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Students enter teacher education programs with pre-existing beliefs about the teacher's role, what constitutes effective teaching, teacher planning, and knowledge structures. This case study examines the changes in one preservice science teacher's attitude and beliefs towards the teaching of creationism as a result of her personal inquiry. The student was a female, 28-year-old nontraditional student, enrolled in the undergraduate introductory course of a 2-year secondary education course of study at an urban southwestern state university. Data was collected from a questionnaire, early microteaching lessons, concept maps of teaching, reflective papers, student learning journals, interviews, and a field paper of an in-depth personal inquiry into the teaching of creationism. Findings indicated that as a result of her personal investigation, the student changed her beliefs about the teaching of the origin of life in the science classroom. The paper concludes that teacher educators can invite critical inquiry into attitudes and beliefs about teaching and prepare teachers with sound rationales for teaching, if their views about what to teach and how to teach are tested from a constructivist approach. Contains 17 references. (MDH)

Descriptors: Attitude Change, Beliefs, Case Studies, Constructivism (Learning), Creationism, Evolution, High Schools, Higher Education, Preservice Teacher Education, Preservice Teachers, Schemata (Cognition), Science Instruction, Science Teachers, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes

Autor: Pankratius, William J.


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