teachers with cross-cultural competency, we can draw from a parallel line of research on preparing teachers for ambitious science instruction. In ambitious science instruction, students solve authentic problems and generate evidence and models to develop explanations of scientific phenomenon, an approach that necessitates great attention to students' thinking and sense-making, thus making it applicable to cultural relevance aims. In addition, this line of research on teacher preparation has developed specific tools and engages teachers in cycles of reflection and rehearsal as they develop instructional skills. While not addressing cross-cultural teaching specifically, this research provides insights into specific ways through which to prepare teachers for culturally responsive practices. In my presentation, I will report on efforts to join these two areas of research, that is, to combine ideas about multicultural science teacher preparation with what has been learned about how to develop ambitious science instruction. This research suggests a new model for urban science teacher preparation--one that focuses on developing specific teaching practices that elicit and build on student thinking, and doing so through cycles of individual and collective planning, rehearsal

  9. Ciencias 1. Manual do Professor (Science 1. Teacher's Manual).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raposo, Lucilia

    This is the teacher's guide for Ciencias 1, the first in a series of science books designed for Portuguese-speaking students in elementary schools. The guide contains materials corresponding to the student's book. Included are five sections comprised of 43 lessons. The teacher's guide also contains lesson objectives, suggestions for lesson…

  10. Optimizing the orchestration of resemiotization with teacher "talk moves": A model of guided-inquiry instruction in middle school science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millstone, Rachel Diana

    The current conceptualization of science set forth by the National Research Council (2008) is one of science as a social activity, rather than a view of science as a fixed body of knowledge. This requires teachers to consider how communication, processing, and meaning-making contribute to science learning. It also requires teachers to think deeply about what constitutes knowledge and understanding in science, and what types of instruction are most conducive to preparing students to participate meaningfully in the society of tomorrow. Because argumentation is the prominent form of productive talk leading to the building of new scientific knowledge, one indicator of successful inquiry lies in students' abilities to communicate their scientific understandings in scientific argumentation structures. The overarching goal of this study is to identify factors that promote effective inquiry-based instruction in middle school science classrooms, as evidenced in students' abilities to engage in quality argumentation with their peers. Three specific research questions were investigated: (1) What factors do teachers identify in their practice as significant to the teaching and learning of science? (2) What factors do students identify as significant to their learning of science? and (3) What factors affect students' opportunities and abilities to achieve sophisticated levels of argumentation in the classroom? Two teachers and forty students participated in this study. Four principle sources of data were collected over a three-month period of time. These included individual teacher interviews, student focus group interviews, fieldnotes, and approximately 85 hours of classroom videotape. From this sample, four pathways for guided-inquiry instruction are identified. Opportunities for student talk were influenced by a combination of factors located in the domains of "teacher practice," "classroom systems," and "physical structures." Combinations of elements from these three

  11. Translating Current Science into Materials for High School via a Scientist-Teacher Partnership

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Julie C.; Bokor, Julie R.; Crippen, Kent J.; Koroly, Mary Jo

    2014-01-01

    Scientist-teacher partnerships are a unique form of professional development that can assist teachers in translating current science into classroom instruction by involving them in meaningful collaborations with university researchers. However, few reported models aim to directly alter science teachers' practices by supporting them in the…

  12. Teachers' Perceptions of Infusion of Values in Science Lessons: a Qualitative Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumarassamy, Jayanthy; Koh, Caroline

