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Preservice Teachers and Technology Integration: Rethinking Traditional Roles

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Journal of Science Teacher Education

Abstract

Although the use of learning technology has become increasingly prominent in schools, significant changes in teaching strategies have not kept pace. Lack of quality professional development and inadequate teacher preparation are often cited for this situation. This case study explores the use of the student teaching experience as an avenue for both preservice and inservice teachers’ professional development associated with educational technology. Two main questions are explored: First, to what extent can preservice teachers enact a technology-rich curriculum unit during their field experience; second, to what extent and under what conditions can the preservice teachers facilitate their cooperating mentor teachers’ acquisition of these same skills. Results indicate preservice teachers can stimulate the integration of technology-rich innovations in their mentor teachers.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jonathan Singer.

Appendices

Appendix A

Unit overview

Driving question: Why don’t members of the same family all look exactly alike?

Learning set 1: Why don’t members of the same species all look alike?

Lesson 1: Introduction to Genetics: BioLogica Activity 1

Day 1

•  Slide show of a family: Why do members of a family look alike in some ways and look different in others?

•  Distinguish between acquired and inherited traits and characteristics.

•  Class develops a consensus on the meanings of heredity and genetics.

•  Initial written response to the driving question.

Day 2

•  Explanation of BioLogica computer program.

•  BioLogica Activity 1 (as a class).

•  Class develops a consensus on the meanings of chromosome, gene, and allele.

•  Complete BioLogica chart.

•  Comparison dragon challenge.

•  Class develops a consensus on the meanings of genotype and phenotype.

•  Written response to the subquestion.

Learning set 2: What “rules” determine the individual characteristics that we have?

Lesson 2: Genetics Rules: BioLogica Activity 2

Day 3

•  Computer rules and behavior expectations.

•  Log-in procedures.

•  BioLogica Activity 2: Rules-Traits.

•  KWL Chart

Day 4

•  Develop consensus on the meaning of dominant and recessive allele and discuss dragon and human examples.

•  Develop consensus on the meaning of dominant and recessive trait and discuss dragon and human examples.

•  Develop consensus on the meaning of homozygous and heterozygous and discuss dragon and human examples.

•  BioLogica Activity 2: Rules-Firebreathing

•  Develop consensus on the meaning of sex-linked and autosomal and discuss dragon and human examples of sex-linked genes.

Learning set 3: Why aren’t we an exact blend of our parents, and why don’t we look exactly like our siblings?

Lesson 3: Meiosis Part 1: Introduction to Meiosis: BioLogica Activity 3

Day 5

•  Quiz.

•  Review mitosis (purpose, stages).

•  Discussion: Why is meiosis a necessary process?

•  Develop consensus on the meaning of meiosis, gamete, fertilization, zygote, and germ cell.

•  Getting familiar with the meiosis screen

•  BioLogica Activity 3: Meiosis, Part 1: “Observe and manipulate chromosomes at the gamete level.”

•  Meiosis–Mitosis comparison chart.

Day 6

•  Review meiosis questions.

•  BioLogica Activity 3: Meiosis, Part 2: “Meiosis shuffles and deals.”

•  Students learn the stages of meiosis, view the process as it takes place in the computer simulation, note the important characteristics of each stage, and draw each stage of meiosis.

•  Discussion: Why is meiosis so important?

Day 7

•  Simulate meiosis using pipe cleaners in a mini-lab activity.

•  Students model the meiotic phases and demonstrate the model to the teacher.

•  Simulate fertilization: join model gametes to produce a sample offspring.

•  Analyze traits of offspring.

Day 8

•  Brainstorming Activity: Inbreeding and selective breeding.

•  BioLogica Activity 3: Meiosis, Part 3: “Designer Dragons.” Students experiment with meiosis and fertilization to create dragons with certain characteristics.

•  Reading on selective breeding and comprehension check.

Learning set 4: Is it possible for traits to skip generations?

Lesson 6: Pedigrees and Inheritance BioLogica Activities 4, 5, and 8

Day 9

•  Discussion: Do you think traits can skip generations?

•  Discussion: What is a pedigree? Where have we heard the term before?

•  BioLogica Activity 4: Inheritance.

•  Introduction to the Pedigree screen.

•  Pedigree practice.

•  Online simulation: A Primer on Inheritance.

