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ERIC Number: ED518117
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 356
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-8236-0
An Analysis of the Design and Implementation of Elementary Science Methods Class Instruction in Colleges and Universities in Arkansas
Lee, Carole K.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Arkansas
This study aims to understand the design and implementation of elementary methods classes focused in science instruction by teacher educators in the colleges and universities in the state of Arkansas. All 18 institutions with an Early Childhood Education program approved by the Arkansas Department of Education were reviewed with interviews, site visits and data analysis. The research questions are: (1) What goals do teacher educators express with respect to the preparation of preservice elementary teachers for the teaching of science? (2) What components of methods classes for teaching of elementary science examined relate to each of Feiman-Nemser's conceptual orientations in teacher education? (3) What challenges do teacher educators state that they encounter when they plan and teach the methods classes for teaching elementary science? (4) What specific scientific knowledge or skills are emphasized in the methods classes? Enrollment data of the Early Childhood Education program of the 18 institutions were sought. Data collected from the interviews of 16 teacher educators were transcribed according to Feiman-Nemser's five conceptual orientations in teacher education. The findings reveal the complexities and diverse nature of the science-focused method classes as they are affected by the perceptions and academic backgrounds of the teacher educators, the field experiences that preservice teachers have to teach science in the elementary schools, and the science teaching pedagogy and content knowledge provided by the teacher educators. Results show that not all methods classes are focused mainly in science teaching methods and science knowledge; some are an integration of mathematics and science or a blended curriculum with several disciplines. Most institutions do not provide science-related field experiences for preservice teachers. One common theme that emerges in the lesson observations is that all teacher educators use hands-on activities to illustrate the teaching of science. This research study offers valuable insights for an "ideal" science methods class. To help teacher educators to be more focused in preparing preservice elementary teachers in teaching science, it is recommended that the Arkansas Department of Education should provide some guidelines on the curricula of an elementary science methods class. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas