ERIC Number: EJ1053687
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Integrating Service-Learning Pedagogy for Preservice Elementary Teachers' Science Identity Development
Wilson, Rachel E.; Bradbury, Leslie U.; McGlasson, Martha A.
Journal of Science Teacher Education, v26 n3 p319-340 Apr 2015
The purpose of this article is to explore how preservice elementary teachers (PSETs) interpreted their service-learning experiences within a pre-methods environmentally focused course and how their interpretations shaped their science teaching identities. Along a continuum of service-learning experiences were events that emphasized science learning, that focused on science teaching, and that were transitional, with elements of both science learning and science teaching. These various service-learning experiences were designed to be "boundary experiences" for professional identity development (Geijsel & Meijers in "Educational Studies," 3(4), 419-430, 2005), providing opportunities for PSETs to reflect on meanings in cultural contexts and how they are related to their own personal meanings. We analyzed written reflections and end-of-course oral reflection interviews from 42 PSETs on their various service-learning experiences. PSETs discussed themes related to the meanings they made of the service-learning experiences: (a) experiencing science in relation to their lives as humans and future teachers, (b) interacting with elementary students and other PSETs, and (c) making an impact in the physical environment and in the community. The connections that PSETs were making between the discursive spaces (service-learning contexts) and their own meaning-making of these experiences (as connected to their own interests in relation to their future professions and daily lives) shows evidence of the potential that various types of science service-learning experiences have for PSETs in developing inbound science teaching identity trajectories (Wenger in "Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). The findings of this study point to positive outcomes for PSETs when they participate in structured service-learning experiences along a learning to teaching continuum (246).
Descriptors: Service Learning, Preservice Teachers, Elementary Education, Science Instruction, Professional Identity, Interviews, Reflection, Learning Experience
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A