Lesson 7: Monohybrid Crosses

Day 10

•  Share student pedigrees.

•  Complete BioLogica Activity 5: Monohybrid Crosses.

•  Practice Punnett squares.

Day 11

•  Review Punnett squares.

•  Review: Can traits skip generations?

•  BioLogica Activity 8: Horns Dilemma. Review and practice in executing meiosis and completing monohybrid crosses.

•  More Punnett squares.

•  Reading and questions on Gregor Mendel.

Reviews and testing: What have we learned?

Day 12

•  Review for Genetics Test.

Day 13

•  Test and final written response to the driving question.

Appendix B

First interview protocol

  1. 1.

    (For inservice teachers) Tell me about your previous experiences with student teachers.

  2. 2.

    Describe your relationship with your mentor/student teacher.

  3. 3.

    What have you learned from your mentor/student teacher?

  4. 4.

    Describe your role in this student–teacher/teacher relationship.

  5. 5.

    Describe the purpose of student teaching.

  6. 6.

    Describe yourself as a teacher.

    1. a.

      Describe how you set up a group discussion in the classroom.

    2. b.

      Tell me about your interactions with students.

  7. 7.

    How are you and the mentor/student teacher alike in your approach to teaching?

  8. 8.

    How are you and the mentor/student teacher different in your approach to teaching?

  9. 9.

    Tell me how you use technology in your daily life.

  10. 10.

    Tell me how you use technology in the classroom.

  11. 11.

    Tell me about your background in science.

  12. 12.

    What are the main ideas that students should “take away” from this genetics lesson?

    1. a.

      What strategies will you use to get across these main ideas on genetics to students?

  13. 13.

    Of the wide range of science concepts you teach, which one are you most comfortable with? Least comfortable with? Why? Where does this unit on genetics fall on your comfort scale and why?

Second Interview Protocol

  1. 1.

    Describe the planning process for this unit.

  2. 2.

    Describe your role in this planning process.

  3. 3.

    Describe others’ roles in this planning process.

  4. 4.

    Reflecting back on this planning process, what main ideas or strategies did you come away with?

  5. 5.

    Have you ever planned with a student teacher or a teacher mentor before? How is this planning process similar or different to what you’ve experienced in past planning session(s)?

  6. 6.

    Coming out of this planning process, what issues were unresolved? What planning areas still need to be dealt with?

  7. 7.

    After planning the genetics unit, what changes or modifications from this original plan did you have to make while you were actually teaching this unit? Why?

  8. 8.

    Describe your enactment of the genetics unit.

  9. 9.

    Describe (other person’s name here)’s enactment of the genetics unit.

  10. 10.

    What differences and similarities did you notice between your enactment and (other person’s name here)’s enactment of this unit?

  11. 11.

    As you know, this model of student teaching in which the student teacher teaches the unit to the class before the inservice teacher does is not the norm. We refer to this as the “upside-down” model. Based on your experience using this “upside-down” model, how would you feel if this model was used sooner in the student-teacher process?

  12. 12.

    Has this experience with your student teacher/teacher mentor affected your view or understanding of the student–teaching process?

  13. 13.

    What have we missed? In thinking about your experiences with the “upside-down” model and this unit, what else comes to mind that you think I should know?

Third Interview Protocol

  1. 1.

    Overall, how would you describe your experience in planning and teaching the genetics unit?

  2. 2.

    Overall, how would you describe your experience in working with your mentor/student teacher to plan and teach the genetics unit?

  3. 3.

    How has this experience changed your relationship with your mentor/student teacher?

  4. 4.

    What have you learned from your mentor/student teacher through this experience?

  5. 5.

    What has surprised you about this experience?

  6. 6.

    How has this experience of working with your mentor/student teacher to plan and to teach the genetics lesson affected your understanding of the purpose of student teaching?

  7. 7.

    In thinking about this experience, what would you do differently if you repeated this activity with a different mentor/student teacher?

  8. 8.

    Would you be willing to repeat this the “upside-down model” again with a different mentor/student teacher? Why or why not?

  9. 9.

    What have we missed? What should we have asked you about this experience that we forgot to touch on?

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Singer, J., Maher, M.A. Preservice Teachers and Technology Integration: Rethinking Traditional Roles. J Sci Teacher Educ 18, 955–984 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10972-007-9072-5

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