Search results for: Informal education
Page 1/2 17 items
Crossing colleges: the impact of an engineering design collaboration on early childhood teacher candidate development
In this study, researchers examined the collaborative process that occurred when early childhood teacher candidates and engineering students partnered to design exhibits to be used in an informal learning setting for young children. The findings present data from 52 early childhood candidates who participated in the study over the course of two fall semesters in consecutive academic years. Utilizing case study methodology, observations, formal interviews, artifact collection, and student self/peer reviews were employed to collect data. The findings reveal that cross-college, project-based learning has the potential to positively impact early childhood teacher candidates’ professional identity and that clinically-based teacher preparation was significant in helping teacher candidates feel successful in the project. The research presents innovative practices for early childhood teacher candidate preparation.
Updated: May. 13, 2021
Supporting newly-qualified teachers’ professional development and perseverance in secondary education: On the role of informal learning
High percentages of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) drop out during their first 5 years in the classroom. Often, formal support systems are put in place to overcome ‘practice shock’. However, in this research, it was hypothesised that it is not the formal support structure put in place that determines whether starting teachers feel satisfied in their job and show perseverance but rather the amount of knowledge exchange that takes place. This was confirmed by the results of a first quantitative study. Then, a follow-up qualitative study showed that having the principal in the role of a mentor is often experienced as a mechanism of control or evaluation. Starting teachers prefer to choose their own mentor. They prefer their mentor not to be a superior but a close colleague whom they trust, who is teaching the same course in the same year. The authors’ results have especially implications for onboarding of novice teachers. Since social informal learning (e.g. through the exchange of feedback with colleagues) benefits newly qualified teachers, it is important to create a safe and warm learning climate in which knowledge exchange can flourish. Also, NQTs should be given the opportunity to choose their mentor.
Updated: Nov. 29, 2020
Using a broad-based assessment for understanding what teachers learn in historic site-based professional development (HSBPD), this study follows 29 teachers from a HSBPD at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to see how their work at historic sites affected their practice upon return to their classrooms. Influenced by the Interconnected Model of Teacher Growth and Complexity theory, this study considers the complex outcomes of teachers as individuals, professionals, and learners in communities of practice. Results explore a range of outcomes related to content, pedagogical content knowledge, working with peers, interactions with the historic site, and a willingness to reconsider historical information. The discussion offers a consideration of the network of HSBPDs as a cumulative system and the ways in which teachers’ on-site work can deepen our understanding of working with complex historical sources and make larger curricular changes.
Updated: Oct. 27, 2020
In this article, the author focuses on recognizing humor as a powerful resource for newcomers in social settings like museums. The author discusses humor as a tool families use to help themselves feel more comfortable in museums, but also to help merge their everyday agendas with those of the museum. She used exemplars of family humor come from two different research studies conducted in different institutions. The author demonstrates that the humor seen functioned as a way to involve others, to ease the tension of not knowing a new setting, language, practice, or content, as well as to help shift authority from mediator to parent, or from parent to child.
Updated: Feb. 06, 2018
Promoting Shifts in Preservice Science Teachers’ Thinking through Teaching and Action Research in Informal Science Settings
This study aimed to investigate the influence of an integrated experiential learning and action research project on preservice science teachers’ developing ideas about science teaching, learning, and action research itself. The data indicated that all participants gained enhanced understandings of children as diverse learners and the importance of prior knowledge in science learning. Shifts in thinking were observed for two of the in-depth case study students, while one, showed little change.
Updated: Feb. 08, 2017
Exploring the Impact of Prior Experiences in Non-Formal Education on My Pedagogy of Teacher Education
The purpose of this article is to use self-study methodology to uncover what effects these experiences had on the development of the author's pedagogy of teacher education and so he needed to find a way to extract ideas that were relevant to his practice as a teacher educator. The author draws two conclusions from this self-study (1) There is considerable value in re-experiencing oneself as a learner by examining one’s own life history in order to challenge how we know what we know about teaching. (2) If we accept the idea that prior experiences as a student and as a teacher influence our work as teacher educators and professors of education, then our prior experiences as a learner in non-formal settings offer a rich context for additional analysis through self-study.
Updated: Nov. 30, 2016
Toward Understanding the Nature of a Partnership Between an Elementary Classroom Teacher and an Informal Science Educator
The purpose of this study was to examine the partnership and roles of an informal educator and a classroom teacher. The authors also sought to define this relationship in order to gain insight into the roles of each educator. In addition, this study explored student outcomes as a result of the partnership. Findings suggest that a partnership of only moderate commitment may be needed for students to learn from programs and that during the programs each educator hold distinct roles. Furthermore, the roles played by the classroom teacher included classroom management, making connections to classroom activities and curricula, and clarifying concepts. Consistent with previous examinations in science education of educator roles, the informal educator’s role was to provide the students with expertise and resources not readily available to them.
Updated: Mar. 22, 2016
The Influence of Informal Science Education Experiences on the Development of Two Beginning Teachers’ Science Classroom Teaching Identity
In this article, the authors investigated how the informal science education (ISE) innovations in the elementary teacher education program affected the participants as they began their professional lives as classroom teachers of science. The authors found that the two participants referenced as important the ISE experiences in their development of classroom science identities that included resilience, excitement and engagement in science teaching and learning–qualities that are emphasized in ISE contexts. Specifically, the affective benefits derived from the infusion of ISE contributed to developing how they came to see and enact reform-oriented science teaching practices.
Updated: Mar. 16, 2016
This study examines science learning experiences within a formal course structure that reaches out to informal learning environments. The six strands of science learning provide a framework for interpreting the prospective teachers’ responses to the friends and family assignments. The findings reveal that aspects of all six strands were evident in the responses, showing that the prospective teachers experienced increased interest and motivation, remembered and used scientific concepts and explanations, reflected on the process of learning for themselves and others, and actively participated in science activities. Involving friends and family outside of the class created ways for learners to think about and use their science knowledge across contexts.
Updated: Oct. 05, 2014
The Excitement and Wonder of Teaching Science: What Pre-service Teachers Learn from Facilitating Family Science Night Centers
The author describes how pre-service teachers facilitated stations at a family science night as a context to learn to identify, assess, and use children’s science ideas. The pre-service teachers in this study experienced success at teaching science and developed understandings about children’s science ideas.
Updated: Apr. 22, 2013