ERIC Number: ED429830
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Mar-28
An Investigation in Preparing Teacher Candidates To Make Connections between Science and Mathematics.
McGinnis, J. Randy; Parker, Carolyn; Roth-McDuffie, Amy
This study presents a detailed description and an interpretation of efforts made to prepare prospective upper elementary/middle level teachers to make connections between science and mathematics. The focus of this study is placed on the undergraduate teacher candidates' senior year in which they take science methods in the fall and participate in student teaching in the spring. Participants in this year-long study included the science methods professor and his co-researcher, 30 teacher candidates in the fall science methods course, and a sample of 6 select teacher candidates participating in student teaching in the spring. The six teacher candidates were distinguished from the other teacher candidates in this study by their participation in an undergraduate teacher preparation program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) called the Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation (MCTP). A key implication from the science methods phase of the study was that while all participants benefited from the teaching innovation to blend mathematics and science in the methods course, the teacher candidates participating in the specialist program were particularly receptive to and accomplished in making connections between mathematics and science. Candidates seemed to benefit preferentially due to their prior experience in content specialist classes in which the professors emphasized the connections between the two disciplines. This study also showed that when making connections, some of the teacher candidates were inclined to construct visions of the role of mathematics and science that specialists in the disciplines might find problematic. A key implication from the student teaching phase of this study was that while most of the benefits of the innovation continued, the process of enculturation of the student teachers in extant cultures differentially supported aspects of the innovation. Of particular note is the tension that emerged between student freedom to engage in inquiry and a perceived need to limit student off-task behavior and confusion through the use of more explicit instruction. (Contains 11 references and 6 tables. Appendices contain 3 interview protocols.)(Author/WRM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (Boston, MA, March 28-31, 1999).