ERIC Number: EJ862202
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
Elementary Education Candidates' Background Knowledge and Attitudes toward Science: Are Liberal Arts Teacher Preparation and Core Courses Enough?
Morgan, Peter W.
AILACTE Journal, v5 p45-60 Fall 2008
This study examines the preparation of preservice elementary teaching candidates in science content and methods courses and the relationship of their coursework to future teaching. One-hundred-five undergraduate elementary education majors participated in the study. Data was gathered through the completion of a background questionnaire and Likert-scale survey. The results from the questionnaire and survey indicated that a majority of the preservice teachers had negative attitudes towards science, felt unprepared to effectively teach science and saw little connection between college science and elementary classroom teaching. The participants proposed many ways that preservice teacher education curriculum in science could be improved. Common suggestions included: content courses connected to methods courses; inquiry-based content courses; a balanced core curriculum; team-taught content/pedagogy courses; and more time allocated for science methods courses. At one of the institutions, changes to the curriculum based on participants' concerns are being addressed by liberal arts faculty in the sciences and the education faculty.
Descriptors: Preservice Teachers, Methods Courses, Teacher Education Curriculum, Elementary Secondary Education, Scientific Attitudes, Student Teacher Attitudes, Questionnaires, Likert Scales, Knowledge Level, Core Curriculum, Curriculum Evaluation, Educational Strategies, Educational Change, Liberal Arts
Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education. 1903 Princeton Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105. Tel: 651-690-8949; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.ailacte.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A