Sample records for school science teachers

  1. Differentiating Science Instruction: Success Stories of High School Science Teachers (United States)

    Maeng, Jennifer Lynn Cunningham


    This study investigated the characteristics and practices of high school science teachers who differentiate instruction. Specifically teachers' beliefs about science teaching and student learning and how they planned for and implemented differentiated instruction in their classrooms were explored. Understanding how high school science teachers…

  2. Science education for teachers of primary schools (United States)

    Křížová, Michaela; Maněnová, Martina


    It is necessary to catch the interest in subject of science and forming of concepts in physics already at primary schools. We will present the summary of results of questionnaire survey, which was given to the pre-service teachers of primary schools in the Faculty of education, University of Hradec Králové and further concept of the subjects, which seemed very suitable for the preparation of pre-service teachers of the children of younger school age. Teaching, which contains not only theoretical explanation of the physical processes with emphasis on connection with our daily experience. But especially the topics for practical activities appropriate at primary schools, can lead to motivation of children and development of their science knowledge and even motoric skills. We will introduce examples of practical teaching and themes for the experiments with simple material, which could be suitably included in teaching of science on the primary school.

  3. Leadership styles in secondary school science teachers (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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study sought to investigate junior high school science teachers' attitude towards contextualised science instruction. The study employed the survey design to collect data. The study sample consisted of 288 junior high school science teachers (33 females and 255 males). However 204 (24 females and 180 males) of the ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    The main objectives of this study were to test South African high school Physical Sciences teachers' competence in the cognitive skills ... Cognitive skills, thinking skills, questions testing skills, problem solving, teacher training, high school physical science. 1. .... tion, subtraction, multiplication, division), both with numbers.

  6. 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)


    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.

  7. Middle School Science Teachers' Perceptions of Social Justice: A Study of Two Female Teachers (United States)

    Upadhyay, Bhaskar


    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…

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The main purpose of the study was to explore pre-service secondary science teachers' self-efficacy beliefs regarding science teaching. The study also compared pre-service secondary science teachers' self-efficacy beliefs with regard to gender and educational level. Data were collected by administering the science ...

  9. Teaching planetary sciences to elementary school teachers: Programs that work (United States)

    Lebofsky, Larry A.; Lebofsky, Nancy R.


    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

  10. The Progression of Prospective Teachers' Conceptions of School Science Content (United States)

    Martin del Pozo, Rosa; Porlan, Rafael; Rivero, Ana


    The purpose of the present work is to describe the progression in the conceptions of prospective primary teachers about school science content while they were participating in three teacher education courses following the same constructivist oriented strategy. The participants' written output was analyzed in various categories--selection of…

  11. Science and Technology Teachers' Views of Primary School Science and Technology Curriculum (United States)

    Yildiz-Duban, Nil


    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…

  12. Between School Factors and Teacher Factors: What Inhibits Malaysian Science Teachers from Using ICT? (United States)

    Ahmad, Tunku Badariah Tunku


    Despite the Malaysian government's efforts to increase the use of ICT in school, teachers' uptake of the technology remains slow and dismal. In this study, teachers' perceptions of the barriers that inhibited their use of ICT in the science classroom were explored. One hundred and fifty-one (N = 151) science teachers from selected secondary…

  13. Training teachers for integrated science in Nigerian secondary schools.


    Wuyep, Sunday Nankap


    This research examined the teacher training for integrated science in some university departments and colleges in Nigeria with the aim of establishing its characteristics, quality and appropriateness of the training in fitting the trainees to their job. It was decided to focus on all the "players" in the training of teachers; to canvas their views and to investigate their understanding of integrated science as it appears in college and school curriculum. This study specifica...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper investigated the supply of science teachers to secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria. It was an ex-post facto and descriptive research. The study population comprised all the 281 secondary schools and 4 higher institutions in the State as well as 30 higher institutions from neighbouring States producing ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    The main purpose of the study was to explore pre-service secondary science .... Related literature. In a study to identify changes in pre-service elementary teachers' sense of efficacy in teaching science, Ginns, Watters, Tulip and Lucas ... between background factors such as gender, years of teaching and grade levels and.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    The main purpose of the study was to explore pre-service secondary science teachers' self-efficacy .... (2008) though the descriptive data revealed that the sense of efficacy-beliefs was higher in the males than in ... Biology Education: 131; Chemistry Education: 67 and Integrated Science Education: 12. Each participant in ...

  17. Instructional decision making of high school science teachers (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

  18. Preparing perservice teachers to teach elementary school science (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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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 ...

  20. Teacher perceptions of high school students underachievement in science (United States)

    Gopalsingh, Bhagyalakshmi

    Low high school graduation rates continue to be a challenge in American public education. The pressure to meet the demands of adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the No Child Left behind Act of 2001 has led to an achievement gap in student performance between science and other core subjects, namely English, math, and social studies, on the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT). GHSGT statistics have consistently reflected a lower science pass percentage compared with other core subjects on the test. The objective of this nonexperimental, quantitative study was to analyze teacher perceptions on reasons for student science underachievement on the GHSGT. A self-developed questionnaire based on Bloom's taxonomy model was administered to 115 high school core subject teachers of a single school district. Analyses of variance (ANOVA) and chi-square tests were used to test hypotheses. Results confirmed that teachers perceived that (a) students demonstrated a low rate of proficiency in science because science demands higher cognitive skills, (b) less emphasis was placed on science because it is a non-AYP indicator, and (c) making science an AYP indicator will optimize student science achievement. Based on results, recommendations were made to promote the integration of English, math, and social studies curriculum with science curriculum to enable students to transfer learned skills and information across subjects. The potential benefits of outcome of this study include (a) providing critical insight for policy makers and educational practitioners to understand the impact of science underachievement on graduation rates, and (b) raising student science achievement to improve graduation rates.

  1. Saudi Elementary School Science Teachers' Beliefs: Teaching Science in the New Millennium (United States)

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


    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. A National Survey of Middle and High School Science Teachers' Responses to Standardized Testing: Is Science Being Devalued in Schools? (United States)

    Aydeniz, Mehmet; Southerland, Sherry A.


    This study explored American high school and middle school science teachers' attitudes toward the use of standardized testing for accountability purposes, their justification for the attitudes they hold and the impact of standardized testing on their instructional and assessment practices. A total of 161 science teachers participated in the study.…

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

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

  5. Opinions of Secondary School Science and Mathematics Teachers on STEM Education (United States)

    Yildirim, Bekir; Türk, Cumhur


    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…

  6. Exploring the positional identities of high school science teachers (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.

  7. Novice high school science teachers: Lesson plan adaptations (United States)

    Scharon, Aracelis Janelle

    The Next Generation Science Standards (NRC, 2013) positions teachers as responsible for necessary decision making about how their intended science lesson plan content supports continuous student science learning. Teachers interact with their instructional lesson plans in dynamic and constructive ways. Adapting lesson plans is complex. This process of adapting lesson plans may play an important role in affording and constraining teachers' actions and students' learning (Brown, 2009). This study explored how five novice chemistry teachers (under 4 years of total teaching experience) at five Midwestern high schools adapted or retained their honors chemistry instructional lesson plans, and what associated contextual factors influenced their decisions. Using a case study design, this study was conducted during the fall semester of 2013 when teachers were focusing on introductory chemistry topics. Three frameworks (pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), teacher decision making, and pedagogical discontentment and self-efficacy) were used to investigate the relationships between teacher adaptations, contextual factors and decision making. The outcome of this study was the identification of 15 types of adaptations and 17 relevant contextual factors. Contextual factors were categorized by factors that relate to students or the teacher. Adaptations were categorized into three overarching types of adaptations: adapting the activity presented during the lesson, adapting the levels of support to assist students with the lesson plan content, and adapting the lesson plan to create another iteration of the same lesson plan that supports the next class. Lesson plan adaptations and contextual factors are discussed in the context of research on teacher decision making and lesson plan adaptations.

  8. Teacher talk about science: An examination of the constructed understanding of science held by four elementary school teachers (United States)

    Price, Robert John

    The elementary school teacher's personal understanding of science has not been a primary focus of consideration in educational reform discussions. This study examines how four elementary school teachers have constructed their personal understanding of science. The purpose of this study is to explore core understandings about science held by these teachers, and to examine the origins of these ideas. This study assumes that a teacher's understanding of science is unique and constructed on personal experiences affected by influences. This study further explores the relationship of the teachers understanding to the school's stated curriculum. The theoretical framework of this research recognizes three guiding assumptions: science exists as a set of ideas that have developed over time through competing discourses; the teacher plays an important role in the implementation of the science curriculum; and the guiding influences of a teacher's understanding of science are associated with power that emerges from discourse. The methodology in this qualitative study is closely associated with narrative inquiry. Data collection methods include a questionnaire, focus group sessions, and individual interviews. Teachers' stories were collected through collaborative interview opportunities between the researcher and the participants. The findings are presented through the narratives of the four teachers, and are organized through the guiding influences, and talk related to the stated science curriculum. The teachers' talk can be categorized by three broad guiding influences: family, education, and an image of science. The talk related to the stated curriculum illustrates both conflicts, and a relationship between the teachers' understanding of science and the curriculum. The finding of this study provides evidence that each teacher's understanding of science is unique and developed over time. Additionally, this understanding plays a role in how the stated curriculum is discussed and

  9. Analysis of Saudi Arabian middle and high school science teachers' conceptions of the nature of science (United States)

    Almazroa, Hiya Mohammed

    This study was conducted to explore Saudi middle and high school science teachers' conceptions of the Nature of Science (NOS). It also detected the effects of gender, science content major, and years of teaching experience on teachers' conceptions of the NOS. The study included a sample of 786 science teachers (137 male and 649 female) who were teaching in middle and high schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in the 1995-1996 academic year. The study was conducted using a translated version of the Nature of Science Scale (NOSS) developed by Kimball (1967). The scale contains 29 items ranging from "agree" to "disagree", and the scoring of the items ranged from 29 to 87. The lowest score is 29 (1 x 29) and the highest score possible on the test is 87 (3 x 29 items). The data collected was statistically analyzed using descriptive statistics and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The study revealed that Saudi science teachers as a group hold numerous misconceptions about the NOS with a significant difference in understanding the NOS between the male and female teachers. The study also showed that teachers with a major in physics held more adequate views than did teachers with other majors. In addition, novice teachers were found to have more adequate conceptions of the NOS than did experienced teachers.

  10. The pathways of high school science teachers and policy efforts to alter the pipeline (United States)

    Sass, Tim


    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.

  11. The Influence of Teachers' Knowledge on Student Learning in Middle School Physical Science Classrooms (United States)

    Sadler, Philip M.; Sonnert, Gerhard; Coyle, Harold P.; Cook-Smith, Nancy; Miller, Jaimie L.


    This study examines the relationship between teacher knowledge and student learning for 9,556 students of 181 middle school physical science teachers. Assessment instruments based on the National Science Education Standards with 20 items in common were administered several times during the school year to both students and their teachers. For items…

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

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

  14. A descriptive study of the middle school science teacher behavior for required student participation in science fair competitions (United States)

    Fisanick, Laura M.

    This descriptive study explores three aspects of teacher behavior related to student participation in science fair competitions: teacher attitudes, teacher preference for different student-learning modes, and teacher motives for required student participation. Teacher motives for required student participation may stem from curriculum and standardized test requirements, school administrators' expectations, teacher preference for a competitive student-learning mode, and teacher attitudes towards science fair competitions. Survey data collected for this study included teacher attitudes about science fair competitions, teacher preference for different student-learning modes, and demographic data about middle school teachers who sponsor students in PJAS science fair competitions. The theoretical framework in this study is the theory of planned behavior proposed by Ajzen. The results from the analysis of data in this study showed that the majority of the teachers in this sample held positive attitudes towards science fair competitions and required their students to conduct science fair projects but did not require their students to participate in science fair competitions. The middle school science teachers in the sample would involve their students in PJAS competitions even if their districts did not require them to participate. The teachers in this study preferred the cooperative and individualistic student-learning modes. Teacher gender did not influence a preference for a particular student-learning mode. Using the theoretical framework from this study revealed teachers who required their students to participate in science fair competitions also required their students to conduct science fair projects.

  15. Science teacher improvement: A study of the change in preparation and qualifications of public middle school science teachers (United States)

    Wickler, Nicole I. Z.

    According to the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (1996), a teacher's professional preparation, their work conditions and sense of efficacy are fundamental to improving elementary and secondary education. These factors lie at the core of educational reforms that seek to raise standards, reshape curricula, and restructure the way schools operate. The call to reconceptualize the practice of teaching and the interaction between teachers and students ring hollow without a careful examination of actions that have taken place in the workplace of teachers themselves. A national profile that identifies key characteristics of the current status of public middle school science teachers preparation, teaching qualifications, and work environments can provide a context for better understanding the current conditions that confront science teachers. This study seeks to provide critical information in four major areas: (1) preservice learning and teaching assignment; (2) continued learning; (3) supportive work environment, and (4) teachers' sense of efficacy. This study is based on current efforts by the National Center for Education Statistics (LACES) to collect data of key indicators of teacher preparation and qualifications using a large-scale survey administered to a nationally representative sample of full-time public school teachers whose primary teaching assignment is in science. In this effort, the information reported in this study utilizes the NCES's Schools and Staffing Surveys (SASS) from 1987--88 and 1993--94. Significant change between 1987--77 and 1993--94 was determined using a t-test for independent means. In addition, frequency counts were analyzed using a chi-square statistic to determine if more "qualified middle school science teachers" were located in particular schools by urbanicity location or/and percent minority enrollment. In general, the quality of middle school science teachers across the country is declining. Teachers report they

  16. Factors that Influence Science Teachers' Selection and Usage of Technologies in High School Science Classrooms (United States)

    Waight, Noemi; Chiu, Ming Ming; Whitford, Melinda


    This study contributed to our understanding of those factors that serve as predictors of science teachers' selection and use of technologies and more specifically, how selection and usage was realized among teachers of different science disciplines. Notable descriptive statistics were examined, and we tested an explanatory model of how demographics, school context, pedagogical approaches and professional development (PD) influenced the likelihood of a teacher using a tool via a multilevel cross-classification-ordered logit analysis (Goldstein 1995). The findings revealed that science teachers were more likely to use hardware than software; more specifically, this included instructional tools (i.e., SMARTboards, clickers) and laboratory tools (probeware). Differences in teachers' use of tools were largely due to differences in tools as opposed to differences in teacher characteristics. Use of a tool was more likely by teachers who taught physics, who taught via inquiry, or who had more PD with a tool. These findings have implications for how we conceptualize selection and usage of technologies that enter the science education pipeline; which tools become sustainable in the science classroom and how technological take-up differs across science disciplines.

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

  18. High School Science Teachers' Interpretations and Perceptions of Reform and Literacy in the Discipline of Science (United States)

    Lesinski-Roscoe, Rachel A.

    This qualitative study sought to gain an understanding of science teachers' perceptions of reform and their role in implementing reform and science-based literacy practices in the classroom, as well as gain an understanding of science teachers' knowledge of disciplinary literacy as the implied framework of reform (i.e., the Next Generation Science Standards). Four focal participants from a suburban, middle-class high school district comprised of two high schools participated in semi-structured interviews, observations, and a stimulated recall task and interview. Data analysis revealed some of the Discourse memberships in which participants claimed membership and the tensions that resulted from those memberships. From this data, a theory emerged of the role of third space in navigating these tensions, and a model for developing a third space is presented, which literacy professionals can reference when working to develop collaborative relationships with science teachers in order to scaffold science-specific literacy practices for student engagement. The information in this study prompts future research regarding the ability of science teachers and literacy professionals to navigate Discourses in a Field Code Changed third space using a disciplinary literacy approach to developing curriculum in order to apprentice students into the discipline of science and develop a citizenry of scientifically literate individuals.

  19. Interactions between Classroom Discourse, Teacher Questioning, and Student Cognitive Engagement in Middle School Science (United States)

    Smart, Julie B.; Marshall, Jeff C.


    Classroom discourse can affect various aspects of student learning in science. The present study examines interactions between classroom discourse, specifically teacher questioning, and related student cognitive engagement in middle school science. Observations were conducted throughout the school year in 10 middle school science classrooms using…

  20. Building professional identity as computer science teachers: Supporting high school computer science teachers through reflection and community building (United States)

    Ni, Lijun

    Computing education requires qualified computing teachers. The reality is that too few high schools in the U.S. have computing/computer science teachers with formal computer science (CS) training, and many schools do not have CS teacher at all. Moreover, teacher retention rate is often low. Beginning teacher attrition rate is particularly high in secondary education. Therefore, in addition to the need for preparing new CS teachers, we also need to support those teachers we have recruited and trained to become better teachers and continue to teach CS. Teacher education literature, especially teacher identity theory, suggests that a strong sense of teacher identity is a major indicator or feature of committed, qualified teachers. However, under the current educational system in the U.S., it could be challenging to establish teacher identity for high school (HS) CS teachers, e.g., due to a lack of teacher certification for CS. This thesis work centers upon understanding the sense of identity HS CS teachers hold and exploring ways of supporting their identity development through a professional development program: the Disciplinary Commons for Computing Educators (DCCE). DCCE has a major focus on promoting reflection on teaching practice and community building. With scaffolded activities such as course portfolio creation, peer review and peer observation among a group of HS CS teachers, it offers opportunities for CS teachers to explicitly reflect on and narrate their teaching, which is a central process of identity building through their participation within the community. In this thesis research, I explore the development of CS teacher identity through professional development programs. I first conducted an interview study with local HS CS teachers to understand their sense of identity and factors influencing their identity formation. I designed and enacted the professional program (DCCE) and conducted case studies with DCCE participants to understand how their

  1. Expanding Computer Science Education in Schools: Understanding Teacher Experiences and Challenges (United States)

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


    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…

  2. Assessing New Zealand High School Science Teachers' Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (United States)

    Owusu, Kofi Acheaw; Conner, Lindsey; Astall, Chris


    Technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) is the knowledge required for effective technology integration in teaching. In this study, New Zealand high school science teachers' TPACK was assessed through an online survey. The data and its analysis revealed that New Zealand's high school science teachers in general had a high perception of…

  3. Science Content Courses: Workshop in Food Chemistry for 4th Grade School Teachers (United States)

    Chaiyapechara, S.; Dong, F. M.


    A science content course in food chemistry was offered as a 4-day summer workshop from 1999 to 2001 to 4th grade school teachers in the Seattle School District. The objectives of the workshop were to increase the teachers' knowledge of food science, to perform simple experiments that could be used in the 4th grade classroom, and to help the…

  4. The influence of science teacher preparation programs on instructional practices of beginning primary school teachers in Malawi (United States)

    Kalande, Wotchiwe Mtonga

    The purpose of this study was to observe the science teaching practices of six primary school teachers in Standards 5 through 7, to learn about their perceptions of teaching science and to examine whether or not their teaching practices were in keeping with what they were taught during teacher preparation as well as Malawi's educational expectations for primary school science based upon MIITEP (Malawi Integrated In-service Teacher Education Program) handbooks. Three research questions were posited: (a) What is the teacher preparation program for primary teachers in Malawi? (b) What were the instructional practices of the six beginning primary school science teachers who were prepared in the teacher training college programs? (c) What connections were evident between what beginning primary school science teachers were expected to learn and what they demonstrated in the classroom? All of the six participants (5 males and 1 female) had completed MIITEP in the past three to five years. The data sources for these science teachers included a self-assessment form, pre-observation interviews, post-observation interviews, and lesson observations. Data were also gathered from MIITEP handbooks and three science teacher educators who were interviewed. The data were analyzed using descriptive analysis. The study revealed that there were matches, partial matches, and mismatches between what the six primary school teachers demonstrated in their classroom as compared with the Malawi Ministry of Education science teacher preparation expectations. Of particular interest were that science teachers did not fully engage pupils in most of the process skills for science teaching, nor did they utilize a variety of appropriate teaching and learning strategies and materials for teaching science. In addition, allotted time for teaching science lessons was not fully utilized due to, among other factors, time conflicts with other official and community welfare duties, and mixing English with

  5. School Resources in Teaching Science to Diverse Student Groups: An Intervention's Effect on Elementary Teachers' Perceptions (United States)

    Lee, Okhee; Llosa, Lorena; Jiang, Feng; O'Connor, Corey; Haas, Alison


    Elementary school teachers' perceptions of school resources (i.e., material, human, and social) for teaching science to diverse student groups were examined across three school districts from one state. As part of a 3-year curricular and professional development intervention, we examined the effect on teachers' perceptions after their first year…

  6. University and Elementary School Perspectives of Ideal Elementary Science Teacher Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions (United States)

    Sewart, Bethany Bianca

    Teacher education knowledge, skills, and dispositions have recently become a well-discussed topic among education scholars around the nation, mainly due to its attention by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) over the past few years. Accrediting agencies, such as NCATE and the Interstate New Teacher and Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), have sought to improve the quality of teacher education programs by examining knowledge, skills, and dispositions as factors in preparing highly-qualified teachers. There is a paucity of research examining these factors for elementary science teachers. Because these factors influence instruction, and students are behind in scientific and mathematical knowledge, elementary science teachers should be studied. Teacher knowledge, skills, and dispositions should be further researched in order to ultimately increase the quality of teachers and teacher education programs. In this particular case, by determining what schools of education and public schools deem important knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to teach science, higher education institutions and schools can collaborate to further educate these students and foster the necessary qualities needed to teach effectively. The study of knowledge, skills, and dispositions is crucial to nurturing effective teaching within the classroom. Results from this study demonstrated that there were prominent knowledge, skills, and dispositions identified by teachers, administrators, and science teacher educators as important for effective teaching of elementary science. These characteristics included: a willingness to learn, or open-mindedness; content knowledge; planning, organization, and preparation; significance of teaching science; and science-related assessment strategies. Interestingly, administrators in the study responded differently than their counterparts in the following areas: their self-evaluation of teacher effectiveness; how the

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

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

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

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

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


    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.

  11. Science for whom? Case studies of two male primary school student teachers’ constructions of themselves as teachers of science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna T. Danielsson


    Full Text Available This paper investigates intersections of gender and the teaching and learning of science in case studies of two male primary school student teachers, exploring how these student teachers negotiate identities as teachers of science. The project works from dual theoretical starting points. Firstly, the project is founded in a feminist post-structural understanding of gender as performative, something ‘done’ in a social context rather than an inherent characteristic of a person. Secondly, learning is, following situated learning theory, conceptualised as involving the constitution of an identity. Empirically, the paper draws on semi-structured interviews with two primary school student teachers specialising in science. The paper explores the two student teachers’ classed and gendered interpretations of school science, in particular how they use these interpretations as a means for them as male teachers to fit into the primary teacher role with its feminine connotations. Finally, some implications for teacher education are discussed.

  12. Teachers' beliefs about science teaching and context factors: Implications for teaching and learning science at the middle school level (United States)

    Pea, Celeste H.

    Current research shows that teachers' beliefs have been virtually ignored in science education reform efforts spearheaded by the development of national, state, and local standards. Since the aim of science education reform is to improve scientific literacy for all students, increasingly, researchers are questioning the lack of attention to teachers' beliefs and are calling for more research to examine teachers' beliefs and the influence of school environmental factors on their classroom practices. The purpose of this study was to explore, investigate, and analyze data that might reveal middle school science teachers' beliefs about science teaching and how school environmental factors influence their classroom behavior. The mixed methods study was conducted in a large urban/suburban county in an eastern state in the United States. Data were collected through a Likert-style survey and interview and observation sessions. Ninety-one middle school science teachers completed the survey. Three teachers from the survey sample also participated in the interview and observation sessions. The findings from the quantitative and qualitative data indicated that most of the middle school science teachers in this study believed that science teaching should be student-centered, and science instruction should be based on an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. They also believed that the state and county standards were the most important factors in helping teachers to use inquiry-based instructional strategies to teach science. In addition to the science standards, the middle school science teachers believed that peer and principal support were critical to their success as teachers, and that instructional materials and supplies were readily available to help them teach science. The findings from the study indicated that few school environmental factors affected the middle school teachers' classroom practices. However, time (to participate in more professional activities

  13. The Relationship between Primary School Teacher and Student Attitudes towards Science and Technology


    Eddie Denessen; Nienke Vos; Fred Hasselman; Monika Louws


    This study focuses on the effects of teachers’ attitudes towards teaching about science and technology on student attitudes towards science and technology. A one-year longitudinal study involving 91 teachers and 1822 students from the higher years of Dutch primary schools showed that students develop less positive attitudes towards science and technology during their primary school years and that girls showed less positive attitudes than boys. Female teachers showed less positive attitudes to...

  14. Overcoming Obstacles in Using Authentic Instruction: A Comparative Case Study of High School Math & Science Teachers (United States)

    Dennis, Jennifer; O'Hair, Mary John


    Research demonstrates that authentic instruction is an effective form of teaching and raising student achievement. The purpose of this study was to examine high school math or science teachers who had a high interest in using authentic instruction in three different school settings--an alternative school, a charter school, and a traditional…

  15. Technology Knowledge: High School Science Teachers' Conceptions of the Nature of Technology (United States)

    Waight, Noemi


    In-depth interviews guided by video elicitations examined 30 high school science teachers' conceptions of technology and by extension how these conceptions reflected dimensions of nature of technology. Altogether, 64% of the teachers characterized their schools and departments as aggressive-moderate adopters with generous access and support…

  16. Integrating E-Books into Science Teaching by Preservice Elementary School Teachers (United States)

    Lai, Ching-San


    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…

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

  18. Voices of Successful Science Teachers in an Urban Diverse Single Gender Girls' School (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…

  19. Secondary School Teachers' Perspectives on Teaching about Topics That Bridge Science and Religion (United States)

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


    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…

  20. The relationship between primary school teacher and student attitudes towards science and technology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Denessen, E.J.P.G.; Vos, N.W.; Hasselman, F.W.; Louws, M.L.


    This study focuses on the effects of teachers' attitudes towards teaching about science and technology on student attitudes towards science and technology. A one-year longitudinal study involving 91 teachers and 1822 students from the higher years of Dutch primary schools showed that students

  1. Science Teacher Beliefs and Classroom Practice Related to Constructivism in Different School Settings (United States)

    Savasci, Funda; Berlin, Donna F.


    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…

  2. 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 (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.

  3. Middle School Teacher Misconceptions and Anxieties Concerning Space Science Disciplinary Core Ideas in NGSS (United States)

    Larsen, Kristine


    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

  4. Turkish preservice science teachers' socioscientific issues-based teaching practices in middle school science classrooms (United States)

    Genel, Abdulkadir; Sami Topçu, Mustafa


    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

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

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


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


    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 discuss a large-scale program in The Netherlands that is aimed at the professionalization of elementary school teachers in the field of science and technology. Theoretical and practical considerations ...

  7. Chinese and US Middle-School Science Teachers' Autonomy, Motivation, and Instructional Practices (United States)

    Robertson, Laura; Jones, M. Gail


    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.

  8. From teachers' perspective: Implementation of literacy materials in middle school science (United States)

    Weingartner, Judith A.

    Documentation of adolescents' difficulty in comprehending textbooks spans a century. For just as long, researchers have advocated that explicit instruction of reading strategies can help students' comprehension of text; many have recommended that the best place to teach these strategies is within the content classroom (science, math, etc.), and taught by the content teacher. Despite this research, reading strategy instruction in content classrooms is not a common occurrence. In a large district with 300 middle school science teachers, some science teachers expressed concern about their students' reading difficulties with the district's science text. In response to those concerns, the middle school science coordinator organized a small committee to develop the Reading Strategies Handbook for Middle School Science for Teachers (the Handbook), believing that this tool would guide teachers' in implementing the Handbook's reading strategies and improve students' comprehension of the text. This was a qualitative study that explored 11 middle school science teachers' responses to implementing the Handbook. Data for this study were gathered through an e-mailed questionnaire, a classroom visitation, and one interview with each teacher participant. The study found that teachers' varied backgrounds influenced their beliefs about teaching and learning, and impacted their classroom practices. Teachers faced their district's expectations to implement reading strategies in the Handbook with minimal support and cited influences beyond their control that created tension with their decision whether to implement the Handbook. Teachers commented that a "one size fits all" curriculum and textbook-specific issues influenced their degree of using the Handbook's reading strategies. In addition, teachers identified time and pressure to cover curriculum as obstacles to implementing the Handbook. Implications of these findings include: (a) Professional development studies related to content

  9. Meeting Urban Science Students Where They Are: Perspectives from Two Physics Teachers and Four Schools (United States)

    Echols, Rosalind


    The phrase `urban education' tends to be used in ways that suggest we see urban education (and urban students) as a monolithic construct. Often, `urban' indexes children of color, with low levels of academic readiness from low socio-economic status communities in crowded, under-resourced classrooms taught by poorly prepared and/or poorly motivated teachers. While teachers and students in urban schools do face challenges that those in more suburban or rural areas may not, we argue that the differences across urban school contexts, even within the same city, outweigh the similarities. Furthermore, these differences have profound implications for the kind of work urban science teachers must do and the support they need from the science and science education research communities. In this talk, two high school physics teachers with experience in four radically different urban teaching contexts discuss the differences across schools that shape their teaching practice and their students' learning. Against this backdrop, we'll address the most common `misconceptions' about inquiry science teaching in urban schools that we've encountered among scientists, science education researchers and teacher educators. The presentation will conclude with our synthesis of how scientists and science education researchers can best support urban science teachers and students. This work is supported by the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation

  10. Meeting the Needs of High School Science Teachers in English Language Learner Instruction (United States)

    Cho, Seonhee; McDonnough, Jacqueline T.


    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.

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

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

  13. Beginning elementary school teachers' perceptions of structural and cultural context factors impacting their science teaching (United States)

    Sterling, Hillary A.

    Science maintains low status in many elementary classrooms. Beginning teachers find it difficult to teach science effectively. The Teacher-Centered Systemic Reform Model suggests there are personal, structural, and cultural factors that impact teaching practices. The questions that drove this study were: (a) How do beginning teachers perceive structural and cultural factors of the TCSR model as affecting their science teaching practices? (b) How do those perceptions compare between beginning teachers who teach science and those who do not? (c) How do beginning teachers' perceptions compare to those of principals and veteran teachers? The model was used to collect and analyze data on the perceptions of factors that influenced beginning teachers' science teaching practices. A case study involved six beginning teachers from three elementary schools in the southwestern United States during the 2005--2006 school year. Through an initial survey, two groups of beginning teachers were first identified as (a) those who taught and liked science, and (b) those who did not teach or like science. Three teachers from each group were selected to participate in the study that consisted of semi-structured interviews, observations, and review of artifacts. These data were compared with interview data from three veteran teachers and three principals. The findings of this study supported the TCSR model and confirmed that the beginning teachers did perceive certain structural context factors (e.g., curriculum, materials, time, professional development, district requirements, classroom management), and cultural context factors (e.g., district-wide low priority of science) as having an impact on their science teaching. The veteran teachers' perceptions more closely matched those of the beginning teachers' than did those of the principals. Despite the contextual influences, the beginning teachers' perceptions ultimately differed in teacher thinking (i.e., those who taught science had

  14. Crossing Borders: High School Science Teachers Learning to Teach the Specialized Language of Science (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…

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

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

  17. Teachers' perceptions and use of a large-scale science education reform initiative for middle schools (United States)

    Pistorius, Carolyn Sue

    Reform efforts in science education have been increasing over the past decade. This quantitative design study explored middle school teachers' perceptions and attitudes about one such reform effort. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered from teachers and their classrooms. The population consisted of all of the middle school science teachers who had completed at least one two-week session of professional development in the University of Alabama in Huntsville in-service region. The teachers were all involved in the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI). This initiative provided professional development and complete science modules, including materials for all K-8 teachers of science to use. Middle school teachers' (grades 6-8) perceptions, attitudes, and information about classroom decisions in teaching science using the AMSTI were obtained through the uses of the AMSTI Science Questionnaire, teacher interviews and classroom observations using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP). Quantitative data were analyzed using ANOVA, chi-square, Tukey HSD statistical analyses. Qualitative data involved transcribing, coding, and determination of emerging themes. The AMSTI Science Questionnaire was found to have evidence of reliability and validity for the determination of the impact of professional development on teachers' perceptions and attitudes towards teaching science in their classrooms. Results of this study demonstrated that the more professional development experienced by the teachers was related to the number of lessons that the teachers used from the AMSTI modules. The amount of professional development was also related to the amount of time spent teaching and quality of the teaching as rated using the Reformed Teacher Observation Protocol. The more professional development the teachers received, the higher they self-reported their level of expertise in teaching the AMSTI science modules. Some of the strengths of the

  18. Differentiated instructional practices: A case study of science teachers in a suburban middle school setting (United States)

    Halpin-Brunt, Shannon Ann


    The purpose of this study was to enhance our understanding of differentiated instructional practices in middle school science classrooms using a case study methodology to examine the following aspects of differentiated instruction as exhibited by six participating teachers: the role of the teacher in the implementation of differentiated instruction; the forms of differentiated instructional strategies used by the science teachers to engage students of varying ability levels; and the teachers' beliefs about differentiation and its influence on instruction. Major principles of differentiated learning were exemplified in the teachers' implementation of differentiated instructional strategies including: student interest and need, comfortable and supportive learning environment, and connections between curriculum and life experiences. These philosophical principles were demonstrated through teacher reflection, adjustment of lessons, diversified teaching methods, appealing to students' multiple intelligences, and active student involvement in learning throughout the lessons. Constructivist theory associated with differentiation suggests that student thinking needs to be valued and lessons should invite students to explore science themes. The teachers exhibited practices consistent with this perspective by creating a positive learning environment, valuing student ideas, encouraging student questions, and designing lessons with multiple opportunities for students to interact with other students. The teachers implemented interactive lessons, sought students' views and real world connections, focused on main ideas, and modified lessons around the main ideas based on student needs. Effective implementation of differentiated instruction was marked by lesson planning, reflection, and adjustment by the teachers. The results indicated that teachers assessed students by using constant assessment whether it was formal or informal, and used the information to adapt instructional

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

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

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

  2. Science Teachers' Meaning-Making When Involved in a School-Based Professional Development Project (United States)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund


    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' meaning-making includes both their reference to…

  3. Exploring the TPACK of Taiwanese Secondary School Science Teachers Using a New Contextualized TPACK Model (United States)

    Jang, Syh-Jong; Tsai, Meng-Fang


    Technological pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK) has been one of the steering theoretical concepts widely employed by researchers in order to examine and develop teachers' knowledge of integrating technology into teaching. Existing research on TPACK shows little about in-service secondary school science teachers' TPACK through a…

  4. Implementing Inquiry Kit Curriculum: Obstacles, Adaptations, and Practical Knowledge Development in Two Middle School Science Teachers (United States)

    Jones, Mark T.; Eick, Charles J.


