Making the Hidden Explicit: Learning About Equity in K-8 Preservice Science Education



Preservice teachers in a K–8 science methods course used guided video reflection to examine their interactions with children during science teaching. This inquiry approach helped preservice teachers identify and respond to gaps between their beliefs and intentions about teaching all children and their enactment of those beliefs. The experience of teaching a science lesson and then viewing it multiple times through a critical framework provided an opportunity for preservice teachers to recognize hidden assumptions, unexamined behaviors, and the unintentional meanings they may have conveyed to children. This encouraged them to think more critically about their roles as teachers in creating spaces where all children have access to quality science learning experiences.


Preservice science teacher education Equity Video reflection Elementary science 


  1. Avery, P. G., & Walker, C. (1993). Prospective teachers’ perceptions of ethnic and gender differences in academic achievement. Journal of Teacher Education, 44, 27–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bell, G. L. (2001, January). Reflective journal writing in an inquiry-based science course for elementary preservice teachers. Paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, St. Louis, MO.Google Scholar
  3. Bianchini, J. A., Cavazos, L. M., & Rivas, M. (2003). At the intersection of contemporary descriptions of science and issues of equity and diversity: Student teachers’ conceptions, rationales, and instructional practices. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 14, 259–290.Google Scholar
  4. Bryan, L. A., & Atwater, M. M. (2002). Teacher beliefs and cultural models: A challenge for science teacher preparation programs. Science Education, 86, 821–839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buck, G. A., & Cordes, J. G. (2005). An action research project on preparing teachers to meet the needs of underserved student populations. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 16, 43–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Campbell, P. B., & Hoey, L. (1999). Equity means all: Rethinking the role of special programs in science and math education. Retrieved November 3, 2005, from
  7. Delpit, L. (1995). Other people’s children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. New York: The New Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dunne, F., & Honts, F. (1998, April). “That group really makes me think!” Critical friends groups and the development of reflective practitioners. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.Google Scholar
  9. Ellis, J. D., & Backe, K. A. (1995). Using video to evoke reflection on science teaching. Colorado Springs, CO: BSCS.Google Scholar
  10. Garmon, M. A. (2004). Changing preservice teachers’ attitudes/beliefs about diversity. Journal of Teacher Education, 55, 201–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  12. Haberman, M. (1991). Can cultural awareness be taught in teacher education programs? Teaching Education, 4(1), 25–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Huinker, D., & Madison, S. K. (1997). Preparing efficacious elementary teachers in science and mathematics: The influence of methods courses. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 8, 107–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jay, J., & Johnson, K. (2002). Capturing complexity: A typology of reflective practice for teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18, 73–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). But that’s just good teaching! The case for culturally relevant pedagogy. Theory into Practice, 34, 159–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. LeFevre, D. M. (2004). Designing for teacher learning: Video-based curriculum design. In J. Brophy (Eds.), Using video in teacher education (pp. 235–258). Boston: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  17. Loughran, J. J. (2002). Effective reflective practice: In search of meaning in learning about teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53, 33–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. National Center for Educational Statistics. (2003, September 12). The nation’s report card: Science. Retrieved November 3, 2005, from
  19. National Research Council. (1996). National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  20. Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. (2005). Washington state report card. Retrieved November 3, 2005, from
  21. Pajares, F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62, 307–332.Google Scholar
  22. Richardson, V. (1996). The role of attitudes and beliefs in learning to teach. In J. Sikula, T. Buttery, & E. Guyton (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education (pp. 102–117). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  23. Richert, A. (1990). Teaching teachers to reflect. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 22, 509–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rodriguez, A. J. (1997). Counting the runners who don’t have shoes: Trends in student achievement in science by socioeconomic status and gender within ethnic groups. Retrieved November 3, 2005, from
  25. Sanders, J. (1997). Teacher education and gender equity. Washington, DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education. (No. ED408277).Google Scholar
  26. Schon, D. A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching and learning in the professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  27. Valli, L. (1997). Listening to other voices: A description of teacher reflection in the United States. Peabody Journal of Education, 72(1), 67–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. van Zee, E., Lay, D., & Roberts, D. (2003). Fostering collaborative inquiries by prospective and practicing elementary and middle school teachers. Science Education, 87, 588–612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and language (A. Kozulin, Trans.; 11th ed.). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  30. Watters, J. J., & Ginns, I. S. (2000). Developing motivation to teach elementary science: Effect of collaborative and authentic learning practices in preservice education. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 11, 301–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yerrick, R., Parke, H., & Nugent, J. (1997). Struggling to promote deeply rooted change: The “filtering effect” of teachers’ beliefs on understanding transformational views of teaching science. Science Education, 81, 137–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zeichner, K. M., & Liston, D. P. (1996). Reflective teaching: An introduction. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of EducationWashington State University VancouverVancouverUSA

Personalised recommendations