Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3419

Search results for: pre-service science teachers

3419 Preservice Science Teachers' Understanding of Equitable Assessment

Authors: Kemal Izci, Ahmet Oguz Akturk

Abstract:

Learning is dependent on cognitive and physical differences as well as other differences such as ethnicity, language, and culture. Furthermore, these differences also influence how students show their learning. Assessment is an integral part of learning and teaching process and is essential for effective instruction. In order to provide effective instruction, teachers need to provide equal assessment opportunities for all students to see their learning difficulties and use them to modify instruction to aid learning. Successful assessment practices are dependent upon the knowledge and value of teachers. Therefore, in order to use assessment to assess and support diverse students learning, preservice and inservice teachers should hold an appropriate understanding of equitable assessment. In order to prepare teachers to help them support diverse student learning, as a first step, this study aims to explore how preservice teachers’ understand equitable assessment. 105 preservice science teachers studying at teacher preparation program in a large university located at Eastern part of Turkey participated in the current study. A questionnaire, preservice teachers’ reflection papers and interviews served as data sources for this study. All collected data qualitatively analyzed to develop themes that illustrate preservice science teachers’ understanding of equitable assessment. Results of the study showed that preservice teachers mostly emphasized fairness including fairness in grading and fairness in asking questions not out of covered concepts for equitable assessment. However, most of preservice teachers do not show an understanding of equity for providing equal opportunities for all students to display their understanding of related content. For some preservice teachers providing different opportunities (providing extra time for non-native speaking students) for some students seems to be unfair for other students and therefore, these kinds of refinements do not need to be used. The results of the study illustrated that preservice science teachers mostly understand equitable assessment as fairness and less highlight the role of using equitable assessment to support all student learning, which is more important in order to improve students’ achievement of science. Therefore, we recommend that more opportunities should be provided for preservice teachers engage in a more broad understanding of equitable assessment and learn how to use equitable assessment practices to aid and support all students learning trough classroom assessment.

Keywords: science teaching, equitable assessment, assessment literacy, preservice science teachers

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3418 Analyzing Preservice Teachers’ Attitudes toward Technology

Authors: Ahmet Oguz Akturk, Kemal Izci, Gurbuz Caliskan, Ismail Sahin

Abstract:

Rapid developments in technology are to necessitate societies to closely follow technological developments and change themselves to adopt those developments. It is obvious that one of the areas that are impacted from technological developments is education. Analyzing preservice teachers’ attitudes toward technology is crucial for both educational and professional purposes since teacher candidates are essential for educating future individual living in technological age. In this study, it is aimed to analyze preservice teachers’ attitudes toward technology and some variables (e.g., gender, daily internet usage and possessed technological devices) that predicting those attitudes. In this study, relational survey model used as research method and 329 preservice teachers who are studying in a large university located at the middle part of Turkey are voluntarily participated. Results of the study showed that mostly preservice teachers displayed positive attitudes toward technology while male preservice teachers’ attitudes toward technology was more positive than female preservice teachers. In order to analyze predicting factors for preservice teachers’ attitudes toward technology, stepwise multiple regressions were utilized. The results of stepwise multiple regression showed that daily internet use was the most strong predicting factor for predicting preservice teachers’ attitudes toward technology.

Keywords: attitudes toward technology, preservice teachers, gender, stepwise multiple regression analysis

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3417 SHIFT: Examining Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions on Digital Citizenship Education

Authors: Cachanda K. Orellana

Abstract:

This study examined preservice teachers’ perceptions of their role in digital citizenship education. Data was gathered via surveys and coursework from the preservice teachers’ instructional technology course. Pre-service teachers were asked about their role in digital citizenship education during a unit on digital dilemmas. Findings suggest that teacher education programs should consider digital citizenship education as more than the acquisition of a set of skills and behaviors and prepare preservice teachers to support students’ ability to engage in ethical decision-making in digital spaces.

Keywords: digital citizenship, digital dilemmas, pre-service teachers, teacher education

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3416 The Effect of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Education on Preservice Science Teachers' Awareness of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Authors: Tuba Senel Zor, Oktay Aslan

Abstract:

With current trends in nanoscience and nanotechnology (NST), scientists have paid much attention to education and nanoliteracy in parallel with the developments on these fields. To understand the advances in NST research requires a population with a high degree of science literacy. All citizens should soon need nanoliteracy in order to navigate some of the important science-based issues faced to their everyday lives. While the fields of NST are advancing rapidly and raising their societal significance, general public’s awareness of these fields has remained at a low level. Moreover, students enrolled different education levels and teachers don’t have awareness at expected level. This problem may be stemmed from inadequate education and training. To remove the inadequacy, teachers have greatest duties and responsibilities. Especially science teachers at all levels need to be made aware of these developments and adequately prepared so that they are able to teach about these advances in a developmentally appropriate manner. If the teachers develop understanding and awareness of NST, they can also discuss the topic with their students. Therefore, the awareness and conceptual understandings of both the teachers who will teach science to students and the students who will be introduced about NST should be increased, and the necessary training should be provided. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of NST education on preservice science teachers’ awareness of NST. The study was designed in one group pre-test post-test quasi-experimental pattern. The study was conducted with 32 preservice science teachers attending the Elementary Science Education Program at a large Turkish university in central Anatolia. NST education was given during five weeks as two hours per week. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Awareness Questionnaire was used as data collected tool and was implemented for pre-test and post-test. The collected data were analyzed using Statistical package for the Social Science (SPSS). The results of data analysis showed that there was a significant difference (z=6.25, p< .05) on NST awareness of preservice science teachers after implemented NST education. The results of the study indicate that NST education has an important effect for improving awareness of preservice science teachers on NST.