    Two elementary certified middle school science teachers are studied for changes in practical knowledge supporting the implementation of kit-based inquiry as part of a schoolwide reform effort. Emphasis is placed on studying how these two pilot teachers enact guided inquiry within their unique pedagogical and curricular interests, and what…

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

  6. Middle School Science Teachers' Confidence and Pedagogical Practice of New Literacies (United States)

    Hsu, Hui-Yin; Wang, Shiang-Kwei; Runco, Lisa


    Due to the rapid advancements of information and communication technologies (ICTs), educational researchers argue that multimodal and new literacies should become common practices in schools. As new ICTs emerge and evolve, students need the new literacies skills and practices to successfully participate fully in the civic life of a global community. Are teachers prepared to integrate ICTs in the classroom to develop students' new literacies skills? The purpose of this study is to suggest a new literacies framework that guides ICTs integration and supports scientific inquiry, as well as investigate middle school teachers' confidence to practice new literacies in science classrooms. The study adopted mixed-methodology design, surveyed 32 middle school science teachers' ICTs and new literacies skills, and randomly observed 15 teachers' new literacies practices in the classrooms. The results revealed that even though teachers have high confidence in using ICTs, the meaningful technology integration and new literacies practices were scarcely observed in their classroom practices.

  7. Making the transition to middle schooling: A case study of experienced science teachers coping with change (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. Joint Antarctic School Expedition - An International Collaboration for High School Students and Teachers on Antarctic Science (United States)

    Botella, J.; Warburton, J.; Bartholow, S.; Reed, L. F.


    The Joint Antarctic School Expedition (JASE) is an international collaboration program between high school students and teachers from the United States and Chile aimed at providing the skills required for establishing the scientific international collaborations that our globalized world demands, and to develop a new approach for science education. The National Antarctic Programs of Chile and the United States worked together on a pilot program that brought high school students and teachers from both countries to Punta Arenas, Chile, in February 2014. The goals of this project included strengthening the partnership between the two countries, and building relationships between future generations of scientists, while developing the students' awareness of global scientific issues and expanding their knowledge and interest in Antarctica and polar science. A big component of the project involved the sharing by students of the acquired knowledge and experiences with the general public. JASE is based on the successful Chilean Antarctic Science Fair developed by Chile´s Antarctic Research Institute. For 10 years, small groups of Chilean students, each mentored by a teacher, perform experimental or bibliographical Antarctic research. Winning teams are awarded an expedition to the Chilean research station on King George Island. In 2014, the Chileans invited US participation in this program in order to strengthen science ties for upcoming generations. On King George Island, students have hands-on experiences conducting experiments and learning about field research. While the total number of students directly involved in the program is relatively small, the sharing of the experience by students with the general public is a novel approach to science education. Research experiences for students, like JASE, are important as they influence new direction for students in science learning, science interest, and help increase science knowledge. We will share experiences with the

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

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

  11. Middle school science teachers' perspectives and practices of teaching through inquiry (United States)

    Gates, Harry Alton

    This research examined middle school teachers' perspectives and practices of teaching through inquiry and the effect of a professional development institute on effecting change in those teachers' perspectives and practices. The professional development institute consisted of 16 days of content and pedagogical instruction, practice teaching, and reflection. Teachers' perspectives of inquiry were established through semi-structured interviews, journals, and written reflections. Teacher practices were assessed through analysis of videotaped lessons using a rubric designed to measure reformed teaching. Teachers' perspectives of inquiry were compared to their practices and to the National Science Education Standards. Through qualitative and quantitative analysis of data it has been found that teacher change is very complex. Professional development must address teacher beliefs, practices, and curriculum. Teachers can adopt the language of reform and imitate reform practices through the use of reform-based curriculum; however, for substantial change in classroom practice to occur, teachers must believe that all students are capable of learning through inquiry.

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

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

  14. The role of a teacher study group in negotiating constructivist science teaching in an elementary school (United States)

    Schiller, Ellen Louise


    This study arose from the frustrations expressed by elementary teachers in a mid-size, urban school district who were involved in implementing a new district-wide science curriculum. The new curriculum was designed to meet the recommendations for constructivist teaching espoused in the current science education reform movement. As a fifth-grade teacher in the district as well, as a member of the science curriculum committee that wrote the new curriculum, I was in the position to hear the frustrations vented by fellow teachers as they struggled to make the shift from a loosely-supervised, textbook-based curriculum to one which emphasized hands-on instruction through four in-depth units at each grade level. In response to teachers' frustrations, I conducted an action-research study designed to provide a sustained, personalized, professional development opportunity for a group of elementary teachers in the building in which I taught. The study group of five teachers met during the course of the 1996--97 school year to work on familiarizing ourselves with the tenets of constructivist science teaching and learning and incorporating this type of teaching into our own practice. Activities engaged in included: reading relevant literature, viewing videotapes of teachers practicing constructivist science teaching, attending physics workshops, working with the intermediate school-district science consultant, and videotaping our own science lessons for the purposes of sharing with the other group members and studying our practice. During the year, I conducted individual interviews with the teacher participants and audiotaped all group meetings in an effort to learn if this experience held value as a means of helping the group members become more constructivist science teachers. During the year, it became clear that the teachers continued to face many obstacles as they worked to improve their science teaching. While the participants felt they made progress and all agreed that

  15. The master science teacher (United States)

    Toh, Kok-Aun; Tsoi, Mun-Fie


    The dire need of some schools to boost the academic performance of their students inevitably rests with their ability to attract highly qualified teachers. As such, the UK has put in place the Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) scheme, while the US has set the ball rolling in laying down standards for the certification of the master science teacher, to distil the best teachers from this pool of highly qualified science teachers. This article examines some of the practices in the teaching-learning process one would associate with those of master science teachers. It argues for the master science teacher to have a well-developed pedagogical content knowledge rather than be an expert in content knowledge. It argues for the master science teacher to be someone who has moved 'from personal comprehension to preparing for the comprehension of others' (Shulman 1987 Harv. Educ. Rev. 75 1-22).

  16. Acoustics workshops for teachers in elementary schools and in secondary school science classes (United States)

    Hansen, Uwe J.


    A number of acoustics workshops have been conducted throughout the US with support from ASA technical initiative and education funds. Emphasis in elementary schools is on using music to introduce science concepts. Concepts discussed include wave properties such as wavelength, frequency, propagation speed, and standing waves. The idea of resonance is experienced musically and physically, and the relationship between whole number frequency multiples and the musical harmonic series is developed. Computer programs such as cool-edit are used extensively in secondary teacher workshops to experience frequency analysis, frequency synthesis, and resonances in open and closed tubes. Workshop teaching approaches for these topics will be illustrated in this presentation.

  17. The relationship between primary school teacher and student attitudes towards science and technology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Denessen, E.J.P.G.; Vos, N.W.; Hasselman, F.W.; Louws, M.L.


    This study focuses on the effects of teachers’ attitudes towards teaching about science and technology on student attitudes towards science and technology. A one-year longitudinal study involving 91 teachers and 1822 students from the higher years of Dutch primary schools showed that students

  18. Assessing the Attitudes and Beliefs of Preservice Middle School Science Teachers toward Biologically Diverse Animals (United States)

    Wagler, Ron; Wagler, Amy


    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…

  19. Learning to Teach Inquiry: A Course in Inquiry-Based Science for Future Primary School Teachers (United States)

    Kremer, Angelika; Walker, Mark; Schluter, Kirsten


    We developed a course in inquiry-based science for students training to become primary school teachers. The emphasis of the course was teaching students to do inquiry-based science activities themselves, as this is the best way of learning how to teach using inquiry-based methods. (Contains 1 table.)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


    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

  1. Taiwan High School Biology Teachers' Acceptance and Understanding of Evolution and the Nature of Science (United States)

    Chen, Li-Hua


    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…

  2. Teachers' Beliefs and Self-Reported Use of Inquiry in Science Education in Public Primary Schools (United States)

    Lucero, Maria; Valcke, Martin; Schellens, Tammy


    This paper describes Ecuadorian in-service teachers and their science teaching practices in public primary schools. We wanted to find out to what extent teachers implement inquiry activities in science teaching, the level of support they provide, and what type of inquiry they implement. Four questionnaires applied to 173 teachers resulted in the identification of high context beliefs and moderately high self-efficacy beliefs. Teachers declared to implement activities mostly to develop understanding of the material, as contrast to actual manipulation of data and/or coming to conclusions. They adopt rather a strictly guided approach in contrast to giving autonomy to learners to work on their own. Finally, teachers keep control with regard to question formulation and choice in solution procedures, which constrains the development of real inquiry. When comparing teacher beliefs, we found that teachers' context beliefs make a difference in the level of support that teachers provide to their students. Teachers with lower context beliefs ask students to perform inquiry activities on their own to a lesser extent when compared with teachers with higher context beliefs. This implies that further research on the implementation of inquiry in science teaching should take into account teachers' differences in their context beliefs. We also found out that the use of high or low support in inquiry activities remained the same for teachers with either higher or lower self-efficacy beliefs.

  3. Teachers and Students Perceptions of the Active Science Curriculum: Incorporating Physical Activity into Middle School Science Classrooms (United States)

    Finn, Kevin E.; McInnis, Kyle J.


    Many children get little to no regular physical education during the school day. National recommendations call for schools to offer physical activity as part of planned academic lessons that teach math, language arts, science, and other subjects through movement. The purpose of this study was to analyze the student and teacher perceptions of the…

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

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

  6. Interactions Between Classroom Discourse, Teacher Questioning, and Student Cognitive Engagement in Middle School Science (United States)

    Smart, Julie B.; Marshall, Jeff C.


    Classroom discourse can affect various aspects of student learning in science. The present study examines interactions between classroom discourse, specifically teacher questioning, and related student cognitive engagement in middle school science. Observations were conducted throughout the school year in 10 middle school science classrooms using the Electronic Quality of Inquiry Protocol, which is designed, among other things, to measure observable aspects of student cognitive engagement and discourse factors during science instruction. Results from these observations indicate positive correlations between students' cognitive engagement and the following aspects of classroom discourse: questioning level, complexity of questions, questioning ecology, communication patterns, and classroom interactions. A sequential explanatory mixed-methods design provides a detailed look at each aspect of classroom discourse which showed a positive effect on student cognitive level during science instruction. Implications for classroom practice, teacher education, and professional development are discussed.

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

  8. Perspectives of teachers regarding the integration of mathematics and science at the secondary school level (United States)

    Zolnierczyk, Joanna Asia

    The integration of mathematics and science in secondary schools in the 21st century continues to be an important topic of practice and research. The purpose of my research study, which builds on studies by Frykholm and Glasson (2005) and Berlin and White (2010), is to explore the potential constraints and benefits of integrating mathematics and science in Ontario secondary schools based on the perspectives of in-service and pre-service teachers with various math and/or science backgrounds. A qualitative and quantitative research design with an exploratory approach was used. The qualitative data was collected from a sample of 12 in-service teachers with various math and/or science backgrounds recruited from two school boards in Eastern Ontario. The quantitative and some qualitative data was collected from a sample of 81 pre-service teachers from the Queen's University Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) program. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the in-service teachers while a survey and a focus group was conducted with the pre-service teachers. Once the data was collected, the qualitative data were abductively analyzed. For the quantitative data, descriptive and inferential statistics (one-way ANOVAs and Pearson Chi Square analyses) were calculated to examine perspectives of teachers regardless of teaching background and to compare groups of teachers based on teaching background. The findings of this study suggest that in-service and pre-service teachers have a positive attitude towards the integration of math and science and view it as valuable to student learning and success. The pre-service teachers viewed the integration as easy and did not express concerns to this integration. On the other hand, the in-service teachers highlighted concerns and challenges such as resources, scheduling, and time constraints. My results illustrate when teachers perceive it is valuable to integrate math and science and which aspects of the classroom benefit best from the

  9. Competency Capacity Building Needs of Agricultural Science Teachers in Utilization of School Farm for Skill Acquisition among Secondary School Students (United States)

    Lawal, O. I.; Onipede, Omoleye; Oketoobo, E. A.; Famiwole, Remigius O.


    This study sought to identify the competency capacity building needs of teachers of agricultural science in the utilization of school farm for skill acquisition among secondary school students in Ondo State, Nigeria). Four research questions guided the study. The study adopted the survey research design. The population used was 422, made up of…

  10. 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.


    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

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

  12. Making sense of teacher-feedback to high school students in science classes: Science instruction and student learning (United States)

    Pahl, Jarvis Van Netta Calvin

    When we perceive the world as whole and begin to explore how things are interrelated, we confer a sense of meaning and order to what we are studying. When we include the learner as an active participant in what is being learned, we have the basis for an educational practice that accentuates meaning. The connectedness between meaning and learning will become more apparent...connectedness is is everywhere and in everything. We have only to look for it. As our perceptions change, so will our practice. (Caine, Caine, and Cromwell, 1994) What can we learn about our teaching practices when we ask high school students their perceptions about teacher-feedback to them regarding their learning science? This research study uses students' written stories of what teacher-feedback in high school science classes means to them. Students provide vivid descriptions of how they use science teacher-feedback to create new meaning or how they do not use or receive science teacher-feedback. There were three essential questions in the study, one qualitative and two quantitative. These questions were: what types of teacher-feedback do high school students receive from their science teachers; how do students use the teacher-feedback they receive; and what teacher-feedback do students identify as most useful to them? This research study used a qualitative-quantitative approach for gathering and analyzing data. The design of the procedure was a blend of the qualitative research question to access initial data to be used with a modified quantitative approach in a followup of the remaining two research questions which were focused on a student survey for a practical application of the research. The following six emergent dichotomous types of teacher-feedback were found in the study: supportive and non supportive teacher-feedback; short term and long term teacher-feedback; academic and non academic teacher-feedback; teacher-initiated and student-initiated contact with the teacher

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

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

  15. Understanding primary school science teachers' pedagogical content knowledge: The case of teaching global warming (United States)

    Chordnork, Boonliang; Yuenyong, Chokchai


    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

  16. Teachers' Coping Strategies for Teaching Science in a ``Low-Performing'' School District (United States)

    Moore, Felicia M.


    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.

  17. 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...... they feel supported in relation to tensions in their professional practice. For example a novice teacher, who before the project referred to students’ self-regulated hands-on activities as the most important part of good science teaching, but experienced problems with classroom management, feels inspired...

  18. 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...... they feel supported in relation to tensions in their professional practice. For example a novice teacher, who before the project referred to students’ self-regulated hands-on activities as the most important part of good science teaching, but experienced problems with classroom management, feels inspired...

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

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund


    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....

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

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


    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…

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

  4. High School Science Teachers' Perceptions of Teaching Content-Related Reading Comprehension Instruction (United States)

    Williams, Theresa

    In order to achieve academic success, students must be able to comprehend written material in content-area textbooks. However, a large number of high school students struggle to comprehend science content. Research findings have demonstrated that students make measurable gains in comprehending content-area textbooks when provided quality reading comprehension instruction. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of how high school science teachers perceived their responsibility to provide content-related comprehension instruction and 10 high school science teachers were interviewed for this study. Data analysis consisted of open, axial, and selective coding. The findings revealed that 8 out of the 10 participants believed that it is their responsibility to provide reading comprehension. However, the findings also revealed that the participants provided varying levels of reading comprehension instruction as an integral part of their science instruction. The potential for positive social change could be achieved by teachers and administrators. Teachers may use the findings to reflect upon their own personal feelings and beliefs about providing explicit reading comprehension. In addition to teachers' commitment to reading comprehension instruction, administrators could deliberate about professional development opportunities that might improve necessary skills, eventually leading to better comprehension skills for students and success in their education.

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

  6. Becoming urban science teachers by transforming middle-school classrooms: A study of the Urban Science Education Fellows Program (United States)

    Furman, Melina Gabriela

    The current scenario in American education shows a large achievement and opportunity gap in science between urban children in poverty and more privileged youth. Research has shown that one essential factor that accounts for this gap is the shortage of qualified science teachers in urban schools. Teaching science in a high poverty school presents unique challenges to beginner teachers. Limited resources and support and a significant cultural divide with their students are some of the common problems that cause many novice teachers to quit their jobs or to start enacting what has been described as "the pedagogy of poverty." In this study I looked at the case of the Urban Science Education Fellows Program. This program aimed to prepare preservice teachers (i.e. "fellows") to enact socially just science pedagogies in urban classrooms. I conducted qualitative case studies of three fellows. Fellows worked over one year with science teachers in middle-school classrooms in order to develop transformative action research studies. My analysis focused on how fellows coauthored hybrid spaces within these studies that challenged the typical ways science was taught and learned in their classrooms towards a vision of socially just teaching. By coauthoring these hybrid spaces, fellows developed grounded generativity, i.e. a capacity to create new teaching scenarios rooted in the pragmatic realities of an authentic classroom setting. Grounded generativity included building upon their pedagogical beliefs in order to improvise pedagogies with others, repositioning themselves and their students differently in the classroom and constructing symbols of possibility to guide their practice. I proposed authentic play as the mechanism that enabled fellows to coauthor hybrid spaces. Authentic play involved contexts of moderate risk and of distributed expertise and required fellows to be positioned at the intersection of the margins and the center of the classroom community of practice. In

  7. An Examination of Teacher's Pedagogical Philosophical Beliefs of Secondary Science Teachers in Sofia Public Schools, Sofia, Bulgaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Boiadjieva


    Full Text Available This investigation sought understand of the pedagogical philosophies of Bulgarian secondary science teachers in public schools in Sofia, Bulgaria, using the instrument that derived information for this study was an interview protocol consisting of six open-ended questions, with a numerical scoring analysis: the Teachers Pedagogical Philosophy Interview (TPPI. A review of literature shows there is no research on the pedagogical philosophical basis of teacher’s beliefs on teaching or on the effect of integrating constructivist teaching methodology in Bulgarian secondary science classrooms.

  8. Collaboration between Science and Religious Education Teachers in Scottish Secondary Schools (United States)

    Hall, Stuart; McKinney, Stephen; Lowden, Kevin; Smith, Marjorie; Beaumont, Paul


    The article reports on quantitative research that examines: (1) the current practice in collaboration; and (2) potential for collaboration between Science and Religious Education teachers in a large sample of Scottish secondary schools. The authors adopt and adapt three models ("conflict"; "concordat" and…

  9. Supporting and Resourcing Secondary Science Teachers in Rural and Regional Schools (United States)

    Kenny, John; Seen, Andrew; Purser, John


    This paper reports on the outcomes of a pilot project to support secondary teachers of science in rural and regional Tasmania. The pilot project involved eight regional schools and was based on the provision of a kit of materials and an associated learning program that used brine shrimp or "sea-monkeys" to test for water quality. The…

  10. The droso4schools project: Long-term scientist-teacher collaborations to promote science communication and education in schools. (United States)

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


    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

  11. Mentor teachers' perceptions of their own professional development within a secondary science professional development school (United States)

    Kreamer, Sherry Maureen

    Mentor teachers' perceptions of their professional development within a secondary science professional development school were studied using grounded theory within a postmodern lens. The driving questions which framed this study were: How do mentor teachers' perceive their own professional development in the context of an emerging secondary science Professional Development School? How is mentor professional development supported or inhibited in this secondary science PDS? How do mentor teachers' perceive teaching science through inquiry in the context of this secondary science Professional Development School? In what ways do mentor teachers view themselves as participants in a community of learners within the PDS context? Seven secondary science mentor teachers were purposefully selected as participants based on their commitment to mentor a pre-service science education intern for one school year. The primary sources of data were two semi-structured interviews, one taken early in the school year, and the other taken near or at the end of the school year. Other sources of data were participant mentor journal entries, focus group notes, written mentor responses to an inquiry prompt and professional development prompt, and the Secondary Science Professional Development Handbook which the participant/focus group generated. These additional data sources were used to help reach consensus as well as add richness to the study. Data were analyzed initially using the grounded theory qualitative software ATLASti (1997), to discover codes and patterns of connectivity. Results of initial analysis were compared with subsequent data analysis, and member check for clarification and consensus. Mentors in this study identified six dimensions which influenced their professional development. Five of these enhanced their practice. These were: benefits, roles, goals, preparation, and support. Participants also identified barriers which inhibited their professional growth. The most

  12. Middle School Students' Attitudes toward Science, Scientists, Science Teachers and Classes (United States)

    Kapici, Hasan Özgür; Akçay, Hakan


    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…

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

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

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

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


    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.

  16. Middle school science teachers' teaching self-efficacy and students' science self-efficacy (United States)

    Pisa, Danielle

    Project 2061, initiated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), developed recommendations for what is essential in education to produce scientifically literate citizens. Furthermore, they suggest that teachers teach effectively. There is an abundance of literature that focuses on the effects of a teacher's science teaching self-efficacy and a student's science self-efficacy. However, there is no literature on the relationship between the two self-efficacies. This study investigated if there is a differential change in students' science self-efficacy over an academic term after instruction from a teacher with high science teaching self-efficacy. Quantitative analysis of STEBI scores for teachers showed that mean STEBI scores did not change over one academic term. A t test indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in mean SMTSL scores for students' science self-efficacy over the course of one academic term for a) the entire sample, b) each science class, and c) each grade level. In addition, ANOVA indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in mean gain factor of students rated as low, medium, and high on science self-efficacy as measured by the SMTSL, when students received instruction from a teacher with a high science teaching self-efficacy value as measured by the STEBI. Finally, there was no statistically significant association between the pre- and post-instructional rankings of SMTSL by grade level when students received instruction from a teacher with a high science teaching self-efficacy value as measured by the STEBI. This is the first study of its kind. Studies indicated that teaching strategies typically practiced by teachers with high science teaching were beneficial to physics self-efficacy (Fencl & Scheel, 2005). Although it was unsuccessful at determining whether or not a teacher with high science teaching self-efficacy has a differential affect on students' science self

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

  18. Successful White teachers of Black students: Teaching across racial lines in urban middle school science classrooms (United States)

    Coleman, Bobbie

    The majority of urban minority students, particularly Black students, continue to perform below proficiency on standardized state and national testing in all areas that seriously impact economically advanced career options, especially in areas involving science. If education is viewed as a way out of poverty, there is a need to identify pedagogical methodologies that assist Black students in achieving higher levels of success in science, and in school in general. The purpose of this study was to explore White teachers' and Black students' perceptions about the teaching strategies used in their low socioeconomic status (LSES) urban science classrooms, that led to academic success for Black students. Participants included three urban middle school White teachers thought to be the best science teachers in the school, and five randomly selected Black students from each of their classrooms. Methods of inquiry involving tenets of grounded theory were used to examine strategies teachers used to inspire Black students into academic success. Data collection included teacher and student interviews, field notes from classroom observations, group discussions, and questionaires. Data were analyzed using open, axial, and selective coding. The teachers' perceptions indicated that their prior belief systems, effective academic and personal communication, caring and nurturing strategies, using relevant and meaningful hands-on activities in small learner-centered groups, enhanced the learning capabilities of all students in their classrooms, especially the Black students. Black students' perceptions indicated that their academic success was attributable to what teachers personally thought about them, demonstrated that they cared, communicated with them on a personal and academic level, gave affirmative feedback, simplified, and explained content matter. Black students labeled teachers who had these attributes as "nice" teachers. The nurturing and caring behaviors of "nice" teachers

  19. Commitment to Teach in Under-Resourced Schools: Prospective Science and Mathematics Teachers' Dispositions (United States)

    Ganchorre, Athena R.; Tomanek, Debra


    In this exploratory study, we sought to gain an understanding of what motivates prospective teachers who are Noyce Scholars at a research-intensive southeastern US university to commit to teaching secondary level science or mathematics in school districts that have a high proportion of students who come from low-socioeconomic households. An interpretive methodology revealed three themes associated with Noyce Scholars' motivations to teach (1) awareness of educational challenges, (2) sense of belonging to or comfort with diverse communities, and (3) belief that one can serve as a role model and resource. The paper describes and compares the significance of each theme among six prospective teachers who identify with the schooling experiences of students who came from low-income or poor households and nine prospective teachers who identify with the schooling experiences in a middle-income school or district. The implication of this study supports the importance of recruiting prospective science and mathematics teachers who have knowledge of and a disposition to work with learners from low-income or poor households, even if those prospective teachers are not themselves the members of under-served populations.

  20. What Kills Science in School?: Lessons from Pre-Service Teachers' Responses to Urban children's Science Inquiries. (United States)

    Matusov, Eugene


    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.

  1. Teacher beliefs in contemporary science education goals and classroom practice: The case of Souhegan High School (United States)

    Mueller, Jennifer Creed

    The central research question for this study was: To what extent is a teacher's purported beliefs in contemporary science education goals embedded in his/her routine classroom practice? Two sub-research questions were necessary to investigate this central research question: (1) To what degree do Souhegan High School science teachers believe in the contemporary goals of science education? (2) What is a Souhegan High School science teacher's degree of conviction to his/her beliefs of particular goals? The goal of this study was to develop grounded hypotheses/research questions. Given the stated research questions, a case study design most appropriately met the intended purpose of this study. The study was initiated with the science teachers at Souhegan High School taking the survey of Contemporary Goals of Science Education (Zeidler & Duffy, 1994). Following analysis of the group's responses, two equal ranges of scores were established. In addition, a weighted mean provided data on a teacher's degree of conviction to his/her beliefs of particular goals. Three teachers were invited to continue with the study, each range represented. Classroom observations provided data in the next phase of inquiry. Samples of assessment tasks were also collected as data. Following classroom observations, interviews were conducted. These interviews were semi-structured, with the use of Newmann, Secada, and Wehlage (1995), Standards and Scoring Criteria for Classroom Instruction and Assessment Tasks as a vehicle for teacher reflection. Data collection and analyses occurred simultaneously as characterized by the constant comparative method in accordance with grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Spradley's Developmental Research Sequence (1980) provided a framework and process for implementing grounded theory which was modified to meet the goals of this study. Analysis of the data from the Survey of Contemporary Goals of Science Education showed strong preference for the contemporary

  2. Senior Secondary School Science Teachers in Delta and Edo States Conceptualization about the Nature of Science (United States)

    Ajaja, Patrick Osawaru


    The major purpose of this study was to find out the conceptions of science teachers about the nature of science. To guide this study, four research questions were asked and four hypotheses tested. The design of the study was descriptive survey and instrument used for data collection was a 22 item questionnaire. The sample of the study consisted of…

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

  4. Confirmatory factors analysis of science teacher leadership in the Thailand world-class standard schools (United States)

    Thawinkarn, Dawruwan


    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.

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

  6. Secondary School Science Teachers' Views about Their Reflective Practices (United States)

    Aldahmash, Abdulwali H.; Alshmrani, Saeed M.; Almufti, Abdo N.


    The importance of reflection in teaching and learning lies in encouraging one to view problems from different perspectives. Reflective practice can be useful in designing teacher education and sustainable professional development. Conscious reflection is an important element for helping teachers and learners in problem-solving and decision-making…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund


    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....

  8. An Online Hands-On Program for Middle-School Science Teachers (United States)

    Schneider, Stephen; Davis, K.


    Science Education Online (SEO) is a new program of science and pedagogy courses developed at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Lowell campuses, and now offers a Masters Degree in Science Education. The program was developed with NSF support over the last three years and has the goal of reaching in-service teachers, particularly in urban and rural communities. The science content courses have been developed by science and education faculty at UMass, working in collaboration to address Massachusetts and national science frameworks at the middle-school level. The SEO courses take a hands-on approach, with kits of inexpensive materials, cooperative learning strategies, and sharing of digital pictures. We give detailed examples of implementing the online hands-on approach from an astronomy course we developed using many Project STAR materials. One of the more interesting results of the online format is that teachers report that they have found themselves mastering skills that they had avoided in lab group work in college courses. By its nature, the online format also requires the teachers to express their understanding in writing, and we have found that small online groups are effective in helping the teachers to clarify their understanding. The SEO program was developed under National Science Foundation Grant # ESI-0243536.

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

  10. Graduate Student and High School Teacher Partnerships Implementing Inquiry-Based Lessons in Earth Science (United States)

    Smith, M. A.; Preston, L.; Graham, K.


    Partnering science graduate students with high school teachers in their classroom is a mutually beneficial relationship. Graduate students who may become future university level faculty are exposed to teaching, classroom management, outreach scholarship, and managing time between teaching and research. Teachers benefit by having ready access to knowledgeable scientists, a link to university resources, and an additional adult in the classroom. Partnerships in Research Opportunities to Benefit Education (PROBE), a recent NSF funded GK-12 initiative, formed partnerships between science and math graduate students from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and local high school science teachers. A primary goal of this program was to promote inquiry-based science lessons. The teacher-graduate student teams worked together approximately twenty hours per week on researching, preparing, and implementing new lessons and supervising student-led projects. Several new inquiry-based activities in Geology and Astronomy were developed as a result of collaboration between an Earth Science graduate student and high school teacher. For example, a "fishbowl" activity was very successful in sparking a classroom discussion about how minerals are used in industrial materials. The class then went on to research how to make their own paint using minerals. This activity provided a capstone project at the end of the unit about minerals, and made real world connections to the subject. A more involved geology lesson was developed focusing on the currently popular interest in forensics. Students were assigned with researching how geology can play an important part in solving a crime. When they understood the role of geologic concepts within the scope of the forensic world, they used techniques to solve their own "crime". Astronomy students were responsible for hosting and teaching middle school students about constellations, using a star- finder, and operating an interactive planetarium

  11. The induction years: Pathways and barriers to effective practice for middle school science teachers (United States)

    Klepper, Nancy Haifley

    The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore philosophies, life experiences, educational preparation, classroom techniques, and perceived limitations that enhanced or prevented a feeling of successful teaching practice for six middle school science teachers who had at least one but no more than four years of science teaching experience. The study was conducted in two middle schools (grades 6, 7, and 8) in a large school district in South Central Texas. Data was collected using a variety of sources, including participant opinion documents, formal and informal interviews and observations, team and science department meetings, field notes, and photographs. Data analyses resulted in six emergent themes, which were: Personal and Philosophical Characteristics of the Participants, Teacher Preparation and Life Experiences, Philosophies of Science Teaching, Successful Techniques for Learning, Barriers to Effective Classroom Practice, and Pathways to Success. Major personal and philosophical characteristics within these themes included having a loving and caring attitude towards children, a willingness to view life from the students perspective, and a desire to be in a profession that was constantly changing and varied. Five of the six participants believed that their student teaching experience was the most valuable part of their preservice education, but they expressed a need for more instruction in methods and increased classroom observation time. Having a desire to be a teacher and having a love and appreciation for science were also characteristics that were common to all participants. They believed that science should be fun and applicable to the students' lives, and that teaching should be modified so that all students could be successful. This study may serve as a source of information and insight into classroom practice for prospective and induction year teachers, providing models, coping skills, techniques, and personal portraits for surviving the first

  12. Working with Science Teachers to Transform the Opportunity Landscape for Regional and Rural Youth: A Qualitative Evaluation of the Science in Schools Program (United States)

    Sheehan, Grania R.; Mosse, Jennifer


    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…

  13. Associations of Middle School Student Science Achievement and Attitudes about Science with Student-Reported Frequency of Teacher Lecture Demonstrations and Student-Centered Learning (United States)

    Odom, Arthur Louis; Bell, Clare Valerie


    The purpose of this study was to examine the association of middle school student science achievement and attitudes about science with student-reported frequency of teacher lecture demonstrations and student-centered learning. The student sample was composed of 602 seventh- and eighth-grade students enrolled in middle school science. Multiple…

  14. Teaching and nature: Middle school science teachers' relationship with nature in personal and classroom contexts (United States)

    Ball, Nadine Butcher


    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

  15. Science Teachers' Utilisation of Innovative Strategies for Teaching Senior School Science in Ilorin, Nigeria (United States)

    Oyelekan, Oloyede Solomon; Igbokwe, Emoyoke Faith; Olorundare, Adekunle Solomon


    Efforts have been made to improve science teaching in secondary schools in Nigeria, yet, students continue to perform poorly in science subjects. Many innovative teaching strategies have been developed by educators and found to impact significantly on students' academic performance when utilised. Hence, this study was aimed at examining science…

  16. Science Teachers' and Senior Secondary Schools Students' Perceptions of Earth and Environmental Science Topics (United States)

    Dawson, Vaille; Carson, Katherine


    This article presents an evaluation of a new upper secondary Earth and Environmental Science (EES) course in Western Australia. Twenty-seven EES teachers were interviewed and 243 students were surveyed about the degree of difficulty, relevance and interest of EES topics in the course. The impact of the course on students' views about EES topics…

  17. Retired African American female urban middle school science teachers' beliefs and practices (United States)

    Whitney, Frances M.

