Redesigning earth science for preservice elementary teachers: Changes (or not) in curriculum, instruction, and learners

Wednesday 4:30pm-5:45pm TSU - Humphries: 118
Poster Session Part of Wednesday


Danielle Ford, University of Delaware
Susan McGeary, University of Delaware
Jennifer Gallo-Fox, University of Delaware
Cheryl Ackerman, University of Delaware
Lauren Stegeman, University of Delaware
The authors present the design, research, and evaluation of an earth science course for preservice elementary teachers that is place-based, hands-on, technologically enriched, and aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Our redesigned earth science course was developed using the three-dimensional framework of the NGSS, emphasizing the practices of science and the use of Internet- and field-based environmental data. The overarching theme of earth system processes is exemplified within a single stream watershed; each unit is tied to observations the students make in the field and online. Over three design cycles, we have collected baseline data from a traditional version of the course, a large lecture class serving students in multiple majors; piloted the new curriculum in a small course with education majors; and then scaled up elements of the revised curriculum to a large lecture course. The delivery of the redesigned course is intended to impact preservice elementary teachers by increasing their learning and skill development, bolstering their confidence in their ability to teach science, and increasing their motivation to learn science. We discuss the ongoing research efforts to document impacts using a combination of validated measures, observation protocols, and document analysis. We present evidence of positive changes in instructor and student activities aligned with active learning and the NGSS practices, as well as challenges faced in measuring the effects of curriculum redesign efforts on student knowledge, beliefs and motivation.