Keywords: awareness level, nanoliteracy, nanoscience and nanotechnology education, preservice science teachers

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3415 Unpacking Chilean Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs on Practicum Experiences through Digital Stories

Authors: Claudio Díaz, Mabel Ortiz

Abstract:

An EFL teacher education programme in Chile takes five years to train a future teacher of English. Preservice teachers are prepared to learn an advanced level of English and teach the language from 5th to 12th grade in the Chilean educational system. In the context of their first EFL Methodology course in year four, preservice teachers have to create a five-minute digital story that starts from a critical incident they have experienced as teachers-to-be during their observations or interventions in the schools. A critical incident can be defined as a happening, a specific incident or event either observed by them or involving them. The happening sparks their thinking and may make them subsequently think differently about the particular event. When they create their digital stories, preservice teachers put technology, teaching practice and theory together to narrate a story that is complemented by still images, moving images, text, sound effects and music. The story should be told as a personal narrative, which explains the critical incident. This presentation will focus on the creation process of 50 Chilean preservice teachers’ digital stories highlighting the critical incidents they started their stories. It will also unpack preservice teachers’ beliefs and reflections when approaching their teaching practices in schools. These beliefs will be coded and categorized through content analysis to evidence preservice teachers’ most rooted conceptions about English teaching and learning in Chilean schools. The findings seem to indicate that preservice teachers’ beliefs are strongly mediated by contextual and affective factors.

Keywords: beliefs, digital stories, preservice teachers, practicum

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3414 Mentor and Peer Feed-Back on Micro-Teaching: As a Tool for Enhancing of Pre-Service Teachers' Teaching Practices

Authors: Ayhan Cinici, Mustafa Ozden, Umit Duruk, Gulden Akdag

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to investigate how feedbacks left from two different sources (mentors and peers) during microteaching sessions effecting preservice teachers’ teaching skills and views on science teaching. Sampling process is twofold in the study. As part of qualitative research, among other counterparts, case study method was chosen and respectively, constructed six working groups in which there were six preservice teachers, totally from thirty six preservice teachers enrolled in the third grade of Elementary Education Department by random assignment. Subsequently, one preservice teacher from all groups was appointed as the moderator of those groups (totally six moderators). Rest of them taking part remained as audience in all groups. At the beginning of the instructional process, all participants were asked to watch some videos by which someone already recorded. After watching these videos, they were also given a chance to discuss their ideas and impressions regarding microteaching in the classroom atmosphere. Both academic staff as mentors and participants as preservice teachers took role in the process of determining which teaching skills would be taken into consideration as part of microteaching sessions. Each group were gathered at regular intervals throughout twelve weeks together with their mentor who guided them and performed their microteaching. Data was collected using reflective diaries by which researchers constructed for both preservice teachers playing role as teacher of the group and preservice teachers playing role as audience during these microteaching sessions. Semi structured interviews were also carried out with only preservice teachers playing role as teachers of the groups. Findings from these reflective diaries and semi structured interviews were analysed by descriptive statistics and content analysis method. With regard to these findings, explanatory themes and subthemes were categorized and supported by direct citations. The results reveal that preservice teachers playing role as the teachers of the each group consider “content knowledge” as the most important aspect among other teaching skills. Furthermore, preservice teachers also point out that the more they get feedback on any teaching skill, the more they get motivated to develop it.

Keywords: teacher education, microteaching, mentor, peer feedback

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3413 Preservice EFL Teachers in a Blended Professional Development Program: Learning to Teach Speech Acts

Authors: Mei-Hui Liu

Abstract:

This study examines the effectiveness of a blended professional development program on preservice EFL (English as a foreign language) teachers’ learning to teach speech acts with the advent of Information and Communication Technology, researchers and scholars underscore the significance of integrating online and face-to-face learning opportunities in the teacher education field. Yet, a paucity of evidence has been documented to investigate the extent to which such a blended professional learning model may impact real classroom practice and student learning outcome. This yearlong project involves various stakeholders, including 25 preservice teachers, 5 English professionals, and 45 secondary school students. Multiple data sources collected are surveys, interviews, reflection journals, online discussion messages, artifacts, and discourse completion tests. Relying on the theoretical lenses of Community of Inquiry, data analysis depicts the nature and process of preservice teachers’ professional development in this blended learning community, which triggers and fosters both face-to-face and synchronous/asynchronous online interactions among preservice teachers and English professionals (i.e., university faculty and in-service teachers). Also included is the student learning outcome after preservice teachers put what they learn from the support community into instructional practice. Pedagogical implications and research suggestions are further provided based on the research findings and limitations.

Keywords: blended professional development, preservice EFL teachers, speech act instruction, student learning outcome

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3412 Analysis of Learning Difficulties among Preservice Students towards Science Education

Authors: Nahla Khatib

Abstract:

This study investigated several learning difficulties that affected the classroom learning experience of preservice students who are studying general science and methods of teaching science students at Faculty of Educational Studies at the Arab Open University (AOU) in Amman, Jordan. The focus questions for this study were to find answers for the following: 1. What are the main areas of learning difficulty among preservice students towards science education? 2. What are the main aspects of reducing obstacles towards success in science education? To achieve this goal, the researcher prepared a questionnaire which included 30 items to point out the learning difficulties among preservice students towards science education. The questionnaire was distributed among students enrolled in the general science courses 1&2 and methods of teaching science courses at the beginning of the spring semester of year (2013-2014). After collecting the filled questionnaire a descriptive statistical analysis was carried out (means and standard deviation) for the items of the questionnaire. After analyzing the data statistically our findings showed that student control–factors as well as course controlled factor, factors related to the nature of science, and factors related to the role of instructor affected student success toward science education. The study was concluded with a number of recommendations.

