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Exploratory Study of a Tool to Promote Preservice Teachers' Reflection on Students' Science Knowledge

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Current reform efforts in science education strongly advocate instruction that helps students to construct personally meaningful science knowledge. Accordingly, science teacher educators seek to provide experiences that (a) enable science teachers to understand how students might perceive science in their daily lives and (b) encourage science teachers to develop student-centered approaches to instruction. This paper describes an exploratory project aimed at identifying what effect a science photo album (developed by sixth-grade students) might have on preservice teachers' reflection on students' everyday science knowledge and consideration of student-centered instruction. Eight pre service teachers were asked to complete a course creation exercise on genetics. Four teachers, comprising the experimental group, completed the exercise using the student developed science photo album. The control group completed the exercise without any aid. Findings suggest that the experimental group was more mindful of students' science knowledge when completing two of three parts of the course creation exercise.
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