    2017-06-01

    Much has been written and debated on the importance of including moral, character or values education in school curricula. In line with this, teachers' views with regard to values education have often been sought. However, a search into the literature on values in science education has revealed little on this domain. In an attempt to close this gap, this study explored the views of teachers with regard to values infusion in the teaching of science. The aim was to investigate teachers' perceptions on two broad areas: (i) how values were infused or addressed in lower secondary science and (ii) how values-infused science lessons influenced their students' dispositions and actions. The participants who took part in the interviews were lower secondary science teachers teaching Grade 8 in selected Singapore and New Delhi schools. The findings showed that values inherent in the discipline of science, such as validity, fairness, honesty, rigour, predominated in the lessons conducted by the teachers in both contexts. Furthermore, in Singapore, equal numbers of teachers made references to values upheld and practised by scientists and values arising from the interplay between people and scientific processes and products. In New Delhi however, the emphasis was higher on the latter category of values than on the former. Generally, in both contexts, values infusion in science lessons was not planned but occurred spontaneously as values issues surfaced in class. Teachers in both Singapore and New Delhi used strategies such as questioning, discussion, activities and direct instructions to carry out values infusion, although they experienced challenges that included content and time constraints, lack of student readiness and of teacher competency. Nevertheless, the teachers interviewed perceived that values in science lessons brought about changes in students' personal attributes, affect and behaviour, such as greater interest and prosocial engagement.

  13. Science, technology, and pedagogy: Exploring secondary science teachers' effective uses of technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzey, Siddika Selcen

    Technology has become a vital part of our professional and personal lives. Today we cannot imagine living without many technological tools such as computers. For the last two decades technology has become inseparable from several areas, such as science. However, it has not been fully integrated into the field of education. The integration of technology in teaching and learning is still challenging even though there has been a historical growth of Internet access and available technology tools in schools (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2006). Most teachers have not incorporated technology into their teaching for various reasons such as lack of knowledge of educational technology tools and having unfavorable beliefs about the effectiveness of technology on student learning. In this study, three beginning science teachers who have achieved successful technology integration were followed to investigate how their beliefs, knowledge, and identity contribute to their uses of technology in their classroom instruction. Extensive classroom observations and interviews were conducted. The findings demonstrate that the participating teachers are all intrinsically motivated to use technology in their teaching and this motivation allows them to enjoy using technology in their instruction and keeps them engaged in technology use. These teachers use a variety of technology tools in their instruction while also allowing students to use them, and they posit a belief set in favor of technology. The major findings of the study are displayed in a model which indicates that teachers' use of technology in classroom instruction was constructed jointly by their technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge; identity; beliefs; and the resources that are available to them and that the internalization of the technology use comes from reflection. The study has implications for teachers, teacher educators, and school administrators for successful technology

  14. Volcano!: An Event-Based Science Module. Teacher's Guide. Geology Module.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Russell G.

    This book is designed for middle school earth science teachers to help their students learn scientific literacy through event-based science. Unlike traditional curricula, the event-based earth science module is a student-centered, interdisciplinary, inquiry-oriented program that emphasizes cooperative learning, teamwork, independent research,…

  15. Personal Professional Development Efforts Scale for Middle School Mathematics Teachers: An Adaptation Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balbag, M. Zafer; Yenilmez, Kürsat; Turgut, Melih

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed at adapting the personal professional development efforts scale developed for science and technology teachers to be applied for middle school mathematics teachers. For this purpose, first of all, the items of the original scale were adjusted for the middle school mathematics teachers by a team of experts. Data obtained by the new…

  16. Chinese school teachers' organizational citizenship behavior (OCB): Predictors and outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xia

    2013-08-01

    Teacher's organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is a multifaceted construct that is critical to school effectiveness and to the education enterprise. Four hundred ninety-three teachers in eight different cities on the Chinese mainland were surveyed using the OCB scale developed by Bo Shiuan Cheng, a Taiwanese scholar. The antecedent and outcome variables of OCB were examined in this study. The results showed that the teachers' attitudinal characteristics of career satisfaction and career commitment, and the dispositional characteristic of locus of control, influenced teachers' OCB. In addition, teachers' OCB influenced their work performance as well as their career and organizational turnover intention. The implications of this study suggest a base of knowledge from which school administrators could enhance their school's organizational function and retain teachers. © 2013 The Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  17. Factors influencing exemplary science teachers' levels of computer use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakverdi, Meral