Keywords: nature of science, preservice teachers, science education, learning difficulties

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3411 Learning to Teach on the Cloud: Preservice EFL Teachers’ Online Project-Based Practicum Experience

Authors: Mei-Hui Liu

Abstract:

This paper reports 20 preservice EFL teachers’ learning-to-teach experience when they were engaged in an online project-based practicum implemented on a Cloud Platform. This 10-month study filled in the literature gap by documenting the impact of online project-based instruction on preservice EFL teachers’ professional development. Data analysis showed that the online practicum was regarded as a flexible mechanism offering chances of teaching practices without geographical barriers. Additionally, this project-based practice helped the participants integrate the theories they had learned and further foster them how to create a self-directed online learning environment. Furthermore, these preservice teachers with experiences of technology-enabled practicum showed their motivation to apply technology and online platforms into future instructional practices. Yet, this study uncovered several concerns encountered by these participants during this online field experience. The findings of this study rendered meaning and lessons for teacher educators intending to integrate online practicum into preservice training courses.

Keywords: online teaching practicum, project-based learning, teacher preparation, English language education

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3410 Using Immersive Study Abroad Experiences to Strengthen Preservice Teachers’ Critical Reflection Skills on Future Classroom Practices

Authors: Meredith Jones, Susan Catapano, Carol McNulty

Abstract:

Study abroad experiences create unique learning opportunities for preservice teachers to strengthen their reflective thinking practices through applied learning experiences. Not only do study abroad experiences provide opportunities for students to expand their cultural sensitivity, but incorporating applied learning experiences in study abroad trips creates unique opportunities for preservice teachers to engage in critical reflection on their teaching skills. Applied learning experiences are designed to nurture learning and growth through a reflective, experiential process outside the traditional classroom setting. As students participate in applied learning experiences, they engage in critical reflection independently, with their peers, and with university faculty. Critical reflection within applied learning contexts generates, deepens, and documents learning but must be intentionally designed to be effective. Grounded in Dewey’s model of reflection, this qualitative study examines longitudinal data from various study abroad cohorts from a particular university. Reflective data was collected during the study abroad trip, and follow up data on critical reflection of teaching practices were collected six months and a year after the trip. Dewey’s model of reflection requires preservice teachers to make sense of their experiences by reflecting on theoretical knowledge, experiences, and pedagogical knowledge. Guided reflection provides preservice teachers with a framework to respond to questions and ideas critical to the applied learning outcomes. Prompts are used to engage preservice teachers in reflecting on situations they have experienced and how they can be transferred to their teaching. Findings from this study noted that students with previous field experiences, or work in the field, engaged in more critical reflection on pedagogical knowledge throughout their applied learning experience. Preservice teachers with limited experiences in the field benefited from engaging in critical reflection prompted by university faculty during the applied learning experience. However, they were able to independently engage in critical reflection once they began work in the field through university field placements, internships, or student teaching. Finally, students who participated in study abroad applied learning experiences reported their critical reflection on their teaching practices, and cultural sensitivity enhanced their teaching and relationships with children once they formally entered the teaching profession.

Keywords: applied learning experiences, critical reflection, cultural sensitivity, preservice teachers, teacher education

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3409 Coping Strategies Used By Special Education Teachers In Rural Schools

Authors: Susan P. Gregory

Abstract:

The United States has a critical shortage of special education teachers and rural states face more challenges in finding teachers to fill these positions. The state of Montana is one of the larger rural states in the United States and has had a critical need for special education teachers for over 30 years. It is the 4th largest state in the United States with respect to size but the 44th in the nation with respect to population size. Montana’s state department of education supports rural schools that have difficulty in finding a special education teacher. School districts are allowed to fill vacant special education positions with licensed teachers that have no background in teaching students with special needs. These teachers are given three years to complete a university program leading to an endorsement in special education. The teachershave a range of teaching experience from veteran teachers to those who arein their first teaching position. The common factor they share is that they are all teaching in an area for which they have had no previous experience, that is special education. They also share the experience of teaching in rural schools where they may be the only special education teacher in their school. The literature tells us that teachers are stressed and that the demands of special education can exacerbate that stress. As institutions of higher education prepare preservice teachers to enter the profession, knowledge of the challenges these preservice teachers will face and how they overcome those challenges, are an important part of the preparing them for the reality of schools today. This study will report interviews conducted with a group oflicensed teachers who were new to special education. These teachers were hired within the past three years for special education positions in rural schools in the state of Montana. Individual phone interviews will be conducted, and the teachers will be asked to identify not just the challenges they face but the strategies they use to overcome them. The interviews will be transcribed and common themes emerging from those interviews will identified. The strategies that these teachers use to manage the challenges and stressors of being first year special education teachers in rural schools will be reported. The conclusion will present strategies identified by the teachers in this study and examine them in the context of the research literature. These strategies will provide information for facultywho are preparing preservice teachers to take positions in rural schools.

