Exploring Elementary Teacher Candidates’ Home Inquiry Experiences and the Impact on their Science Knowledge and Attitude

By Mahsa Kazempour, Stephen Croft and Christina Folk.

Published by The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Immersing pre-service teachers in science investigations that mimic the process of scientific inquiry has been shown to be an effective means of increasing their scientific inquiry knowledge and skills, and confidence and motivation in teaching through inquiry. In this study, we focus on a science methods course project, the Home Inquiry project, and its impact on elementary pre-service teachers’ attitude, understanding, and application of knowledge to classroom teaching. Case vignettes are presented to capture, through their own words, two pre-service teachers’ experiences with this project. Both pre-service teachers perceived the experience favorably and had the opportunity to make connections to course goals and reflect on the application of this experience to classroom science instruction. This line of work has immense implications for the preparation of a scientific literate teacher population who will be responsible for cultivating a scientific literate student population

Keywords: Elementary Teachers, Inquiry, Pre-Service Teachers, Beliefs, Attitude

The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning, Volume 20, Issue 2, March 2014, pp.9-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 728.873KB).

Mahsa Kazempour

Assistant Professor of Science Education, Elementary Education, Penn State Berks, Reading, PA, USA

Dr. Mahsa Kazempour is an Assistant Professor of Science Education at Penn State University, Berks Campus in Reading, PA.

Stephen Croft

Teacher, Carlton Elementary School, Salem, MA, USA

Stephen Croft is a grade four and five teacher at Carlton Elementary School in Salem, MA.

Christina Folk

Teacher, Crestview Elementary School, Carlisle, PA, USA

Christina Folk is a teacher at Crestview Elementary School in Carlisle, PA.