    The purpose of this paper is to give a voice to a dedicated group of professionals who unselfishly labored twenty-five plus years educating the children of America's poorest taxpaying citizens. These retired African American female urban middle school science teachers (RAAFUMSST) explain the experiences that gave them the fortitude to stay in the urban school system until their retirement. The goal is to give you a glimpse into the distractions, challenges, and victories the teachers encountered as they strove to teach science in an overcrowded, underserviced, and depressed urban school district of a major city. Most times sacrificing self for service, the participants of this study held fast to their beliefs that all of America's children, regardless of their parents' socioeconomic status, deserve a quality education. It is through individual interviews that the five retired science teachers of this project share their reflections on the events and circumstances that altered their labor of love. Critical Race Theory (CRT) serves as the theoretical frame for this study.

  18. Primary school children and teachers discover the nature and science of planet Earth and Mars (United States)

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


    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 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

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

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    I Ketut Ngurah Ardiawan


    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%

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

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    Morrison, Judith A.; Estes, Jeffrey C.


    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.

  1. The Level of Utilizing Blended Learning in Teaching Science from the Point of View of Science Teachers in Private Schools of Ajman Educational Zone (United States)

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


    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…

  2. Visualizing Culturally Relevant Science Pedagogy Through Photonarratives of Black Middle School Teachers (United States)

    Goldston, M. Jenice; Nichols, Sharon


    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.

  3. Reasoning About Nature: Graduate students and teachers integrating historic and modern science in high school math and science classes (United States)

    Davis, J. B.; Rigsby, C. A.; Muston, C.; Robinson, Z.; Morehead, A.; Stellwag, E. J.; Shinpaugh, J.; Thompson, A.; Teller, J.


    Graduate students and faculty at East Carolina University are working with area high schools to address the common science and mathematics deficiencies of many high school students. Project RaN (Reasoning about Nature), an interdisciplinary science/math/education research project, addresses these deficiencies by focusing on the history of science and the relationship between that history and modern scientific thought and practice. The geological sciences portion of project RaN has three specific goals: (1) to elucidate the relationships among the history of scientific discovery, the geological sciences, and modern scientific thought; (2) to develop, and utilize in the classroom, instructional modules that are relevant to the modern geological sciences curriculum and that relate fundamental scientific discoveries and principles to multiple disciplines and to modern societal issues; and (3) to use these activity-based modules to heighten students’ interest in science disciplines and to generate enthusiasm for doing science in both students and instructors. The educational modules that result from this linkage of modern and historical scientific thought are activity-based, directly related to the National Science Standards for the high school sciences curriculum, and adaptable to fit each state’s standard course of study for the sciences and math. They integrate historic sciences and mathematics with modern science, contain relevant background information on both the concept(s) and scientist(s) involved, present questions that compel students to think more deeply (both qualitatively and quantitatively) about the subject matter, and include threads that branch off to related topics. Modules on topics ranging from the density to cladistics to Kepler’s laws of planetary motion have been developed and tested. Pre- and post-module data suggest that both students and teachers benefit from these interdisciplinary historically based classroom experiences.

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

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    Misheck Mhishi


    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

  5. Primary School Teachers' Understanding of Science Process Skills in Relation to Their Teaching Qualifications and Teaching Experience (United States)

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


    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.

  6. Envisioning equity: Teacher leaders reflect on issues of multiculturalism and school science (United States)

    Letts, William J., IV


    This research arose out of both my interest in issues related to multiculturalism and [school] science, and the existing research base, which is relatively robust in relation to both the nature of [school] science and issues of multiculturalism, but more impoverished in its interrogation of the nexus of the two. In light of this, I was interested in examining the understandings' that five teacher leaders have about how issues of multiculturalism relate to school science. Data collection for this study took place over an eighteen month period as we worked together in an action research framework, most notably in a semester-long Masters course entitled 'Diversity and Equity in Science Education.' Methodologically, this work was framed by feminist poststructuralism and a commitment to change via action research. I collected data via interviews, extended writing pieces, group critical conversations, and informally through conversations, field notes and e-mail messages. I analyzed the data corpus using a combination of grounded theorizing to identify themes emerging from the data, and then read those themes through the heuristic of Schwab's commonplaces of teaching---the learner, the teacher, the subject-matter, and the milieu---plus a fifth integrative dimension, curriculum decision-making. The feminist poststructuralist theoretical framework was most helpful in surfacing the problematics, or tensions, which arose in each of the commonplaces. As such, this work documents multiple understandings about the aspects of the reformist slogan "science for all" as interrogated through the five commonplaces. I examine many of these problematics, and then examine what generative possibilities for us as teachers and researchers are fostered by thinking from the resultant complexities and ambiguities.

  7. The Lamprey River Curriculum: A Teacher-Written, Teacher-Tested Social Studies Curriculum with a Science Component for Elementary, Middle and High School Students. (United States)

    McNelly, Deborah; Hoff, Douglas

    This social studies curriculum with a science component contains two sections. The first section targets elementary schools and includes six lessons. The second section is intended for middle schools and high schools and contains four units. These two sections overlap with each other and can be used by teachers from any grade level. The content of…

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

    Lazar, C.


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

  10. Exploring the Relationship between Teaching Efficacy and Cultural Efficacy of Novice Science Teachers in High-Needs Schools (United States)

    Moseley, Christine; Bilica, Kimberly; Wandless, Ana; Gdovin, Ralph


    This qualitative case study sought to investigate what relationship exists between teaching efficacy and cultural efficacy of novice science teachers in high-needs, high-minority urban schools. One major theme--the importance of establishing positive teacher-student relationships--surrounding teaching efficacy in the context of cultural efficacy…

  11. Slow off the Mark: Elementary School Teachers and the Crisis in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education (United States)

    Epstein, Diana; Miller, Raegen T.


    One can't throw a stone without hitting a STEM initiative these days, but most science, technology, engineering, and math initiatives--thus the STEM acronym--overlook a fundamental problem. In general, the workforce pipeline of elementary school teachers fails to ensure that the teachers who inform children's early academic trajectories have the…

  12. Techniques Use by Science, Technology and Mathematics (STM) Teachers for Controlling Undesirable Classroom Behaviours in Anambra State Secondary Schools (United States)

    Chinelo, Okigbo Ebele; Nwanneka, Okoli Josephine


    This study investigated the techniques used by secondary school Science Technology and Mathematics (STM) teachers in controlling undesirable behaviours in their classrooms. It adopted descriptive survey design in which 178 Anambra State teachers teaching STM subjects in senior secondary were involved in the research. Two sections of questionnaire…

  13. School Administrators' Perceptions of the Employability of Preservice Science, Technology, and Mathematics Teachers through Teaching Practice in Nigeria (United States)

    Awofala, Adeneye O. A.; Olabiyi, Oladiran S.; Ogunleye, Ayodele; Udeani, Uchenna N.; Fatade, Alfred O.


    Teaching practice is considered a professional development tool for boosting science, technology and mathematics graduate teachers' employability. This study examined Nigerian school administrators' perception of the skills central to the employability of preservice STM teachers in order to make them work-ready when they graduate and increase…

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

    Hill, Margaret; Benoit, Robert


    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. How does teacher education make a difference in our schools? Beginning science teachers' and their students' understanding and use of scientific inquiry (United States)

    Spang, Eliza Jordan

    The effects of teacher education on teaching practice have often been questioned. Some believe that the most important aspects of teaching are learned on-the-job, often by trial-and-error, while others argue that teacher education programs can help lay important foundations of teacher knowledge upon which pre-service teachers can build during their professional careers. This study examines the practices of six beginning science teachers---and their student's learning outcomes---in relation to the teacher education programs they experienced. In this mixed-methods study, three of six participating science teacher attended a teacher education program that emphasized the development of pedagogical content knowledge associated with making science accessible to all their students, while three other teachers---chosen from the same schools---did not. By using teacher interviews, classroom observations and student pre- and post-assessments, the researcher investigated the relationships between: teacher education and teacher knowledge, teacher knowledge and teacher practices, and teacher practices and student understanding. The study first examined student learning gains of the two groups of teachers. Then, using a theoretically based coding scheme, the researcher coded and compared teacher practices among the six teachers. Finally, the study analyzed and identified the links between the teacher education program attended by three of the teachers and their teaching practices. I found that the students of the 3 teachers from the "MTEP" program, which was distinctive in its preparation of science teachers with strong pedagogical content knowledge, had significantly larger gains in achievement than those of the other beginning teachers. I also found that these teachers engaged more in practices that supported students' abilities to think and inquire scientifically. Finally, I was able to trace their practices back to the design of the teacher education program. This study

  16. A Descriptive Study of the Middle School Science Teacher Behavior for Required Student Participation in Science Fair Competitions (United States)

    Fisanick, Laura M.


    This descriptive study explores three aspects of teacher behavior related to student participation in science fair competitions: teacher attitudes, teacher preference for different student-learning modes, and teacher motives for required student participation. Teacher motives for required student participation may stem from curriculum and…

  17. Professional identity and pedagogical discontentment in high school science teachers participating in a professional development institute (United States)

    Hathcock, Stephanie J.

    Although science teachers regularly participate in PD experiences involving reform-based practices, even our best teachers struggle to change their teaching practices to coincide with these pedagogics, and when they do change, it occurs at differential rates. The aim of this study was to better understand teachers' self-systems by analyzing their experiences in a PD institute program through the lens of professional identity. This multiple case study involved five high school science teachers participating in a summer PD initiative. Data were collected through interviews, written reflections and exploration and commitment cards, and a scale designed to capture participants' perceived level of pedagogical discontentment, or unease with teaching practices (Southerland, et al., 2012). Data were analyzed using the Theoretical Model of Professional Identity (Kaplan, et al., 2012), which highlights the dynamic interplay of teachers' self-perceptions, beliefs, purposes, and practices. Data were also analyzed for pedagogical discontentment, and the two were compared. Analysis led to patterns of change in professional identities, triggers for changes to professional identities, insights into perceptions of pedagogical discontentment, and ultimately, the potential relationship between professional identity and pedagogical discontentment. The model of professional identity served to capture teachers' experience of the PD, including tensions that arose as they began to explore portions of their professional identity. Pedagogical discontentment served to assist in better problematizing portions of the participants' professional identities, and assisted in identifying tensions and potential changes in less elaborative interviewees. However, the professional identity model was better able to capture the underlying causes of discontentment and planning associated with alleviating discontent. These emergent models can provide conceptual tools for future use, as well as guide

  18. Determinants of Benin elementary school science teachers' orientation toward inquiry-based instructional practices (United States)

    Gado, Issaou

    The Republic of Benin (West Africa) undertook a nationwide curriculum reform that put an emphasis on inquiry-based instructional practices. Little, if any, research has been conducted to explore factors that could be related to teachers' orientation toward inquiry instructional practices. The purpose of this research study was to investigate factors and concerns that determine Benin elementary school teachers' orientation toward the use of inquiry-based instruction in the teaching of science. The study followed a naturalistic inquiry methodology combining a correlational ex post facto design and an observational case-study design. The theory of Planned Behavior was the conceptual framework used to design the study. Two hundred (N = 200) elementary school teachers and three (n = 3) case study participants were purposively selected. Data was gathered via the Revised Science Attitude Scale (Thompson & Shrigley, 1986), the Science Teachers' Ideological Preference Scale (Jones & Harty, 1978), open-ended questions, interviews, and classroom observations using audiorecorders, videorecorders, and the researcher-contextualized version of the Observational System for the Analysis of Classroom Instruction (Hough, 1966). Qualitative and quantitative data provided a deeper understanding of participants' responses. Quantitative measures indicated that Benin elementary school teachers have positive attitudes toward school science, significant positive orientation toward both inquiry-based instruction and traditional non inquiry-based instruction, and higher orientation toward inquiry-based instruction than traditional non inquiry-based instruction. Attitude toward handling materials for investigations was found to significantly contribute to the prediction of participants' inquiry orientation. Qualitative analyses of participants' responses indicated that the expectations of educational leaders, individual motivation to comply with the program, a perceived control of the

  19. 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 (United States)


    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

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

  1. Alien or Alike? How the Perceived Similarity Between the Typical Science Teacher and a Student's Self-Image Correlates with Choosing Science at School (United States)

    Kessels, Ursula; Taconis, Ruurd


    By applying the self-to-prototype matching theory to students' academic choices, this study links the unpopularity of science in many industrialized countries with the perceived gap between typical persons representing science (e.g. physics teachers) on the one hand and students' self-image on the other. A sample of N = 308 Dutch and German students described both themselves and typical teachers representing different school subjects using 65 trait adjectives. The following hypotheses were tested: The typical hard sciences teacher and the typical languages teacher will be perceived as differing in their personal characteristics. The typical physics teachers will be perceived as being less similar to students' own self-image than teachers representing languages. Actual choices students make during secondary school should correlate with the perceived fit between students' self-image and the prototype of teachers representing different school subjects, especially in the less frequent and less popular choices of a math or physics major/profile. The findings supported these hypotheses. The discussion stresses that students acquire not only knowledge about science but also about science culture (sensu Aikenhead) in their science classes and that students' image of science teachers can influence their academic choices.

  2. Assessing Dimensions of Inquiry Practice by Middle School Science Teachers Engaged in a Professional Development Program (United States)

    Lakin, Joni M.; Wallace, Carolyn S.


    Inquiry-based teaching promotes students' engagement in problem-solving and investigation as they learn science concepts. Current practice in science teacher education promotes the use of inquiry in the teaching of science. However, the literature suggests that many science teachers hold incomplete or incorrect conceptions of inquiry.…

  3. An Evaluation of Teton Science School's Journeys Place-Based Education Program as Effective Envrionmental Education Teacher Training


    Hayes, John


    This thesis is an analysis of survey research data evaluating Journeys, a placebased environmental education teacher inservice training program developed and administered by Teton Science School. Information gleaned from stakeholder interviews was used to develop the specific evaluation questions. A self-administered mail survey was then sent to all teachers known to have received Journeys training. Nearly all trained teachers go on to use Journeys with their classes, and show a commitm...

  4. Cognitive dissonance of science and religion in pre-service elementary school teachers (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 school science teachers' reflection for nature of science: Workshop of NOS explicit and reflective on force and motion learning activity (United States)

    Patho, Khanittha; Yuenyong, Chokchai; Chamrat, Suthida


    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

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

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

    Cheung, Derek; Yip, Din-Yan


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

  9. The Sources of Science Teaching Self-efficacy among Elementary School Teachers: A mediational model approach (United States)

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


    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.

  10. Exploring Science Teachers' Perceptions of Experimentation: Implications for Restructuring School Practical Work (United States)

    Wei, Bing; Li, Xiaoxiao


    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…

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

  12. A Study of Science Teachers' Homework Practices (United States)

    Tas, Yasemin; Sungur-Vural, Semra; Öztekin, Ceren


    This study investigates Turkish middle school science teachers' homework practices, the value teachers attach to homework and teachers' communication with parents about homework. One hundred and sixty-eight teachers completed surveys. Teachers reported to assign homework frequently: 93.4 per cent of the teachers reported that they assign homework…

  13. Transformative practices in secondary school science classrooms: Life histories of Black South African teachers (United States)

    Jita, Loyiso Currell


    This study investigated the construction of teaching practices that are aimed at including all students in learning the key ideas of science and helping them to develop a voice for participating in the discourses in and outside of the science classroom. Such practices define what in this study is referred to as transformative practice. The study tells the stories of three Black secondary school teachers in South Africa who have worked to construct a transformative practice in their biology and physical science classrooms. Using a life history perspective, the study explored the relationships between teachers' identities and the changes in their classroom practices. Data were collected mainly through periodic interviews with the teachers and observations of their teaching practices over a period of 18 months. An important finding of the study was that the classroom practices of all three teachers were defined by three similar themes of: (1) "covering the content" and preparing their students to succeed in the national examinations, (2) developing deep conceptual understandings of the subject matter, and (3) including all students in their teaching by constructing what other researchers have called a "culturally-relevant" pedagogy. This finding was consistent despite the observed variations of context and personal histories. A major finding of this study on the question of the relationship between identity and teaching practice was that despite the importance of context, subject matter, material and social resources, another category of resources---the "resources of biography"---proved to be crucial for each of the teachers in crafting a transformative pedagogy. These "resources of biography" included such things as the teachers' own experiences of marginalization, the experiences of growing up or living in a particular culture, and the experiences of participating in certain kinds of social, political, religious or professional activities. The study suggests that it

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

  15. Indiana high school science teachers' beliefs about the intended and actual impacts of standards-based reforms (United States)

    Shane, Joseph W.

    Teachers' beliefs about educational policy are essential components of successful, local implementation. Policies not accounting for teachers' beliefs about learning, instruction, and effective reform risk being ignored or ineffectually implemented. In this research, I characterize the beliefs that science teachers from three high schools in Indiana have about general aspects of standards-based reforms and about the Indiana Academic Standards for Science (IASS). On-site focus group interviews were the primary method of data collection. An amalgam of Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics and narrative representation of qualitative data guided the inquiry by defining the researcher as the voice of the 23 participating teachers, locating the teachers' beliefs in their specific historical contexts, and displaying the results in a storied form unified by plots. I synthesized the data sources into a single narrative organized around the participants' personal teaching philosophies, their perceptions of students and administration, and their visions of standards beyond their own beliefs and school contexts. Based on the narrative, I concluded that (a) teachers with affective or preparative beliefs had neutral stances toward the IASS, (b) scientifically-oriented teachers believed the IASS contradicted their work, (c) less experienced teachers and those with affective-preparative philosophies were willing to compromise their autonomy and curricular depth to implement the IASS, (d) a continuum of administrative oversight existed across the three schools, (e) teachers at the urban high school adapted the standards to their students' personal needs and future plans, and (f) teachers almost universally recommended broader, flexible standards to allow more autonomy in making curricular decisions, to better reflect scientific inquiry in their classrooms, and to promote continuity across the high school science curriculum.

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

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


    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.

  17. The Impact of Professional Development on Elementary Teachers' Strategies for Teaching Science with Diverse Student Groups in Urban Elementary Schools (United States)

    Adamson, Karen; Santau, Alexandra; Lee, Okhee


    This study examined elementary teachers' instructional strategies for promoting scientific understanding and inquiry and supporting English language development with diverse student groups including English language learners. The study was part of a 5-year research and development project consisting of reform-based science curriculum units and teacher workshops aimed at providing effective science instruction to promote students' science and literacy achievement in urban elementary schools. Data consisted of 213 post-observation interviews with third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers. The teachers reported using instructional strategies to promote scientific understanding, but generally did not employ more sophisticated inquiry-based strategies. They also reported using instructional strategies to support English language development. There were significant differences among grade levels and by years of teacher participation.

  18. Using Reflective Practice to Facilitate Conversations and Transform Instructional Practice for Middle School Science Teachers (United States)

    Higdon, Robbie L.

    The process of teaching, especially inquiry, is complex and requires extended time for developing one's instructional practice (Loucks-Horsley, Stiles, Mundry, Love, & Hewson, 2010). The implementation of a continued cycle of self-reflection can engage teachers in analyzing their prior experiences and understandings about their instructional practice to promote the accommodation of new concepts and transform their practice. However, many teachers have difficulty engaging in the cognitive dissonance needed to identify those problems and promote their own growth without support. As one's professional practice becomes more repetitive and routine, it is difficult for the practitioner to recognize opportunities in which to contemplate one's habitual actions (Schon, 1983). In this multi-case study, two middle school science teachers who were engaged within a sustained professional development initiative participated in a series of one-on-one reflective dialogues regarding the decisions they made about the utilization of inquiry-based instruction. In addition, these teachers were asked to reflect upon the criteria used to determine how and when to implement these inquiry-based practices. These reflective dialogue sessions provided the opportunity to observe teacher conceptions and stimulate teacher cognitive dissonance about instructional practice. Qualitative analysis of data collected from these reflective dialogues along with informal and formal classroom observations of instructional practice uncovered diverse perceptions regarding the implementation of inquiry-based methods into present teaching practice. The use of reflective dialogue within the existing structure of the professional development initiative allowed for the facilitators of the professional development initiative to tailor ongoing support and their effective implementation of inquiry-based instruction. Additional research is needed to investigate the impact of reflective dialogue in achieving

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

    Smart, Julie Brockman


    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

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

  1. An Engineering Research Program for High School Science Teachers: Year Two Changes and Results (United States)

    DeJong, Brian P.; Yelamarthi, Kumar; Kaya, Tolga


    The research experiences for teachers program at Central Michigan University was initiated to team in-service and pre-service teachers with undergraduate engineering students and engineering faculty, in an engineering research setting. During the six-week program, teachers learn engineering concepts and develop high-school instructional material…

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


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Hindarto


    Full Text Available Many problems that arise in today's society are rooted in the issue of morality as a result of the marginalization of the values of character. To solve this problem, need to be enforced the values of good character on every member of the community, and the proper way is through the educational process, including through education in schools ranging from elementary education to higher education. To find out whether the teachers in elementary schools are ready to take this work, the research conducted to determine the readiness of teachers and the problems associated with its implementation. Through a questionnaire calculated in descriptive percentage on a sample of elementary school teachers who are spread in Semarang, Semarang District and Temanggung, it can be concluded that in teachers’ view it is very important to integrate the learning of characters in the lesson. However, they need guidance /examples to develop learning model with its features, which integrate the values of the characters in the science subject.Banyak persoalan yang timbul di masyarakat dewasa ini berakar pada persoalan moralitas sebagai akibat terpinggirkannya nilai-nilai karakter, Untuk mengatasi persoalan ini, perlu ditegakkan lagi nilai nilai karakter yang baik pada setiap anggota masyarakat, dan cara yang tepat adalah melalui proses pendidikan, di antaranya melalui pendidikan di sekolah mulai dari pendidikan dasar sampai pendidikan tinggi. Untuk mengetahui apakah para guru pada Sekolah Dasar siap mengemban tugas ini, maka diadakan penelitian untuk mengetahui kesiapan para guru dan masalah-masalah yang terkait dengan pelaksanaannya. Melalui angket yang kemudian diolah secara deskriptive persentasi pada sampel guru SD yang tersebar di Kota Semarang, Kabupaten Semarang dan Kabupaten Temanggung, dapat diketahui bahwa para guru menganggap sangat penting untuk mengintegrasikan pembelajaran karakter dalam matapelajaran IPA. Namun demikian mereka membutuhkan bimbingan

  4. Global Warming in Schools: An Inquiry about the Competing Conceptions of High School Social Studies and Science Curricula and Teachers (United States)

    Meehan, Casey R.

    Despite the scientific consensus supporting the theory of anthropogenic (human-induced) global warming, whether global warming is a serious problem, whether human activity is the primary cause of it, and whether scientific consensus exists at all are controversial questions among the U.S. lay-public. The cultural theory of risk perception (Schwarz and Thompson, 1990) serves as the theoretical framework for this qualitative analysis in which I ask the question how do U.S. secondary school curricula and teachers deal with the disparity between the overwhelming scientific consensus and the lay-public's skepticism regarding global warming? I analyzed nine widely used social studies and science textbooks, eight sets of supplemental materials about global warming produced by a range of not-for-profit and governmental organizations, and interviewed fourteen high school teachers who had experience teaching formal lessons about global warming in their content area. Findings suggest: 1) the range of global warming content within social studies and science textbooks and supplemental curricula reflects the spectrum of conceptualizations found among members of the U.S. public; 2) global warming curricula communicate only a narrow range of strategies for dealing with global warming and its associated threats; and 3) social studies and science teachers report taking a range of stances about global warming in their classroom, but sometimes the stance they put forth to their students does not align with their personal beliefs about global warming. The findings pose a troubling conundrum. Some of the global warming curricula treat the cause of global warming--a question that is not scientifically controversial--as a question with multiple and competing "right" answers. At the same time, much of curricula position how we should address global warming--a question that is legitimately controversial--as a question with one correct answer despite there being many reasonable responses

  5. The Development of Elementary Teacher Identities as Teachers of Science (United States)

    Carrier, Sarah J.; Whitehead, Ashley N.; Walkowiak, Temple A.; Luginbuhl, Sarah C.; Thomson, Margareta M.


    The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the contributions of pre-service teachers' memories of science and science education, combined with their experiences in a STEM-focused teacher preparation programme, to their developing identities as elementary school teachers of science. Data collected over three years include a series of…

  6. An Investigation of Primary School Science Teachers' Use of Computer Applications (United States)

    Ocak, Mehmet Akif; Akdemir, Omur


    This study investigated the level and frequency of science teachers' use of computer applications as an instructional tool in the classroom. The manner and frequency of science teachers' use of computer, their perceptions about integration of computer applications, and other factors contributed to changes in their computer literacy are…

  7. Developing Partnerships between Higher Education Faculty, K-12 Science Teachers, and School Administrators via MSP initiatives: The RITES Model (United States)

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


    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

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

  9. Using writing-to-learn strategies: Promoting peer collaboration among high school science teachers (United States)

    Lawwill, Kenneth Stuart

    Writing-to-learn strategies have been well documented in the promotion of student learning (Poirrier, 1997c). Less is known about how teachers come to use these strategies in every day instruction. This study is a description of the experiences of one science teacher at a large suburban high school who shared writing-to-learn strategies with his department to promote the use of these strategies in daily instruction of his colleagues. The strategies involved (1) improving reading comprehension using paraphrasing, (2) activating prior knowledge using generic questions: who, what, where, when, why, & how, and (3) writing before and after other classroom activities to activate prior knowledge and then better integrate new information. The strategies were shared during informal meetings at lunch. Participation was voluntary. Of the eighteen faculty members, four chose to implement the strategies on a longer-term basis. Follow-up analysis in subsequent years, showed that the strategies were still in use and that the colleagues who used the strategies had passed them on to newly inducted members of the department. Results were discussed with regards to how teachers acquire or decline the incorporation of new teaching ideas in the normal course of their work in collegial settings.

  10. The research dynamic: a professional development model for secondary school science teachers. (United States)

    Silverman, Philip M


    This essay summarizes the author's 10 years of experience at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation mentoring secondary school science teachers during 8-wk Summer Research Institutes. The summary is presented as a learning model, which we call the research dynamic. This model consists of three interlocked components: specified ignorance, peer interactions, and gateway experiments. Specified ignorance is based on the work of the sociologist Robert K. Merton. It is essentially the art of highlighting what is not known about a phenomenon but must become known for further progress. In practice, specified ignorance is framed as a hypothesis, a prediction, or a question. It is commonly the outcome of peer interactions, which are the second essential component of the research dynamic. Peer interactions are the inevitable outcome of having teachers work together in the same laboratory on related research topics. These topics are introduced as gateway experiments, the third component. The most important attribute of gateway experiments is their authenticity. These experiments, when first carried out, opened new scientific vistas. They are also technically, conceptually, and logically simple. We illustrate the research dynamic with a line of seminal experiments in biochemical genetics. We provide evidence that the research dynamic produced significantly positive effects on teachers' confidence in their professional preparedness.

  11. Science Research 4: A New Curriculum Providing Student Mentorship and Teacher Training Facilitated by High School Students (United States)

    Danch, J. M.; Aker, K.


    As part of a continuing comprehensive plan to include authentic scientific research in the science curricula of the Woodbridge Township School District, a new curriculum was developed to expanding the current 3-year Science Research Program to include a 4th year class. As with the previous 3 levels, the objectives of this curriculum include the development, implementation and dissemination of authentic scientific research by students. New objectives make use of the students advanced knowledge of the methods of science and electronic laboratory technology to provide mentorship to students performing scientific research or other inquiry-based science activities. Mentored students include those enrolled in high school Science Research 1, 8th Grade Honors Geoscience, and other high school science classes where scientific methods, inquiry-based learning and electronic data acquisition tools are utilized. Student mentors will also assist in the facilitation of a district-wide K-12 science symposium. The curriculum also calls for the creation of educational materials by students to enhance the teaching of scientific research and inquiry-based learning. Finally, students enrolled in Science Research 4 will conduct teacher-training sessions where their advanced expertise in the utilization of electronic sensors and data acquisition and analysis devices will be used to expand the use of such technology by teachers not only involved in research-based courses, but all areas of science education throughout the school district.

  12. Factors That Influence Science Teachers' Selection and Usage of Technologies in High School Science Classrooms (United States)

    Waight, Noemi; Chiu, Ming Ming; Whitford, Melinda


    This study contributed to our understanding of those factors that serve as predictors of science teachers' selection and use of technologies and more specifically, how selection and usage was realized among teachers of different science disciplines. Notable descriptive statistics were examined, and we tested an explanatory model of how…

  13. Development of teacher beliefs through online instruction: A one-year study of middle school science and mathematics teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning


    Wong, Sissy S.


    Understanding teachers’ beliefs is important because beliefs influence teacher decisions.  In science, teacher beliefs impacts how science curriculum is interpreted and implemented in the classroom. With the push for STEM education in the United States, it is also critical to examine teacher beliefs of those that integrate science in the classroom. This study of N=21 middle school science and mathematics teachers’ beliefs in the United States found one year of a graduate online program that e...

  14. Assessing the Impact of Lesson Study on the Teaching Practice of Middle School Science Teachers (United States)

    Grove, Michael C.

    Despite wave after wave of educational reform in the United States our students continue to lag behind their peers in other industrialized countries on virtually all measures of academic achievement. Effective professional development (PD) is seen as a key to improving instructional practice and therefore student learning, but traditional forms of PD have been wholly unsuccessful in changing teaching practice. Over the last two decades an emerging body of research has identified some key features of effective PD that seem to create meaningful change and improvement in instructional practice. Some of this research highlights the promise of adapting Japanese lesson study (LS) to the American context as a means of incrementally improving instruction. Much of the existing research around LS is descriptive in nature and offers little insight into if and how participation in LS impacts subsequent instructional practice. This study utilized case study methodology to examine the instructional practice of one group of four middle school science teachers before, during, and after participation in LS. The study attempted to identify specific learning outcomes of a LS process, to identify influences on teacher learning during LS, and to identify subsequent changes in the instructional practice of participants resulting from participation in LS. Key findings from the study include significant teacher learning derived from the LS process, the identification of influences that enhanced or inhibited teacher learning, and clear evidence that participants successfully integrated learning from the LS into subsequent instructional practice. Learning outcomes included deepening of subject matter knowledge, increased understanding of student thinking and abilities, clarity of expectations for student performance, recognition of the ineffectiveness of past instructional practice, specific instructional strategies, shared student learning goals, and an increased commitment to future

  15. Engaging in Argument and Communicating Information: A Case Study of English Language Learners and Their Science Teacher in an Urban High School (United States)

    Swanson, Lauren Honeycutt; Bianchini, Julie A.; Lee, Jin Sook


    This study documents how an urban high school science teacher engaged her English Language Learners (ELLs) in the discourse-intensive science and engineering practices of (1) arguing from evidence and (2) obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. The teacher taught an introductory integrated science course to classes with a large…

  16. Teacher Quality Indicators as Predictors of Instructional Assessment Practices in Science Classrooms in Secondary Schools in Barbados (United States)

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


    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

  17. Recruiting, Preparing, and Retaining High Quality Secondary Mathematics and Science Teachers for Urban Schools: The Cal Teach Experimental Program (United States)

    Newton, Xiaoxia A.; Jang, Heeju; Nunes, Nicci; Stone, Elisa


    Recruiting, preparing, and retaining high quality secondary mathematics and science teachers are three of the most critical problems in the nation's urban schools that serve a vast majority of children from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Although the factors contributing to these problems are complex, one area that has caught…

  18. A Comparison of Rural Elementary School Teacher Attitudes toward Three Modes of Distance Education for Science Professional Development (United States)

    Annetta, Leonard; Shymansky, James A.


