ERIC Number: ED387327
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Elementary Science Instruction: Are Teachers Prepared To Teach What Their Students Must Master?
Rice, Diana C.; Corboy, Margaret R.
Research findings indicate that the elementary school is the most effective level for intervention leading to improved attitudes, higher achievement, and increased access in science. Yet, deficiencies in elementary teachers' interest in science, in their confidence in their ability to teach science, and in their pedagogical and content preparation present obstacles to such intervention. The objectives of this study were: to explore the knowledge of a group of preservice (N = 109) and inservice (N = 57) elementary teachers on a set of sample items from the South Carolina Basic Skills Assessment Program (BSAP) Science Test and to identify variables related to scores on these items. The study identified two variables significantly affecting performance on the BSAP questions: type of education major and developmental level. Results showed that those participants characterized as "formal" thinkers scored significantly higher on the BSAP items than the "transitional" thinkers who, in turn, scored significantly higher than the concrete thinkers. Also, the secondary education majors scored significantly higher on the measure of content knowledge as well as on the measure of developmental level than did elementary or early childhood majors. Contains 17 references. (JRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (San Francisco, CA, April 22-25, 1995).