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ERIC Number: ED465796
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Pages: 41
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Supporting Prospective Elementary Teachers in Developing Scientific Explanations Using "Progress Portfolio."
Haefner, Leigh Ann; Zembal-Saul, Carla; Avraamidou, Lucy
In this study, the nature of scientific explanations generated by two groups of prospective elementary school teachers were studied in the context of a life science course. Both groups participated in long-term investigations of insect cultures in which they crafted testable questions based on observations, designed experiments, collected and interpreted data, constructed explanations and explored alternatives, and communicated their explanations to peers. One group used the Progress Portfolio, a tool designed to promote reflective inquiry. It is a software shell that allows teachers to craft templates that are used by students to guide them through complex tasks. Twenty-five prospective teachers, in four small groups (two to four teacher candidates) each semester participated, approximately half in a Progress Portfolio semester, and the rest in a semester not using Progress Portfolio. Findings show substantial differences in the scientific explanations developed by prospective teachers who used Progress Portfolio and those who did not. In the non-Progress Portfolio semester, none of the four groups were able to generate an evidence-based explanation for their experimental findings. The four groups in the Progress Portfolio semester developed an explanation for the results of their long-term science investigations. The scaffolds in the Progress Portfolio were useful for making connections between an existing knowledge base and what was being learned from the investigation. Nine appendixes contain some sample pages from the prospective teachers developed pages. (Contains 41 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A