Keywords: coping strategies, rural, special education, teachers

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3408 Cross-Tier Collaboration between Preservice and Inservice Language Teachers in Designing Online Video-Based Pragmatic Assessment

Authors: Mei-Hui Liu

Abstract:

This paper reports the progression of language teachers’ learning to assess students’ speech act performance via online videos in a cross-tier professional growth community. This yearlong research project collected multiple data sources from several stakeholders, including 12 preservice and 4 inservice English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers, 4 English professionals, and 82 high school students. Data sources included surveys, (focus group) interviews, online reflection journals, online video-based assessment items/scores, and artifacts related to teacher professional learning. The major findings depicted the effectiveness of this proposed learning module on language teacher development in pragmatic assessment as well as its impact on student learning experience. All these teachers appreciated this professional learning experience which enhanced their knowledge in assessing students’ pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic performance in an English speech act (i.e., making refusals). They learned how to design online video-based assessment items by attending to specific linguistic structures, semantic formula, and sociocultural issues. They further became aware of how to sharpen pragmatic instructional skills in the near future after putting theories into online assessment and related classroom practices. Additionally, data analysis revealed students’ achievement in and satisfaction with the designed online assessment. Yet, during the professional learning process most participating teachers encountered challenges in reaching a consensus on selecting appropriate video clips from available sources to present the sociocultural values in English-speaking refusal contexts. Also included was to construct test items which could testify the influence of interlanguage transfer on students’ pragmatic performance in various conversational scenarios. With pedagogical implications and research suggestions, this study adds to the increasing amount of research into integrating preservice and inservice EFL teacher education in pragmatic assessment and relevant instruction. Acknowledgment: This research project is sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology in the Republic of China under the grant number of MOST 106-2410-H-029-038.

Keywords: cross-tier professional development, inservice EFL teachers, pragmatic assessment, preservice EFL teachers, student learning experience

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3407 A Qualitative Case Study Exploring Zambian Mathematics Teachers' Content Knowledge of Functions

Authors: Priestly Malambo, Sonja Van Putten, Hanlie Botha, Gerrit Stols

Abstract:

The relevance of what is content is taught in tertiary teacher training has long been in question. This study attempts to understand how advanced mathematics courses equip student teachers to teach functions at secondary school level. This paper reports on an investigation that was conducted in an African university, where preservice teachers were purposefully selected for participation in individual semi-structured interviews after completing a test on functions as taught at secondary school. They were asked to justify their reasoning in the test and to explain functions in a way that might bring about understanding of the topic in someone who did not know how functions work. These were final year preservice mathematics teachers who had studied advanced mathematics courses for three years. More than 50% of the students were not able to explain concepts or to justify their reasoning about secondary school functions in a coherent way. The results of this study suggest that the study of advanced mathematics does not automatically enable students to teach secondary school functions, and that, although these students were able to do advanced mathematics, they were unable to explain the working of functions in a way that would allow them to teach this topic successfully.

Keywords: secondary school, mathematical reasoning, student-teachers, functions

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3406 Pre-Service Science Teachers' Perceptions Related to the Concept of Laboratory: A Metaphorical Analysis

Authors: Salih Uzun

Abstract:

The laboratory activities are seen an indispensable part of science, teaching, and learning. In this study, the aim was to identify pre-service science teachers’ perceptions related to the concept of laboratory through metaphors. It is expressed that metaphors can be used as a powerful research tool in order to understand personal perceptions. Therefore, metaphors were used with the aim of revealing a picture regarding how pre-service science teachers perceive laboratory. Within the scope of this aim, phenomenographic research design was adopted for this study and an answer was sought to the question; ‘What are pre-service science teachers’ perceptions about the concept of laboratory?’. The sample of this study was a total of 80 pre-service science teachers at various grade levels in Turkey. Participants were asked to complete the sentence; ‘Laboratory is like…; because…’. Documents including pre-service science teachers’ answers to the open-ended questions were used as data sources and the data were analysed with content analysis.

Keywords: laboratory, metaphor, phenomenology, pre-service science teachers

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3405 Analysis of the Discursive Dynamics of Preservice Physics Teachers in a Context of Curricular Innovation

Authors: M. A. Barros, M. V. Barros

Abstract:

The aim of this work is to analyze the discursive dynamics of preservice teachers during the implementation of a didactic sequence on topics of Quantum Mechanics for High School. Our research methodology was qualitative, case study type, in which we selected two prospective teachers on the Physics Teacher Training Course of the Sao Carlos Institute of Physics, at the University of Sao Paulo/Brazil. The set of modes of communication analyzed were the intentions and interventions of the teachers, the established communicative approach, the patterns and the contents of the interactions between teachers and students. Data were collected through video recording, interviews and questionnaires conducted before and after an 8 hour mini-course, which was offered to a group of 20 secondary students. As teaching strategy we used an active learning methodology, called: Peer Instruction. The episodes pointed out that both future teachers used interactive dialogic and authoritative communicative approaches to mediate the discussion between peers. In the interactive dialogic dimension the communication pattern was predominantly I-R-F (initiation-response-feedback), in which the future teachers assisted the students in the discussion by providing feedback to their initiations and contributing to the progress of the discussions between peers. Although the interactive dialogic dimension has been preferential during the use of the Peer Instruction method the authoritative communicative approach was also employed. In the authoritative dimension, future teachers used predominantly the type I-R-E (initiation-response-evaluation) communication pattern by asking the students several questions and leading them to the correct answer. Among the main implications the work contributes to the improvement of the practices of future teachers involved in applying active learning methodologies in classroom by identifying the types of communicative approaches and communication patterns used, as well as researches on curriculum innovation in physics in high school.

