Preservice teachers: Process skill entry behaviour and opinions about teaching primary science
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This group of preservice teachers entered their education programme with conceptions about teaching primary science which are biased towards science content and preparation for secondary science. However, although process skills are not mentioned specifically by the vast majority of students, about a third of the intake considered “problem solving/discovering” things to be a purpose for teaching primary science. There would appear to be a ‘base’ for change towards a balanced process-product so favourably to the structured questionnaire on choice of teaching strategies tends to support this opinion.
Process skill competency and orientation must be addressed in the preservice science units but with an appropriate emphasis on their interdependence with concept development. Some input ensuring an understanding of the processes within the overall scientific framework would seem to be required.
The next stage of this study will be to compare the pre- and post-unit data to determine a measure of the changes (if any) that have occurred. As the unit focusses on student led discussions related to the interdependence of science process skill and concept development [Harlen (1985), Chapters 1 to 7]; includes practical investigations which emphasise learner preconceptions and investigation planning, data collecting and processing; and requires students to prepare lesson sequences revolving around Harlen's “shapes”, e.g. hypothesis generation (p.p. 166–172), then significant changes are anticipated.
KeywordsEducation Programme Preservice Teacher Teaching Strategy Structure Questionnaire Hypothesis Generation
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