    This study examines exemplary science teachers' use of technology in science instruction, factors influencing their level of computer use, their level of knowledge/skills in using specific computer applications for science instruction, their use of computer-related applications/tools during their instruction, and their students' use of computer applications/tools in or for their science class. After a relevant review of the literature certain variables were selected for analysis. These variables included personal self-efficacy in teaching with computers, outcome expectancy, pupil-control ideology, level of computer use, age, gender, teaching experience, personal computer use, professional computer use and science teachers' level of knowledge/skills in using specific computer applications for science instruction. The sample for this study includes middle and high school science teachers who received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching Award (sponsored by the White House and the National Science Foundation) between the years 1997 and 2003 from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Award-winning science teachers were contacted about the survey via e-mail or letter with an enclosed return envelope. Of the 334 award-winning science teachers, usable responses were received from 92 science teachers, which made a response rate of 27.5%. Analysis of the survey responses indicated that exemplary science teachers have a variety of knowledge/skills in using computer related applications/tools. The most commonly used computer applications/tools are information retrieval via the Internet, presentation tools, online communication, digital cameras, and data collection probes. Results of the study revealed that students' use of technology in their science classroom is highly correlated with the frequency of their science teachers' use of computer applications/tools. The results of the multiple regression analysis revealed that personal self-efficacy related to

  18. Training Elementary Teachers to Prepare Students for High School Authentic Scientific Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danch, J. M.

    2017-12-01

    The Woodbridge Township New Jersey School District has a 4-year high school Science Research program that depends on the enrollment of students with the prerequisite skills to conduct authentic scientific research at the high school level. A multifaceted approach to training elementary teachers in the methods of scientific investigation, data collection and analysis and communication of results was undertaken in 2017. Teachers of predominately grades 4 and 5 participated in hands on workshops at a Summer Tech Academy, an EdCamp, a District Inservice Day and a series of in-class workshops for teachers and students together. Aspects of the instruction for each of these activities was facilitated by high school students currently enrolled in the High School Science Research Program. Much of the training activities centered around a "Learning With Students" model where teachers and their students simultaneously learn to perform inquiry activities and conduct scientific research fostering inquiry as it is meant to be: where participants produce original data are not merely working to obtain previously determined results.

  19. Earthworks: Educating Teachers in Earth System Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spetzler, H.; Weaver, A.; Buhr, S.

    2000-01-01

    Earthworks is a national community of teachers and scientists. Initiated in 1998 with funding from NASA, our summer workshops in the Rocky Mountains each year provide unique opportunities for teachers to design and conduct field research projects, working closely with scientists. Teachers then develop plans for classroom implementation during the school year, sharing their ideas and experiences with other community members through e-mail and a listserv. Scientists, from graduate students to expert senior researchers, share their knowledge of field methods in environmental science, and learn how to better communicate and teach about their research.

  20. Jordanian Preservice Primary Teachers' Perceptions of Mentoring in Science Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abed, Osama H.; Abd-El-Khalick, Fouad

    2015-03-01

    Quality mentoring is fundamental to preservice teacher education because of its potential to help student and novice teachers develop the academic and pedagogical knowledge and skills germane to successful induction into the profession. This study focused on Jordanian preservice primary teachers' perceptions of their mentoring experiences as these pertain to science teaching. The Mentoring for Effective Primary Science Teaching instrument was administered to 147 senior preservice primary teachers in a university in Jordan. The results indicated that the greater majority of participants did not experience effective mentoring toward creating a supportive and reflexive environment that would bolster their confidence in teaching science; further their understanding of primary science curriculum, and associated aims and school policies; help with developing their pedagogical knowledge; and/or furnish them with specific and targeted feedback and guidance to help improve their science teaching. Substantially more participants indicated that their mentors modeled what they perceived to be effective science teaching. The study argues for the need for science-specific mentoring for preservice primary teachers, and suggests a possible pathway for achieving such a model starting with those in-service primary teachers-much like those identified by participants in the present study-who are already effective in their science teaching.

  1. Middle School Teachers' Expectations of Organizational Behaviors of Students with Learning Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMullen, Rebecca C.; Shippen, Margaret E.; Dangel, Harry L.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the specific classroom organizational behaviors that middle school inclusive teachers report as expectations for students with learning disabilities. Practicing middle school science and social studies teachers (n = 12) responded to a survey about organization behaviors of students with learning…

  2. Inspiring science achievement: a mixed methods examination of the practices and characteristics of successful science programs in diverse high schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scogin, Stephen C.; Cavlazoglu, Baki; LeBlanc, Jennifer; Stuessy, Carol L.

