Increasing accessibility to science in early childhood teacher education through collaboration between teacher educators and science/engineering academics
Howitt, C., Blake, E., Calais, M., Carnellor, Y., Frid, S., Lewis, S.W., Mocerino, M., Parker, L., Sparrow, L., Ward, J. and Zadnik, M.G. (2012) Increasing accessibility to science in early childhood teacher education through collaboration between teacher educators and science/engineering academics. In: Tan, K.C.D. and Kim, M., (eds.) Issues and Challenges in Science Education Research. Springer Netherlands, pp. 157-173.
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The challenge of better preparing pre-service early childhood teachers to deliver appropriate science learning experiences in the classroom poses complex yet relevant issues. An innovative strategy to solve this problem has been a unique cross-discipline and collaborative approach. The purpose of this innovation was to provide pre-service early childhood teachers with the best possible chance of acquiring the requisite science content to merge with their pedagogical skills and thus increase their confidence to teach science in the classroom. The collaborative approach involved teacher educators and science/engineering academics together developing science resources and implementing them through team-teaching within the pre-service teachers’ science methods course. Data collection from the pre-service teachers included pre- and post-questionnaires, open-ended questions, poster analysis and semi-structured interviews. Across the course, the pre-service teachers’ confidence to teach science increased due to being shown how to teach science to young children, the wide range of ideas and activities presented that could be transferred to the early childhood classroom and increased science content knowledge. Science content knowledge increased due to active participation within the science methods course, access to science/engineering academics to explain concepts and information presented within the new science resources. This collaborative approach to developing and implementing science resources within a science methods course increased pre-service teachers’ accessibility to science and encouraged the teaching of science in the early childhood classroom.
|Publication Type:||Book Chapter|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Engineering and Energy|
|Copyright:||2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.|
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