    Distance education is a significant topic of discussion among faculty at all levels of education. This study produced evidence regarding the attitudes toward three distance education delivery modes for science professional development. The study involved 94 elementary school teachers who were participating in a professional development project.…

  19. 75 FR 14565 - NIST Summer Institute for Middle School Science Teachers; Availability of Funds (United States)


    ... instruction in general science fields including earth science, physical science, chemistry, physics, and/or... math (grades 6, 7, and/or 8) in a public or private school. The topics taught may include earth science, physical science, chemistry, physics, and/or biology. Please note that no support will be offered for...

  20. Barriers influencing implementation of the National Science Education Standards by middle school teachers engaged in collaborative professional development (United States)

    Johnson, Carla Cunnagin

    This study focused on implementation of the National Science Education Standards by middle school science teachers. Science teachers from two suburban middle schools who engaged in structured collaborative professional development over a period of two years were participants in the study. A review of the current literature in this field indicated a need for further research on sustained, collaborative professional development (Loucks-Horsley, Hewson, Love & Stiles, 1998; Supovitz & Turner, 2000). Previous findings indicated teachers implementing curricular reform encounter barriers and/or dilemmas when implementing the new instructional strategies into their teaching practices (Anderson, 1996). This study sought to find out what technical, political and cultural barriers teachers encounter when implementing standards-based instruction and how those barriers impacted implementation. There were twelve participants in this mixed methods study. A stratified random sample of a high, medium and low implementer of standards-based instruction, based upon their self-reported use in a teacher questionnaire, were selected at each of the two middle schools. Detailed classroom observations were conducted using the Local Systemic Change Classroom Observation Protocol (Horizon Research, 2002) identifying their level of use of standards-based instruction. All twelve teachers were interviewed regarding their instructional practices and possible barriers they encountered to implementation. Findings in this study indicated that as the number of technical, political or cultural barriers increased, implementation of standards-based instruction decreased. Cultural dimension categories such as existing teacher beliefs about instruction and how students learn science, as well as the belief that standards-based instruction is not aligned with state assessments were barriers for teachers in this study. In addition, if a teacher had a high barrier in a cultural category, they also were one

  1. News Conference: Brecon hosts 10th teacher's conference Summer school: Science summer school heads to Crete Award: The Corti Science Prize Radioactivity: Scottish beach is no beta off Workshop: Heureka project promotes teaching Experiments: Spanish project proves that learning science can be exciting Lecture: IOP schools lecture journeys from x-rays to antimatter Correction to the news item 'Delegates experience universality' Forthcoming events (United States)


    Conference: Brecon hosts 10th teacher's conference Summer school: Science summer school heads to Crete Award: The Corti Science Prize Radioactivity: Scottish beach is no beta off Workshop: Heureka project promotes teaching Experiments: Spanish project proves that learning science can be exciting Lecture: IOP schools lecture journeys from x-rays to antimatter Correction to the news item 'Delegates experience universality' Forthcoming events

  2. High School Biology Teachers' Views on Teaching Evolution: Implications for Science Teacher Educators (United States)

    Hermann, Ronald S.


    In the US, there may be few scientific concepts that students maintain preconceived ideas about as strongly and passionately as they do with regard to evolution. At the confluence of a multitude of social, religious, political, and scientific factors lies the biology teacher. This phenomenological study provides insight into the salient aspects of…

  3. Recruiting Quality Teachers in Mathematics, Science, and Special Education for Urban and Rural Schools. TQ Source Tips & Tools: Emerging Strategies to Enhance Teacher Quality (United States)

    National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, 2007


    This publication offers a sampling of strategies, resources, and tips for educators and policymakers engaged in the recruitment of mathematics, science, and special education teachers--specific to urban and rural schools and districts. These strategies and resources, when implemented effectively, can have a positive and lasting impact on the…

  4. An Investigation of Primary School Teachers' PCK towards Science Subjects Using an Inquiry-Based Approach

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Menşure Alkiş Küçükaydin; Şafak Uluçinar Sağir


    .... According to the results of the study, in which descriptive and content analysis were used concurrently, primary school teachers lack subject matter knowledge, do not interrogate the pre-knowledge...

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

  6. Using AN Essea Earth Systems Science Course in a Web-Enhanced Setting for Pre-Service Middle School Teachers (United States)

    Slattery, W.


    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

  7. Inspiring Instructional Change in Elementary School Science: The Relationship Between Enhanced Self-efficacy and Teacher Practices (United States)

    Sandholtz, Judith Haymore; Ringstaff, Cathy


    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.

  8. Science Teachers and Liability. (United States)

    Nigro, Kirk A.

    Civil lawsuits brought for injuries to students are a source of growing concern for teachers, and especially for science teachers. This paper outlines some basic principles by which science teachers may protect themselves from lawsuits, before and during the time that students are engaged in experiments or lab work. Courts in this country have…

  9. Examining two Turkish teachers' questioning patterns in secondary school science classrooms (United States)

    Cikmaz, Ali

    This study examined low and high level teachers' questioning patterns and classroom implementations within an argument-based inquiry approach known as the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) approach, which addresses issues on negotiation, argumentation, learning, and teaching. The level of the teachers was determined by the students' writing scores. This study was conducted in Turkey with seven teacher for preliminary study. Because scoring writing samples examines the students' negotiation level with the different sources and students learn scientific process, as negotiation, which they may transfer into their writing, in classroom, two teachers were selected to represent low and high level teachers. Data collection involved classroom observation through video recordings. The comparative qualitative method was employed throughout the data analysis process with including quantitative results. The research questions that guided the present study were: (1) How are low and high level teachers, determined according to their students' writing scores, questioning patterns different from each other during classroom discourse? (2) Is there a relationship between students' writings and teachers' questioning styles in the classroom? Analysis of Qualitative data showed that teachers' classroom implementations reveal big differences based on argumentation patterns. The high level teacher, whose students had high scores in writing samples, asked more questions and the cognitive levels of questions were higher than the low level teacher. Questions promote an argumentative environment and improve critical thinking skills by discussing different ideas and claims. Asking more questions of teacher influences students to initiate (ask questions) more and to learn the scientific process with science concepts. Implicitly, this learning may improve students' comparison in their writing. Moreover, high level teacher had a more structured and organized classroom than low level teacher.

  10. An Analysis of High School Math, Science, Social Studies, English, and Foreign Language Teachers' Implementation of One-to-One Computing and Their Pedagogical Practices (United States)

    Inserra, Albert; Short, Thomas


    The purpose of this study was to compare high school Math, Science, Social Studies, English, and Foreign Language teachers' implementation of teaching practices in terms of their pedagogical dimensions in a one-to-one computing environment. A survey was developed to measure high school teachers' implementation of teaching practices associated with…

  11. A Comparison of the Personality Traits of Secondary Science Teachers in Mississippi Public Schools. (United States)

    Guyton, John William, III

    This document reports on a study designed to determine if there are significant identifiable differences in personality traits of outstanding, regular, and provisional secondary science teachers in Mississippi. Combinations of factors that differentiated the three groups were also investigated. The scores of typical outstanding science teachers…

  12. Teacher challenges, perceptions, and use of science models in middle school classrooms about climate, weather, and energy concepts (United States)

    Yarker, Morgan Brown

    Research suggests that scientific models and modeling should be topics covered in K-12 classrooms as part of a comprehensive science curriculum. It is especially important when talking about topics in weather and climate, where computer and forecast models are the center of attention. There are several approaches to model based inquiry, but it can be argued, theoretically, that science models can be effectively implemented into any approach to inquiry if they are utilized appropriately. Yet, it remains to be explored how science models are actually implemented in classrooms. This study qualitatively looks at three middle school science teachers' use of science models with various approaches to inquiry during their weather and climate units. Results indicate that the teacher who used the most elements of inquiry used models in a way that aligned best with the theoretical framework than the teachers who used fewer elements of inquiry. The theoretical framework compares an approach to argument-based inquiry to model-based inquiry, which argues that the approaches are essentially identical, so teachers who use inquiry should be able to apply model-based inquiry using the same approach. However, none of the teachers in this study had a complete understanding of the role models play in authentic science inquiry, therefore students were not explicitly exposed to the ideas that models can be used to make predictions about, and are representations of, a natural phenomenon. Rather, models were explicitly used to explain concepts to students or have students explain concepts to the teacher or to each other. Additionally, models were used as a focal point for conversation between students, usually as they were creating, modifying, or using models. Teachers were not observed asking students to evaluate models. Since science models are an important aspect of understanding science, it is important that teachers not only know how to implement models into an inquiry environment

  13. Does Increasing Biology Teacher Knowledge of Evolution and the Nature of Science Lead to Greater Preference for the Teaching of Evolution in Schools? (United States)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Schonfeld, Irvin Sam


    This study investigated whether or not an increase in secondary science teacher knowledge about evolution and the nature of science gained from completing a graduate-level evolution course was associated with greater preference for the teaching of evolution in schools. Forty-four precertified secondary biology teachers participated in a 14-week…

  14. Teaching Energy Science as Inquiry: Reflections on Professional Development as a Tool to Build Inquiry Teaching Skills for Middle and High School Teachers (United States)

    Seraphin, Kanesa Duncan; Philippoff, Joanna; Parisky, Alex; Degnan, Katherine; Warren, Diana Papini


    A hybrid (face-to-face and online) professional development (PD) course focused on energy science for middle and high school teachers (N = 47) was conducted using the teaching science as inquiry (TSI) framework. Data from the PD indicates that online opportunities enhanced participation and that the TSI structure improved teachers' inquiry…

  15. Conceptualizing In-service Secondary School Science Teachers' Knowledge Base for Climate Change Content (United States)

    Campbell, K. M.; Roehrig, G.; Dalbotten, D. M.; Bhattacharya, D.; Nam, Y.; Varma, K.; Wang, J.


    The need to deepen teachers' knowledge of the science of climate change is crucial under a global climate change (GCC) scenario. With effective collaboration between researchers, scientists and teachers, conceptual frameworks can be developed for creating climate change content for classroom implementation. Here, we discuss how teachers' conceptualized content knowledge about GCC changes over the course of a professional development program in which they are provided with place-based and culturally congruent content. The NASA-funded Global Climate Change Education (GCCE) project, "CYCLES: Teachers Discovering Climate Change from a Native Perspective", is a 3-year teacher professional development program designed to develop culturally-sensitive approaches for GCCE in Native American communities using traditional knowledge, data and tools. As a part of this program, we assessed the progression in the content knowledge of participating teachers about GCC. Teachers were provided thematic GCC content focused on the elements of the medicine wheel-Earth, Fire, Air, Water, and Life -during a one week summer workshop. Content was organized to emphasize explanations of the natural world as interconnected and cyclical processes and to align with the Climate and Earth Science Literacy Principles and NASA resources. Year 1 workshop content was focused on the theme of "Earth" and teacher knowledge was progressively increased by providing content under the themes of 1) understanding of timescale, 2) understanding of local and global perspectives, 3) understanding of proxy data and 4) ecosystem connectivity. We used a phenomenographical approach for data analysis to qualitatively investigate different ways in which the teachers experienced and conceptualized GCC. We analyzed categories of teachers' climate change knowledge using information generated by tools such as photo elicitation interviews, concept maps and reflective journal perceptions. Preliminary findings from the pre

  16. Space Science for Middle School Teachers: Integrating CINDI E/PO into a Long-Term Professional Development Program (United States)

    Urquhart, M. L.; Hairston, M. R.


    Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) targeting pre-college education can be focused on teachers or students, but is ultimately only effective if it impacts classrooms. A challenge in the teacher workshop model is tracking the impact we have actually made. Teachers may be excited by our offerings, and rate workshops highly, but is our E/PO actually making a difference with pre-college students? In June 2005 we ran our second four-day teacher workshop for the joint NASA/U.S. Air Force sponsored ionospheric instrument package, the Coupled Ion Neutral Dynamics Investigation (CINDI) with a new twist. We experimented with the integration of our workshop into a long-term professional development program for 6th and 7th grade teachers at UT Dallas. Immediate direct benefits to the CINDI E/PO program included knowledge of teacher backgrounds prior to the workshop, a narrow target grade level range, and the elimination of the need for separate recruiting efforts. More importantly, by working within a year-long program supported by a Teacher Quality Grant we have been able to better assess teacher learning and the impact our outreach efforts is having on the middle school students of participants. The 20-contact hours our workshop contributed to the Teacher Quality Summer Institute were specifically designed to meet Texas standards for middle school science, and made connections between space weather, Earth systems, basic physics, technology, and communications. Participants were able to interact with members of the science team in formal settings and over casual lunches. We will present our motivations for this experiment, participant feedback, and lessons learned. In addition, we will give an update on our CINDI Educator Guide, and the newly completed Cindi in Space comic book. For the latest on CINDI E/PO, curriculum materials, and the comic book in pdf format, go to

  17. Effects of professional development on the knowledge and classroom practices of elementary school science teachers (United States)

    Minuskin, Sondra

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of professional development on the knowledge and classroom practices of teachers of science in kindergarten through Grade 5. These teachers, trained to be generalists in the content areas, were strongly prepared in pedagogical practices, reading skills, basic language arts, and mathematics content areas. Science reform has led to more content-specific science standards that were difficult for these unprepared teachers to address without professional development. The researcher implemented a professional development program that used a collaborative model involving 8 teachers in Grade 4. The researcher conducted the professional development, assisted at times by personnel from the New Jersey State Department of Education. The new standards were learned, reinforced, and adopted. The data that were analyzed to determine the effects of the professional development came from a comparison of student achievement of the classes of 2 sets of teachers in Grade 4, one of which was the control set ( n = 8). The other was the experimental set (n = 8). The researcher administered pre- and postintervention content tests to both groups to measure teacher knowledge. In addition, the researcher reviewed lesson plans, conducted observations, and administered surveys to determine whether professional development in science impacted teacher practices in the classroom. This limited study suggested that teacher instruction did not significantly differ after professional development intervention. It also suggested that teacher content knowledge did not significantly increase due to the intervention. The researcher believes that local factors influenced the outcome and recommends a more systemic program that includes the involvement of all stakeholders.

  18. Differentiating Science Instruction: Secondary science teachers' practices (United States)

    Maeng, Jennifer L.; Bell, Randy L.


    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.

  19. The Impact of Science Teachers' Beliefs on Teaching Science: The Case of Saudi Science Teachers (United States)

    Alabdulkareem, Saleh Abdullah


    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…

  20. Science Perceptions of Prospective Class Teachers (United States)

    Ulucinar Sagir, Safak


    The perceptions of class teachers, who will deliver science education at the elementary school, of information and science are significant as these affect the quality of education received by children. The aim of this research is to determine perceptions of prospective class teachers of science. The sample group of the research consists of 120…

  1. Subject Knowledge Development by Science Student Teachers: The Role of University Tutors and School-Based Subject Mentors (United States)

    Youens, Bernadette; McCarthy, Susan


    Following the introduction of a National Curriculum for Science, all secondary science teachers in England need to be prepared to teach all aspects of a broad and balanced science curriculum. This is the second paper in which we explore science student teachers' subject knowledge development during a one-year postgraduate teacher preparation…

  2. School of Political Science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. D. Voskresensky


    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.

  3. Playful Teaching Work of School Science Teachers Fundamental in a Municipal School in Pernambuco, Brazil (United States)

    de Medeiros Silva, Suzana Cinthia Gomes; de Oliveira, Maria Marly; de Oliveira, Gilvaneide Ferreira


    This study is part of a dissertation which aims to explore and understand the role of play in the teaching-learning process at elementary level in a public school at Pernambuco, Brazil. We opted for a qualitative approach, using the interactive methodology, interviews by the technique of hermeneutic-dialectical circle, observations of science…

  4. Reflection after Teaching a Lesson: Experiences of Secondary School Science Teachers (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…

  5. What Is Motivating Middle-School Science Teachers to Teach Climate Change? (United States)

    McNeal, Peggy; Petcovic, Heather; Reeves, Patricia


    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…

  6. Latino Youth's Out-of-School Math and Science Experiences: Impact on Teacher Candidates (United States)

    Diaz, Maria E.; Bussert-Webb, Kathy


    This qualitative study examines the learning and interaction processes between Latino/a teacher candidates (TCs) and youth during a community service-learning program involving science and math. Knowing and affirming nondominant youth's strengths are essential from funds of knowledge and Third Space perspectives. Participants were 11 TCs and their…

  7. The negotiation of meaning and exercise of power in professional learning communities: An investigation of middle school science teachers (United States)

    Mclaughlin, Cheryl Althea

    A professional learning community (PLC) typically consists of practitioners who systematically examine and problematize their practice with the intention of development and improvement. The collaborative practices inherent in PLCs mirror the way scientists work together to develop new theories, and are particularly valuable for science teachers who could draw from these experiences to improve the quality of student learning. Gaps in the science education literature support the need for research to determine how interactions within PLCs support science teacher development. Additionally, issues of power that may constrain or encourage meaningful interactions are largely overlooked in PLC studies. This qualitative study examines, from a Foucauldian perspective, interactions within a PLC comprising middle school science teachers preparing to implement reform curriculum. Specifically, the study analyzes interactions within the PLC to determine opportunities created for professional learning and development. Audiotaped transcripts of teacher interactions were analyzed using discourse analysis building tasks designed to identify opportunities for learning and to examine the exercise of power within the PLCs. The discourse analytical tools integrated theories of Gee (2011) and Foucault (1972), and were used to deconstruct and interrogate the data. The events were subsequently reconstructed through the lens of social constructivism and Foucault theories on power. The findings identified several processes emerging from the interactions that contributed to the negotiation of an understanding of the reform curriculum. These include reflection on practice, reorganization of cognitive structures, reinvention of practice, and refinement of instructional strategies. The findings also indicated that the exercise of power by entities both external to, and within the PLCs influenced the process of meaning negotiation among the science teachers. The consensus achieved by the teachers

  8. News Conference: Bloodhound races into history Competition: School launches weather balloon Course: Update weekends inspire teachers Conference: Finland hosts GIREP conference Astronomy: AstroSchools sets up schools network to share astronomy knowledge Teaching: Delegates praise science events in Wales Resources: ELI goes from strength to strength International: South Sudan teachers receive training Workshop: Delegates experience universality (United States)


    Conference: Bloodhound races into history Competition: School launches weather balloon Course: Update weekends inspire teachers Conference: Finland hosts GIREP conference Astronomy: AstroSchools sets up schools network to share astronomy knowledge Teaching: Delegates praise science events in Wales Resources: ELI goes from strength to strength International: South Sudan teachers receive training Workshop: Delegates experience universality

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

  10. Science teaching time and practice, and factors influencing elementary teachers' decisions about both in rural, reservation schools (United States)

    Jones, Richard Marshall

    limitations that schools' physical structure, policy mandates, and culture can place on a teacher's ability to effectively teach science. In light of the results of the study, implications for educators and policy makers are addressed, and recommendations for future research are suggested.

  11. The Science and Issues of Human DNA Polymorphisms: A Training Workshop for High School Biology Teachers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Micklos, David A.


    This project achieved its goal of implementing a nationwide training program to introduce high school biology teachers to the key uses and societal implications of human DNA polymorphisms. The 2.5-day workshop introduced high school biology faculty to a laboratory-based unit on human DNA polymorphisms â which provides a uniquely personal perspective on the science and Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of the Human Genome Project. As proposed, 12 workshops were conducted at venues across the United States. The workshops were attended by 256 high school faculty, exceeding proposed attendance of 240 by 7%. Each workshop mixed theoretical, laboratory, and computer work with practical and ethical implications. Program participants learned simplified lab techniques for amplifying three types of chromosomal polymorphisms: an Alu insertion (PV92), a VNTR (pMCT118/D1S80), and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the mitochondrial control region. These polymorphisms illustrate the use of DNA variations in disease diagnosis, forensic biology, and identity testing - and provide a starting point for discussing the uses and potential abuses of genetic technology. Participants also learned how to use their Alu and mitochondrial data as an entrée to human population genetics and evolution. Our work to simplify lab techniques for amplifying human DNA polymorphisms in educational settings culminated with the release in 1998 of three Advanced Technology (AT) PCR kits by Carolina Biological Supply Company, the nationâÂÂs oldest educational science supplier. The kits use a simple 30-minute method to isolate template DNA from hair sheaths or buccal cells and streamlined PCR chemistry based on Pharmacia Ready-To-Go Beads, which incorporate Taq polymerase, deoxynucleotide triphosphates, and buffer in a freeze-dried pellet. These kits have greatly simplified teacher implementation of human PCR labs, and their use is growing at a rapid pace. Sales of human

  12. The Science and Issues of Human DNA Polymoprhisms: A Training Workshop for High School Biology Teachers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David. A Micklos


    This project achieved its goal of implementing a nationwide training program to introduce high school biology teachers to the key uses and societal implications of human DNA polymorphisms. The 2.5-day workshop introduced high school biology faculty to a laboratory-based unit on human DNA polymorphisms – which provides a uniquely personal perspective on the science and Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of the Human Genome Project. As proposed, 12 workshops were conducted at venues across the United States. The workshops were attended by 256 high school faculty, exceeding proposed attendance of 240 by 7%. Each workshop mixed theoretical, laboratory, and computer work with practical and ethical implications. Program participants learned simplified lab techniques for amplifying three types of chromosomal polymorphisms: an Alu insertion (PV92), a VNTR (pMCT118/D1S80), and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the mitochondrial control region. These polymorphisms illustrate the use of DNA variations in disease diagnosis, forensic biology, and identity testing - and provide a starting point for discussing the uses and potential abuses of genetic technology. Participants also learned how to use their Alu and mitochondrial data as an entrée to human population genetics and evolution. Our work to simplify lab techniques for amplifying human DNA polymorphisms in educational settings culminated with the release in 1998 of three Advanced Technology (AT) PCR kits by Carolina Biological Supply Company, the nation’s oldest educational science supplier. The kits use a simple 30-minute method to isolate template DNA from hair sheaths or buccal cells and streamlined PCR chemistry based on Pharmacia Ready-To-Go Beads, which incorporate Taq polymerase, deoxynucleotide triphosphates, and buffer in a freeze-dried pellet. These kits have greatly simplified teacher implementation of human PCR labs, and their use is growing at a rapid pace. Sales of human polymorphism

  13. Impact of an informal learning science camp on urban, low socioeconomic status middle school students and participating teacher-leaders (United States)

    Votaw, Nikki L.

    Studies suggest that students have difficulty connecting science to their own lives (Lee & Fradd, 1998; Aikenhead, 1996). This difficulty results in a decline in students' attitudes toward science, leading to low science achievement. These factors result in fewer students interested in careers related to science, specifically for urban, minority students. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact that a ten day informal learning immersion science camp had on the participants, both urban, low-socioeconomic status middle school students and teacher-leaders. The students were incoming seventh grade students involved in a community-based scholar program designed to recruit and support socioeconomically disadvantaged, academically talented students. The teacher-leaders were professional educators working toward an advanced degree. This ten day camp included seven visits to different sites and complementary classroom-based activities. The purpose of the camp was to immerse the students in informal learning environments that affect their daily lives. Students and teacher-leaders visited facilities that provide public utility services (i.e. power plant, sewage treatment facility, and water company), zoo, large commercial cave system, planetarium, university based electrooptics and nanotechnology center, and forest and arboretum. These site visits were supported by activities that were provided by teacher-leaders. A model used as a framework for studying learning in the context of this ten day camp as Falk and Dierking's (2000) Contextual Model for Learning. This model described three basic intersecting elements that contributed to learning within the given context. The three contexts (personal, sociocultural, and physical) intersect affecting the learning that takes place. A mixed methodology design was employed to determine the impact of the camp on students' content knowledge and attitudes toward science. Qualitative data were collected to determine the impact

  14. Conceptualizing In-service Secondary School Science Teachers' Knowledge Base for Promoting Understanding about the Science of Global Climate Change (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Devarati

    Efforts to adapt and mitigate the effects of global climate change (GCC) have been ongoing for the past two decades and have become a major global concern. However, research and practice for promoting climate literacy and understanding about GCC have only recently become a national priority. The National Research Council (NRC), has recently emphasized upon the importance of developing learners' capacity of reasoning, their argumentation skills and understanding of GCC (Framework for K-12 Science Education, National Research Council, 2012). This framework focuses on fostering conceptual clarity about GCC to promote innovation, resilience, and readiness in students as a response towards the threat of a changing environment. Previous research about teacher understanding of GCC describes that in spite of the prevalent frameworks like the AAAS Science Literacy Atlas (AAAS, 2007) and the Essential Principles for Climate Literacy (United States Global Climate Research Program, 2009; Bardsley, 2007), most learners are challenged in understanding the science of GCC (Michail et al., 2007) and misinformed perceptions about basic climate science content and the role of human activities in changing climate remain persistent (Reibich and Gautier, 2006). Our teacher participants had a rather simplistic knowledge structure. While aware of climate change, teacher participants lacked in depth understanding of how change in climate can impact various ecosystems on the Earth. Furthermore, they felt overwhelmed with the extensive amount of information needed to comprehend the complexity in GCC. Hence, extensive efforts not only focused on assessing conceptual understanding of GCC but also for teaching complex science topics like GCC are essential. This dissertation explains concept mapping, and the photo elicitation method for assessing teachers' understanding of GCC and the use of metacognitive scaffolding in instruction of GCC for developing competence of learners in this complex

  15. Examination of instructional strategies: Secondary science teachers of mainstreamed English language learners in two high schools in southern New England (United States)

    Yangambi, Matthieu Wakalewae


    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

  16. Development of Teacher Beliefs through Online Instruction: A One-Year Study of Middle School Science and Mathematics Teachers' Beliefs about Teaching and Learning (United States)

    Wong, Sissy S.


    Understanding teachers' beliefs is important because beliefs influence teacher decisions. In science, teacher beliefs have an impact on how science curriculum is interpreted and implemented in the classroom. With the push for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in the United States, it is also critical to examine the…

  17. The issue of the arrangement of new environments for science education through collaborative actions between schools, museums and science centres in the Brazilian context of teacher training (United States)

    Monteiro, Bruno Andrade Pinto; Martins, Isabel; de Souza Janerine, Aline; de Carvalho, Fabiana Cristina


    We present, in this article, an investigation about the potential of the relationship between formal and non-formal educational environments. Therefore it is not an empirical research, but an essay on the topic. This paper demonstrates the concept that science education and science outreach can be privileged by actions that are developed by closer relations between formal and non-formal places. Currently, non-formal environments such as museums and science and technology centres are considered potential educational resources within the reach of schools. Educators from museums have conducted studies which demonstrate a predominant model of the utilization of these institutions by teachers, which consists of illustrative visits during the exhibitions, but does not feature a collaborative relationship or partnership between schools and these institutions. In Brazil, the main examples of approaches to collaboration between these places and schools have been taking place through the initiatives of teachers or through projects developed by the educational sector, aiming to broaden the dialogue between their institutions and the school community. Another approach mechanism relates to research and extension projects developed by university researchers, sponsored by state and federal funding agencies. In this case, the universities and university museums appear as new social actors that stand in the way of the schools and the cultural environments, complicating the relationship and, at the same time, bringing new questions to the field of educational research. We believe that the discourse in this paper should bring about further discussions in the initial teacher training courses to contribute to the understanding of practices related to the extension of the field of activity of the school.

  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. Teacher education and the social sciences

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    I analyse module outlines within a particular school of social sciences located in a faculty of education, and uncover the evolving systems of teaching social sciences in a teacher education curriculum. The data are analysed through two theoretical lenses: firstly, through the lense of models of teacher education and ...

  20. Active Learning in Language Study and Science: Transforming Teacher Practice in North Sumatra’s Elementary Schools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ely Djulia


    Full Text Available AbstractAn action research project to investigate the implementation of active learning strategies to improve the quality of teaching and learning was conducted in three government elementary schools (Sekolah Dasar in North Sumatra that had received training in teaching for active learning under the auspices of the USAID-sponsored project, Decentralized Basic Education 2. Three cycles of data collection utilizing classroom observations, focus group discussions, and participant observation were conducted in each school. Data were analyzed both holistically and categorily to develop a better understanding of teachers’ successes and challenges in teaching for active learning. Finally, an intervention strategy involving modeling of teaching for active learning strategies was designed and implemented by members of the research team in each school. Our results suggest that language and science teachers developed more confidence in utilizing active learning strategies in their classrooms as a result of the intervention. Students also appeared to respond positively to the new active learning teaching strategies employed by their teachers. We conclude that the DBE-2 training provided to these schools can be considered successful; however, more attention needs to be paid to concrete factors that facilitate or impede teaching for active learning in Indonesian elementary schools in order to continue improving the quality of instruction for Indonesian children. Key Words: Islamic Education, Active Learning, Religious Studies, Indonesia

  1. Teachers' perceptions on primary science teaching (United States)

    Kijkuakul, Sirinapa


    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.

  2. Computer Science Lesson Study: Building Computing Skills among Elementary School Teachers (United States)

    Newman, Thomas R.


    The lack of diversity in the technology workforce in the United States has proven to be a stubborn problem, resisting even the most well-funded reform efforts. With the absence of computer science education in the mainstream K-12 curriculum, only a narrow band of students in public schools go on to careers in technology. The problem persists…

  3. Teacher Use of Constructivism in High School Science Courses: Perception versus Reality (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…

  4. The journey of a science teacher: Preparing female students in the Training Future Scientists after school program (United States)

    Robinson-Hill, Rona M.

    What affect does female participation in the Training Future Scientist (TFS) program based on Vygotsky's sociocultural theory and Maslow's Hierarchies of Needs have on female adolescents' achievement levels in science and their attitude toward science and interest in science-based careers? The theoretical framework for this study was developed through a constructivist perspective, using dialogic engagement, coinciding with Lev Vygotsky's sociocultural learning theory. This action research project used mixed methods research design, targeted urban adolescent females who were members of Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis (BGCGSTL) after-school program. The data collection measures were three qualitative instruments (semi-structured interviews, reflective journal entries and attitudinal survey open-ended responses) and two quantitative instruments (pre-test and posttests over the content from the Buckle-down Curriculum and attitudinal survey scaled responses). The goal was to describe the impact the Training Future Scientist (TFS) after-school program has on the girls' scientific content knowledge, attitude toward choosing a science career, and self-perception in science. Through the TFS after-school program participants had access to a secondary science teacher-researcher, peer leaders that were in the 9th--12th grade, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) role models from Washington University Medical School Young Scientist Program (YSP) graduate and medical students and fellows as volunteers. The program utilized the Buckle-down Curriculum as guided, peer-led cooperative learning groups, hands-on labs and demonstrations facilitated by the researcher, trained peer leaders and/or role models that used constructivist science pedagogy to improve test-taking strategies. The outcomes for the TFS study were an increase in science content knowledge, a positive trend in attitude change, and a negative trend in choosing a science career. Keywords: informal

  5. Use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in science education: The views and experiences of three high school teachers (United States)

    Barreto-Marrero, Luz N.

    This case study presents the experiences of three public school chemistry teachers in the transformation of their teaching processes with the use of ICT. The processes' characteristics are documented, what knowledge and skills were learned, and how it changed their organization, planning and teaching. D. H. Jonassen's (1999) ideas on learning strategies for the integration of ICT, from a constructivism and critical thinking perspective guide this study. MacFarlane and Sakellariou's (2002) ideas on the use of ICT in science teaching are also considered. The relationship between ICT, mind tools, learning strategies and teaching methods is studied. The information was collected by semi-structured interviews, classroom observations and document analysis. The results were analyzed according to Wolcott's qualitative analysis model (1994), along with the QRS NVivo (2002) computer program. The teachers learned to use several new ICT equipment and materials that facilitated their teaching and evaluation processes. Among these are the use of lab simulators, various software, CBL sensors, graphic calculators, electronic blackboards, and the Internet. They used teaching strategies for active, authentic, collaborative, constructive and reflective learning according to Jonassen. Their science teaching methods corresponds to the three types, according to MacFarlane and Sakellariou, which fosters scientific method skills and scientific reasoning for science literacy. The teachers, as facilitators and mediators, were inquirers of their students needs; investigators of their curricula, strategists as they organize their teaching skills and methods; experimenters with what they had learned; and collaborators as they fostered cooperative learning. Teachers' developed better lessons, lab exercises and assessment tools, such as rubrics, concept maps, comic strips, and others. They also affirmed that their students demonstrated more motivation, participation, collaboration and learning

  6. Preparing Pre-Service School Librarians for Science-Focused Collaboration with Pre-Service Elementary Teachers: The Design and Impact of a Cross-Class Assignment (United States)

    Rawson, Casey H.


    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…

  7. Relationship between Pre-School Preservice Teachers' Environmental Literacy and Science and Technology Literacy Self Efficacy Beliefs (United States)

    Surmeli, Hikmet


    This study examined the relationship between preschool teachers' environmental literacy and their science and technology self efficacy beliefs. 120 preschool teachers from teacher education programme at one university participated in this study. Data were collected by using Environmental Literacy Scale and Science and Technology Literacy Self…

  8. Teachers' Practices in High School Chemistry Just Prior to the Adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (United States)

    Boesdorfer, Sarah B.; Staude, Kristin D.


