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ERIC Number: EJ906470
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-1527-9316
Inscriptional Practices in Undergraduate Introductory Science Courses: A Path toward Improving Prospective K-6 Teachers' Understanding and Teaching of Science
Kindfield, Ann C. H.; Singer-Gabella, Marcy
Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v10 n3 p58-88 Nov 2010
Inscriptions play a critical role in the creation and communication of scientific knowledge, yet are afforded little status in traditional science education research and practice. In the vast majority of science classrooms, K-12 and university alike, inscriptions are treated as transparent, unproblematic illustrations of the "content" rather than complex, nuanced renderings of natural phenomena that are part and parcel of the content itself. In an effort to better understand the science preparation of pre-service K-6 teachers, we observed lectures and labs in two introductory non-majors science courses, biology and geology, paying particular attention to instructors' inscriptional practices with an awareness of the constraints under which instructors in such classes do their teaching. Based on these observations as well as formal interviews and informal conversations with course instructors, we present four episodes from course instruction to illustrate both the nature of instructors' inscriptional practices in situ and how one might build on these practices in ways that would support the development of deeper understandings of what it means to do science. We argue that expanding the purview of the science lecture to include inscriptional practices (and other practices in which scientists regularly engage) will better prepare pre-service teachers to support their students development of deeper understandings of the scientific enterprise and more broadly contribute to increased scientific literacy in the general population. (Contains 17 footnotes, 3 tables, and 10 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A