, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 85-88

Science centers and outdoor education centers provide valuable experience for pre-service teachers

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It is recognised that data from self-reporting and interviews alone cannot be regarded as conclusive, and that the findings have to be treated with some degree of caution. Nevertheless, it appears that the experiences of pre-service teachers led to an increased desire to instruct children in hands-on science. The findings from the science center support the conclusions of Diamond et al (1987) who suggested that relatively short-term programs at science centers, may be successful in stimulating self-confidence, communication abilities and interest in science. The self-reports and the interview data also suggest that it is likely that these gains will transfer to the classroom.

It is vital that teacher educators continually make use of new strategies that help trainee teachers to become more competent and enthusiastic teachers of science. This innovation is one example that had significant outcomes for the pre-service teachers involved, and follow-up studies planned for 1994 should indicate if the outcomes were sustained.