    2017-08-01

    While the achievement gap in science exists in the US, research associated with our investigation reveals some high school science programs serving diverse student bodies are successfully closing the gap. Using a mixed methods approach, we identified and investigated ten high schools in a large Southwestern state that fit the definition of "highly successful, highly diverse". By conducting interviews with science liaisons associated with each school and reviewing the literature, we developed a rubric identifying specific characteristics associated with successful science programs. These characteristics and practices included setting high expectations for students, providing extensive teacher support for student learning, and utilizing student-centered pedagogy. We used the rubric to assess the successful high school science programs and compare them to other high school science programs in the state (i.e., less successful and less diverse high school science programs). Highly successful, highly diverse schools were very different in their approach to science education when compared to the other programs. The findings from this study will help schools with diverse students to strengthen hiring practices, enhance teacher support mechanisms, and develop student-focused strategies in the classroom that increase science achievement.

  3. Preparing Pre-Service School Librarians for Science-Focused Collaboration with Pre-Service Elementary Teachers: The Design and Impact of a Cross-Class Assignment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawson, Casey H.

    2015-01-01

    Numerous authors in the library and information science (LIS) field have called for more authentic collaborative experiences for students in school librarian education programs, particularly experiences that partner school library students with pre-service teachers to collaboratively design instruction. The first-iteration, design-based study…

  4. Multimodal Science Teachers' Discourse in Modeling the Water Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquez, Conxita; Izquierdo, Merce; Espinet, Mariona

    2006-01-01

    The paper presents an intensive study of a micro-event aiming at the characterization of teacher's discourse from a multimodal communication perspective in a secondary school science classroom dealing with the topic of "water cycle." The research addresses the following questions: (a) What communicative modes are used by the teacher?, (b) what…

  5. High school and college introductory science education experiences: A study regarding perceptions of university students persisting in science as a major area of study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredrick, L. Denise

    The focus of this study was to investigate college students' perception of high school and college introductory science learning experiences related to persistence in science as a major area of study in college. The study included students' perceptions of the following areas of science education: (1) teacher interpersonal relationship with students, (2) teacher personality styles, (3) teacher knowledge of the content, (4) instructional methods, and (5) science course content. A survey research design was employed in the investigative study to collect and analyze data. One hundred ninety two students participated in the research study. A survey instrument entitled Science Education Perception Survey was used to collect data. The researcher sought to reject or support three null hypotheses as related to participants' perceptions of high school and college introductory science education experiences. Using binomial regression analysis, this study analyzed differences between students persisting in science and students not persisting in science as a major. The quantitative research indicated that significant differences exist between persistence in science as a major and high school science teacher traits and college introductory science instructional methods. Although these variables were found to be significant predictors, the percent variance was low and should be considered closely before concluded these as strong predictors of persistence. Major findings of the qualitative component indicated that students perceived that: (a) interest in high school science course content and high school science teacher personality and interpersonal relationships had the greatest effect on students' choice of major area of study; (b) interest in college introductory science course content had the greatest effect on students' choice of major area of study; (c) students recalled laboratory activities and overall good teaching as most meaningful to their high school science

  6. Factors affecting student achievement in science: A study of teacher beliefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Jonathan

    This study employed a mixed methods and mixed model research design to explore secondary science teachers' beliefs. Specifically, this study focused on factors that secondary science teachers believe affect student achievement in science, and the extent to which teacher beliefs transfer to teacher practice. This study is significant because the outcomes may inform professional development and policy decisions at the school, district, and provincial level. Results from self-reporting data of 82 secondary science teachers indicate that teacher beliefs in each of the fourteen topics surveyed (Classroom Management, Learning Styles, Inclusion, Equity, Science-Technology-Society (STS), Formative Assessment, Summative Assessment, Constructivism, Thematic Approach, Hands-On/Minds-On Activities, The Nature of Science, Science Subject Matter, Electronic Learning and Cooperative Learning) are positive for most Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) secondary science teachers. Furthermore, secondary science teachers reported having strong beliefs in their ability to affect student learning (self-efficacy beliefs). However, it is apparent from the survey and interview data that teachers believe there are other influential factors that are preventing some students from learning despite the teachers' best efforts and ability. Regarding implementation, this study indicates that beliefs and the enactment of beliefs in classroom practice are positively correlated. The data also shows that at least seventy percent of teachers reported that they implement practices consistent with all but two topics -- The Nature of Science and Electronic Learning -- at least once a week. The findings of this study are discussed in the context of the P.E.I. secondary science setting. Limitations and implications of this study are also addressed.

