Multimedia Resources to Bridge the Praxis Gap: Modeling Practice in Elementary Science Education

Jun. 15, 2007

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Issue Volume 18, Number 3 / June, 2007 pp. 349-375
Numerous research studies have shown that science methods courses based on constructivist approaches can enhance teacher knowledge and confidence in ways that foster more positive attitudes to the teaching of science. However, a critical part of reflective practice is the opportunity to observe competent professionals practising their craft. Opportunities to observe teachers engaging in constructivist and inquiry based practices in many undergraduate programs are limited.

Our goal was to make visible the pedagogical practices and assumptions of teachers through a suite of multimedia resources that provided visual examples of professional practices. In this paper, we report on the development and use of these multimedia resources. These resources incorporated interactive CDROMs, videos and websites and supplemented an instructional program that engaged learners in a range of reflective practices. Evaluation data were derived from focus group interviews with preservice teachers, from interviews with instructors and from surveys with inservice teachers. Analysis of these data supports the value of multimedia material as a vicarious learning experience; and highlights the extent that multimedia can demystify science teaching.

Updated: Feb. 17, 2008