    Effective professional development that influences teachers' classroom practices starts with what teachers know, understand, and do in their classroom. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) challenge teachers to make changes to their classroom; to help teachers make these changes, it is necessary to know what they are doing in their…

  9. Teachers perception of school

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    This paper is part of MA thesis in which primary school teachers' perceptions of was explored. The study was conducted in Jimma zone: Gumay woreda, Omonada ... CPD, need in supervision and training to support teachers undertaking CPD and strengthening community and school collaboration were points seeking ...

  10. Who Will Prepare Tomorrow's Science Teachers? How? (United States)

    Bell, Jerry


    The teacher is the single most important factor affecting student learning at all classroom levels. Within the next decade more than a million new elementary and secondary teachers will be needed (1). This need provides an unprecedented opportunity for departments of science, mathematics, engineering, and education to collaborate with one another and with school districts, parents, and business and industry to prepare a new generation of teachers who can effectively facilitate science and mathematics learning for all students.

  11. Teaching Energy Science as Inquiry: Reflections on Professional Development as a Tool to Build Inquiry Teaching Skills for Middle and High School Teachers (United States)

    Seraphin, Kanesa Duncan; Philippoff, Joanna; Parisky, Alex; Degnan, Katherine; Warren, Diana Papini


    A hybrid (face-to-face and online) professional development (PD) course focused on energy science for middle and high school teachers (N = 47) was conducted using the teaching science as inquiry (TSI) framework. Data from the PD indicates that online opportunities enhanced participation and that the TSI structure improved teachers' inquiry implementation. Teachers found the TSI modes of inquiry easily accessible and effectively implemented them (modes correspond to the inquiry mechanisms of investigation, such as product evaluation, authoritative, inductive, deductive, and descriptive). On the other hand, the TSI phase structure (i.e. learning cycle) was most helpful for teachers novice to inquiry teaching, suggesting that modification of the PD is needed to promote more in-depth use of the phases in the TSI framework. In terms of content, teacher interest in energy science was high, which resulted in implementation of energy science activities across a range of disciplines. However, teachers' confidence in teaching energy science through inquiry was low compared to similar TSI PD courses on other subjects (mean perceived pedagogical content knowledge = 8.96 ± 2.07 SD for energy compared to 15.45 ± 1.83, 16.44 ± 1.81 and 15.63 ± 1.69, for elementary astronomy, high school aquatic science, and college aquatic science, respectively). These data support current findings on the complexities of teaching and understanding energy science content and suggest the need for additional teacher PD opportunities in energy science in order to provide opportunities for teachers to increase both their content knowledge and their confidence in teaching energy science.

  12. An assessment of the reading motivation skills of Nigerian primary school teachers: Implications for language and science education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Foluso Okebukola


    Full Text Available Recent studies and frequent news reports have expressed concerns about African children’s decreasing reading habits and dwindling achievement in language and primary science examinations. African children are not reading because they have reading difficulties or because they have no interest in books. This article focuses on the elementary schooling years, when the ability to read and comprehend and the love of reading are developed, using Nigeria as a case study. The article begins with a review of the literature on reading that underscores the importance of nurturing and supporting good reading habits amongst African children. Following a cursory exposition of the categories of schools in Nigeria and the place of reading and science in the National Policy on Education, the remainder of the article presents the findings of a study conducted to assess the reading motivation skills of primary school teachers and illustrates pedagogical ways of developing good reading habits amongst African children. Implications for language and science education are discussed.

  13. Secondary Science Teachers' and Students' Involvement in a Primary School Community of Science Practice: How It Changed Their Practices and Interest in Science (United States)

    Forbes, Anne; Skamp, Keith


    "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…

  14. Inservice Preparation of High School Physics Teachers (United States)

    Thornton, Stephen T.; Lindgren, R. A.


    Our outreach efforts for K-12 teachers includes nine different one-credit hour courses especially designed for K-8 teachers and two courses designed especially for middle school physical science teachers. However, our primary effort is to teach nine different courses for current and prospective high school physics teachers. All courses are for graduate credit at the 600-level for teacher education professionals. During the past year we have instructed 315 teachers in 17 courses, 230 of these being in seven courses for high school physics teachers. We teach five online distance learning courses and four summer residence courses for those pursuing physics content knowledge and for those in our Master of Arts in Physics Education (MAPE) degree program. We have graduated 13 teachers in the past year and currently have over 60 candidates in the program. Degree candidates include other certified science teachers desiring to teach physics, middle school teachers desiring to move to high school physics, career crossovers, current teachers desiring a master’s degree, as well as others. The MAPE degree will be described. A synopsis of the course offerings will be given, and statistics of the annual number of teachers taking courses, numbers of courses, teacher numbers, and teacher MAPE graduates will be discussed.

  15. "Keeping it Real -High School Science Curriculum"- Hurricane Katrina and BP Oil Spill inspire creative curriculum by Dave Jungblut, Oakcrest High School Science Teacher, Mays Landing, NJ (United States)

    Jungblut, D.


    After Hurricane Katrina devastated Gulf Coast homes in 2005, Oakcrest High School science teacher and geologist, Dave Jungblut, traveled from Gulfport to Ocean Springs, Mississippi and conducted research to determine whether property damage was caused by wind or water. Jungblut wrote several studies, " Katrina Straight- Line Wind Field Study", "Applying Research to Practical Use for Hurricane Katrina Homeowners", and "Hurricane Katrina Wind Study" proving wind damage. Jungblut's research, done pro bono, helped thousands of homeowner's in the Mississippi area be reimbursed by insurance companies for wind damage caused by Hurricane Katrina Jungblut incorporated his extensive data, in a high school curriculum that is now part of the science program he teaches each year. In January 2010, Jungblut presented "Hurricane Forensics" curriculum at the Rutgers Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer January 2009 Workshop Through labs and creative hands-on activities, Jungblut challenged his students to analyze the photographic evidence, and data he collected, for themselves. Jungblut taught his students how to use geologic and forensic inquiry techniques to discover the difference between straight-line winds from microburst activity. The students applied the concept of the Geological Principle of Relative Dating, to determine the sequence of events that happened during Hurricane Katrina. They built model structures, which were subjected to wind and water forces to better understand the effects of these phenomena, Finally, the students evaluated local and worldwide environmental issues, such as land use risks and benefits, in the face of global warming, In the spring of 2010 when the BP Oil Spill occurred, Jungblut realized, another opportunity to bring real world issues into the classroom. After exploring scientific concepts relating to this environmental crisis, Jungblut challenged his students to

  16. A qualitative investigation of the long-term effects of a staff development project on two middle school science teachers' literacy practices (United States)

    Stevens, Lisa Patel

    The focus of this study was to explore the changes in literacy practice that occurred after two middle school science teachers completed their participation in a long-term staff development project on content area literacy. There were two participants in this study, were a sixth-grade life science teacher in her 22nd year of teaching, and an eighth grade physical science teacher in her 4th year of teaching. Multiple data sources were collected, including field notes from the staff development meetings, interviews of participants and other school personnel, classroom observations, descriptive surveys, lesson plans, exit slips and evaluation forms. Qualitative methodologies were used to guide analysis, classification and interpretation of the data collected. The data were read and reread to construct domains and themes (Spradley, 1980) found in each teacher's literacy practices and beliefs. Additionally, the methods of critical discourse analysis were used to analyze the data for issues pertaining to the influential social and political structures of secondary schools (Fairclough, 1989). This second type of analysis afforded opportunities to regard the teachers' literacy practices as social in nature and assumes asymmetrical power distributions within and among three different social contexts---an immediate local context (e.g., the science classroom), a wider institutional context (e.g., teaching, middle school), and the larger social contexts (e.g., Discourses of literacy, adolescents, and schooling). The results showed that the teachers' epistemological stances toward teaching and learning had profound impacts on the strategies they continued to use after the staff development. Findings also indicated that the larger societal Discourses about adolescents, high stakes assessment, and teachers as individuals were reflected in the teachers' decisions to use particular instructional approaches.

  17. Science Specialists or Classroom Teachers: Who Should Teach Elementary Science? (United States)

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


    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…

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper aims at finding out Rwandan lower secondary school science teachers' understanding of inquiry-based science teaching (IBST). A two phases' sequential explanatory mixed methods was adopted. Data were collected by means of a survey questionnaire administered to a purposeful sample of 200 science ...

  19. Professional Development in Climate Science Education as a Model for Navigating the Next Generations Science Standards - A High School Science Teacher's Perspective (United States)

    Manning, C.; Buhr, S. M.


    The Next Generation Science Standards attempt to move the American K12 education system into the 21st century by focusing on science and engineering practice, crosscutting concepts, and the core ideas of the different disciplines. Putting these standards into practice will challenge a deeply entrenched system and science educators will need significant financial support from state and local governments, professional development from colleges and universities, and the creation of collegial academic networks that will help solve the many problems that will arise. While all of this sounds overwhelming, there are proven strategies and mechanisms already in place. Educators who tackle challenging topics like global climate change are turning to scientists and other like-minded teachers. Many of these teachers have never taken a class in atmospheric science but are expected to know the basics of climate and understand the emerging science as well. Teachers need scientists to continue to reach out and provide rigorous and in-depth professional development opportunities that enable them to answer difficult student questions and deal with community misconceptions about climate science. Examples of such programs include Earthworks, ICEE (Inspiring Climate Education Excellence) and ESSEA (Earth System Science Education Alliance). Projects like CLEAN (Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network) provide excellent resources that teachers can integrate into their lessons. All of these benefit from the umbrella of documents like Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science. Support from the aforementioned networks has encouraged the development of effective approaches for teaching climate science. From the perspective of a Geoscience master teacher and instructional coach, this presentation will demonstrate how scientists, researchers, and science education professionals have created models for professional development that create long-term networks supporting

  20. Collaboration in teacher workshops and citizen science (United States)

    Gibbs, M. G.; Buxner, S.; Gay, P.; Crown, D. A.; Bracey, G.; Gugliucci, N.; Costello, K.; Reilly, E.


    The Moon and Earth system is an important topic for elementary and middle school science classrooms. Elementary and middle school teachers are challenged to keep current in science. The Planetary Science Institute created a program titled Workshops in Science Education and Resources (WISER): Planetary Perspectives to assist in-service K-12 teachers with their knowledge in earth and space science, using up-to-date science and inquiry activities to assist them in engaging their students. To augment the science and add a new aspect for teacher professional development, PSI is working in a new partnership collaborating with the Cosmoquest project in engaging teachers in authentic inquiry of the Moon. Teachers now learn about the Moon from PSI scientists and education staff and then engage in inquiry of the Moon using CosmoQuest's online citizen science project MoonMappers and its accompanying classroom curriculum TerraLuna. Through MoonMappers, teachers and students explore the lunar surface by viewing high-resolution pictures from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and marking craters and other interesting features. In addition, TerraLuna provides a unit of inquiry-based activities that bring MoonMappers and its science content into the classroom. This program addresses standards teachers need to teach and helps them not only teach about the Moon but also engage their students in authentic inquiry of the lunar surface.

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

  2. Preschool Teachers' Attitudes and Beliefs Toward Science (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.

  3. Quality Science Teacher Professional Development and Student Achievement (United States)

    Dubner, J.


    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.

  4. Developing teaching responsiveness to children’s inquiry in science: A case study of professional development for pre-school teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loucas T. Louca


    Full Text Available Supporting inquiry in the science classroom is challenging work, demanding that teachers utilize abilities for addressing and responding to children’s inquiry. These abilities include, (a knowledge of the various forms of in-class scientific inquiry; (b abilities for evaluating elements of children’s inquiry which teachers identify; and (c a repertoire of instructional strategies, from which to choose in order to respond to children’s in-class inquiry. Developing these abilities depends largely on teachers’ preparation and subsequent professional development (PD in teaching science.  Our purpose in this paper is to describe the design of a professional development program (PDP for pre-school teachers in Cyprus, seeking to help them develop teacher responsiveness to children’s inquiry. We draw on data from an implementation of this PDP to illustrate how teachers have begun developing their sensitivity towards children’s in-class inquiry and building a repertoire of responses.

  5. Developing networks to support science teachers work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sillasen, Martin Krabbe; Valero, Paola


    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....

  6. Personalizing and Contextualizing Multimedia Case Methods in University-based Teacher Education: An Important Modification for Promoting Technological Design in School Science (United States)

    Bencze, Larry; Hewitt, Jim; Pedretti, Erminia


    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.

  7. A cohort of novice Danish science teachers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund


    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...

  8. Teaching Physics to In-Service Primary School Teachers in the Context of the History of Science: The Case of Falling Bodies (United States)

    Kokkotas, Panos; Piliouras, Panagiotis; Malamitsa, Katerina; Stamoulis, Efthymios


    Our paper presents an in-service primary school teachers' training program which is based on the idea that the history of science can play a vital role in promoting the learning of physics. This training program has been developed in the context of Comenius 2.1 which is a European Union program. This program that we have developed in the…

  9. Mathematics and Science Teachers Professional Development with Local Businesses to Introduce Middle and High School Students to Opportunities in STEM Careers (United States)

    Miles, Rhea; Slagter van Tryon, Patricia J.; Mensah, Felicia Moore


    TechMath is a professional development program that forms collaborations among businesses, colleges, and schools for the purpose of promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. TechMath has provided strategies for creating highquality professional development by bringing together teachers, students, and business…

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

  11. Professional development for science teachers. (United States)

    Wilson, Suzanne M


    The Next Generation Science Standards will require large-scale professional development (PD) for all science teachers. Existing research on effective teacher PD suggests factors that are associated with substantial changes in teacher knowledge and practice, as well as students' science achievement. But the complexity of the U.S. educational system continues to thwart the search for a straightforward answer to the question of how to support teachers. Interventions that take a systemic approach to reform hold promise for improving PD effectiveness.

  12. Research on Relationships between Two Kinds of Scientific Epistemology Held by High School Science Teachers from Beijing and New York (United States)

    Wang, Jingying; An, Guiqing; Ma, Yongjun; Cai, Chun


    Scientific epistemology is important issues in the International science education, of which teachers' views of nature of science and scientific inquiry as the two core topics, become the principal part of research, also have an important influence on the theory and practice of science curriculum. The purpose of this study was to investigate and…

  13. Revolutionizing Climate Science: Using Teachers as Communicators (United States)

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


    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

  14. Science Teachers' Analogical Reasoning (United States)

    Mozzer, Nilmara Braga; Justi, Rosária


    Analogies can play a relevant role in students' learning. However, for the effective use of analogies, teachers should not only have a well-prepared repertoire of validated analogies, which could serve as bridges between the students' prior knowledge and the scientific knowledge they desire them to understand, but also know how to introduce analogies in their lessons. Both aspects have been discussed in the literature in the last few decades. However, almost nothing is known about how teachers draw their own analogies for instructional purposes or, in other words, about how they reason analogically when planning and conducting teaching. This is the focus of this paper. Six secondary teachers were individually interviewed; the aim was to characterize how they perform each of the analogical reasoning subprocesses, as well as to identify their views on analogies and their use in science teaching. The results were analyzed by considering elements of both theories about analogical reasoning: the structural mapping proposed by Gentner and the analogical mechanism described by Vosniadou. A comprehensive discussion of our results makes it evident that teachers' content knowledge on scientific topics and on analogies as well as their pedagogical content knowledge on the use of analogies influence all their analogical reasoning subprocesses. Our results also point to the need for improving teachers' knowledge about analogies and their ability to perform analogical reasoning.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    Methodology. The present paper investigates the lower secondary school science teachers' understanding of inquiry-based science teaching. In the attempt to answer the research question, a pragmatic research approach which led to using mixed methods was adopted and both quantitative and qualitative data collected.

  16. Comparing Classroom Interactive Behaviors of Science and Non-Science Pre-Service Teachers (United States)

    Bergman, Daniel; Morphew, Jason


    This study compared classroom interactive behaviors of science pre-service teachers and pre-service teachers of other subjects. Participants included pre-service teachers enrolled in a general methods course for secondary educators and its school-based fieldwork counterpart. Statistical tests found that science pre-service teachers had fewer…

  17. The Impact of a Professional Development Model on Middle School Science Teachers' Efficacy and Implementation of Inquiry (United States)

    Lotter, Christine; Smiley, Whitney; Thompson, Stephen; Dickenson, Tammiee


    This study investigated a professional development model designed to improve teachers' inquiry teaching efficacy as well as the quality of their inquiry instruction through engaging teachers in practice-teaching and reflection sessions. The programme began with a two-week summer Institute focused on both inquiry pedagogy and science content and…

  18. Blended Learning for Professional Development: An Evaluation of a Program for Middle School Mathematics and Science Teachers (United States)

    Owston, Ronald D.; Sinclair, Margaret; Wideman, Herbert


    Background: Improving the subject matter knowledge and pedagogical skills of teachers of mathematics and science is a key priority for many jurisdictions. Blended learning is a promising, yet so far seldom used model for supporting teacher professional development. This model combines the advantages of traditional face-to-face interaction with the…

  19. Issues and trends in science education: the shortage of qualified science teachers. (United States)

    Mangrubang, Fred R


    Science teachers are leaving their profession. They feel overwhelmed by the expectations and scope of the job and isolated and unsupported in their classrooms. They also feel that expectations are unclear. The statistics on turnover among new teachers are startling. School administrators, science teacher leaders, and teacher education programs can do much more to promote better preparation of science teachers and to recruit new teachers into science teaching. In particular, the author focuses on relevant research and on recommendations for educational researchers and policymakers interested in improving and retaining qualified science teachers in classrooms.

  20. Working Alongside Scientists: Impacts on Primary Teacher Beliefs and Knowledge about Science and Science Education (United States)

    Anderson, Dayle; Moeed, Azra


    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…

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

  2. Creating Next Generation Teacher Preparation Programs to Support Implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards in K-12 Schools: An Opportunity for the Earth and Space Sciences (United States)

    Geary, E. E.; Egger, A. E.; Julin, S.; Ronca, R.; Vokos, S.; Ebert, E.; Clark-Blickenstaff, J.; Nollmeyer, G.


    A consortium of two and four year Washington State Colleges and Universities in partnership with Washington's Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the Teachers of Teachers of Science, and Teachers of Teachers of Mathematics, and other key stakeholders, is currently working to improve science and mathematics learning for all Washington State students by creating a new vision for STEM teacher preparation in Washington State aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Mathematics and Language Arts. Specific objectives include: (1) strengthening elementary and secondary STEM Teacher Preparation courses and curricula, (2) alignment of STEM teacher preparation programs across Washington State with the NGSS and CCSS, (3) development of action plans to support implementation of STEM Teacher Preparation program improvement at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the state, (4) stronger collaborations between HEIs, K-12 schools, government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, and STEM businesses, involved in the preparation of preservice STEM teachers, (5) new teacher endorsements in Computer Science and Engineering, and (6) development of a proto-type model for rapid, adaptable, and continuous improvement of STEM teacher preparation programs. A 2015 NGSS gap analysis of teacher preparation programs across Washington State indicates relatively good alignment of courses and curricula with NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas and Scientific practices, but minimal alignment with NGSS Engineering practices and Cross Cutting Concepts. Likewise, Computer Science and Sustainability ideas and practices are not well represented in current courses and curricula. During the coming year teams of STEM faculty, education faculty and administrators will work collaboratively to develop unique action plans for aligning and improving STEM teacher preparation courses and curricula at their institutions.

  3. Teacher Empowerment and Charter Schools (United States)

    Crawford, James R.; Forsyth, Patrick B.


    This study investigates an assumption used to legitimate charter school legislation, namely that such schools will reduce regulatory constraint burdening schools and school personnel. Reformers and policymakers have argued that charter schools will increase teacher empowerment and enable teachers to better carry out their education functions.…

  4. 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 ...

  5. Citizenship Education in the Social Science Subjects: An Analysis of the Teacher Education Curriculum for Secondary Schools (United States)

    Sigauke, Aaron T.


    Citizenship education is widely acknowledged as a necessary part of the school curriculum for various reasons. For young people, it is assumed that citizenship can best be learnt through the school curriculum. This means that teachers need to thoroughly understand what citizenship means and how to pass this knowledge on to students. This paper…

  6. Consistencies and Inconsistencies between Science Teachers' Beliefs and Practices (United States)

    Mansour, Nasser


    To gain a better understanding of teachers' beliefs about teaching, as compared with their in-reality classroom practices, case studies were constructed with four science teachers in different schools in Egypt. The main aims of this article were to provide an answer to the research question, "To what extent do science teachers' beliefs…

  7. Nature of Science Progression in School Year 1-9: a Case Study of Teachers' Suggestions and Rationales (United States)

    Leden, Lotta; Hansson, Lena


    The inclusion of nature of science (NOS) in science education has for a long time been regarded as crucial. There is, however, a lack of research on appropriate NOS aspects for different educational levels. An even more neglected area of research is that focusing on teachers' perspectives on NOS teaching at different levels. The aim of this article is to examine NOS progression in the light of teachers' suggestions and rationales. In order to obtain teachers' informed perspectives, we chose to involve six teachers (teaching grades 1-9) in a 3-year research project. They took part in focus group discussions about NOS and NOS teaching as well as implemented jointly planned NOS teaching sessions. Data that this article builds on was collected at the end of the project. The teachers' suggestions for NOS progression often relied on adding more NOS issues at every stage, thereby creating the foundations of a broader but not necessarily deeper understanding of NOS. Five rationales, for if/when specific NOS issues are appropriate to introduce, emerged from the analysis of the teacher discussions. Some of these rationales, including practice makes perfect and increasing levels of depth can potentially accommodate room for many NOS issues in the science classroom, while maturity and experience instead has a restricting effect on NOS teaching. Also, choice of context and teaching approaches play an important role in teachers' rationales for whether specific NOS issues should be included or not at different stages. The article discusses the implications for teacher education and professional development.

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

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


    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

  9. Designing Inductive Instructional Activities in a Teacher Training Program to Enhance Conceptual Understandings in Science for Thai Science and Non-Science Teachers (United States)

    Narjaikaew, Pattawan; Jeeravipoonvarn, Varanya; Pongpisanou, Kanjana; Lamb, Dennis


    Teachers are viewed as the most significant factor affecting student learning. However, research in science education showed that teachers often demonstrate misunderstandings of science very similar to students. The purpose of this research was to correct conceptual difficulties in science of Thai primary school science and non-science teachers…

  10. [Nebraska 4-H Wheat Science School Enrichment Project, Teacher/Leader Guides 213-222 and 227. (United States)

    Nebraska Univ., Lincoln. Inst. of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

    Through the 4-H Wheat Science project, students learn the importance of wheat from the complete process of growing wheat to the final product of bread. The curriculum is designed to include hands-on experiences in science, consumer education, nutrition, production economics, vocabulary, and applied mathematics. Teachers can select those units out…

  11. An exploratory examination of the relationships among emotional intelligence, elementary school science teacher self-efficacy, length of teaching experience, race/ethnicity, gender, and age (United States)

    Okech, Allan P.

    The purpose of the study was to examine the relationships among emotional intelligence, teacher self-efficacy, length of teaching experience, and age in a sample of south Texas public school teachers. Additionally, the study examined differences in emotional intelligence between male teachers and female teachers, and among African American, Hispanics, and White teachers. Participants were 180 elementary science teachers from south Texas public schools. The sample was made up of 14 (7.8%) males and 166 (92.2%) females. Regarding race/ethnicity, the study sample consisted of 31 (17.2%) African Americans (3 males and 28 females), 49 (27.2) Hispanics (7 males and 42 females), 98 (54.4%) Whites (3 males and 95 females), and 2 (1.1%) "Other" (1 male and 1 female). Participants ranged in age from 23 years to 65 years. Five hypotheses were proposed and tested to address the relationships under investigation. The study employed a mixed methods---correlational and causal-comparative---research design approach. Three instruments, the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 1999), the Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument (Riggs & Enochs, 1990), and a demographics questionnaire were utilized to collect the data. An independent-measures t test, the Pearson r, and the one-way MANOVA were used to analyze the data. A Significant positive relationship was found between "emotional intelligence" and "teacher self-efficacy." Data analyses, however, failed to support hypothesized relationships between "emotional intelligence" and "length of teaching experience," and between "emotional intelligence" and "age". Additionally, statistical analyses of the data collected for this study supported predicted statistically significant differences in "emotional intelligence" between male and female teachers, and among the three race/ethnicity groupings. Based on these findings, recommendations for the application of the construct of "emotional intelligence" in

  12. Multimodal Teacher Input and Science Learning in a Middle School Sheltered Classroom (United States)

    Zhang, Ying


    This article reports the results of an ethnographic research about the multimodal science discourse in a sixth-grade sheltered classroom involving English Language Learners (ELLs) only. Drawing from the perspective of multimodality, this study examines how science learning is constructed in science lectures through multiple semiotic resources,…

  13. How does a high school biology teacher interact with his 10th grade students?: Examining science talk in evolution and human genetics instruction from a sociolinguistics perspective (United States)

    Avsar Erumit, Banu

    This qualitative study employed a case study design (Creswell, 2014) with a high school biology teacher to examine a) the types of discourse patterns that a high school teacher was using in evolution and human genetics units, b) the purposes and cognitive features of the teacher's questions, their impact on students' subsequent responses, and the types of teacher follow ups occurred in these two units, and c) the factors that I thought might be somehow influencing the teaching and learning of these two topics in this classroom. The findings showed that lecture and recitation were the two most frequently used discourse types in the two units. Guided discussion and guided small group work in which students' ideas and questions were more welcomed than in lecture and recitation, were used only in the evolution unit, which was also unit in which the teacher used hands-on activities. In the human genetics unit, he only used worksheet-based activities, which he called paper and pencil labs. Teacher questions were posed mainly to assess the correctness of students' factual knowledge, remind them of previously covered information, and check with students to clarify the meaning of their utterances or their progress on a task. The two primary types of cognitive processes associated with students' responses were recall information and evaluate teacher's questions, mostly with a short response. The most frequently heard voice in the classroom was teacher's. Whole class interactions did not feature equal participation as some much more engaged students dominated. The results of the teacher questionnaires. teacher interviews, teacher debriefings, and lesson observations showed that Evan had an informed understanding of NOS, a high level of acceptance of evolution, and adequate understanding of evolution. The factors that seemed to negatively influence his teaching and students' engagement in that classroom included but not limited to the teacher's lack of experience in teaching

  14. Comparision of alternatively certified and traditionally certified Missouri high school science teachers' perceptions of self-efficacy during the induction period (United States)

    Gaither, Linda

    Sixty percent of America's teachers choose traditional baccalaureate programs while the remaining choose one of several alternative pathways. While certification/training is certainly important to preparing effective teachers, other research indicates that teacher efficacy serves as the foundation of teacher behaviors and classroom practice. The purpose of this study ( N = 94 induction high school science teachers) was to determine the relationships between certification pathway and opportunities to observe modeling; between years of experience and personal teaching efficacy; and teachers' perceptions of what characteristics/ experiences best explain personal teaching efficacy. The Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale was used in an on-line survey for Phase 1 (n = 91), to measure teacher self-efficacy. In Phase 2, a basic qualitative study was conducted using telephone interviews ( n = 2) and a focus group (n = 4) along with a series of short essay questions from the online survey (n = 91). The findings indicate a significant relationship (p = 0.01) between years of teaching and overall personal teaching-efficacy, student engagement, and instructional strategies; a relationship between opportunities to see modeling and certification pathway, where traditionally certified teachers had significantly more opportunities (p = 0.000); and a relationship between classroom management and opportunities to see modeling (p = 0.005). Qualitative analyses confirmed that traditionally-prepared teachers saw a range of "modeling" and model teachers; respondents related such opportunities to more effective teaching, especially in the realm of classroom management. As more teachers choose alternative certification, it is imperative that adequate opportunities to observe teaching strategies are modeled during the certification process and once teachers enter the classroom; they must have intrinsic and extrinsic support to be successful.

  15. Using an adaptive expertise lens to understand the quality of teachers' classroom implementation of computer-supported complex systems curricula in high school science (United States)

    Yoon, Susan A.; Koehler-Yom, Jessica; Anderson, Emma; Lin, Joyce; Klopfer, Eric


    Background: This exploratory study is part of a larger-scale research project aimed at building theoretical and practical knowledge of complex systems in students and teachers with the goal of improving high school biology learning through professional development and a classroom intervention. Purpose: We propose a model of adaptive expertise to better understand teachers' classroom practices as they attempt to navigate myriad variables in the implementation of biology units that include working with computer simulations, and learning about and teaching through complex systems ideas. Sample: Research participants were three high school biology teachers, two females and one male, ranging in teaching experience from six to 16 years. Their teaching contexts also ranged in student achievement from 14-47% advanced science proficiency. Design and methods: We used a holistic multiple case study methodology and collected data during the 2011-2012 school year. Data sources include classroom observations, teacher and student surveys, and interviews. Data analyses and trustworthiness measures were conducted through qualitative mining of data sources and triangulation of findings. Results: We illustrate the characteristics of adaptive expertise of more or less successful teaching and learning when implementing complex systems curricula. We also demonstrate differences between case study teachers in terms of particular variables associated with adaptive expertise. Conclusions: This research contributes to scholarship on practices and professional development needed to better support teachers to teach through a complex systems pedagogical and curricular approach.

  16. Believe it or not: A case study of the role beliefs play in three middle school teachers' use of computers in teaching science (United States)

    Feldman, Carmia Suzannah

    In the past twenty years, teacher beliefs have been found to have a strong influence on the way teachers teach in many disciplines, but only recently is research being done in relation to teaching with computers. As computers become more ubiquitous in schools, it is more important than ever to determine how computers are being used in classrooms, how they could better support student learning, and the reasons why they may not be used in ways advocated by research. In this study, I used a conceptual model of the beliefs that have been shown to influence teaching behavior, an in-depth interview technique (Munby Repertory Grid Technique---RGT) to uncover beliefs, and an exemplary case study methodology to highlight the relationship between the beliefs and teaching with computer behaviors of three middle school teachers. The cases were exemplary in that many of the barriers research has shown to hinder teachers' ability to integrate computers in their teaching were minimized. The teachers all taught at the same technology magnet school and had strong administrative and technological support, professional development in the use of computers, and permanent access to student laptop computers equipped with wireless Internet. To get a complete picture of the teachers' belief systems, I used the Munby RGT with each teacher to explore their teaching with computer beliefs, their science teaching beliefs, and their general teaching beliefs. I then collected data on their teaching with computer behavior through classroom observations, lesson plan report forms, teaching behavior logs, and written reflections, among others. I found that the teachers' beliefs did influence their teaching with computer behavior. For example, although all teachers expressed beliefs that could support student-centered and inquiry-based teaching with computers, some of their beliefs, such as teacher-centered behavioral management beliefs, were more dominant and may have kept the teachers from reaching

  17. The Consortium for Evidence Based Research in Rural Educational Settings (CEBRRES): Applying Collaborative Action Research as a Means of Enhancing the Development of Rural Middle School Science Teachers (United States)

    Wulff, A. H.


    Kentucky ranks third in the U.S. in need of rural education attention. Rural schools in Kentucky serve nearly 40% of the total student population, and graduation rates and NAEP scores are low. A two-year pilot study is being completed addressing psychological, social, and content knowledge based constructs, as they apply to science and mathematics achievement in rural environments. The goals are to identify the key aspects of rural teachers knowledge and skills, use a framework to describe how knowledge and skills develop in the rural classroom, apply a useful model of intervention to promote teacher development and increased student learning. If proven successful the knowledge can be incorporated into the practice of current teaching and preservice pedagogical methods. The problem that was identified and addressed by CEBRRES is the high level of student disengagement and the shortage of rigorous stimulating curriculum models. The action taken was the development and implementation of model eliciting activities. Teachers at the target school were expected to utilize action research methodology to execute model-eliciting activities in the classroom, and then communicate results in forms that are useful for other teachers. Benefits to teachers included stipends, increased science content depth and breadth, support to achieve "highly qualified teacher status", extensive professional development, and technology, equipment, and supplies for their school. Survey instruments were devised to address school perceptions (61% worry that they are not doing well enough in school), future plans (80% expect to attend college vs. the current 47.5%), various self concepts, academic self concepts (23% feel that learning is difficult for them), and family self concepts. Science was identified by the students as the subject that interests them the most, followed by math, yet Kentucky ranks near the bottom of the U.S. in math and science training in the workplace. Geology

  18. Teacher perception, lesson study and science achievement (United States)

    Meissner, Whitney E.

