TitleChanges in preservice science teachers’ knowledge of inquiry
and practice of lesson design
NameMacalalag, Augusto (author), Duncan, Ravit Golan (chair), Etkina, Eugenia (internal member), Belzer, Alisa (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education,
Science--Study and teaching--Aids and devices,
DescriptionRecent reforms in science education require teachers to improve their notions of scientific inquiry and design effective inquiry-based lessons. This is a challenging task particularly for preservice teachers (PTs) who may not have experienced inquiry learning themselves, and who do not possess a large repertoire of teaching strategies or knowledge of student thinking in the domain. PTs’ ability to apply knowledge in the planning and designing of inquiry-based lessons requires careful scaffolding in a science teacher preservice program. My study addressed some of these challenges. Specifically, I examined the ways that PTs’ knowledge of model-based science inquiry and their ability to use this knowledge in designing lessons developed over time. My study involved the 2006 cohort of 15 PTs enrolled in four subject-specific methods courses in consecutive semesters as part of a two-year biological science certification program. I employed qualitative procedures (coding, constant comparative method to identify themes, and quantifying qualitative analyses of these themes) to analyze teaching philosophy papers, clinical interviews, lesson plans, and final reflection papers collected from the methods courses. My research findings provided evidence to support positive changes in PTs’ knowledge of Model-Based Inquiry (MBI) and its implementation in lesson designs. PTs were able to design lessons with (a) objectives that incorporated “big ideas” in science, (b) performance-oriented goals, (c) driving questions to elicit students’ pre-conceptions, and (d) multiple forms of assessment to monitor student progress. Moreover, I found several shifts in PTs’ knowledge of MBI and its enactment in lessons: (a) from teacher-centered and activity-oriented to more student-centered lessons with modeling, and (b) from “scripted” to more sophisticated modeling practice. These findings pointed to growth in the PTs’ use of models and practice of modeling, and consideration of students’ prior knowledge and skills. On the other hand, PTs struggled to provide suitable evidence for their students to use as part of investigations and failed to incorporate argumentation as part of the science practices in their lessons. My dissertation study has the potential to contribute to teacher education research by uncovering the effects of subject-specific methods courses and fieldwork on the growth of teacher knowledge of model-based science inquiry and inquiry-based instruction, lesson-planning practices, and knowledge of students’ conceptions and skills.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Augusto Z. Macalalag Jr.
CollectionGraduate School of Education Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.