Preservice Teachers’ Research Experiences in Scientists’ Laboratories

Aug. 15, 2007

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Volume 18, Number 4 / August, 2007 pp. 573-597

To promote the use of scientific inquiry methods in K-12 classrooms, departments of teacher education must provide science teachers with experiences using such methods. To comply with state and national mandates, an apprenticeship course was designed to afford preservice secondary science teachers opportunities to engage in an authentic, extended, open-ended inquiry. This study describes three teachers’ apprenticeship experiences with a research scientist.

Our model included placing preservice teachers with scientists in expert/novice roles where each teacher would be actively engaged in constructing knowledge. From triangulating interview, laboratory notebook, and reflective summary data resources, we identified common themes from re-occurring statements. Findings indicated that participants acquired scientific skills and content knowledge; however, they expressed limited use of these in their classrooms.

Updated: Feb. 19, 2008