Keywords: curricular innovation, high school, physics teaching, discursive dynamics

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3404 E-Learning in Primary Science: Teachers versus Students

Authors: Winnie Wing Mui So, Yu Chen

Abstract:

This study investigated primary school teachers’ and students’ perceptions of science learning in an e-learning environment. This study used a multiple case study design and involved eight science teachers and their students from four Hong Kong primary schools. The science topics taught included ‘season and weather’ ‘force and movement’, ‘solar and lunar eclipse’ and ‘living things and habitats’. Data were collected through lesson observations, interviews with teachers, and interviews with students. Results revealed some differences between the teachers’ and the students’ perceptions regarding the usefulness of e-learning resources, the organization of student-centred activities, and the impact on engagement and interactions in lessons. The findings have implications for the more effective creation of e-learning environments for science teaching and learning in primary schools.

Keywords: e-learning, science education, teacher' and students' perceptions, primary schools

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3403 Beyond Rhetoric and Buzzword, Policies and Politics: Towards Practical Institutional Involvement in Science and Technology Teacher Education Programmes for Sustainable Development

Authors: Alvin Uchenna Ugwu

Abstract:

The United Nation’s 2030 agenda and Global Action Programme (GAP) for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has mandated all sectors in the societies, including education, to develop strategies towards actualizing sustainability in all facets of the society, by the year 2030. Education is no doubt a key tool for social change. However, educational institutions in most African nations need a paradigmatic shift to strike a balance between policies (curricular) and practices, with regards to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The paradigm shift in this regard is described as whole-institution/school approach. The whole institution approaches advocate action-focused ESD. In other words, ESD policy and curriculum makers, formal and non-formal education institutions, need to ‘practice what they preach’. This paper is developed from an ongoing study carried out by the author and guided by two research questions: -What are the views of intermediate phase science and technology preservice teachers on the ESD content included in the science and technology modules? -What challenges or enable intermediate phase science and technology pre-service teachers to learn about ESD in science and technology modules? The study drew from the views and experiences of preservice science teachers, learning about ESD in a university’s college of education in South Africa. Using qualitative case study research design, the research data were generated via questionnaires and focus group discussions. Analysis of generated data indicates that universities and institutions of higher learning need to demonstrate practical involvement while implementing ESD in societies, rather than just standing as knowledge media. Findings of the study further suggest that natural sciences and technology courses in teacher education programmes and other institutions of higher learning, should be perceived as key transformative tools in shaping the consciousness of students towards integrating and fostering ESD in developing countries such as South Africa. Thus, this paper seeks to promote ‘Whole Institution Involvement’ in teacher education colleges in South Africa, as a measure of improving ESD in higher education settings. The paper suggests that in order to achieve ESD in higher education settings and beyond, policies and practices should be reexamined beyond rhetoric and buzzwords. The paper further argues that implementation of ESD is largely influenced by context, hence two different contexts should be examined empirically.

Keywords: education for sustainable development, higher education institutions, pre-service science teachers, qualitative case study research, whole institution involvement

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3402 Pre-Service Teachers’ Conceptual Difficulties about Gravitational Force: The Case of the Free Fall Bodies

Authors: A. Metioui

Abstract:

Research related to the student’s conceptual difficulties in sciences, particularly in the field of physics, are relatively numerous. In this work, we will analyze the results of qualitative research conducted with 80 elementary preservice teachers from Quebec in Canada on their understandings after studying the free fall bodies. First, we will illustrate the paper-pencil questionnaire built for this purpose. Then we will give the analysis of the experimental data. The results show that, even though there is a continuing physics education, many misconceptions persist despite the teaching provided.

Keywords: pre-service teachers, elementary school, conceptual difficulties, free fall bodies

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3401 Learning and Practising Assessment in Pre-Service Teacher Education Program: Bridging Gap between Theory and Practice

Authors: Ghulam Behlol Malik

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Discoveries in the field of cognitive science have brought revolutionary changes in learning and assessment practices and replaced traditional testing and examination practices (paper and pencil) by student-centered, authentic, and active learning approaches. This paper presents an analysis of data addressing two research questions as part of a wider study: 1) How do prospective teachers learn about assessment in a pre-service teacher education program? 2) How do cooperative teachers and university teachers support prospective teachers on teaching practicum to learn about how to use assessment for bridging the gap between theory and practice? A sequential mixed method design was applied to collect data in three phases: content analysis of the course 'method of teaching', followed by a survey about the opinions of Prospective Teachers and observations of classes in both teacher education and teaching practicum contexts were completed along with indepth interviews of University teachers and Cooperative Teachers. It is concluded that Prospective Teachers face difficulties in applying student-centred assessment practices because of limited modelling both in the teacher education and school practicum settings, large class sizes, and limited opportunities to use technology in school settings in Pakistan. It is recommended that in Pakistan, a new assessment policy is needed which allows examinations to be expanded beyond covering knowledge recall to include competency assessment.

Keywords: learning, practising, assessment, preservice teacher education program, theory and practice, theory and practice

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3400 Thai Student Teachers' Prior Understanding of Nature of Science (NOS)

Authors: N. Songumpai, W. Sumranwanich, S. Chatmaneerungcharoen

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This research aims to study the understanding of 8 aspects of nature of science (NOS). The research participants were 39 General Science student teachers who were selected by purposive sampling. In 2015 academic year, they enrolled in the course of Science Education Learning Management. Qualitative research was used as research methodology to understand how the student teachers propose on NOS. The research instruments consisted of open-ended questionnaires and semi-structure interviews that were used to assess students’ understanding of NOS. Research data was collected by 8 items- questionnaire and was categorized into students’ understanding of NOS, which consisted of complete understanding (CU), partial understanding (PU), misunderstanding (MU) and no understanding (NU). The findings reveal the majority of students’ misunderstanding of NOS regarding the aspects of theory and law(89.7%), scientific method(61.5%) and empirical evidence(15.4%) respectively. From the interview data, the student teachers present their misconceptions of NOS that indicate about theory and law cannot change; science knowledge is gained through experiment only (step by step); science is the things that are around humans. These results suggest that for effective science teacher education, the composition of design of NOS course needs to be considered. Therefore, teachers’ understanding of NOS is necessary to integrate into professional development program/course for empowering student teachers to begin their careers as strong science teachers in schools.

