ERIC Number: ED233883
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Plants as Producers: A Case Study of Elementary Science Teaching. Research Series No. 127.
Smith, Edward L.; Anderson, Charles W.
This study is part of a larger study of teachers' use of curriculum materials in planning and teaching fifth-grade science. The study focused on one of nine teachers observed teaching "Communities," an activity-based unit from the SCIIS science program (a revision of the original Science Curriculum Improvement Study). "Communities" is designed to introduce students to groups of organisms interacting in biological communities: producers, consumers, and decomposers. Observations of instruction and measurement of learning were completed during teaching of units on producers (plant growth and photosynthesis). Although the teacher became aware that students held certain misconceptions about plant growth, she was unsuccessful in helping them replace their misconceptions with the scientific conceptions she wanted them to learn. The analysis revealed several factors contributing to this disappointing result. Teachers and curriculum developers held different views about learning and the nature of science. In addition, several problems surfaced about the content and organization of the teacher's guide. Implications for and suggestions related to elementary science instruction, development of teaching guides, and teacher education are considered and a list of important teacher education outcomes that should be addressed, such as knowledge of common misconceptions and specific strategies for changing them, is included. (JN)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Biological Sciences, Case Studies, Concept Formation, Concept Teaching, Elementary School Science, Grade 5, Intermediate Grades, Material Development, Photosynthesis, Plant Growth, Science Course Improvement Projects, Science Education, Science Instruction, Teacher Education, Teaching Guides
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, 252 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824 ($3.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.
Identifiers: Misconceptions; National Science Foundation; Science Education Research
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (55th, The Abbey, Lake Geneva, WI, April 5-8, 1982).