    The purpose of this research was to explore group differences between teachers participating in North Cascades Olympic Science Partnership (NCOSP) activities and a matched group of non-NCOSP teachers. Specifically, the study explored potential differences between groups on: (a) science achievement as measured by the science Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL), (b) teacher perception of knowledge, experience and confidence with lesson study, a collaborative professional development model, (c) teacher perception of knowledge with curriculum, and (d) teacher perception of knowledge and experience with pedagogy. Further, in order todemonstrate group similarities, demographic data for each group were described and considered in the areas of teacher gender, school grade span, school enrollment, percent of students receiving free and reduced meal benefits, percent of female students, percent of students who are an ethnic minority, and percent of students who are identified as special education. A total of 206 science teachers were randomly selected for this population. The experimental (NCOSP science teachers) and comparison (non-NCOSP science teachers) groups were both initially comprised of 103 participants. Data collected from 55 NCOSP teachers and 32 non-NCOSP teachers were valid and used in the statistical analyses. Descriptive and inferential analyses were completed. To ensure the NCOSP and matched groups were statistically similar, chi-square tests for independence were computed. A one-way Hotelling's T2, the equivalent of a MANOVA for two groups, was computed using the SPSS general linear model. The procedure simultaneously compared the independent variable (Group: NCOSP teachers and non-NCOSP teachers) across the seven dependent variables, student science achievement as measured by science WASL, curriculum knowledge, pedagogy knowledge, pedagogy confidence, lesson study knowledge, lesson study experience, and lesson study confidence. Results for the

  19. Increasing Bellevue School District's elementary teachers' capacity for teaching inquiry-based science: Using ideas from contemporary learning theory to inform professional development (United States)

    Maury, Tracy Anne

    This Capstone project examined how leaders in the Bellevue School District can increase elementary teachers' capacity for teaching inquiry-based science through the use of professional learning activities that are grounded in ideas from human learning theory. A framework for professional development was constructed and from that framework, a set of professional learning activities were developed as a means to support teacher learning while project participants piloted new curriculum called the Isopod Habitat Challenge. Teachers in the project increased their understanding of the learning theory principles of preconceptions and metacognition. Teachers did not increase their understanding of the principle of learning with understanding, although they did articulate the significance of engaging children in student-led inquiry cycles. Data from the curriculum revision and professional development project coupled with ideas from learning theory, cognition and policy implementation, and learning community literatures suggest Bellevue's leaders can encourage peer-to-peer interaction, link professional development to teachers' daily practice, and capitalize on technology as ways to increase elementary teachers' capacity for teaching inquiry-based science. These lessons also have significance for supporting teacher learning and efficacy in other subject areas and at other levels in the system.

  20. A Unique Marine and Environmental Science Program for High School Teachers in Hawai'i: Professional Development, Teacher Confidence, and Lessons Learned (United States)

    Rivera, Malia Ana J.; Manning, Mackenzie M.; Krupp, David A.


    Hawai'i is a unique and special place to conduct environmental science inquiry through place based learning and scientific investigation. Here, we describe and evaluate a unique professional development program for science teachers in Hawai'i that integrates the traditional approach of providing training to improve content knowledge, with the…

  1. Forest Field Trips among High School Science Teachers in the Southern Piedmont (United States)

    McCabe, Shannon M.; Munsell, John F.; Seiler, John R.


    Students benefit in many ways by taking field trips to forests. Improved academic performance, increased participation in outdoor recreation, and a better grasp of natural resources management are some of the advantages. However, trips are not easy for teachers to organize and lead. Declining budgets, on-campus schedules, and standards of learning…

  2. Tale of Two Science Teachers' Formative Assessment Practices in a Similar School Environment (United States)

    Sathasivam, Renuka V.; Daniel, Esther G. S.


    There is an accumulating research base that supports the effectiveness of formative assessment practices in enhancing the quality of educational outcomes, yet research findings seem to indicate sluggish implementation of these formative assessment strategies in the classrooms. Many factors influence teachers' formative assessment practices…

  3. Teaching Advanced Life Sciences in an Animal Context: Agricultural Science Teacher Voices (United States)

    Balschweid, Mark; Huerta, Alexandria


    The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine agricultural science teacher comfort with a new high school Advanced Life Science: Animal course and determine their perceptions of student impact. The advanced science course is eligible for college credit. The teachers revealed they felt confident of their science background in preparation…

  4. Inquiry-based Science Education Competence of Primary School Teachers: A Delphi Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alake-Tuenter, E.; Biemans, H.J.A.; Tobi, H.; Mulder, M.


    Earlier, extracted inquiry-based science teaching competency elements and domains from the international literature were compared to the United States' National Science Teaching Standards. The present Delphi study aimed to validate the findings for the Netherlands, where such standards are lacking.

  5. Three case studies of three high school teachers' definitions, beliefs, and implementation practices of inquiry-based science method including barriers to and facilitators of successful implementation (United States)

    Blackburn-Morrison, Kimberly D.

    This study involved three teachers in various stages of implementation of inquiry-based science method. The cases were chosen because one participant was a novice in using inquiry-based science method, one participant was in her second year of implementation, and the third participant was experienced with inquiry-based science method. The cases were set in a rural high school in three different science classrooms. One of the classrooms was a regular biology class. One of the classrooms was an honors oceanography class and another was an advanced placement environmental science classroom. Data sources included interviews, observations, and document collection. Interviews, observations, and document collection were used to triangulate data. Each classroom was observed five times. Interviews were conducted at the beginning of the semester with each participant and at the end of the semester. Follow-up interviews were conducted after each observation. Documents were collected such as each teacher's lesson plans, student work, and assignments. Data was initially organized according to the research areas of teacher's definition, teacher's beliefs, teacher's barriers to implementation, and teacher's enablers to implementation. Then, patterns emerging from each of these cases were organized. Lastly, patterns emerging across cases were compared in a cross-case analysis. Patterns shared between cases were: Participants related inquiry-based science method with hands-on learning activities. Participants saw students as the center of the learning process. Participants had positive beliefs about constructivist learning practices that were strengthened after implementation of inquiry-based teaching. Facilitators of successful implementation of inquiry-based science method were positive student motivation, students' retention of knowledge, and a positive experience for lower level students. Barriers to successful implementation were teachers not having complete control of the

  6. Elementary science education: Dilemmas facing preservice teachers (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

  7. Secondary Science Teachers' Implementation of CCSS and NGSS Literacy Practices: A Survey Study (United States)

    Drew, Sally Valentino; Thomas, Jeffrey


    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…

  8. Effective elements of science teacher professional development (United States)

    Zientek, Amy

    Educational reform efforts to improve students' learning outcomes are often present in teacher professional development opportunities; however, the structure and design of these opportunities vary and often focus on a homogenous student population; that is, White students in suburban schools. Reform efforts in teacher professional development that aim to educate teachers not only about science content and pedagogy, but also about practices that aim to reach a diverse student population is needed. This study examines three, science teacher summer professional development (PD) programs [SUN, SEPA, and CLA], and explores how programs affect teacher learning outcome(s) and any subsequent translation into classroom practice(s). The design and delivery, alignment to Ladson-Billings (1994) tenets of culturally responsive practices, and measurement(s) of teachers' learning outcome(s) are evaluated. Fliers were sent to science teachers who participated in SUN, SEPA, and CLA in an effort to recruit volunteers for this study. Program document analysis and teacher post-survey data from each program, focus groups, evidence of program integration, and a culturally responsive practice survey were collected and analyzed. Results show SEPA to include content knowledge (CK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), culturally responsive practices (CRP), and some elements of the conceptual change model (CCM) (Larkin, 2012) in program design, structure, and delivery along with translation into classroom practice. SUN and CLA both show incorporation of CK and PCK, with SUN also showing some evidence of CRP. The findings indicate that when teachers are modeled a practice they are able to translate that practice in their classroom. The potential impact of modeling CRP during science teacher PD may address the achievement gap still present among students of color. Program designers must consider the inclusion of CRP alongside CK and PCK during the development of science teacher PD.

  9. Knowledge, beliefs, and performance of new high school chemistry teachers: A study of teachers' characteristics and teacher preparation program influences (United States)

    Alshannag, Qasim Mohammad

    This study investigated the influence of teachers' characteristics and secondary science teacher preparation programs on new high school chemistry teachers' knowledge, beliefs, and performance. "New high school chemistry teacher" refers to any teacher who during their first three years of teaching, has a major/minor in chemistry and/or any teacher who teaches chemistry for high school students. This research focused on four new high school chemistry teachers in their second year of teaching who were part of the Salish I Research Project. These four teachers graduated from two different teacher preparation programs, at major research universities. The focus of this study was on teachers who demonstrated one or more of the following teaching styles: teacher-centered, conceptual, and student-centered. A cross case analysis was done among these four teachers to explore the linkages among teachers' characteristics, secondary science teacher preparation program features, and new high school chemistry teachers' knowledge, beliefs, and performance. Data included interviews with university faculty in education and in science, analysis of course syllabi and program descriptions, interviews with the new teachers, analysis video portfolios of the classroom teaching, and other data collected as part of the Salish I Project. The key findings of the in-depth study included: (1) The course objectives in the teacher education courses at both institutions were more diverse and more comprehensive than science disciplinary course objectives. (2) All four of the new teachers and most of the faculty interviewed confirmed that the connections between prospective science teachers' learning and real world applications were not clearly addressed as a major goal in science courses at either institution. (3) Prospective science teachers did not experience cooperative learning in their science courses, but did so in education courses. (4) All new secondary science teachers reported that they

  10. Teacher Race and School Discipline (United States)

    Lindsay, Constance A.; Hart, Cassandra M. D.


    Does having a teacher of the same race make it more or less likely that students are subject to exclusionary school discipline? In this study, the authors analyze a unique set of student and teacher demographic and discipline data from North Carolina elementary schools to examine whether being matched to a same-race teacher affects the rate at…

  11. An interpretative study of elementary school teachers' conceptions of the nature of inquiry and of their roles while participating in an inquiry based science curriculum (United States)

    Stucke, Ann Hancock

    The problem. Recent reform efforts in science education have culminated in National Science Education Standards (NSES), which include the theme of inquiry across all grade levels. Consideration must be given to teachers' conceptions of inquiry, and their perceived roles, as they implement the processes of inquiry in the science classroom. Because of the change in pedagogy required by the standards, research efforts must address these areas. Research questions. The following research questions guided this study. (1) What are teachers' conceptions of inquiry? (2) What do the teachers consider important aspects of their roles when providing inquiry experiences for their students? (3) What do the teachers consider important aspects of the students' roles as inquirers? Research paradigm and methodology. The research paradigm that grounded this investigation is the constructivist paradigm proposed by Guba and Lincoln (1989). Participants were three elementary school teachers participating in the Elementary School Education Partners project. Qualitative methodology techniques used in the study included focus group discussion, semi-structured interviews, classroom observation with videotaping, teacher reflections, and fieldnotes. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method as provided by Glaser and Strauss (1967). A case study format was used to discuss the results of themes that emerged. Results. Themes that emerged from the data were (a) inquiry is viewed as a teaching strategy; (b) the teachers' perceptions of the nature of inquiry are different from one another's; (c) there are differences in the degree of fit with the NSES description of inquiry; (d) the manner in which they see themselves as facilitators originates in their own educational experiences and varies from that of a guide, to a monitor, to one who models; and (e) teachers see the role of students as active participants in their learning but the teachers' perceptions of students' roles, as

  12. A comparative study of instructional efficacy between first and second-career teachers in secondary school math and science courses (United States)

    Gardner, Royal Anthony

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to use Dr. James Stronge’s taxonomy of the qualities of effective teachers to determine whether there are significant differences in the instructional efficacy between first- and second-career teachers who teach math and science. Methodology: A causal-comparative study examined the effects of variables that cannot be manipulated experimentally. The survey instrument was a 50-tem self-identifying questionnaire addressing the 6 research questions used to determine significance between first- and second-career teachers in their classroom efficacy. Findings: A Mann-Whitney U-test determined there was an overall significant difference [p efficacy, with second-career teachers being more aligned with research-based best practices for efficacy. Conclusions: The existing construct for hiring teachers should be reconsidered, so that teachers identified as effective by research-based methods are employed from the outset. Adult maturation patterns suggest that early adults serving as instructors are less effective for at least the first 3 to 5 years of the teachers’ career. This could be resolved by amending the criteria for teacher entry into the classroom. Maturity of the teacher plays a significant role in their classroom efficacy. Existing research has provided a construct for identifying effective teachers. Recommendations: Require teaching graduates to gain at least 5 years of practical experience in the disciplines in which they seek a license to teach before entering the classroom. Increase the age for teachers entering the profession to at least 26 before allowing them into the classroom to allow for adult maturation processes to occur. Increase the rigor for a teaching certification to the point where only high content knowledge instructors could pass. Require all potential teachers to be certified on a regular basis so that they have to keep up with the technology and the most current information of their professions

  13. An Impact Cratering Interactive Website Used for Outreach and in Professional Development Workshops for Middle School Science Teachers (United States)

    Croft, S. K.; Pierazzo, E.; Canizo, T.; Lebofsky, L. A.


    Impact cratering is one of the fundamental geologic processes affecting all planetary and asteroidal bodies in the Solar System. With few exceptions, all bodies with solid surfaces explored so far show the presence of impact craters - from the less than 200 known craters on Earth to the many thousands seen on the Moon, Mercury, and other bodies. Indeed, the study of crater populations is one of the principal tools for understanding the geologic history of planetary surfaces. In recent years, impact cratering has gained public notoriety through its portrayal in several Hollywood movies. Questions that are raised after watching these movies include: “How often do impacts occur?” “How do scientists learn about impact cratering?” and “What information do impact craters provide in understanding the evolution planetary surfaces?” On our website: “Explorer’s Guide to Impact Craters,” we answer those questions in a fun, informative and interactive way. The website provides the interested public with an opportunity to: 1) experience how scientists explore known terrestrial craters through a virtual fieldtrips; 2) learn more about the dynamics of impact cratering using numerical simulations of various impacts; and 3) investigate how impact cratering affects rocks via images and descriptions of field samples of impact rocks. This learning tool has been a popular outreach endeavor (recently reaching 100,000 hits), and it has recently been incorporated in the Impact Cratering Workshop developed by scientists and EPO specialists at the Planetary Science Institute. The workshop provides middle school science teachers with an inquiry-based understanding of the process of impact cratering and how it affects the solar system. Participants are instructed via standards-based multimedia presentations, analysis of planetary images, hands-on experience with geologic samples from terrestrial impact craters, and first-hand experience forming impact craters. Through the

  14. Teacher Empowerment: School Administrators' Roles (United States)

    Balyer, Aydin; Özcan, Kenan; Yildiz, Ali


    Purpose: Teacher empowerment involves investing teachers with the right to participate in the determination of school goals and policies as informed by their professional judgment. By empowering teachers, teachers can discover their potential and limitations for themselves as well as developing competence in their professional development. This…

  15. Understanding Misconceptions: Teaching and Learning in Middle School Physical Science (United States)

    Sadler, Philip M.; Sonnert, Gerhard


    In this study the authors set out to better understand the relationship between teacher knowledge of science and student learning. The authors administered identical multiple-choice assessment items both to teachers of middle school physical science and to their students throughout the school year. The authors found that teachers who have strong…

  16. Especially for High School Teachers (United States)

    Howell, J. Emory


    Alternative Assessment The trend in several states to use high-stakes achievement test scores to evaluate districts, schools, and teachers appears to be at odds with the intent of the National Science Education Assessment Standards. Recently I read several postings on an Internet discussion list in which several high school teachers expressed differing opinions on how to deal with the situation. There seemed to be general agreement, however, that as increased emphasis is placed on preparation for high-stakes end-of-course examinations it becomes more difficult to assess conceptual understanding. High school chemistry teachers are an innovative lot, and I am confident that ways will be found to evaluate understanding no matter what. This month's issue contains two examples of using student-constructed posters as a means of assessment. Although we most often associate poster presentations with research, such as a science fair project, these articles show that posters may also be used to assess student learning in class settings. The examples are from lower-division college courses, but they may be equally useful in high school chemistry courses. An article titled Using Poster Sessions as an Alternative to Written ExaminationsThe Poster Exam by Pamela Mills and four co-authors contains a detailed explanation of how student-constructed posters can be used to assess student learning. A number of related articles are listed in the Literature Cited section. Another example is found in A Poster Session in Organic Chemistry That Markedly Enhanced Student Learning by P. A. Huddle. The same author also contributed the article How to Present a Paper or Poster in which useful, straightforward suggestions for communicating information and ideas clearly are provided.

  17. Conceptions of teaching held by school science teachers in P.R. China: identification and cross-cultural comparisons (United States)

    Gao, Lingbiao; Watkins, David A.


    This paper reports research into the conceptions of teaching of school physics teachers in Guangdong, China, utilizing both qualitative and quantitative approaches to research, which involved interviews of 18 teachers and a survey of 450 teachers, respectively. On the basis of analyses of both sets of data, five conceptions of teaching and two higher order orientations were identified and a multiple-level model was proposed. Comparisons with previous Western studies suggested that, while most teaching conceptions might be universal, some distinctions could be found between those held by Chinese and Western teachers. Chinese teachers seemed to view students' exam performance as the most important indicator of good teaching and successful schooling while its parallel conception in the Western context focused more on the general institutional standard. Two other teaching conceptions commonly held by Chinese teachers seemed to combine classroom teaching with the cultivation of good learning attitudes and good conduct while their Western counterparts only focused on the facilitation of and interest in learning.

  18. A Case Study Exploring the Identity of an In-Service Elementary Science Teacher: a Language Teacher First (United States)

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


    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.

  19. Strengthening High School Chemistry Education through Teacher Outreach Programs: A Workshop Summary to the Chemical Sciences Roundtable (United States)

    Olson, Steve


    A strong chemical workforce in the United States will be essential to the ability to address many issues of societal concern in the future, including demand for renewable energy, more advanced materials, and more sophisticated pharmaceuticals. High school chemistry teachers have a critical role to play in engaging and supporting the chemical…

  20. Managing Institutional and Sociocultural Challenges through Sociotransformative Constructivism: A Longitudinal Case Study of a High School Science Teacher (United States)

    Rodriguez, Alberto J.


    Using a case study approach, this manuscript describes the professional transformation of Gary--an Anglo, male novice teacher--by focusing on his first two years of teaching in a culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged school. As a participant of a larger hybrid, intervention project with peers, Gary received multiple hands-on and…

  1. Teacher Absenteeism in Urban Schools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James E. Bruno


    Full Text Available School reform efforts aimed at promoting equity and excellence at urban school settings are heavily dependent upon the quality of teaching personnel that are used to deliver the instructional program. Social Justice and other public policy issues related to equity and excellence at urban schools have begun to examine the impact that teacher absenteeism, and by extension the reliance on substitute teachers to deliver instructional might have on educational attainment. This study combines school district data gathering mechanisms on teacher absence rates at school sites with Geographical Information Systems (G.I.S. to map the association between a school's geographical environmental space and the propensity for teacher absence. The disparity between teaching resources as delivered by the school district vs. teacher resources as actually received by students in the classroom via teacher absenteeism is examined in the context of schools located in positive (high income and negative (low income geographical space. The study concludes that there is a strong association between the geographical quality of the school site setting, teacher absenteeism, and the reliance on substitute teachers to deliver instructional programs. Disparity in teacher absenteeism rates across large urban geographical areas threatens the promotion of equity and excellence in the schools by attenuating or lessening the effect of school resources to support instruction and amplifying the risk factors of students in the classroom.

  2. Inquiry-Based Science Education Competencies of Primary School Teachers: A Literature Study and Critical Review of the American National Science Education Standards (United States)

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


    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…

  3. Middle School Science and Mathematics Teachers' Conceptions of the Nature of Science: A One-Year Study on the Effects of Explicit and Reflective Online Instruction (United States)

    Wong, Sissy S.; Firestone, Jonah B.; Ronduen, Lionnel G.; Bang, EunJin


    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education has become one of the main priorities in the United States. Science education communities and researchers advocate for integration of STEM disciplines throughout the teaching curriculum. This requires teacher knowledge in STEM disciplines, as well as competence in scientific…

  4. Study of Turkish Preschool Teachers' Attitudes toward Science Teaching (United States)

    Erden, Feyza T.; Sönmez, Sema


    This study aims to explore preschool teachers' attitudes toward science teaching and its impact on classroom practices through the frequency of science activities provided in the classroom. In addition, the study investigates if their attitudes are related to factors such as educational level, years of teaching experience, and the school type they work in. The present research was conducted with 292 preschool teachers who work in public and private schools in different districts of Ankara, Turkey. The data were collected by administering the Early Childhood Teachers' Attitudes toward Science Teaching Scale. Our analyses indicate that there is a significant but weak link between preschool teachers' attitudes toward science teaching and the frequency of science activities that they provide in the classroom. Further, while teachers' characteristics such as educational level and experience are found to play an insignificant role on the overall measures of the scale, type of school appears to be a major factor in explaining the attitudes toward science teaching.

  5. Especially for High School Teachers (United States)

    Howell, J. Emory


    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

  6. How Jeff Gordon and NASCAR Helped to Develop a High School Science Curriculum and Educate Future Teachers (United States)

    Hoodak, Ronald A.


    The focus of this article is the development of future science teachers. A research project, involving Cornell University, the Cornell Center for Materials Research, and NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon is described. All research was conducted in association with faculty and staff at Cornell University and resulted in the development of a science…

  7. High school science teachers' beliefs and attitudes towards the use of interactive whiteboards in education


    Anatürk, Ceren


    Ankara : The Graduate School of Education of Bilkent University, 2014. Thesis (Master's) -- Bilkent University, 2014. Includes bibliographical references leaves 72-81. In recent years, the field of educational technology has rapidly developed and facilitated the integration of new generation technological tools into education. Interactive white boards (IWBs) are one of the popular technological tools which can be named as a product of this progression. In Turkey, with the s...

  8. Science Partners for Teachers: Graduate Student-Teacher Partnerships (United States)

    Rebull, L. M.; Munoz-Franco, L.


    Science Partners for Teachers is a group of scientists (mostly graduate students) in the physical and biological sciences at the University of Chicago which establishes one-on-one partnerships with Chicago-area K-12 school teachers. The goal is to have both partners benefit from the interaction. As scientists, we want to learn more about how to teach, how to develop lesson plans, and improve our ability to disseminate scientific knowledge (with an eye towards increasing our marketability for our future job searches). In exchange, we offer to be a resource for teachers looking to update their science curricula and to help incorporate and increase the use of computers, and the internet into the classroom. But most of all, we want to develop a relationship in which the scientist gains an inside look at teaching while the teacher gains an inside look at science and the way science is done. This model for scientist-teacher interaction is unique among the ones we have encountered as it involves a one-on-one partnering between adults (no K-12 students involved) and is specficially tailored to mesh well with an over-committed graduate student's schedule. This group was founded and continues to be run by several astrophysics graduate students who are looking for creative ways to help themselves and other grad students prepare for alternative careers related to education, preferably involving both research and outreach.

  9. 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.


    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.

  10. Elementary Preservice Teachers' Science Vocabulary: Knowledge and Application (United States)

    Carrier, Sarah J.


    Science vocabulary knowledge plays a role in understanding science concepts, and science knowledge is measured in part by correct use of science vocabulary (Lee et al. in J Res Sci Teach 32(8):797-816, 1995). Elementary school students have growing vocabularies and many are learning English as a secondary language or depend on schools to learn academic English. Teachers must have a clear understanding of science vocabulary in order to communicate and evaluate these understandings with students. The present study measured preservice teachers' vocabulary knowledge during a science methods course and documented their use of science vocabulary during peer teaching. The data indicate that the course positively impacted the preservice teachers' knowledge of select elementary science vocabulary; however, use of science terms was inconsistent in microteaching lessons. Recommendations include providing multiple vocabulary instruction strategies in teacher preparation.

  11. Middle school girls' STEM education: Using teacher influences, parent encouragement, peer influences, and self efficacy to predict confidence and interest in math and science (United States)

    Rabenberg, Tabetha A.

    Reports are clear that there is an underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. With the current and predicted future shortage of STEM workforce, it is more important than ever to encourage young women to enter these important fields of study. Using Bronfenbrenner's Bioecological Model, possible predictors of middle school girls' confidence and interest in math and science where explored. The factors in this study included the macrosystems of age and race/ethnicity and the microsystems of self-efficacy, teacher influences, parent encouragement, and peer influences. Sequential regression analysis results revealed that self-efficacy was a significant predictor for confidence in math and science. While, math/science teacher influences and peer influences were significant predictors of interest and confidence in both math and science. Sequential regression analysis also indicated age was a significant predictor of math interest. The results of this study provides information on the systemic connections among the variables and suggestions on how to impact middle school girls' STEM development, thus impacting the future STEM workforce.

  12. Investigating Your School's Science Teaching and Learning Culture (United States)

    Sato, Mistilina; Bartiromo, Margo; Elko, Susan


    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.

  13. Identification of Emotional Components to Improve the Motivation for Science Among School Teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Barros


    Full Text Available Science education has been searching for new strategies to involve students in scientific investigation processes. These strategies should stimulate questioning, predicting results by means of experimentation as well as developing abilities for discussing results. They should also provi de the students with the capacity of understanding how the scientific knowledge is continuously produced rather than transmitting scientific facts  to  them .   Since 1985, the Instituto de BioquímicaMédica,UFRJ , has offered  a  science education   program  consisting in  v acation coursesdirected to students and teachersof  basic education . During the years, the  program  grew and spread through the country becoming a network involving 23 different research group s.   In  the courses ,  the participantsdevelop  practicalactivitiesand  are encouraged to think about a biological topic, to raise question sabout it and propose experiments to answer the ir questions. The course iscoordinated by a  staff  and by graduated students that  act as  instructo rs,  helpingthe participants  to  do  the experiments idealized by them .   In this work weinvestigate dthe  factors that raise the interest and the motivation for science in the participants. For this,  fieldworkand   questionnaire  analyses were performed. The questionnaires were  filled up b y the teachersin the beginning and in the end of the course, and the method of  contentanalysis was used  to  readthe  answers.  The results   show ed  that the motivation for science was raised by a strong emotional component generated by different factors, as  the interaction with the instructors; the availability of resources; and  the fact that they  become more autonomous in the process of reconstruction of their knowledge.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breno Bricio Amaral


    Full Text Available This article is the result of a dissertation about the curricular dynamics and teaching-learning process with the objective of answering the problem of School Management of the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Espírito Santo (Câmpus Vitória, specifically about the Mechanics offered by this institution. In the years 2011 to 2014, we sought to investigate the relationship between School Management and its influence on the motivation of teachers involved based on theories of Administration and Democratic Management. As a research hypothesis, it is assumed that the management model adopted by the institute has discouraged teachers from the Mechanical Engineering Course. The research was carried out through a field survey of the type of data collection, whose research instrument was the application of questionnaires and interviews to the subjects, the teachers of the course in question. It was possible to prove the hypothesis in the sense that the adopted management model has had a negative effect on the teacher motivation, generating emotional discomforts, professional insecurities, among other aspects. The final analysis showed that the management adopted, specifically in this campus, evokes a transformation to motivate teachers in their professional performance and personal fulfillment as members of the educational team of the institution.

  15. Science inquiry learning environments created by National Board Certified Teachers (United States)

    Saderholm, Jon

    The purpose of this study was to discern what differences exist between the science inquiry learning environments created by National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) and non-NBCTs. Four research questions organized the data collection and analysis: (a) How do National Board Certified science teachers' knowledge of the nature of science differ from that of their non-NBCT counterparts? (b) How do the frequencies of student science inquiry behaviors supported by in middle/secondary learning environments created by NBCTs differ from those created by their non-NBCT counterparts? (c) What is the relationship between the frequency of students' science inquiry behaviors and their science reasoning and understanding of the nature of science? (d) What is the impact of teacher perceptions factors impacting curriculum and limiting inquiry on the existence of inquiry learning environments? The setting in which this study was conducted was middle and high schools in Kentucky during the period between October 2006 and January 2007. The population sampled for the study was middle and secondary science teachers certified to teach in Kentucky. Of importance among those were the approximately 70 National Board Certified middle and high school science teachers. The teacher sample consisted of 50 teachers, of whom 19 were NBCTs and 31 were non-NBCTs. This study compared the science inquiry teaching environments created by NBCTs and non-NBCTs along with their consequent effect on the science reasoning and nature of science (NOS) understanding of their students. In addition, it examined the relationship with these science inquiry environments of other teacher characteristics along with teacher perception of factors influencing curriculum and factors limiting inquiry. This study used a multi-level mixed methodology study incorporating both quantitative and qualitative measures of both teachers and their students. It was a quasi-experimental design using non-random assignment of

  16. The relationship among teacher classroom management behavior, student engagement, and student achievement of middle and high school science students of varying aptitude (United States)

    McGarity, John R., Jr.; Butts, David P.

    This study was designed to determine the relationship among teacher classroom management behavior, student engagement, and student achievement of middle and high school science students. These variables were investigated across varying levels of academic aptitude. Two week long units were taught by 30 experienced science teachers. During this period of time teacher classroom management behavior, student achievement (n = 570), student engagement (n = 269), and student academic aptitude (n = 649) were measured. Twelve selected management indicators from Georgia Teachers Performance Assessment Indicators (TPAI) were used to measure teacher classroom management behaviors. Regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between the variables, and appropriate post hoc procedures were used. Analyses showed that there was a significant relationship among all variables. Post hoc analysis showed that these results were consistent across levels of aptitude. Other relationships found were between student engagement and achievement, student aptitude and achievement, and student aptitude and engagement. Correlation coefficients were obtained for each individual management indicators. Those particular management behaviors which were correlated with achievement and engagement are: identifies students who do not understand directions and helps them individually, maintains learner involvement in lessons, reinforces and encourages the efforts of learners to maintain involvement, attends to routine tasks, uses instructional time efficiently, provides feedback to learners about their behavior, manages disruptive behavior among learners.

  17. Science Teachers' Perception on Multicultural Education Literacy and Curriculum Practices (United States)

    Huang, Hsiu-Ping; Cheng, Ying-Yao; Yang, Cheng-Fu


    This study aimed to explore the current status of teachers' multicultural education literacy and multicultural curriculum practices, with a total of 274 elementary school science teachers from Taitung County as survey participants. The questionnaire used a Likert-type four-point scale which content included the teachers' perception of…

  18. Multiple Perspectives on Elementary Teachers' Science Identities: A case study (United States)

    Madden, Lauren; Wiebe, Eric


    This narrative case study examined the relationship between teacher identity and elementary science teaching. Teacher identity was described using a modification of Gee's framework incorporating three perspectives: the teachers' self-described identity, the researchers' view of teacher identity, and the students' views of teacher identity. Over the course of one school year, we studied one class of second-grade students receiving science instruction from three different teachers. We found that each teacher had unique identity characteristics. Further, the three perspectives of teacher identity were sometimes in conflict with one another within individual teachers, emphasizing the importance of incorporating multiple perspectives in order to give a complete description of teacher identity. This study has meaningful implications for understanding the ways in which students' perspectives can enrich our understanding of teacher identity.

  19. Changes in Attitudes towards Science-Technology-Society of Pre-Service Science Teachers (United States)

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


    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…

  20. Science Teachers' Perception of ICT Capacity Building Workshop in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nneka Umera-Okeke

    important role that teachers play in the utilization of ICTs to update classroom instructions. These resources .... In most secondary schools having large population of science teachers, ICT tools needed to update and ..... technology resources in teaching and learning of secondary school biology in. Awka Education Zone of ...

  1. Science teachers in deaf education: A national survey of K-8 teachers (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 English Bilingual Star School program (chi2 (1, N = 67) = 8.49, p strategies in the teaching of science as many of the deaf teachers reported they used these strategies often.

  2. Supporting new science teachers in pursuing socially just science education (United States)

    Ruggirello, Rachel; Flohr, Linda


    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.

  3. Use of photography to support the learning process of science teachers of ninth through twelfth grades in the schools of Kuwait (United States)

    Alenizi, Abdulaziz

    The purpose of the study was to investigate the relevance of teachers in Kuwait when utilizing photographic aids in the classroom. Specifically, this study assessed learning outcomes of teachers amongst high school students in schools at Kuwait. The learning outcomes were then compared with teachers who are barred from using photographic aids. The research utilized a descriptive quantitative research design. The number of participants was limited to an acceptable number in the range of 250--300. Data were collected through a questionnaire and analyses were conducted using various types of statistical designs for interpretation, specifically Spearman correlation analysis. The study revealed that visual media such as images and photographs made it easy for the students to understand the concepts of science subjects, specifically biology, physics, and chemistry. Visual media should be included in the curriculum to enhance the comprehension level of students. The government of Kuwaiti, therefore, should to encourage the use of visual aids in schools to enhance learning. The research did not indicate a capacity of skills students and teachers can employ effectively when using visual aids. There also remains a gap between possessing the skills and applying them in the school. Benefits associated with visuals aids in teaching are evident in the study. With the adoption of audio-visual methods of learning, students are presented with opportunities to develop their own ideas and opinions, thus boosting their own interpersonal skills while at the same time questioning the authenticity and relevance of the concepts at hand. The major merit of audio-visual platforms in classroom learning is they cause students to break complex science concepts into finer components that can be easily understood.