  7. The PISCES Project: How Teacher-Scientist Partners can Enhance Elementary Science Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reif, C.; Oechel, W.

    2003-12-01

    The PISCES Project (Partnerships Involving the Scientific Community in Elementary Schools www.sdsa.org/pisces) is an innovative program that brings high quality standards-based elementary science curriculum and hands-on laboratory materials into San Diego County's classrooms. The project is funded by the NSF Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) program. The project was designed and is administered through cooperation among faculty at San Diego State University and the Science Department of the San Diego County Office of Education. Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in science programs in San Diego area universities including San Diego State University, California State University San Marcos, and University of California San Diego partner with elementary school teachers. Through this partnership, the scientist brings scientific expertise to the classroom while the teacher delivers the lesson using current pedagogic methods. This is accomplished during a 3 month partnership in which the scientist joins the teacher in the classroom a few days each week to complete professional kit-based curriculum such as that available from FOSS (Full Option Science System) and STC (Science and Technology for Children). The teachers remain in the program for two years during which they have continuous access to the kit-based curriculum as well as two to three partnership cycles. Teachers receive assistance outside of the classroom as well attending professional development institutes three times a year to establish and maintain effective science teaching methods. The San Diego Science Alliance and other community and industry supporters provide the additionalfunding necessary to provide this teacher professional development Currenty, PISCES is present in over 40 schools and is able to provide partnerships to over 100 classrooms each year. In addition to the work done in San Diego, the project has expanded to Barrow, Alaska with plans to expand to La Paz

  8. Fostering collaborative inquiries by prospective and practicing elementary and middle school teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Zee, Emily; Lay, Diantha; Roberts, Deborah

    2003-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to document the perspectives and experiences of participants in a complex collaboration. Prospective teachers planned and conducted science lessons and small educational research projects with mentoring from teacher researchers who are science enthusiasts. These group investigations seemed to be effective in modifying the self-perceptions of many of the prospective teachers enrolled in a course on methods of teaching science in elementary school. According to responses on an informal evaluation at the end of the Spring 2000 group investigation, for example, most of the prospective teachers indicated that they perceived themselves to be more confident and more competent to teach science than at the beginning of the course; a few indicated they had already felt confident and competent. Common themes in the prospective teachers' responses indicated that they had learned about teaching science through inquiry, taking ownership of their own learning, researching while teaching, working in groups, and understanding themselves as learners and teachers. The teacher researchers also perceived themselves as benefiting from the collaborative process. Their responses to an e-mail questionnaire suggested that they found working with the prospective teachers to be stimulating and cheering. They enjoyed the discussions, appreciated the help with demanding activities, grew in their own knowledge about teaching and learning, and valued the opportunities for reflection. However, organizing the group investigation was complex, due to time issues, driving distances, school schedules, unexpected teacher responsibilities, and unpredictable weather.

