Learning What It Takes to Teach Science: High School Students as Science Teachers for Middle School Students
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This study examines the influence of St. John's University Summer Science Experience and Teacher Mentoring Program on African American and Hispanic high school students' interest in science and science teaching as career goals. In the first phase of the program, high school students from six school districts in Suffolk County, Long Island (a suburb of metropolitan New York City) engaged in investigative science experiences that emphasized environmental science, chemistry, and technology and learned about effective science pedagogy. The second phase of the program functioned as a teaching practicum for the high school students, where they planned for instruction and taught middle school students investigations similar to those that they had engaged in during the summer program. Various surveys were developed to assess high school students' attitudes about science and science teaching, knowledge of effective teaching approaches, knowledge of ways to motivate younger students, and the overall impact of the program on the high students' interest in science and/or science teaching as career goals. Program evaluations reveal that over 75% of the students expressed an interest in considering science or science teaching as career possibilities. Implications for minority teacher recruitment are discussed.
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