Keywords: nature of science, student teacher, no understanding, misunderstanding, partial understanding, complete understanding

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3399 An Examination of Teachers’ Interactive Whiteboards Use within the Scope of Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK)

Authors: Ismail Celik, Pavlo Antonenko, Seyit Ahmet Kiray, Ismail Sahin

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The aim of the present study was to thoroughly investigate the teachers’ interactive whiteboards (IWBs) use within the scope of the technological pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK) framework based on the school practice observations of in-service teachers collected by pre-service teachers. In this study, teachers’ use of IWBs in their classes was investigated by using phenomenography, which is a qualitative research method design. The participants of this study consisted of teachers working in a province of Turkey. Within the scope of the study, 337 teachers from 61 different schools were observed by preservice teachers during School Experience classes. The teachers use the IWBs to review the points not understood by the students, to share knowledge, to enhance motivation, to maintain student participation/practice and for in-process, formative assessment. The problems teachers face while using the IWBs can be IWB-based (touchscreen problems/frozen image/lack of software), administration-based, student-based and teacher-based (lack of knowledge of use, need for technical support). It is considered that technological knowledge (TK) is important in solving the problems experienced with IWBs, and technological pedagogy knowledge (TPK) and technological content knowledge (TCK) are important in using the IWBs in an interactive and pedagogically meaningful way that uses IWBs affordances and is relevant to the instructional objectives.

Keywords: TPACK, technology integration, interactive whiteboard, technology in education

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3398 Secondary Science Teachers' Views about Purposes of Practical Works in School Science

Authors: Kew-Cheol Shim, Sung-Hwan Moon, Ji-Hyon Kil, Kyoungho Kim

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The purpose of this paper was to examine views of secondary school science teachers about purposes to use practical works in school science. The instrument to survey consisted eighteen items, which were categorized into four components as follows: ‘Scientific inquiry’, ‘Scientific knowledge’, ‘Science-related attitude’, and ‘STS (science-technology-society)’. Subjects were 152 secondary school science teachers (male 70 and female 82; middle school 50 and high school 102), who are teaching in 42 schools of 8 provinces. On the survey, science teachers were asked to answer on 5-point Lickert scale (from 1 to 5) how they thought of using practical works on purposes with domains of science objectives in school. They had positive views about using practical works for improving scientific inquiry process skills, science-related attitudes, and perceptions about STS literacy, and acquiring scientific knowledge. They would have the most willingness of using practical works for ‘Scientific Inquiry’ among domains of science objectives in school.

Keywords: secondary school, science teacher, practical work, scientific inquiry, scientific knowledge, scientific attitude, STS

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3397 Saudi Arabian Science and Mathematics Teachers’ Attitudes toward Integrating STEM in Teaching before and after Participating in a Professional Development Workshop

Authors: Abdulwali H. Aldahmash, Naem M. Alamri

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The purpose of this study was to analyze Saudi Arabian science and mathematics teachers’ attitudes toward integrating STEM in teaching before and after they participated in a professional development workshop focused on STEM integration in a specific middle school science and mathematics unit. The participants were 48 Saudi Arabian science and mathematics teachers who participated in a three-day workshop held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The research method was a pretest-posttest group design. The primary data source was the instrument for teachers' attitudes toward teaching integrated STEM. The results indicate that Saudi Arabian science and mathematics teachers’ perceptions of difficulties decreased due to their participation in the professional development workshop on integrated STEM. Meanwhile, the teachers' self-efficacy improved following their participation in the STEM professional development (PD) workshop. However, no perceived effect was found for the teachers' perceptions of the relevance of or their anxiety about or enjoyment of integrated STEM teaching due to their participation in the three-day PD workshop.

Keywords: STEM integration, attitude toward STEM, STEM workshop, professional development

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3396 Science Anxiety Levels in Emirati Pre-Service Teachers

Authors: Martina Dickson, Hanadi Kadbey, Melissa Mcminn

Abstract:

Research has shown that anxiety and trepidation towards learning about science is prevalent among elementary school teachers in Western countries. It has also been shown repeatedly that pre-service and in-service teachers who show signs of anxiety towards science are; a) less likely to teach it at all, where they have some autonomy over this, b) less likely to teach it effectively c) ultimately that their students have lower attainment scores in science. It is therefore critically important to gauge pre-service teachers’ science anxiety levels early on whilst there are still possibilities to overturn some of the reasons behind these fears and avert these serious issues occurring later on. This study takes place in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) in the context of training local elementary school teachers. In the U.A.E., where Emirati teachers are already in the vast minority and attrition rates are high, it is important to offer as much support to pre-service teachers as possible. If pre-service teachers are graduating with high levels of science anxiety unabated, according to the research there is a very real concern that as generalist primary school teachers, their science teaching will be far from optimal. The aims of this research study were to ascertain the science anxiety levels of pre-service elementary teachers and to identify particular areas of their science anxiety, if appropriate. We surveyed 200 Emirati pre-service teachers and found that levels of science anxiety were directly related to their perceptions of performance in science exams, laboratory experiments and inquiry approaches to science learning. Whilst some studies have shown that science anxiety can decrease as students gain confidence in science knowledge by studying courses, we did not see this effect in our study. This is based upon a theoretical framework which holds that in some cases, science anxiety is related to lack of exposure to, or insecurity with science content itself which in some cases is alleviated by the students’ covering of material and greater confidence in the subject. Exploring this variable allowed us to explore whether students educated in schools influenced by the educational reform in Abu Dhabi have differing science anxiety levels from those who were educated prior to the reforms. We discuss the possible implications of these findings to the future teaching of science in Abu Dhabi public schools.

