Comparing Classroom Inquiry and Sociological Account of Science as a Means of Explicit-Reflective Learning of NOS/SI

by Daniel Z. Meyer, Illinois College

Research has shown the importance of an explicit-reflective approach to improving individuals' understanding of nature of science and scientific inquiry.  What has been less explored is a variety of ways for carrying out an explicit-reflective approach.  The purpose of this paper is to share a particular strategy.  At the heart of the approach was the comparison of an in-class inquiry based activity and a reading of a sociological account of scientific work.  Following this exposure, participants are able to generate a number of key aspects of NOS/SI.  Additional suggestions, as well as misconceptions, are able to be used as the starting point for further class discussion.  The activity has been utilized in preservice methods courses and inservice professional development programs for teachers at all levels, as well as classes for non-teacher education students.

Designing and Implementing an Elementary Science After School Field Experience

by Tina J. Cartwright, Marshall University

Field experiences provide an important opportunity for preservice teachers to observe and practice science instruction. Too often, insufficient time is allotted for elementary science instruction in the formal classroom. This paper outlines the opportunities and lessons learned from an after school field experience where preservice elementary teachers worked in two-person teams with a classroom mentor teacher at local elementary schools and community centers to deliver two science lessons per week during an elementary science methods course. Multiple evidences of success are presented at the student and also at the preservice teacher levels. And finally, the important lessons learned include the characteristics of the after-school site, the “instructional” setting, the availability and storage of materials, the co-teacher preservice teams, and the presence and training of the mentor teacher.