ERIC Number: ED331720
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Preservice Biology Teachers' Subject Matter Structures and Their Relationship to the Act of Teaching.
Gess-Newsome, Julie; Lederman, Norman G.
Ten preservice biology teachers were followed through the final year of their preservice education to assess the content and stability of their knowledge structures of biology. A questionnaire asking the subjects to list the topics which make up biology and to diagram these topics in relation to one another was completed three times during the Fall Term. The questionnaire was completed again in the Spring Term during student teaching and was followed by an interview. Qualitative analysis of the data attempted to derive any evident patterns among and within the preservice teachers' stated subject matter structures. The data suggest that preservice teachers' knowledge structures of biology are extremely fragile and are influenced by the opportunity to think about teaching subject matter. Teaching, and courses specifically related to science teaching, provided integrating themes for the perception of isolated biology topics created by college science coursework. These results suggest that courses in science education may be the natural and most effective location for initial reflection on the integrating themes of science, but that the translation of such understandings may not be realistic for the novice teacher who gives priority to planning and classroom management. Since many of the new reforms in science education depend on the incorporation of integrating themes, inservice programs may be critical to foster teachers' reflections on subject matter structure and its translation to science instruction. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (Lake Geneva, WI, April 7-10, 1991).