AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 132 Astronomy in the K-12 Classroom
Oral, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Pacific Salon 1

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[132.06] Strategies for Astronomers in the Preparation of Pre-Service Elementary and Secondary Teachers

G. R. Schultz (Univ. of California, Berkeley)

Making an impact on pre-service teacher preparation is challenging and requires a multi-faceted approach. To begin with, it’s advisable to be informed by the education research and consensus policy statements published by the teacher education community, and to make meaningful connections with educators in this field. Two significant books to consult in this area come from the National Academy Press: "How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School" (NRC, 2000; see in particular chapter 8 on 'Teacher Learning') and "Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millennium" (NRC, 2001). Much can also be learned from joining the Association for the Education Teachers of Science (AETS; www.TheAETS.org) and/or attending its annual conferences, which attract various science teacher educators.

It goes without saying that most teachers tend to teach science the way they learned it themselves, at least as a “default” pedagogical approach. Thus, initiatives in pre-service teacher preparation should include efforts to involve constructivist, inquiry-based teaching and learning in the undergraduate science lecture and laboratory courses that future teachers are enrolling in.

Another important area in teacher education is the “science methods” course that a pre-service teacher enrolls in, through a college or school of education. Science methods courses are usually offered in both elementary and secondary education, and the approaches in each are of course different. Pre-service teachers in methods courses are often most concerned with classroom management strategies, and there is usually not much time in these courses for guidance on astronomy-specific (or any discipline-specific) curriculum and instruction.

But experiences with short “interventions” in both elementary and secondary science methods courses have demonstrated that talking about and working hands-on with a well-designed space science curriculum resource (e.g. “The Real Reasons for Seasons” GEMS guide) can work well and influence the novice teacher’s learning.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: schultz@ssl.berkeley.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.