  9. Promising Teacher Practices: Students' Views about Their Science Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeed, Azra; Easterbrook, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Internationally, conceptual and procedural understanding, understanding the Nature of Science, and scientific literacy are considered worthy goals of school science education in modern times. The empirical study presented here reports on promising teacher practices that in the students' views afford learning opportunities and support their science…

  10. The perceptions of pre-service and in-service teachers regarding a project-based STEM approach to teaching science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, Nyet Moi; Amir, Nazir; Chong, Chin Lu

    2015-01-01

    Whilst much attention has focused on project-based approaches to teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, little has been reported on the views of South-East Asian science teachers on project-based STEM approaches. Such knowledge could provide relevant information for education training institutions on how to influence innovative teaching of STEM subjects in schools. This article reports on a study that investigated the perceptions of 25 pre-service and 21 in-service Malaysian science teachers in adopting an interdisciplinary project-based STEM approach to teaching science. The teachers undertook an eight hour workshop which exposed them to different science-based STEM projects suitable for presenting science content in the Malaysian high school science syllabus. Data on teachers' perceptions were captured through surveys, interviews, open-ended questions and classroom discussion before and at the end of the workshop. Study findings showed that STEM professional development workshops can provide insights into the support required for teachers to adopt innovative, effective, project-based STEM approaches to teaching science in their schools.

  11. Three Southern high school biology teachers' perspectives on teaching evolution: Sociocultural influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzer, Peggy Mckewen

    Organizations in science and science education call for students to have a thorough understanding of the theory of evolution. Yet many high school biology teachers do not teach evolution and/or include creationism in their instruction (National Academy of Science, 1998). Historically, the controversy surrounding evolution has created tension for teachers. This case study explored the sociocultural influences related to teaching evolution in three Southern 10th-grade public high school biology classrooms. It also explored the socially and culturally embedded influences on teachers' instructional goals and personal perspectives toward evolution as well as modification of instruction when evolution is taught. Theoretically framed using symbolic interactionism and sociocultural theory, data were collected between October 2003 and April 2004 and included classroom observations two to three times per week, artifacts, and in-depth interviews of the participating teachers, their science department chairpersons, their students, and a Protestant minister. The classroom teachers were unaware of the focus of the study until after evolution was taught. The analysis used in this study was an inductive, interpretative approach that allowed exploration of the sociocultural influences that affect how teachers teach evolution. The sociocultural influences and the lived experiences of each teacher created a continuum for teaching evolution. One of the participating teachers who was heavily involved in the community and one of its fundamentalist churches elected to avoid teaching evolution. Another participating teacher at the same school integrated the theory of evolution in every unit. The third teacher who taught in another school elected to teach evolution in a superficial manner to avoid conflict. The data revealed that the participating teachers' sociocultural situatedness influenced their decisions and instruction on evolution. The influence of strong religious beliefs within

  12. Science Teacher Decision-Making in a Climate of Heightened Accountability: A Rhizomatic Case Study Analysis of Two Science Departments in New York City

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purohit, Kiran Dilip

    Secondary science teachers make many daily decisions in the enactment of curriculum. Although curriculum materials are widely available to address science content, practices, and skills, the consideration that goes into deciding how and whether to use such materials is complicated by teachers' beliefs about science, their understandings of school-level accountability and testing measures, and their perspectives on the adolescent students they teach. This study addresses the need to understand how teachers consider multiple forces in their enactment of science curriculum. The purpose of this study was to explore the ways that discourses around accountability, science, and science education emerge in the narratives around teachers' decision-making in secondary science classrooms. Using a case study approach, I worked at two school sites with two pairs of science teachers. We established criteria for critical incidents together, then teachers identified critical decision-making moments in their classrooms. We analyzed those incidents together using a consultancy protocol, allowing teachers to focus their thinking on reframing the incidents and imagining other possible outcomes. Using post-structuralist rhizomatics, I assembled analyses of teachers' discussions of the critical incidents in the form of dramatization--scenes and monologues. I then developed two major interpretive strands. First, I connected teachers' sense of having "no time" to blocs of affect tied to larger discourses of national security, teacher accountability, and the joy of scientific discovery. Second, I demonstrated how teachers' concern in following logical pathways and sequences in science relates to the imposition of accountability measures that echo the outcomes-driven logic of the learning sciences. Across both interpretations, I found accountability to be complex, multidirectional, and unpredictable in how it works on and through teachers as they make decisions. Research in this area has

  13. A Research-Based Science Teacher Education Program for a Competitive Tomorrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clary, R. M.; Hamil, B.; Beard, D. J.; Chevalier, D.; Dunne, J.; Saebo, S.

