ERIC Number: ED465630
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Jan
Professional Development for Elementary Science Teachers: Implications for Practice.
Hernandez, Patricia; Arrington, Jeff; Whitworth, Jerry
This project's goal was to design a professional development model to improve the skills of elementary teachers in providing quality science instruction. Surveys have concluded that lack of training, time, and instructional materials are obstacles for elementary science teachers. Eight elementary schools in a mid-sized west central Texas school district were selected for the project. These eight schools had a student of color population of 40% or greater and the average pass rate on the reading section of the Texas Academic Assessment of Skills test was 10 percentage points lower than the district average. The preliminary survey of elementary teachers in this district identified the following needs for improving their ability to provide quality instruction in science: interaction with the science consultant and other resource personnel to enhance their instruction; increased science preparation to enhance their confidence as science teachers; and additional activities that correlate to the content area using inexpensive materials. To meet these needs, a Summer Institute was conducted with follow-up meetings during the succeeding academic year. These activities provided: (1) a deeper and practical understanding of, and skill at, application of the scientific method in life-science problem solving; (2) hands-on application of methods including time to assemble the needed supplies; (3) increased knowledge of specific life science content; (4) opportunities of the teachers to develop a shared vision of the goals and science vocabulary for each grade level; (5) equipment; and (6) reading resources and manipulatives and materials for classroom science activities. The Summer Institute focused on content mastery and application. Several guest speakers were utilized and teachers had opportunities for hands-on learning in how to teach science concepts. (Contains 28 references.) (MVL)
Descriptors: Elementary Education, Elementary School Teachers, Faculty Development, Science Instruction, Science Teachers, Summer Science Programs, Teacher Improvement
For full text: http://aets.chem.pitt.edu.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the Association for the Education of Teachers in Science (Charlotte, NC, January 10-13, 2002); see SE 066 324.