  4. Socioscience and Ethics in Science Classrooms: Teacher Perspectives and Strategies (United States)

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


    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…

  5. Science Teachers' Perception of ICT Capacity Building Workshop in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study examined science teachers' perception of ICT capacity building workshop in Akwa Ibom State secondary schools. The design for the study was a descriptive survey. The census of 295 science teachers from Uyo Local Government Area that attended a 3-day ICT capacity building workshop was used for the study.

  6. Urban Elementary Science Teacher Leaders: Responsibilities, Supports, and Needs (United States)

    Wenner, Julianne A.


    The challenge of science achievement gaps is one that scholars have struggled to solve. Teacher leadership holds great promise in closing those gaps. Therefore, the purpose of the research reported here was to explore the responsibilities and supports of formally designated science teacher leaders (STLs) in urban elementary schools that have been…


    CERN Multimedia

    Madeleine Dittus


    For January 2003, the A.P.E.G. has an opening for a primary school teacher in the German national language program. The position requires one afternoon of teaching (13:30 till 16:30) every Tuesday at the Collège in Prévessin. The candidate should be a native speaker of German and have some knowledge of French. If you are interested, please send your CV, a copy of your diploma, and a short letter of motivation, until December 9th, to the following address. Madeleine Dittus Présidente A.P.E.G. 5, La vie Destraz 01630 St. Genis-Pouilly (France)

  8. Network Analysis of Beliefs About the Scientific Enterprise: A comparison of scientists, middle school science teachers and eighth-grade science students (United States)

    Peters-Burton, Erin; Baynard, Liz R.


    An understanding of the scientific enterprise is useful because citizens need to make systematic, rational decisions about projects involving scientific endeavors and technology, and a clearer understanding of scientific epistemology is beneficial because it could encourage more public engagement with science. The purpose of this study was to capture beliefs for three groups, scientists, secondary science teachers, and eighth-grade science students, about the ways scientific knowledge is generated and validated. Open-ended questions were framed by formal scientific epistemology and dimensions of epistemology recognized in the field of educational psychology. The resulting statements were placed in a card sort and mapped in a network analysis to communicate interconnections among ideas. Maps analyzed with multidimensional scaling revealed robust connections among students and scientists but not among teachers. Student and teacher maps illustrated the strongest connections among ideas about experiments while scientist maps present more descriptive and well-rounded ideas about the scientific enterprise. The students' map was robust in terms of numbers of ideas, but were lacking in a hierarchical organization of ideas. The teachers' map displayed an alignment with the learning standards of the state, but not a broader view of science. The scientists map displayed a hierarchy of ideas with elaboration of equally valued statements connected to several foundational statements. Network analysis can be helpful in forwarding the study of views of the nature of science because of the technique's ability to capture verbatim statements from participants and to display the strength of connections among the statements.

  9. Teacher Scripts in Science Teaching (United States)

    Monteiro, Rute; Carrillo, Jose; Aguaded, Santiago


    Awareness of teacher scripts is of crucial importance to reflection on practice, and represents one means of widening the scope of classroom performance. The first part of this work provides a full description of three scripts employed by a novice science teacher within the topic of The "Structure of Flowers", and offers a detailed illustration…


    CERN Multimedia

    Madeleine Dittus


    For the beginning of the school year 2002/2003, the A.P.E.G. has an opening for a primary school teacher in the German national language program. The position requires one afternoon of teaching (13:30 till 16:30) every Tuesday at the Collège in Prévessin. The candidate should be a native speaker of German and have some knowledge of French. If you are interested, please send your CV, a copy of your diploma, and a short letter of motivation, until March 10th, to the following address. Madeleine Dittus - Présidente A.P.E.G. 5, La vie Destraz 01630 St. Genis-Pouilly - France

  11. Secondary Physical Science Teachers' Conceptions of Science Teaching in a Context of Change (United States)

    Taylor, Dale L.; Booth, Shirley


    Pre-service teachers enter initial teacher education programmes with conceptions of teaching gleaned from their own schooling. These conceptions, which include teachers' beliefs, may be resistant to change, which is a challenge in contexts where teacher educators hope that teachers will teach in ways different from their own schooling. Conceptions of teaching found in different cultural and disciplinary contexts have contextual differences but have resonances with the results of research into teacher beliefs. Our sample of eight South African secondary physical science teachers was schooled in a system which encouraged knowledge transmission, but they were prepared in their initial teacher education for a learner-centred approach. After they had taught for a few years, we explored their conceptions of science teaching, using phenomenographic interviews. Four conceptions emerged inductively from the analysis: transferring science knowledge from mind to mind; transferring problematic science knowledge from mind to mind; creating space for learning science knowledge and creating space for learning problematic science knowledge. Internally these conceptions are constituted by three dimensions of variation: the nature of the science knowledge to be learnt, the role of the students and the role of the teacher. Media and practical work play different roles in the external horizon of these conceptions. These conceptions reflect the disciplinary context as well as the emphases of the sample's initial teacher education programme. This suggests that initial teacher education can significantly shape teachers' conceptions of teaching.

  12. New science teachers' descriptions of inquiry enactment (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.

  13. Charter School Teacher Job Satisfaction (United States)

    Roch, Christine H.; Sai, Na


    We examine whether working conditions in charter schools and traditional public schools lead to different levels of job satisfaction among teachers. We distinguish among charter schools managed by for-profit education management organizations (EMOs) and non-profit charter management organizations (CMOs) and stand-alone charter schools. We…

  14. Teacher Empowerment and School Reform (United States)

    Thornburg, Devin G.; Mungai, Anne


    Teachers in high-needs settings working with diverse populations are typically cited as a central element for school improvement yet are often described as resistant to such efforts. We sought to investigate the reasons behind teachers' views and beliefs about school reform within the context of collaboration and professional development, rather…

  15. The Challenges Faced by New Science Teachers in Saudi Arabia (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

  16. Especially for High School Teachers (United States)

    Emory Howell, J.


    teachers to attend the conference. High school teachers who wish to attend, whether within the 300-mile radius or beyond, are encouraged to contact their local section of the ACS. Information about local sections can be found on the Web at See p 1482 for more information about the conference, including deadlines for proposals and abstracts and for the conference Web site address. Secondary School Feature Articles * The Chemistry of Modern Dental Filling Materials, by John W. Nicholson and H. Mary Anstice, p 1497 * JCE Classroom Activity #21: Hunting for Chemicals in Consumer Products, p 1504A, by Arthur M. Last * Science for Kids Outreach Programs, by Birgit G. Koehler, Lee Y. Park, and Lawrence J. Kaplan, p 1505 *Henry's Law and Noisy Knuckles by Doris R. Kimbrough, p 1509 *Investigating the Cuprammonium Rayon Process in a High School Laboratory, by Lauren J. Pickard and Mary E. Harris, p 1512 * Lightstick Kinetics, by Charles E. Roser and Catherine L. McCluskey, p 1514

  17. Science teachers' perceptions of the effectiveness of technology in the laboratories: Implications for science education leadership (United States)

    Yaseen, Niveen K.


    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.

  18. Research Experiences for Science Teachers: The Impact On Their Students (United States)

    Dubner, J.


    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alake - Tuenter, E.; Biemans, H.J.A.; Tobi, H.; Wals, A.E.J.; Oosterheert, I.; Mulder, M.


    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

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

  1. Observing Aggression of Teachers in School Teams (United States)

    Ben Sasson, Dvora; Somech, Anit


    To fill the gap in theoretical and empirical knowledge on workplace aggression by teachers working in teams, this study explored its components, its targets, and its contextual determinants. Data were collected through three observations at different schools and at different times on 29 math, homeroom, language, and science studies teams.…

  2. Entanglement of science teacher's lives and work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Daugbjerg, Peer

    This thesis focuses on science teachers’ lived experience, their social position and their teaching. The guiding question for the documented research has been: How is science teachers’ work related to their lives? The aim was to situate the voice and body of science teachers in the contemporary era...... of educational restructuring. The teachers’ work and lives in the contemporary school settings are based on the continuity of their experiences and the relations that have formed them. The interaction between critical influences and tensions shapes the personal and professional experiences, and further produces...... relates to the children and also how she plans, performs and evaluates her teaching....

  3. Friendship and Choosing Groupmates: Preferences for Teacher-Selected vs. Student-Selected Groupings in High School Science Classes (United States)

    Mitchell, Sidney N.; Reilly, Rosemary; Bramwell, F. Gillian; Solnosky, Anthony; Lilly, Frank


    This study represents a collaborative school university partnership. Using a mixed-method approach, the authors report on the motivational and psychological consequences of students choosing their groupmates in cooperative learning triads. 139 students in five science classes participated in this study. Classes were randomly assigned to condition:…

  4. How to Motivate Science Teachers to Use Science Experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josef Trna


    Full Text Available A science experiment is the core tool in science education. This study describes the science teachers' professional competence to implement science experiments in teaching/learning science. The main objective is the motivation of science teachers to use science experiments. The presented research tries to answer questions aimed at the science teachers' skills to use science experiments in teaching/learning science. The research discovered the following facts: science teachers do not include science experiments in teaching/learning in a suitable way; are not able to choose science experiments corresponding to the teaching phase; prefer teachers' demonstration of science experiments; are not able to improvise with the aids; use only a few experiments. The important research result is that an important motivational tool for science teachers is the creation of simple experiments. Examples of motivational simple experiments used into teachers' training for increasing their own creativity and motivation are presented.

  5. Reading instruction in science: Teachers' practices, beliefs, & self-efficacy (United States)

    Morales, Christina M.

    The Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2010) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS, 2013) call on science teachers to play a stronger role in helping students learn from informational science texts. Curriculum implementation efforts aimed at addressing these new standards should build on what teachers are already doing to help students with reading in their classrooms and the pedagogical issues that they feel are important to science learning. However, few current studies have gathered these important insights from science teachers. Aiming to fill this gap in the literature, this study attempted to describe middle school science teachers' current practices, beliefs, and self-efficacy regarding reading and reading instruction in their classrooms. A conceptual model hypothesizing that self-efficacy mediates the relationship between teachers' beliefs about how important reading instruction is to science learning and how often they provide reading instruction in their science classes was also tested. Participants (N = 247) reported that students regularly engaged in reading-related tasks in science class. Somer's D correlation analyses highlighted positive associations between the frequency with which teachers reported that students engaged in various reading-related tasks and the frequency with which they reported providing reading instruction for those tasks, suggesting that students tended to receive explicit instruction or coaching for the reading-related tasks they engaged in most often. Middle school science teachers also expressed positive beliefs about the importance of reading-related tasks and explicit instruction or coaching for reading in science and tended to take on responsibility for helping students become better readers of science texts. Last, a path analysis confirmed that the association between teachers' beliefs and practices was mediated through teachers' self-efficacy (beta = .07, p self-efficacy can influence teacher practice: even if

  6. Life of the Aquifer: Improving Earth Science Education for Teachers and Students in High Schools of Under-represented Groups on the North Carolina Coastal Plain (United States)

    Farley, M. B.; Phillips, P. L.; McBroom, R.


    Life of the Aquifer is a program to improve Earth Science education in local public high schools. Geologic awareness among the local population is low because southeastern N.C. are on the Coastal Plain where rocks are not visible. This has made instruction in Earth Science, now required in North Carolina high schools, difficult. Our approach is to use groundwater, source of local public water, as a theme to organize instruction in geology. More than 70% of the student population in Robeson County, a rural low-wealth area, is from groups under- represented in the geosciences (46% Native American and 31% African American). Linking basic concepts in geology to groundwater is a way to show how geology is real and affects society. Our project engages teachers and students in active inquiry of the functioning of local aquifers from recharge to groundwater production. Although data on water levels in the Black Creek aquifer have been collected, there has been little formal investigation because serious problems with groundwater have not been noted to date. Nonetheless, the hydraulic head of Black Creek Aquifer wells has been declining. We started by improving skills of local Earth Science teachers, because most have had no formal education in geology. The teachers attended workshops on basic geology, groundwater, and exercises based on local groundwater data. The workshops also included field trips to outcrops exposing the local aquifer, 100 km away in South Carolina. We also showed teachers how each topic addresses Competency Goals in the Standard Course of Study. By using our instructional modules, the teachers assist their students to develop spatial reasoning skills by analyzing maps. Student geologic knowledge is increased by learning how the components of a groundwater system form as a result of geologic processes and collecting data from the Internet on changes in groundwater systems over time. Our remaining implementation activity is installation of wells to

  7. Central Computer Science Concepts to Research-Based Teacher Training in Computer Science: An Experimental Study (United States)

    Zendler, Andreas; Klaudt, Dieter


    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…

  8. Ideas in Practice: Studies in Atmospheric Pollution For Science Teachers (United States)

    Rowe, Donald R.


    Describes the content and structure of an enviromental course offered by the Department of Engineering Technology at Western Kentucky University. The course focuses on atmospheric pollution and is designed for science teachers currently teaching in the school system. (JR)

  9. Infusing Science, Technology, and Society Into an Elementary Teacher Education Program: The Impact on Preservice Teachers (United States)

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


    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…

  10. Beginning science teachers' strategies for communicating with families (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

  11. "Physics and Life" for Europe's Science Teachers (United States)


    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

  12. Involving teachers in school development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanković Dejan


    Full Text Available One of the key messages of the contemporary approach to school development is that teacher participation is a necessary precondition for the successfulness of this process. Experience from the world, however, shows that broad and active participation of teachers in school development is neither easy to achieve nor to sustain in the long run. Similarly, the first experiences with school developmental planning in Serbia from the first half of this decade also pointed out to the differences with respect to readiness of teachers to take over this new role. The research that will be presented in this paper was conducted with the aim of discovering and determining the levels and ways in which different factors influence teacher involvement in developmental activities in school, whereby those activities are of cooperative and leadership character. The research was conducted on the sample of 385 teachers from 51 primary schools in Serbia. The findings indicate that teacher involvement in school development is a product of a complex combination and interaction of numerous personal and contextual factors, bearing in mind that harmony of personal and professional identity and meanings ascribed to changes in school is of primary importance. The final part of the paper provides recommendations for system and organizational level in order for teacher involvement in school development to become a widespread and sustainable practice.

  13. Teacher Absenteeism in Urban Schools


    James E. Bruno


    School reform efforts aimed at promoting equity and excellence at urban school settings are heavily dependent upon the quality of teaching personnel that are used to deliver the instructional program. Social Justice and other public policy issues related to equity and excellence at urban schools have begun to examine the impact that teacher absenteeism, and by extension the reliance on substitute teachers to deliver instructional might have on educational attainment. This study combines schoo...

  14. A cohort of novice Danish science teachers: Background in science and argumentation about science teaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Birgitte Lund Nielsen


    Full Text Available 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 stundent centred, 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 science.

  15. Mothers as informal science class teachers (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

  16. Elementary Science Indoors and Out: Teachers, Time, and Testing (United States)

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


    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.

  17. Promoting Original Scientific Research and Teacher Training Through a High School Science Research Program: A Five Year Retrospective and Analysis of the Impact on Mentored 8th Grade Geoscience Students and the Mentors Themselves (United States)

    Danch, J. M.


    In 2010 a group of 8th grade geoscience students participated in an extracurricular activity allowing them to conduct original scientific research while being mentored by students enrolled in a 3 - year high school Science Research program. Upon entering high school the mentored students themselves enrolled in the Science Research program and continued for 4 years, culminating with their participation in Science Research 4. This allowed them to continue conducting original scientific research, act as mentors to 8th grade geoscience students and to provide teacher training for both middle and high school teachers conducting inquiry-based science lessons. Of the 7 Science Research 4 students participating since 2010, 100% plan on majoring or minoring in a STEM - related field in college and their individual research projects have been been granted over 70 different awards and honors in science fair and symposia including a 3rd and 4th place category awards at two different international science fairs - the International Sustainable Energy Engineering and Environment Project (iSWEEP) and the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Science Research 4 students developed and conducted a Society for Science and the Public affiliated science fair for middle school students enrolled in an 8th grade honors geoscience program allowing over 100 students from 5 middle schools to present their research and be judged by STEM professionals. Students with research judged in the top 10% were nominated for participation in the National Broadcom MASTERS program which they successfully entered upon further mentoring from the Science Research 4 students. 8th grade enrollment in the Science Research program for 2015 increased by almost 50% with feedback from students, parents and teachers indicating that the mentorship and participation in the 8th grade science fair were factors in increasing interest in continuing authentic scientific research in high school.

  18. Becoming a Science Teacher: Moving toward Creolized Science and an Ethic of Cosmopolitanism (United States)

    Seiler, Gale


    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…

  19. Relationships among science teacher qualifications, instructional practices, and student science achievement (United States)

    Zuelke, Laurie Ann


    Research has shown that teacher effectiveness is a key to student achievement. Indicators of teacher effectiveness also referred to as teacher quality, have been described as years of experience and subject matter certification. As national and state mandates continue the practice of high stakes testing and place pressure upon schools to increase the rate of student achievement, few studies explored the relationships between achievement and teacher quality. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between teacher qualities (experience, certification type, and science coursework) and student achievement on the eighth grade Science FCAT. Eighth grade Science FCAT scores of over 13,000 students and the data from 127 teachers regarding their experience, certification status (temporary or professional), and subject certification was collected from two Central Florida counties. Student and teacher data was separated into two groups based upon each school's student socioeconomic (SES) data. High SES schools were designated as those that had 24% to 50% of their students on free and reduce priced lunch, whereas low SES schools had 55% to 85% of their students on free and reduce priced lunch. Data from each SES group was analyzed independently. A one-way ANOVA was performed to compare the means of eighth grade student Science FCAT scores among teachers with 0 to 5 years of experience, 6 to 15 years of experience, and over 15 years of experience. Also compared were the eighth grade student mean Science FCAT scores among teachers with regular certification and temporary certification, and teachers with science subject certification or without science subject certification. Four eighth grade science teachers with varying years of experience, certification type, and science college coursework were interviewed and classroom instructional practices observed. Results of this study showed that there was a significant difference at the low SES level in

  20. Science Teachers' Misconceptions in Science and Engineering Distinctions: Reflections on Modern Research Examples (United States)

    Antink-Meyer, Allison; Meyer, Daniel Z.


    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.

  1. The Curriculum Development for Science Teachers' Training: The Action Lesson Focusing on Science Process Skills (United States)

    Khayotha, Jesda; Sitti, Somsong; Sonsupap, Kanyarat


    The objectives of this research were to develop innovation curriculum and study the effect of curriculum usage in science teachers' training in establishing the supplementary subject curriculum for action lesson. It focuses on science process skills with 10 teachers for 4 days, and 236 Grade 9 students from 10 schools during the first semester of…

  2. Working Alongside Scientists. Impacts on Primary Teacher Beliefs and Knowledge About Science and Science Education (United States)

    Anderson, Dayle; Moeed, Azra


    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.

  3. The Importance of Training Needs’ Questionnaire in order to Arrange Science Teacher Training Program


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


    An ideal teacher training program is by participant’s need. The major aim of this study is getting information about science teacher’s perception and needs in their professional’s life as a science teacher in Junior High School. The main idea of teacher training is to strengthen the integrated science of Natural Science concepts and problem-based learning. Data is gathered by spreading training needs questionnaire to 20 science teachers under an education foundation in Bandung. The questionna...

  4. Teacher in Residence: Bringing Science to Students

    CERN Multimedia

    Daisy Yuhas

    CERN welcomes its first Teacher in Residence, Terrence Baine of the University of Oslo. Baine, who originally hails from Canada, will be concurrently completing his PhD in Physics Education during his time at CERN. Like CERN’s High School Teacher Programme (HST), of which Baine is an alumnus, the Teacher in Residence position is designed to help educators spread the science of CERN in a form that is accessible to students and can encourage them to pursue physics throughout their education.   Terrence Baine, first 'teacher in residence' at CERN Baine explains, “It’s very important to have a teacher present who can be that middle person between the young peoplecoming here, whom we are trying to enlighten, and the physicists who work at CERN. The Teacher in Residence can act as an on-site educational consultant.” As Teacher in Residence, Baine’s primary project will be to develop teaching modules, or a series of lesson plans, that can help high schoo...

  5. Visões de ciências de professores de química: a mídia e as reflexões no ambiente escolar no nível médio de ensino Science insight´s of chemistry teachers: media and reflection on high school environment


    Nyuara Araújo da Silva Mesquita; Márlon Herbert Flora Barbosa Soares


    The present paper discusses the influence of TV and general media on students scientific ideas and the teacher's perception of this influence on students during class time. 17 high-school chemistry teachers with teaching degree, working in state schools, were interviewed. The interviews showed that both, teachers and students, have a positive opinion of science and the scientist. According to their teachers, students' positive view of science is greatly influenced by TV. The developed study s...

  6. The Workshop Program on Authentic Assessment for Science Teachers (United States)

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


    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.

  7. Teacher Absenteeism in Urban Schools

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bruno, James E


    .... Social Justice and other public policy issues related to equity and excellence at urban schools have begun to examine the impact that teacher absenteeism, and by extension the reliance on substitute...

  8. The Changing Roles of Science Specialists during a Capacity Building Program for Primary School Science (United States)

    Herbert, Sandra; Xu, Lihua; Kelly, Leissa


    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…

  9. Especially for High School Teachers (United States)

    Howell, J. Emory


    Ocean-Stating the Case for Chemistry, by Paul J. Scheuer, p 1075 * Distillation Apparatuses Using Household Items, by Danielle R. D. Campanizzi, Brenda Mason, Christine K. F. Hermann, p 1079 New Orleans Concurrent Workshops, High School Program 8:30 a.m.-9:20 a.m. A. A Teaching Resource for You: The Journal of Chemical Education, J. E. Howell, J. W. Moore, and A. M. Sarquis B. Electrical Conductivity, J. M. Manion and P. F. Krause, and The Properties of Gases, J.-M. Whitfield and K. A. Woodling C. Chemistry with Calculators for Beginners, P. Sconzo (3 hours) D. Spectrum of Activities for Chemistry Teachers, Carolina Biological Supply, S. Mitchell, F. Cherry, and L. Akin (3 hours) 9:30 a.m.-10:20 a.m. A. Applying Chemical Education Research to the Classroom, L. Akin and J. Valasek B. Another Look at the Deflection of Falling Liquids, H. H. Harris and J. Newstrum, and Encouraging Students to Investigate Acids and Bases Using Plant Indicators, P. K. Kerrigan C. Chemistry with Calculators (continued) D. Spectrum of Activities (continued) E. Science Education for Public Understanding (SEPUP) and Chemistry, Health, Environment, and Me, M. Koker and L. Akin (2 hours) 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. A. Increasing Aptitude and Interest of High School Students through Summer Camp, C. E. Fulton, and Energy Teaching Introduction to High School Chemistry, L.-M. Trejo B. Chemistry in Science Museum Exhibits: Opportunities and Challenges and Cooking with Chemistry, D. Katz C. Chemistry with Calculators (continued) D. Spectrum of Activities (continued) E. SEPUP (continued) 12:00 noon-1:15 p.m., High School Luncheon Educating High School Teachers for the 21st Century, Glenn Crosby 1:30 p.m.-2:20 p.m. A. Customized Mastery Learning in First-Year Chemistry and Computer Software for Chemistry Teachers Who Require Mastery Learning of Their Students, J. Bedenbaugh and A. Bedenbaugh B. Can One Teach Chemistry with Everyday Substances? A. Sae, and SourceBook Activities Using Everyday Substances, C

  10. Providing undergraduate science partners for elementary teachers: benefits and challenges. (United States)

    Goebel, Camille A; Umoja, Aminata; DeHaan, Robert L


    Undergraduate college "science partners" provided content knowledge and a supportive atmosphere for K-5 teachers in a university-school professional development partnership program in science instruction. The Elementary Science Education Partners program, a Local Systemic Change initiative supported by the National Science Foundation, was composed of four major elements: 1) a cadre of mentor teachers trained to provide district-wide teacher professional development; 2) a recruitment and training effort to place college students in classrooms as science partners in semester-long partnerships with teachers; 3) a teacher empowerment effort termed "participatory reform"; and 4) an inquiry-based curriculum with a kit distribution and refurbishment center. The main goals of the program were to provide college science students with an intensive teaching experience and to enhance teachers' skills in inquiry-based science instruction. Here, we describe some of the program's successes and challenges, focusing primarily on the impact on the classroom teachers and their science partners. Qualitative analyses of data collected from participants indicate that 1) teachers expressed greater self-confidence about teaching science than before the program and they spent more class time on the subject; and 2) the college students modified deficit-model negative assumptions about the children's science learning abilities to express more mature, positive views.

  11. Teacher Learning in Technology Professional Development and Its Impact on Student Achievement in Science (United States)

    Lee, Hyunju; Longhurst, Max; Campbell, Todd


    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…

  12. Using Photo Elicitation Interview to Conceptualize In-Service Secondary School Science Teachers' Knowledge Base For Teaching Climate Change (United States)

    Bhattacharya, D.; Roehrig, G.; Karahan, E.; Liu, S.


    Photo Elicitation Interviews (PEI) were used for assessing in-service secondary school teachers' conceptual understanding about global climate change (GCC). We selected PEI over attitude surveys, multiple-choice content assessments and interviews because we believe that evaluating knowledge about GCC requires an understanding of the system as a whole (Papadimitriou, 2004). Hence we conducted interviews with ten teachers using visual representations of GCC. The 8 images used in this approach were obtained from NASA image collection and local climatology websites. Questions associated with these images were developed, aligned with Essential Principles for Climate Literacy (NOAA, 2009) and interviews were conducted following a weeklong, summer professional development workshop based on propagating climate literacy. Image1 elicited teachers' understanding about global warming. Almost all said that they were intrigued but they needed for more evidence to fully understand the issue. Image 2 was designed to elicit teachers' understandings of weather vs. climate. All ten teachers were able to distinguish between weather and climate but were aware of how many years of weather data was needed to make climate predictions. Their answers varied from 10 years to 100 years. Image 3 showed the Greenhouse effect, which most of the teachers were able to describe but they were not able, describe 'enhanced green house effect'. Gaps in knowledge about 'earth as a radiating body' and 'long wave and short wave radiations' also became evident during the process. Similar to Grima et al., 2010, Gautier, 2006 and Kempton, 1991, three participants attributed the increase in global temperatures to the size of the ozone hole, which is a commonly held misconception. Image 4 showed an image of the Keeling curve, which was well explained by most, but only five teachers were able to identify the cause of seasonal fluctuations in the amount of carbon dioxide gas released in the atmosphere. Image 5

  13. Science Education In-service Teacher Training (SEITT) and Better ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Science Education In-service Teacher Training (SEITT) and Better Schools Program Zimbabwe (BSPZ) Resource Teachers\\' Modes of Facilitating In-service Activity. David KJ Mtetwa, Rhodreck Makamure, Rudo Kwari, Addwell Chipangura. Abstract. No Abstract Available Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research ...

  14. Multimodal Science Teachers' Discourse in Modeling the Water Cycle (United States)

    Marquez, Conxita; Izquierdo, Merce; Espinet, Mariona


    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…

  15. Purposeful Action Research: Reconsidering Science and Technology Teacher Professional Development (United States)

    vanOostveen, Roland


    Initial plans for this project arose from a need to address issues of professional development of science and technology teachers that went beyond the norm available within school board settings. Two teams of 4 teachers responded to an invitation to participate in a collaborative action research project. Collaborative action research was chosen in…

  16. Ciencias 1. Manual do Professor (Science 1. Teacher's Manual). (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…

  17. Especially for High School Teachers (United States)

    Howell, J. Emory


    Writing Across the Curriculum The notion that student learning is enhanced through writing is widely accepted at all educational levels if the product is fairly assessed and the learner is provided with feedback. Finding the time to critically evaluate student papers is difficult at best and competes with time needed to prepare laboratory investigations. A few weeks ago a teacher who has extensive extracurricular responsibilities that include extensive interaction with parents and community members shared with me his frustration in not being able to grade written reports. This teacher is the head football coach at his school, but many readers experience the same difficulties due to a variety of duties. There are no easy or completely satisfying answers to this problem, but this issue contains an account of a successful approach (Writing in Chemistry: An Effective Learning Tool, pp 1399-1403). Although they are based on experience in college courses, several ideas described in the article could be applied in high school chemistry courses. In another article, the author of Precise Writing for a Precise Science (pp 1407-1408) identifies 20 examples of familiar, but incorrect, grammatical constructions and explains how to phrase each one correctly. Chemical Education Research: Improving Chemistry Learning The results from research on how students learn have greatly increased our understanding of cognition in recent years. However, the results are often published in the science education research literature and are not readily accessible to the classroom teacher. Additionally, the research reports are couched in specialized terminology. This issue contains a Viewpoints article (pp 1353-1361) that bridges the gap between research results and classroom application. It was written by two veteran chemical educators, Dudley Herron and Susan Nurrenbern. The shift from behaviorism to constructivism as the dominant theory of learning is described briefly to provide a context

  18. Science initial teacher education and superdiversity: educating science teachers for a multi-religious and globalised science classroom (United States)

    De Carvalho, Roussel


    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.

  19. Preparing teachers for ambitious and culturally responsive science teaching (United States)

    Seiler, Gale


    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

  20. Especially for High School Teachers (United States)

    Howell, J. Emory


    experiments if desired, discuss their findings, and make a recommendation regarding which of two road deicers should be used on the bridge. The article Pesticides in Drinking Water: Project-Based Learning within the Introductory Chemistry Curriculum (pp 1673-1667) describes class involvement in field data collection and analysis. Since more sophisticated instrumentation than is possessed by many schools is required, 6th grade science and high school chemistry classes work with a college class to obtain and analyze data. Everyone involved in this approach wins. The 6th graders, high school students, and college students all gain experience in sampling, preparing samples for analysis, determining pollutant levels, and drawing conclusions, each at an appropriate level of understanding. Plus, the high school students are exposed to instrumentation that otherwise would not be accessible, such as gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Although the project described was started by the college faculty members who wrote the article, such an approach to many interesting environmental chemistry problems could be initiated by a high school teacher by seeking out a nearby college or university with whom to partner. An article that probably would not have received the SSC mark had I not noticed that two of the coauthors are high school students, is titled Remediation of Water Contaminated with an Azo Dye (pp 1680-1683). In addition to being interesting, the article is a good reminder that research opportunities for high school students exist. Still another article that received the SSC mark because of a high school connection is Chemical Analysis of Soils (pp 1693-1694). The authors mention that with modification their techniques could be used in high school chemistry. They cite a reference to an article published several years ago, titled Soil Analysis for High School Chemistry Students (J. Chem. Educ. 1980, 57, 897-899). It was published in a feature titled the 50

  1. Best Practice in Middle-School Science (United States)

    Oliveira, Alandeom W.; Wilcox, Kristen C.; Angelis, Janet; Applebee, Arthur N.; Amodeo, Vincent; Snyder, Michele A.


    Using socio-ecological theory, this study explores best practice (educational practices correlated with higher student performance) in middle-school science. Seven schools with consistently higher student performance were compared with three demographically similar, average-performing schools. Best practice included instructional approaches (relevance and engagement, inquiry, differentiated instruction, collaborative work, moderate amounts of homework, and integration of language literacy and science) and administrative practices (nurturing a climate of opportunity to succeed in science, offering professional development based on data and dialogue, engaging teachers in standards-based curriculum revision and alignment, and recruiting the right fit of teacher). It is argued that best practice entails multiple levels of teaching and administrative praxis that together form a school-wide socio-ecological system conducive to higher performance.

  2. Interpersonal relationship of high schools' teachers and teachers profile

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


    The purpose of the study was to examine associations between Turkish high school students' perceptions of their teachers' interpersonal behavior and drawn attention to the relationship between students' affective outcomes and teachers' interpersonal behavior. The Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction

  3. The Influence of Teacher Variables on Climate Change Science Literacy of Geography Teachers in the Western Cape, South Africa (United States)

    Anyanwu, Raymond; Le Grange, Lesley


    Teachers play an important role in promoting climate change literacy in schools, but not much is known about which teacher characteristics significantly influence Geography teachers' climate change science literacy. The purpose of this study is to determine the influence of teachers' characteristics such as gender, age, qualification,…


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ridwan Effendi


    Full Text Available This study aims to reveal personal beliefs of prospective science teachers about assessment. The study involved 46 prospective science teachers who have passed the 7th semester the course evaluation. Personal beliefs of prospective science teachers about assessment revealed using Personal Beliefs about Assessment Scale (SKDA. SKDA developed based on standards of assessment literacy and construct validity is done using Rasch models, with a Cronbach Alpha value of 0.93. Analysis and classification level of personal beliefs of prospective science teacher about assessment is done using the Rasch model is based on the logit ability of prospective science teachers based on the separation. The results showed that personal beliefs of prospective science teachers about assessment varies between two or three levels, depending on the standard of assessment literacy. There are still some aspects of the assessment of each standard that is trusted or considered less important by prospective teachers of science, namely: 1 consider the learning targets, learning experiences, and learning decision in choosing methods of assessment; 2 using the existing assessment and available in developing assessment methods; 3 interpret summary score; 4 use the assessment results to decision-making about the school and curriculum development; 5 consider extracurricular activities when developing procedures for judging; 6 report the result to another level with appropriate means and methods; and 7 to know when the assessment results are used inappropriately/inappropriate by others. Abstrak Studi ini bertujuan mengungkap kepercayaan calon guru sains tentang asesmen. Studi melibatkan 46 mahasiswa calon guru sains semester 7 yang telah lulus perkuliahan evaluasi pembelajaran. Kepercayaan calon guru sains tentang asesmen diungkap dengan menggunakan Skala Kepercayaan Diri Asesmen (SKDA. SKDA dikembangkan mengacu pada standar literasi asesmen dan validitas konstruk dilakukan dengan

  5. Initial teacher education and continuing professional development for science teachers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dolin, Jens; Evans, Robert Harry


    , and belong to various cultures, both educationally and socially. Section 1 presents a review of the research literature across these dimensions and looks at the knowledge, skills and competences needed for teaching science, specific issues within science teacher education, and strategies for educating......Research into ways of improving the initial education and continuing professional development of science teachers is closely related to both common and unique strands. The field is complex since science teachers teach at different educational levels, are often educated in different science subjects...... and developing science teachers....