    2009-12-01

    A united commitment between the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences at Mississippi State University, in partnership with local high-need school districts, has the goal of increasing the number of highly qualified science teachers through authentic science research experiences. The departments of Geosciences, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Physics offer undergraduate pre-service teachers laboratory experiences in science research laboratories, including 1) paleontological investigations of Cretaceous environments, 2) NMR studies of the conformation of tachykinin peptides, 3) FHA domains as regulators of cell signaling in plants, 4) intermediate energy nuclear physics studies, and 5) computational studies of cyclic ketene acetals. Coordinated by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, these research experiences involve extensive laboratory training in which the pre-teacher participants matriculate through a superior education curriculum prior to administrating their individual classrooms. Participants gain valuable experience in 1) performing literature searches and reviews; 2) planning research projects; 3) recording data; 4) presenting laboratory results effectively; and 5) writing professional scientific manuscripts. The research experience is available to pre-service teachers who are science education majors with a declared second major in a science (i.e., geology, biology, physics, or chemistry). Students are employed part-time in various science university laboratories, with work schedules arranged around their individual course loads. While the focus of this endeavor is upon undergraduate pre-service teachers, the researchers also target practicing science teachers from the local high-need school districts. A summer workshop provides practicing science teachers with a summative laboratory experience in several scientific disciplines. Practicing teachers also are provided lesson plans and ideas to transform their classrooms into

  14. Implementing Concepts of Pharmaceutical Engineering into High School Science Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimmel, Howard; Hirsch, Linda S.; Simon, Laurent; Burr-Alexander, Levelle; Dave, Rajesh

    2009-01-01

    The Research Experience for Teachers was designed to help high school science teachers develop skills and knowledge in research, science and engineering with a focus on the area of pharmaceutical particulate and composite systems. The experience included time for the development of instructional modules for classroom teaching. Results of the…

  15. Science Teacher Education in Australia: Initiatives and Challenges to Improve the Quality of Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treagust, David F.; Won, Mihye; Petersen, Jacinta; Wynne, Georgie

    2015-02-01

    In this article, we describe how teachers in the Australian school system are educated to teach science and the different qualifications that teachers need to enter the profession. The latest comparisons of Australian students in international science assessments have brought about various accountability measures to improve the quality of science teachers at all levels. We discuss the issues and implications of government initiatives in preservice and early career teacher education programs, such as the implementation of national science curriculum, the stricter entry requirements to teacher education programs, an alternative pathway to teaching and the measure of effectiveness of teacher education programs. The politicized discussion and initiatives to improve the quality of science teacher education in Australia are still unfolding as we write in 2014.

  16. The key factors affecting students' individual interest in school science lessons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Derek

    2018-01-01

    Individual interest in school science lessons can be defined as a relatively stable and enduring personal emotion comprising affective and behavioural reactions to events in the regular science lessons at school. Little research has compared the importance of different factors affecting students' individual interest in school science lessons. The present study aimed to address this gap, using a mixed methods design. Qualitative interview data were collected from 60 Hong Kong junior secondary school students, who were asked to describe the nature of their interest in science lessons and the factors to which they attribute this. Teacher interviews, parent interviews, and classroom observations were conducted to triangulate student interview data. Five factors affecting students' individual interest in school science lessons were identified: situational influences in science lessons, individual interest in science, science self-concept, grade level, and gender. Quantitative data were then collected from 591 students using a questionnaire. Structural equation modelling was applied to test a hypothesised model, which provided an acceptable fit to the student data. The strongest factor affecting students' individual interest in school science lessons was science self-concept, followed by individual interest in science and situational influences in science lessons. Grade level and gender were found to be nonsignificant factors. These findings suggest that teachers should pay special attention to the association between academic self-concept and interest if they want to motivate students to learn science at school.

  17. Subject Specialization and Science Teachers' Perception of Information and Communication Technology for Instruction in Kwara State

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakomogbon, Michael Ayodele; Adebayo, Rachael Funmi; Adegbija, Mosiforeba Victoria; Shittu, Ahmed Tajudeen; Oyelekan, Oloyede Solomon

    2014-01-01

    This study exa