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ERIC Number: EJ1064685
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 68
ISSN: EISSN-1941-3432
Science Exploratoriums: Connecting Pre-Service Teachers, Practicing Teachers, Students, and University Science Educators
Flores, Ingrid M.
Research in Higher Education Journal, v18 Dec 2012
Engaging students in inquiry-based learning is viewed by the science education community as the cornerstone of science education reform. Pre-service teachers often enter science methods courses in teacher education credential programs with significant trepidation of science, a lack of strong science content knowledge, a lack of confidence in science teaching, and negative attitudes about science. As a method to increase pre-service teachers' content knowledge and self-efficacy in science teaching and to promote inquiry and science learning supports for elementary students, interactive science exploratoriums were presented to fifth-grade students in elementary school settings in 2008, 2009, and 2011. Pre-service teachers' anecdotal reflections reveal that inquiry-based science teaching requires in-depth knowledge of content and pedagogy beyond what is required for a lesson, significant amounts of planning, and careful orchestration of differentiation to address culturally diverse student populations and learning styles. A perceived increase in teaching self-efficacy was also reported by pre-service teachers. Surveys given to fifth-grade Exploratorium participants indicate that hands-on and learning aspects of the Exploratorium were highly regarded as was enjoyment. Survey data related to fifth-graders' experiences in having conducted science experiments and collecting data prior to the Exploratorium were also analyzed. Open ended response surveys given to fifth-grade teachers indicate that teachers demonstrate some understanding of inquiry teaching and learning but fail to clearly address or describe the essential features of classroom inquiry. The results support research findings that practicing elementary teachers may not have a firm understanding of inquiry or knowledge of how to implement it.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Education; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California