Keywords: pre-service teachers, science anxiety, United Arab Emirates, educational reform

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3395 The Impact of Science Teachers' Epistemological Beliefs and Metacognition on Their Use of Inquiry Based Teaching Approaches

Authors: Irfan Ahmed Rind

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Science education has recently become the top priority of government of Pakistan. Number of schemes has been initiated for the improvement of science teaching and learning at primary and secondary levels of education, most importantly training in-service science teachers on inquiry based teaching and learning to empower students and encourage creativity, critical thinking, and innovation among them. Therefore, this approach has been promoted in the recent continuous professional development trainings for the in-service teachers. However, the follow ups on trained science teachers and educators suggest that these teachers fail to implement the inquiry based teaching and learning in their classes. In addition, these trainings also fail to bring any significant change in students’ science content knowledge and understanding as per the annual national level surveys conducted by government and independent agencies. Research suggests that science has been taught using scientific positivism, which supports objectivity based on experiments and mathematics. In contrary, the inquiry based teaching and learning are based on constructivism, which conflicts with the positivist epistemology of science teachers. It was, therefore, assumed that science teachers struggle to implement the inquiry based teaching approach as it conflicts with their basic epistemological beliefs. With this assumption, this research aimed to (i) understand how science teachers conceptualize the nature of science, and how this influence their understanding of learning, learners, their own roles as teachers and their teaching strategies, (ii) identify the conflict of science teachers’ epistemological beliefs with the inquiry based teaching approach, and (iii) find the ways in which science teachers epistemological beliefs may be developed from positivism to constructivism, so that they may effectively use the inquiry based teaching approach in teaching science. Using qualitative case study approach, thirty six secondary and higher secondary science teachers (21 male and 15 female) were selected. Data was collected using interviewed, participatory observations (sixty lessons were observed), and twenty interviews from students for verifications of teachers’ responses. The findings suggest that most of the science teacher were positivist in defining the nature of science. Most of them limit themselves to one fix answer that is provided in the books and that there is only one 'right' way to teach science. There is no room for students’ or teachers’ own opinion or bias when it comes to scientific concepts. Inquiry based teaching seems 'no right' to them. They find it difficult to allow students to think out of the box. However, some interesting exercises were found to be very effective in bringing the change in teachers’ epistemological beliefs. These will be discussed in detail in the paper. The findings have major implications for the teachers, educators, and policymakers.

Keywords: science teachers, epistemology, metacognition, inquiry based teaching

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3394 Teachers' Accessibility to and Utilization of Electronic Media for Teaching Basic Science and Technology in Ilorin Metropolis, Kwara, Nigeria

Authors: Taibat Busari

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Electronic media has created new options for enhancing education. It has long been providing innovative methods for arousing students’ attention in learning and improves teachers’ performance in disseminating instructional contents. However, the advancement of electronic media has increased the flexibility, availability, accessibility and improved communications among students-students, students-teacher, and teacher-students. This study investigated: (i) teachers’ accessibility to, and utilization of electronic media for teaching basic science and technology in Ilorin metropolis; (ii) the influence of school proprietorship on teachers’ access to and utilization of electronic media for teaching and; the influence of teachers’ gender on the use of electronic media. The research was a descriptive design using the survey method. The study sample was drawn for private and public secondary schools in Ilorin Metropolis. The respondents were 285 basic science and technology teachers, which comprised of 146 males and 139 females. A structured researcher designed questionnaire was used to gather data for the study. Pilot study was carried out on mini sample of 20 basic science and technology teachers in five schools which are not part of the study’s population. It was then subjected to Cronbach’s Alpha and yielded the values 0.794 for availability, 0.730 for accessibility and 0.84 for utilization of electronic media. The research questions were answered using mean and percentage while research hypotheses one and two was tested using t- test. The findings of the study showed that: (i) electronic media are available for teaching basic science and technology; (ii) teachers’ had access to electronic media for teaching; (iii) teachers’ utilized electronic media for teaching basic science and technology; (iv) there was no significant difference between teachers’ utilization of electronic media for teaching; (v) there was no significant difference between teachers’ utilization of electronic media for teaching based on school proprietorship. The study, therefore, concluded that teachers’ had access to electronic media and utilized it for teaching purposes. Gender had no influence on teachers’ access to and utilization on electronic media for teaching and also, school proprietorship had no influence on access and utilization of electronic media for teaching. Based on findings it was recommended that electronic media should be made available and utilized in all schools across the nation to improve the learning rate of the students.

