ERIC Number: ED350147
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Dec
How American Teachers Teach Science in Kindergarten and First Grade.
Linn, Robert L.; And Others
One of the reasons the last overhaul of science teaching in American schools failed is because no research had been conducted investigating how elementary school teachers were actually teaching. This report describes a study that sought to answer questions concerning science instructional practices in kindergarten and first grade. Nine full-day observations were made of 27 kindergarten and 18 first-grade classes to discover how and how much science is being taught in these classrooms. The amount of time spent in science activities and the types of teacher interactions during these activities was recorded. Kindergarten teachers were found to average from 0 to 28 minutes teaching science, while first-grade teachers averaged from 1 to more than 15 minutes of science instruction during a typical day. Analyses of the teacher-directed interactions revealed that about 40% of the interactions involved questions to be answered from the children's background knowledge, over 25% were procedural, 11% were reviews of material presented previously, 7.5% were answered in texts, and 4% were oral reading turns. No significant differences were found among teachers in regard to children's performance on the three tests designed specifically for the study. (Contains 28 references.) (Author/PR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Reading, Urbana, IL.