  6. Impacting the Science Community through Teacher Development: Utilizing Virtual Learning. (United States)

    Boulay, Rachel; van Raalte, Lisa


    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.

  7. Making Philosophy of Science Education Practical for Science Teachers (United States)

    Janssen, F. J. J. M.; van Berkel, B.


    Philosophy of science education can play a vital role in the preparation and professional development of science teachers. In order to fulfill this role a philosophy of science education should be made practical for teachers. First, multiple and inherently incomplete philosophies on the teacher and teaching on what, how and why should be…

  8. Japanese and Canadian Science Teachers' Views on Science and Culture. (United States)

    Aikenhead, Glen S.; Otsuji, Hisashi


    Reports on a cross-cultural study into science teachers' awareness of potential culture clashes in their classrooms where their students' home culture differed from the culture of Western science being taught. In one setting, Canadian teachers taught mainly Aboriginal students. In the second setting, Japanese teachers taught Western science to…

  9. Valid and Reliable Science Content Assessments for Science Teachers (United States)

    Tretter, Thomas R.; Brown, Sherri L.; Bush, William S.; Saderholm, Jon C.; Holmes, Vicki-Lynn


    Science teachers' content knowledge is an important influence on student learning, highlighting an ongoing need for programs, and assessments of those programs, designed to support teacher learning of science. Valid and reliable assessments of teacher science knowledge are needed for direct measurement of this crucial variable. This paper…

  10. Especially for High School Teachers (United States)

    Howell, J. Emory


    full day of interesting and useful sessions for teachers. Among the sessions will be three workshops: CBL (John Heil), Laboratory Safety (James Kaufman), and ICE: Chemistry and Material Science (Kathleen Shanks and David Shaw). John Moore and I will conduct a session in which you are invited to share your thoughts about how the Journal could be made more useful to you. We will also provide an update on the breadth of resources available through JCE. The High School/College Interface Luncheon will feature Michael Tinnesand speaking about teaching resources available from the American Chemical Society. Also, there will be sessions on teaching organic and polymer chemistry, developing survival skills for teaching, and "Living by Chemistry". Several outstanding California teachers are among the presenters of these sessions. NACS 3/2000 is a concise way of reminding those of you who can attend, particularly those teaching in the San Francisco Bay area, to put this important date on the calendar now. More details about the High School Day program, as well as other Division of Chemical Education sessions, will appear in the March issue of JCE.

  11. Elementary Teachers' Beliefs About Teaching Science and Classroom Practice: An Examination of Pre/Post NCLB Testing in Science (United States)

    Milner, Andrea R.; Sondergeld, Toni A.; Demir, Abdulkadir; Johnson, Carla C.; Czerniak, Charlene M.


    The impact of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandated state science assessment on elementary teachers' beliefs about teaching science and their classroom practice is relatively unknown. For many years, the teaching of science has been minimized in elementary schools in favor of more emphasis on reading and mathematics. This study examines the dynamics of bringing science to the forefront of assessment in elementary schools and the resulting teacher belief and instructional shifts that take place in response to NCLB. Results indicated that teachers' beliefs about teaching science remained unchanged despite policy changes mandated in NCLB. Teacher beliefs related to their perceptions of what their administrators and peer groups' think they should be doing influenced their practice the most. Most teachers reported positive feelings and attitudes about science and reported that their students had positive feelings and attitudes about science; however, teachers reported teaching science less as a result of NCLB. Implications for elementary science education reform and policy are discussed.

  12. Especially for High School Teachers (United States)

    Howell, J. Emory


    Secondary School Feature Article * JCE Classroom Activity #18: Photochemistry and Pinhole Photography: An Interdisciplinary Experiment, by Angeliki A. Rigos and Kevin Salemme, p 736A High School Program at Anaheim ACS Meeting Congratulations to Barbara Sitzman of Chatsworth High School (Los Angeles) and her committee for organizing an outstanding day of activities! With support from the Southern California Section of the American Chemical Society and the encouragement of Tom Wildeman, CHED Program Committee Chair, the program attracted a large number of Southern California teachers and some from much greater distances. A synopsis of some of the day's activities is included in the Chemical Education Program Meeting Report, p 747. Other workshop topics included gel chromatography, forensic chemistry, art preservation and authentication, well water purification, and toxins in waste water. Also, a workshop on fitting polymers into the chemistry course was conducted by the Polymer Ambassadors. I thank Mickey Sarquis, founding editor of the JCE Secondary School Chemistry Section, for joining me in conducting an information workshop. The pictures appearing on this page were taken at the High School/College Interface Luncheon, which featured an address by Paul Boyer. In addition to the opportunity to visit with colleagues, enjoy a meal together, and win door prizes, those in attendance enjoyed a lively hands-on workshop led by Michael Tinnesand, Department Head of K-12 Science, ACS Education Division. Don't you wish you could have attended the High School Program? Plan Now: High School Program in New Orleans Mark your calendar for Sunday, August 22, 1999. The Fall ACS National Meeting will be held in New Orleans and the High School Program is scheduled on Sunday so that teachers will be able to avoid conflicts with the opening of the school year. Teachers in the Mid-South region are especially encouraged to plan on attending an outstanding program put together by Lillie

  13. A New Model for Climate Science Research Experiences for Teachers (United States)

    Hatheway, B.


    After two years of running a climate science teacher professional development program for secondary teachers, science educators from UCAR and UNC-Greeley have learned the benefits of providing teachers with ample time to interact with scientists, informal educators, and their teaching peers. Many programs that expose teachers to scientific research do a great job of energizing those teachers and getting them excited about how research is done. We decided to try out a twist on this model - instead of matching teachers with scientists and having them do science in the lab, we introduced the teachers to scientists who agreed share their data and answer questions as the teachers developed their own activities, curricula, and classroom materials related to the research. Prior to their summer experience, the teachers took three online courses on climate science, which increased their background knowledge and gave them an opportunity to ask higher-level questions of the scientists. By spending time with a cohort of practicing teachers, each individual had much needed time to interact with their peers, share ideas, collaborate on curriculum, and learn from each other. And because the goal of the program was to create classroom modules that could be implemented in the coming school year, the teachers were able to both learn about climate science research by interacting with scientists and visiting many different labs, and then create materials using data from the scientists. Without dedicated time for creating these classroom materials, it would have been up to the teachers to carve out time during the school year in order to find ways to apply what they learned in the research experience. We feel this approach worked better for the teachers, had a bigger impact on their students than we originally thought, and gave us a new approach to teacher professional development.

  14. A Study of Science Teachers Utilizing Visual Programming Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheryl Denise Seals


    Full Text Available This paper presents a study of learning in Stagecast Creator to discover more about novice programmer teachers, direct manipulation techniques and exploration of methods to create interactive lessons for their classrooms. The authors performed a longitudinal guided exploration of Stagecast Creator with two middle school science teachers. The results of these evaluations help to identify implications for educational simulations for novice programmer teachers and produce a set of initial system requirements.

  15. Project Water Science. General Science High School Level. (United States)

    Water Education Foundation, Sacramento, CA.

    This teacher's guide presents 12 hands-on laboratory activities for high school science classes that cover the environmental issue of water resources in California. The activities are separated into three sections. Five activities in the section on water quality address the topics of groundwater, water hardness, bottled water, water purity, and…

  16. Especially for High School Teachers (United States)

    Howell, J. Emory


    Ideas and Resources in This Issue This issue contains a broad spectrum of topics of potential interest to high school teachers, including chemical safety, history, demonstrations, laboratory activities, electrochemistry, small group learning, and instructional software. In his report on articles published recently in The Science Teacher, Steve Long includes annotated references from that journal, and also from JCE, that provide timely and practical information (pp 21-22). The chemical significance of several anniversaries that will occur in the year 2000 are discussed in an article by Paul Schatz (pp 11-14). Scientists and inventors mentioned include Dumas, Wöhler, Goodyear, Joliot-Curie, Krebs, Pauli, Kjeldahl, and Haworth. Several discoveries are also discussed, including development of the voltaic pile, the use of chlorine to purify water, and the discovery of element 97, berkelium. This is the fourth consecutive year that Schatz has written an anniversaries article (1-3). Although most readers probably do not plan to be teaching in the years 2097-3000, these articles can make a nice addition to your file of readily available historical information for use now in meeting NSES Content Standard G (4). In contrast to the short historical summaries, an in-depth account of the work of Herman Boerhaave is provided by Trinity School (NY) teacher Damon Diemente. You cannot recall having heard of Boerhaave? Diemente explains in detail how Boerhaave's scientific observations, imperfect though they were, contributed significantly to the understanding of temperature and heat by scientists who followed him. Chemical demonstrations attract the interest of most of us, and Kathy Thorsen discusses several that appeared in Chem 13 News during the past year (pp 18-20). Included are demonstrations relating to LeChâtelier's principle, electronegativity, and the synthesis and reactions of carbon monoxide. Ideas for investigating the hydrophobic nature of Magic Sand are given in JCE

  17. Research goes to School: understanding the content and the procedures of Science through a new dialogue among students, teachers and scientists (United States)

    L'Astorina, Alba; Tomasoni, Irene


    The Education system is increasingly interested in a more interactive dialogue with scientists in order to make science taught at school more aware of the models and the ways in which knowledge is produced, revised and discussed within the scientific community. Not always, in fact, the ministerial programs, the media, and the textbooks adopted by schools seem to be able to grasp the content and the procedures of the scientific knowledge as it is today being developed, sometimes spreading the idea of a monolithic and static science, with no reference to revisions, uncertainties, errors and disputes that, on the opposite, characterize the debate about science. On the other side, scientists, that in several surveys define students and teachers as one of the key groups that are most important to communicate with, often do not seem to be aware that scientific knowledge is continuously revised by the school and its protagonists. Science teaching, in all classes, has a highly educational role, as it offers the opportunity to value individual differences, to make students acquire specific tools and methods that enable them understand the world and critically interact with it. In this process of conscious learning, in which teachers play the role of tutors, the student participates actively bringing his tacit knowledge and beliefs. In this context, an educational proposal has recently been developed by the Italian National Research Council (CNR), aimed at starting a new dialogue between Education and Research. It's a way to encourage the technical and scientific culture among young people and a mutual exchange between the two main actors of the scientific production and promotion, considering weaknesses and strengths of the relationship between these two systems. In this proposal, students and teachers follow side by side a group of CNR scientists involved in an ongoing research project based on the use of innovative methodologies of aerospace Earth Observation (EO) for

  18. Job satisfaction of Jamaican elementary school teachers (United States)

    Rodgers-Jenkinson, Fay; Chapman, David W.


    This study investigated correlates of job satisfaction among public (N=190) and private (N=100) Jamaican elementary school teachers. Emphasis was on the identification of factors that could be affected through administrative intervention. Results indicated that the quality of school working conditions and respondents' relationships with other teachers were significantly related to satisfaction for both public and private school teachers. School prestige and parental encouragement were also significant predictors for public school teachers; leadership style, organizational structure, and teacher-parent relationships predicted job satisfaction for private school teachers. Implications of these findings for Jamaican education are discussed.

  19. The perceived roles and functions of school science subject advisors

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    J.J.A. Smit. School for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Potchefstroom University for CHE, Potchefstroom, 2520 South Africa .... the physical science teachers at Ipelegeng school in Schweizer-Reneke. (North West ... rally, the DET physical science subject advisors conceptualised their roles in 1992 (DET, ...

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

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


    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. Investigating High School Teachers' Perceptions of School Environment. (United States)

    Huang, Shwu-yong L.

    This study examined public high school teachers' perceptions of school environment, focusing on satisfaction, collegiality, teacher-student relationships, discipline, principal leadership, equity, and teacher influence. It also investigated differences in attitudes by gender. Participating teachers from 8 schools in the Southern United States…

  2. Using ESSEA Modules, Local Event Studies and Personal Learning Experiences in an Earth Systems Science Course for Preservice Middle School Teachers (United States)

    Slattery, W.; Brown, D.


    Most science courses, including courses that provide preparation for pre-service K-12 teachers are only taught from a deductive big picture perspective. This method is fine for most abstract learners, but pre- service classroom educators that are being prepared to teach in middle school classrooms will be faced with the challenge of building science content knowledge in students that are concrete learners. For these K-12 students a better pedagogical practice is to use local real-world familiar places, issues and personal experience to connect student learning with more abstract concepts. To make it more likely that teachers have the requisite skills and pedagogical content knowledge to build K- 12 student science concept knowledge and science process skills we have integrated ESSEA modules that connect worldwide issues such as global climate change with local event studies chosen by learners. Some recent examples include how such local events such as landfill fires and suburban sprawl impact the local area's air, land, water and life. Course participants are able to choose a more personal route to understanding how their habits impact the global environment by participating in a three week learning experience called the Lifestyle Project. This experience asks students to incrementally reduce their use of heating or air-conditioning, the amount of waste going to landfills, to conserve electricity, drive less and eat less energy intensively. Pre-post content assessments indicate that students in this course scored significantly higher on post course content assessments and reported that by engaging in personal experience to global scale learning experiences they have a new appreciation for how personal choices impact the global environment and how to use local artifacts and issues to enhance K-12 student learning.

  3. Students' Awareness of Science Teachers' Leadership, Attitudes toward Science, and Positive Thinking (United States)

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


    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'…

  4. Teachers perception of school

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    achievement. The quality of academic and professional development teachers had during pre and in-service training have direct bearing on their performance and on the achievement of ..... involved in reading the manuscript of one case and comment on my ..... intrinsic motivation (emerging from within). Teachers have to ...

  5. Visões de ciências de professores de química: a mídia e as reflexões no ambiente escolar no nível médio de ensino Science insight´s of chemistry teachers: media and reflection on high school environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nyuara Araújo da Silva Mesquita


    Full Text Available The present paper discusses the influence of TV and general media on students scientific ideas and the teacher's perception of this influence on students during class time. 17 high-school chemistry teachers with teaching degree, working in state schools, were interviewed. The interviews showed that both, teachers and students, have a positive opinion of science and the scientist. According to their teachers, students' positive view of science is greatly influenced by TV. The developed study shows how important epistemology is in teachers' college formation to offer them a critical perception of science treated in general media.

  6. Computer science teacher training at the University of Groningen

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grgurina, Natasa; Mittermeir, RT; Syslo, MM


    The University Center for Academic Learning and Teaching (UOCG) provides the University of Groningen with an educational program to train fully qualified secondary school teachers in many secondary school subjects including computer science. This two-year Master's in Education Program consists of

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

  8. Science school and culture school: improving the efficiency of high school science teaching in a system of mass science education. (United States)

    Charlton, Bruce G


    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

  9. Co-Teaching as an Approach to Enhance Science Learning and Teaching in Primary Schools (United States)

    Murphy, Colette; Beggs, Jim


    In this article, we explore some of the experiences of student teachers, classroom teachers, science teacher educators, and children in co-teaching contexts in primary schools. The model of co-teaching adopted enabled student teachers (science specialist), classroom teachers, and university tutors to share expertise and work as equals, without…

  10. Promising Teacher Practices: Students' Views about Their Science Learning (United States)

    Moeed, Azra; Easterbrook, Matthew


    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…

  11. Chemical Literacy Levels of Science and Mathematics Teacher Candidates (United States)

    Celik, Suat


    The goal of this study was to investigate Turkish science and mathematics teacher candidates' levels of attainment in chemical literacy. These candidates had all studied the new Turkish chemistry curriculum in high school. The sample of the study consisted of 112 students, who were first-year students in the Department of Secondary Science and…

  12. Exploring student teachers' views of science process skills in their ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The South African secondary school curriculum emphasises the importance of science process skills in its respective natural sciences curricula. The purpose of this study was to explore the views of student teachers with regard to the importance they attach to these skills. A 14-item questionnaire was administered to 75 ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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, participated in the study. Questionnaires, focus group discussions and interviews were used to collect data. Descriptive statistics were used to ...

  14. School Science Comes Alive. Phase Three (United States)

    Hartline, Frederick F.


    Phase 3 of the School Science Comes Alive Program (S(sup 2)CAP) created an exciting, science - enrichment experience for third, fourth and fifth graders and their teachers and enhanced the science-teaching skills of teacher teams at each of four participating elementary schools on Virginia's Peninsula. The schools involved enroll a majority of Black students, many of whom are from economically disadvantaged households. Designed to build on the highly successful S(sup 2)CAP program of the preceding two years, this project brought college faculty together with classroom teachers and trained volunteers in a cooperative effort to make a lasting difference in the quality of science education at the four schools. In total, this program touched approximately 1000 the school children, more than half of whom are black, giving them direct and indirect exposure to the spirit of inquiry and adventure of the world-wide science community. In S(sup 2)CAP Phase 3, a large measure of responsibility was placed on the classroom teachers, thus creating a more sustainable partnership between college faculty and grade school teacher. Our college physics professors coached and supported teams of teachers from each school at intensive training workshops. A volunteer program provided each teacher with one or more trained volunteers to assist in class with the hands-on activities that have been central to the S2CAP program. Most of the equipment for these activities was constructed during the workshops by the teachers and volunteers from low cost materials provided by the program. Two types of volunteers were enlisted: science smart black college students and technically trained retirees (many of whom are ex-NASA employees). One goal of this program was to increase the numbers of minority students who see science as an interesting and exciting subject, to make the science period a time which students look forward to in the school day. Such an attitude is expected to translate naturally into

  15. Nigeria Secondary School Science Teachers‟ Awareness and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study investigated the awareness and preparation of secondary school science teachers for the challenges of Vision 20: 2020 in South West, Nigeria. Using a survey research design, four research questions were used. A 50-item structured questionnaire with reliability index of 0.82 was used for data collection.

  16. Effect of Teacher Education Program on Science Process Skills of Pre-Service Science Teachers (United States)

    Yakar, Zeha


    Over the past three or more decades, many studies have been written about teacher education and the preparation of science teachers. Presented here is one which investigated the effectiveness of scientific process skills on pre-service science teachers of Pamukkale University Primary Science Teacher Education Program for four years. This study…

  17. The Science Buffet: Exploring students' images of high school science (United States)

    Giesbrecht, Justin Jacob

    Science curriculum reform documents, as well as research in science education, call for changes in how high school science is taught and learned. In spite of these calls for change, classroom practices are still dominated by traditional science instruction. In this thesis, I report the results of a study in which I disrupted the traditional discourses of teaching and learning high school science in order to explore students' images of science and the discursive practices that shape these images. By listening to students' accounts of their school science experiences, I sought to uncover some of the implicit images of science held by students and, in doing so, to bring a fresh perspective to teaching and learning and science education. Two classes of grade twelve students were asked to keep journals to tell the story of their experiences in the many activities and assignments of a physics course. Using the journal entries, eight students were identified and asked to participate in group interviews. The interviews expanded on the details of the students' experiences, providing deep insights into the student's images of science and how these images came to be. The students' comments and journal entries were used to create a narrative entitled, "The Science Buffet" which conveys a story of the data collected through this study. Through the metaphorical thread of a buffet table, this research text presents and interprets students' experiences in the physics course using such themes as Where's The Beef?, Who Wants Dessert?, and Can I Have A Doggie Bag Please? Findings of the study suggest that high school students often have clearly defined images of school science and what it means to learn. Unfortunately, however, these images of science and learning may not coincide with what we would expect (and desire) as teachers, thus providing some insight into resistance to change in school science classrooms.

  18. School Management Related Knowledge Levels of Primary School Teachers (United States)

    Ugurlu, Celal Teyyar


    The knowledge levels of the teachers affect the qualifications of operations and transactions in schools. School management related knowledge of the teachers is an essential tool to reach the targets of the school. The objective of this study was to determine the school management related knowledge levels of the teachers. Qualitative and…

  19. Factors Impacting on Teachers' Job Satisfaction Related to Science Teaching: A Mixed Methods Study (United States)

    Song, S.; Mustafa, M.


    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…

  20. High School Teachers at CERN

    CERN Multimedia

    Anna Pantelia


    Now in its 15th consecutive year, CERN's High School Teachers (HST) Programme continues to bring secondary school physics teachers from member and non-member states to CERN to update their knowledge of particle physics and inspire the next generation of scientists. During this 3-week residential course, participants attend lectures and workshops, visit experimental facilities and create new teaching resources in a truly collaborative and international atmosphere. This video documents the experiences of some of the 42 participants of the HST 2012 Programme, which has been marked by the July 4th Seminar on Higgs.

  1. Active learning in pre-service science teacher education

    CERN Document Server

    Montalbano, Vera


    We report a course on teaching in physics lab for teachers enrolled in Formative Active Training, which actually allows to obtain the teacher qualification in Italy. The course was designed with the purpose of showing in practice what means active learning in physics and how effective activities can be realized in practice. Two different type of teachers attended to the course, a small group, with physics or mathematics degree, for teacher qualification in secondary school of second grade (age 14-19) and a more numerous group for qualification in secondary school of first grade (age 11-14), usually with a different science degree such as biology, environmental sciences and so on. We compare this training in physics lab between the two groups and with other experiences we performed in previous years in pre-service education and updating courses for teachers in-service.

  2. Credentialing high school psychology teachers. (United States)

    Weaver, Kenneth A


    The National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula (American Psychological Association, 2013b) require a teacher with considerable psychology content knowledge to teach high school psychology courses effectively. In this study, I examined the initial teaching credential requirements for high school psychology teachers in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia. Thirty-four states (the District of Columbia is included as a state) require the social studies credential to teach high school psychology. An analysis of the items on standardized tests used by states to validate the content knowledge required to teach social studies indicates little or no presence of psychology, a reflection of psychology's meager presence in the social studies teacher preparation curricula. Thus, new teachers with the social studies teaching credential are not prepared to teach high school psychology according to the National Standards. Approval of The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History (National Council for the Social Studies, 2013) presents an opportunity to advocate for establishing a psychology credential in the 34 states. (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  3. Especially for High School Teachers (United States)

    Howell, J. Emory


    JCE publications regularly make connections to a wide variety of interests, of which art is but one. Interdisciplinary Connections is a High School Feature Column designed to meet this challenge. Articles have been published relating literature (2) and writing (3) to chemistry. If you have developed interdisciplinary connections that you would like to share with other teachers, I encourage you to contact the feature editor, Mark Alber.2 Additional examples of annotated bibliographies on chemical connections to other disciplines or applications include food science (4), environmental concerns (5), and writing (6,7). The online "Search" link in the left-hand column of the home page of HS CLIC can lead to the discovery of articles relevant to many other interests. Happy connecting! Note For more information about NCW, visit their Web site. For the feature mission statement and contact information see the HS CLIC Web site. Literature Cited Chem. Eng. News 2001, 79 (Feb 26), 50. Thoman, C. J. J. Chem. Educ. 1998, 75, 495. Alber, M. J. Chem. Educ. 2001, 78, 478. Jacobsen, E. K. J. Chem. Educ.2000, 77, 1256. Moore, J. W.; Moore, E. A. J. Chem. Educ. 1976, 53, 167; 1976, 53, 240; 1975, 52, 288. Shires, N. P. J. Chem. Educ. 1991, 68, 494. Waterman, E. L. J. Chem. Educ. 1981, 58, 826.

  4. Teacher research experiences, epistemology, and student attitudes toward science (United States)

    Payne, Diana L.

    This concurrent mixed methods research study examined the impact of a Teacher Research Experience (TRE) on science teacher beliefs about science, scientific research, science teaching, and student attitudes toward science. Surveys, interviews, reflective journals, and classroom observations of six teachers involved in a TRE were utilized to examine changes in beliefs as a result of participation in the TRE. Student attitudes were measured with a pre and post survey. An analysis of qualitative data from the teachers' interviews, journals, and pre and post TRE surveys indicated that some change occurred in their beliefs about science and scientists for all six teachers, and that teachers' beliefs about science teaching were affected in a variety of ways after participating in the TRE. The quantitative results of the study using Science Teachers' Beliefs About Science (STBAS) instrument suggest that the change from the beginning to the end of the school year, if any, was minimal. However, interviews with and observations of teachers identified valuable components of the TRE, such as the advanced resources (e.g., DVD, samples), a feeling of rejuvenation in teaching, a new perspective on science and scientific research, and first hand experiences in science. Results from the classroom observations using the Science Classroom Practice Record (SCPR) were mixed. Some differences may be explained, however, as relating to content taught in the pre and post classes observed or simply to inherent differences in student dynamics and behavior from class to class. There were no significant differences from pre to post TRE regarding student attitudes toward science as measured by paired samples t-tests on the modified Attitudes Toward Science (mATSI) instrument. Attitudes and beliefs are not easily changed, and change is more likely to result from direct experience and education rather than an indirect experience. Although the results are generalizable only to the participants in

  5. Caught in the Balance: An Organizational Analysis of Science Teaching in Schools with Elementary Science Specialists (United States)

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


    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…

  6. Creative Thinking and Teaching for Creativity in Elementary School Science (United States)

    Newton, Lynn; Newton, Douglas


    While it is important to nurture creativity in young children, it is popularly associated more with the arts than the sciences. This paper reports on a series of studies designed to explore teachers' conceptions of creative thinking in primary school science. Study #1 examines pre-service primary teachers' ideas of what constitutes creativity in…

  7. Examining the relationship between elementary teachers' science self-efficacy and science content knowledge (United States)

    Wimsatt, Mary Jo

    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education is currently commanding an ever-greater share of our national dialogue about education. Very few STEM initiatives focus on studies involving in-service teachers; most education research involves preservice teacher candidates. This researcher used a 54 question survey to examine in-service elementary teachers' science content knowledge and self-efficacy constructs. The instrument combines Enochs and Riggs' (1990) Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument (STEBI) with the researcher's content knowledge instrument created from a northwest Florida school district's science textbook series. The researcher's instrument was created to access participants' science content knowledge so the results can be compared to science self-efficacy results from the STEBI. The results of this study show there is a statistically significant relationship between the teachers' science self-efficacy and science content knowledge. The researcher concluded that in order to increase in-service teachers' science self-efficacy, district and school personnel need to increase opportunities for teachers to improve their science content knowledge.

  8. Determining discourses: Constraints and resources influencing early career science teachers (United States)

    Grindstaff, Kelly E.

    This study explores the thinking and practices of five early-career teachers of grades eight to ten science, in relation to their histories, schools, students, and larger cultural and political forces. All the teachers are young women, two in their fourth year of teaching, who teach together in an affluent suburb, along with one first-year teacher. The other two are first-year teachers who teach in an urban setting. All of these teachers most closely associated good science teaching with forming relationships with students. They filtered science content through a lens of relevance (mostly to everyday life) and interest for students. Thus they filtered science content through a commitment to serving students, which makes sense since I argue that the primary motivations for teaching had more to do with working with students and helping people than the disciplines of science. Thus, within the discourse of the supremacy of curriculum and the prevalence of testing, these teachers enact hybrid practices which focus on covering content -- to help ensure the success of students -- and on relevance and interest, which has more to do with teaching styles and personality than disciplines of science. Ideas of good teaching are not very focused on science, which contradicts the type of support they seek and utilize around science content. This presents a challenge to pre- and in-service education and support to question what student success means, what concern for students entails and how to connect caring and concern for students with science.

  9. Language Teacher Burnout and School Type (United States)

    Mukundan, Jayakaran; Zare, Pezhman; Zarifi, Abdolvahed; Manaf, Umi Kalthom Abdul; Sahamid, Husniah


    The present study was an attempt to explore the level of burnout among primary school teachers in Malaysia. In addition, the study tried to determine if the school type has any significant influence on teachers' burnout level. To this end, 714 primary school teachers participated in the study. They were teaching at Malay (SK), Tamil (SJKT), and…

  10. Becoming a science teacher: moving toward creolized science and an ethic of cosmopolitanism (United States)

    Seiler, Gale


    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. Technology Integration in a Science Classroom: Preservice Teachers' Perceptions (United States)

    Rehmat, Abeera P.; Bailey, Janelle M.


    The challenge of preparing students for the information age has prompted administrators to increase technology in the public schools. Yet despite the increased availability of technology in schools, few teachers are integrating technology for instructional purposes. Preservice teachers must be equipped with adequate content knowledge of technology to create an advantageous learning experience in science classrooms. To understand preservice teachers' conceptions of technology integration, this research study explored 15 elementary science methods students' definitions of technology and their attitudes toward incorporating technology into their teaching. The phenomenological study took place in a science methods course that was based on a constructivist approach to teaching and learning science through science activities and class discussions, with an emphasis on a teacher beliefs framework. Data were collected throughout the semester, including an open-ended pre/post-technology integration survey, lesson plans, and reflections on activities conducted throughout the course. Through a qualitative analysis, we identified improvements in students' technology definitions, increased technology incorporation into science lesson plans, and favorable attitudes toward technology integration in science teaching after instruction. This research project demonstrates that positive changes in beliefs and behaviors relating to technology integration in science instruction among preservice teachers are possible through explicit instruction.

  12. 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)


    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.

  13. 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...... research has focus on design: How can a professional development program for science teachers be designed to embrace recent research-developed criteria for success, while at the same time adapt to local challenges and needs at the participating schools? Initial and preliminary – and rather encouraging...

  14. Qualifying in-service education of science teachers (QUEST)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...... research has focus on design: How can a professional development program for science teachers be designed to embrace recent research-developed criteria for success, while at the same time adapt to local challenges and needs at the participating schools? Initial and preliminary – and rather encouraging...

  15. Teach the Teacher! Building ROV's to Teach Polar Science (United States)

    Bartholow, S.; Warburton, J.


    In 2013, the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) a non-profit corporation consisting of institutions organized and operated for educational, professional, or scientific purposes, received funding from Lockheed Martin to design and host a workshop for teachers. Middle School teachers participated in a three-day Polar Workshop designed to enlighten teachers regarding marine polar science and exploration through the use of remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs. The Polar Workshop was offered as part of a teacher professional development activity that took at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. The workshop provided training for teachers alongside polar scientists and teacher mentors. The overall purpose of the workshop was to teach teachers about marine polar science and technology that could be used with students in classrooms. Teachers were teamed with a polar scientist and with a teacher mentor for the three-day project. Results from the evaluation of the Polar Workshop indicate this workshop was an excellent opportunity for the teachers who participated as well as for the scientists. In this presentation, we will share the evaluation data, best practices of the workshop model, and how teacher mentors, scientists, and graduate students can help teach teachers successfully.

  16. The Importance of Teacher-Student Interpersonal Relationships for Turkish Students' Attitudes towards Science (United States)

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


    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…

  17. Exploring Seventh-Grade Students' and Pre-Service Science Teachers' Misconceptions in Astronomical Concepts (United States)

    Korur, Fikret


    Pre-service science teachers' conceptual understanding of astronomical concepts and their misconceptions in these concepts is crucial to study since they will teach these subjects in middle schools after becoming teachers. This study aimed to explore both seventh-grade students' and the science teachers' understanding of astronomical concepts and…

  18. Teachers in Charter and Traditional Schools


    Sally Bomotti; Rick Ginsberg; Brian Cobb


    Teachers from charter and traditional schools in Colorado were queried about their perceptions of their level of empowerment, school climate, and working conditions. Using a cluster sampling design, approximately 100 teachers from 16 charter schools and 100 teachers from seven traditional schools were surveyed by combining several well-established instruments to measure empowerment, school climate, and working conditions. Factor analyses yielded three composite variables each for the three co...

  19. Challenges to first-year secondary science teachers (United States)

    Horton, Nancy Carnell


    The purpose for conducting this study was to determine the challenges and needs of first year secondary science teachers and the procedures that can be of help in improving teaching performance. The general objective of the study was to secure information that might be useful in the development of more effective teacher preparation and teacher induction programs. The study utilized a structured focus-group format. The focus-group was composed of 20 secondary science teachers and 2 teacher education faculty who chose to attend a seminar at the Alabama Scie