Year of Publication

1990

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Paul Eggen

Second Advisor

Dr. Elinor A. Scheirer

Third Advisor

Dr. Marianne Barnes

Abstract

Science is taught at all grade levels, yet there exists a deficiency in the amount of emphasis placed on science training for elementary teachers. As a result, teachers often feel inadequate in their knowledge of scientific areas and in their ability to develop science process skills in their students. As a result in this lack of training, a need exists to provide programs to increase skill and confidence of elementary teachers not only in teaching science concepts but science process skills as well.

One means of meeting this need was the development of an activity-based, process-oriented inservice curriculum designed specifically for elementary science. The curriculum was designed as an inservice component of 60 hours that emphasized process skills as well as updating science concepts. The curriculum was designed for use in grades 1-6 and stressed "hands-on" experiences using readily available materials and a minimum of specialized equipment.

The curriculum was field tested as a component of the Clay county, Florida Summer Inservice Institute. Thirty eight teachers, whose teaching assignments ranged from kindergarten to sixth grade, participated in the field test.

At the beginning of the Institute, no participant scored 80% or better on a pretest of knowledge of concepts and process skills. Each participant completed each 'activity in the role of a student, including forming a hypothesis, collecting data, and drawing a conclusion. Activities were then discussed stressing process skills used and an indepth review of concepts involved. On the final day of the Institute, 84% of the participants scored 80% or better on the posttest. Furthermore, evaluations of the component by particiPants indicated a marked improvement in confidence in and enthusiasm for teaching science process skills. Overall the curriculum met the objective of increasing elementary teachers' ability and willingness to teach science process skills as well as science concepts.

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