Type of Document Dissertation Author Foley, Kathleen R. URN etd-03282004-115241 Title Science Teacher Educator Change: A Case Study Report Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Middle and Secondary Education, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Nancy Davis Committee Chair Keywords
- Science Methods
- Secondary Science Methods
- University Professor Change
Date of Defense 2004-02-25 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis study, Science Teacher Educator Change: A Case Study Report continues an investigation on teacher change that began as a pilot study that focused on the role of beliefs, reflection and inquiry as a teaching methodology. The importance of research in this area of teacher educator change is reflected in the continued calls for education reform in teacher change, improving student learning and test scores, and ensuring the United States educational system continues to foster the development of leading scientists and mathematicians who continue to learn and grow. The pilot study describes and analyzes changes and the implications of these changes in a university professor actively implementing an inquiry-based curriculum in a secondary science methods course.
To provide a more comprehensive description on the impact of teacher educator change and inquiry-based teaching, a follow-up study is conducted with individuals who were students in the secondary science methods course. The students, who are now teachers, shared their perspectives on inquiry-based teaching and on the impact of the secondary science methods course their teaching. The role of beliefs and reflection are also investigated with the former students.
Reported results support using inquiry-based teaching methods, exploring individual belief systems and frameworks during teacher preparation and placing additional emphasis on the role of reflection in teacher preparation. The need for teachers’ in-service professional development opportunities and pre-service teacher education to move from a primary focus on curricula for bringing about improvements to science teaching to a focus on the actual teacher and the practice of teaching are also reported as key conclusions. Support is cited for using an inquiry-based approach to teaching science which emphasizes learning how to learn, that begins with the exploration of a particular phenomenon and that delays the teachings of terms and principles until they are needed. The complexity and difficulties of enacting an inquiry-based approach to teaching science, which is called for by the National Science Education Standards, in light of the increasing acceptance of standardized tests as a measure of student learning and teacher and school effectiveness are also discussed.
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