Keywords: electronic media, basic science and technology, teachers' accessibility, Nigeria

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3393 Assessing the Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers’ Continuation of Use of Technology After Participation in Professional Development

Authors: Ayoub Kafyulilo, Petra Fisser, Joke Voogt

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This study was conducted to assess the continuation of the use of technology in science and mathematics teaching of the pre-service and in-service teachers who attended the professional development programme. It also assessed professional development, personal, institutional, and technological factors contributing to the continuous use of technology in teaching. The study involved 42 teachers, thirteen pre-service teachers, and twenty-nine in-service teachers. A mixed-method research approach was used to collect data for this study. Findings showed that the continuous use of technology in teaching after the termination of the professional development arrangement was high among the pre-service teachers, and differed for the in-service teachers. The regression model showed that knowledge and skills, access to technology and ease of use were strong predictors (R2 = 55.3%) of the teachers’ continuous use of technology after the professional development arrangement. The professional development factor did not have a direct effect on the continuous use of technology, rather had an influence on personal factors (knowledge and skills). In turn, the personal factors had influence on the institutional factors (access to technology) and technological factors (ease of use), which together had an effect on the teachers’ continuous use of technology in teaching.

Keywords: technology, professional development, teachers, science and mathematics

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3392 The Investigation on Pre-Service Teachers' Critical Thinking Dispositions in Terms of Several Variables

Authors: Cüneyit Akar, Mustafa Başaran, Ufuk Uluçınar

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The purpose of this research is to examine the critical thinking dispositions of pre-service teachers in terms of several variables. In the line of this aim, we have investigated what their levels of critical thinking dispositions and whether there is any significant different in their critical thinking dispositions. Also, we have examined the relations between their critical thinking dispositions and their parents’ education statues, the number of their siblings, family income levels, and their religiosity level. 202 pre-service teachers who are studying at different departments at faculty of education at Uşak University participated in this research. In study, critical thinking dispositions scale by one of researchers was utilized and its validity and reliability was performed. The findings indicate that the level of their critical thinking dispositions was found to be .376 (arithmetic mean). On the other hand, we found that there is no significant difference in terms of their gender and the department at which they are studying. Furthermore, although there aren’t significant relationships between critical thinking dispositions and their mother education statues, their income levels, their religiosity levels and the number of their siblings; there is any significant positively at low level the relation between thinking dispositions and father educational statues. The findings obtained will be discussed together with literature and other research’ results.

Keywords: preservice teachers, critical thinking dispositions, pedagogy, education

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3391 Teachers' and Learners' ICT-Readiness Assessment for Agricultural Science Instruction in Secondary Schools in Ogun State, Nigeria

Authors: A. Olusegun Egunjobi, Samson Sunday Adekunte

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This study investigated the teachers’ and learners’ ICT-readiness assessment for agricultural science instruction in secondary schools in Ogun State, Nigeria. However, the sample population of 6 and 120 agricultural science teachers and learners were randomly selected respectively from 3 public and 3 private senior secondary schools in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria. Descriptive survey design of ex post-facto type was adopted for the study. Two structured questionnaires tagged Teachers’ and Learners’ Questionnaires on ICT-Readiness for Agricultural Science Instruction TQICTRASI and LQICTRASI respectively were used for data collection. The two questionnaires were subjected to Cronbach alpha coefficient with the results 0.86 and 0.82 respectively. Five research hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Findings revealed that teachers in private senior secondary school (SSS) were more ready and prepared than their counterparts in public SSS with the result t-value = 4.25 greater than t-critical = 2.77, df = 4 at p<0.05. Also, learners in private SSS were more prepared and ready for the utilisation of ICT-facilities for agricultural science instruction with the result t-value = 3.51 greater than t-critical = 1.98, df = 118 at p<0.05. However, male and female learners in both private and public SSS were equally prepared and ready for the ICT-facilities utilisation for agricultural science instruction, thus, there were no significant differences in their ICT-readiness. Therefore, the study proffered that, both male and female teachers and learners should be more ICT-compliant and always ready to upgrade their skills and knowledge in ICT-facilities, utilisation for agricultural science instruction and even for other school subjects particularly in Ogun State and in generally in Nigeria.

Keywords: ICT-readiness, teachers’ and learners’ assessment, private and public senior secondary schools, agricultural science instruction

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3390 Advantages and Disadvantages of Socioscientific Issue Based Instruction in Science Classrooms: Pre-Service Science Teachers' Views

Authors: Aysegul Evren Yapicioglu

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The social roles and responsibilities expected from citizens are increasing due to changing global living conditions. Science education is expected to prepare conscious and sensitive students. Because today’s students are the adults of future. Precondition of this task is Teacher Education. In the past decade, one of the most important research field is socioscientific issues. This study deals with advantages and disadvantages of socioscientific issue based instruction in science classroom according to pre-service science teachers’ views. A case study approach that is one of the qualitative research design was used to explore their views. Fourteen pre-service science teachers participated to instruction process. Dolphinariums, Kyoto Protocol, genetically modified organisms, recyclable black bags’ benefits and damages, genetic tests, alternative energy sources and organ donation are examples of socioscientific issues, which were taught through activities in a special teaching course. Diaries and focus group interview were used as data collection tools. As a result of the study, the advantages of socioscientific issue based instruction in science classroom comprise of six sub-categories which are multi-skilling, social awareness development of thinking, meaningful learning, character and professional development, contribution of scientific literacy whereas disadvantages of this instruction process are challenges teachers and students, limitations of teaching and learning process in pre-service science teachers’ perspectives. Finally, this study contributes to science teachers and researchers to overcome disadvantages and benefit from the advantage of socioscientific issue based instruction in science classroom.

Keywords: science education, socioscientific issues, socioscientific issue based instruction, pre-service science teacher

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