Science methods courses are where elementary pre-service students “learn to teach” science. These courses stand at the intersection of pedagogy and content knowledge. Unfortunately, pre-service teachers often view them with dread.
In addition to helping pre-service students over come that fear and become proficient with pedagogical content knowledge, it is imperative for teacher education programs to find effective ways to influence pre-service teachers’ personal science teaching efficacy beliefs and science teaching outcome expectancies. This paper presents an explanation of one possible way—a collaboration with the local science museum.
The focus of this study was to discover what impact a museum-based science methods course would have on elementary pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy, before and after their museum experiences. Quantitative data revealed the students did increase their self-efficacy toward teaching science. In addition, qualitative results indicated that the museum context added to the changes over the course of the semester. As a result of the museum-based course, the students were more secure in their abilities to teach science and expressed their anticipation at the chance to introduce science to children.
|Keywords:||Museum/University Collaborations, Elementary Science Teacher Education, Teacher Attitudes|
Associate Professor of Education, School of Education and Behavioral Studies, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
Associate Professor, Instructional Technology and Research, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA
Professor, Mathematical Sciences, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA
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