Student Memories: Insights for Science Reform

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Authors
Chaillie, Jane Hall
Issue Date
2015-05-11
Type
Dissertation
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en_US
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the recollections pre-service teachers majoring in elementary education have of their science experiences during their elementary years and to explore the recollections in the context of science education reform efforts. At the beginning of science methods course work, pre-service elementary teachers reflected on their memories of their own elementary education experiences. Themes from 102 reflective essays collected in two settings and time periods were identified and compared. The themes remained consistent over both settings and time frames studied and fall into three general categories: curriculum and instruction, teacher traits, and student traits. The pre-service teachers expressed difficulty in recalling elementary science experiences and attributed their limited memories to what they perceived as a low priority of science content in the elementary curriculum. Teaching strategies played a prominent role in the memories reported. Hands-on and active learning strategies produced positive memories, while lectures, reading textbooks, and completing worksheets resulted in more negative memories. Furthermore, pre-service teacher essays often failed to connect the learning activities with concept development or understanding. Pre-service teachers were split nearly equally between those who liked and those who disliked elementary science. The attributes of elementary teachers received the least attention in the categories and focused primarily on passion for teaching science. Implications for science reform leaders, teacher education preparation programs, and school administrators and curriculum directors are identified. Keywords: Elementary science education, pre-service teachers, curriculum and instruction
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Creighton University
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Copyright is retained by the Author. A non-exclusive distribution right is granted to Creighton University and to ProQuest following the publishing model selected above.
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