ERIC Number: ED408267
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Impact of Course and Program Design Features on the Preparation of Preservice Elementary Science Teachers.
Watters, James J.; Ginns, Ian S.
This paper is a progress report on an ongoing, longitudinal study of the preparation of preservice elementary teachers in science. The study builds on previous work and explores the experiences of an intake of preservice students in 1994. These students were required to take a core course in science content in their foundation and subsequently a science education course in the third year of their four-year program of study for a bachelor of education. The courses were deigned and implemented using strategies influenced by constructivist principles. These included, among other features, attempts to establish a community of learners in which collaborative knowledge building, meaningful learning, and autonomy were emphasized. The experiences of the students were monitored by measures of changes in attitude towards science and personal science teaching self-efficacy, through interviews, and analysis of student writing. The study revealed complex relationships between content oriented and methods oriented courses indicating that students' attitudes and beliefs change in relation to their perceived needs. The methods course was particularly successful at improving attitudes towards teaching science but had minimal impact in this instance on self-efficacy. In contrast, the foundation course had no immediate impact on attitudes, but did enhance self-efficacy and was valued by students during curriculum design activities in the subsequent methods course. (Contains 54 references.) (Author/ND)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia