Design Approaches to Support Preservice Teachers in Scientific Modeling

Journal of Science Teacher Education 01/2011; 22(1):1-21. DOI: 10.1007/s10972-010-9225-9

ABSTRACT Engaging children in scientific practices is hard for beginning teachers. One such scientific practice with which beginning
teachers may have limited experience is scientific modeling. We have iteratively designed preservice teacher learning experiences
and materials intended to help teachers achieve learning goals associated with scientific modeling. Our work has taken place
across multiple years at three university sites, with preservice teachers focused on early childhood, elementary, and middle
school teaching. Based on results from our empirical studies supporting these design decisions, we discuss design features
of our modeling instruction in each iteration. Our results suggest some successes in supporting preservice teachers in engaging
students in modeling practice. We propose design principles that can guide science teacher educators in incorporating modeling
in teacher education.

KeywordsPreservice elementary and middle school teachers–Scientific modeling–Science methods course development

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