Menu of Opportunities for Scientist Involvement in Teacher Preparation
Adjust and Adapt Existing Educational Resources
for Use by the Pre-Service Community
There are science educational materials that need adaptations to be used by pre-service teachers. Their needs are different from experienced teachers—they do not have the ability to easily adjust activities or edit content to match the standards and level for a specific grade, their understanding of science content and the nature of science varies greatly, a significant number of elementary education students are uncomfortable with science, and they are not aware of the challenges of the actual classroom and how it will affect their instruction.
A quality resource that has been adjusted to meet the needs of future teachers will also better serve the needs of teachers currently in the classroom.
Best Practices for Success
- Read the "Before You Begin" information.
- Examine the resources with input from (or in partnership with) appropriate individual(s) representative of the target audience, to have a better understanding of their needs.
- Make the resources easy-to-find by having them located on a site already widely used by educators.
- Write clear descriptions of the resources, including the targeted grade level.
- Provide clear instructions detailing the materials and sources for those materials, examples of the set-up, and explicit procedures.
- Make the resources accessible; pre-service teachers may not have the skills to adjust resources for special needs or diverse communities.
- Explicitly address appropriate national science standards; pre-service teachers may not be aware of the standards or how to adapt resources to specific standards.
- Ensure that the resources will be available for many years, so they will still be available when the pre-service teachers graduate and enter the classroom.
Paths of Involvement
- Incorporate the best practices above in planning new resources.
- Revise existing resources according to best practices above.
- Create simple mechanisms to help preservice teachers find the best resources.
- Create and distribute a video recording of the resources being used in the classroom.
- Provide professional development on using the resources.
Models of Existing and Past Work
Take Us to School! Resources for Student Teachers
This site, compiled and hosted by the Education and Social Science Library, is designed to serve the unique needs of student teachers in the state of Illinois. They have made every effort to compile, in one place, information that will be useful for student teachers, from finding lesson plans to borrowing books at local libraries to conducting education research.
GEMS activities engage students in direct experience and experimentation to introduce essential, standards-based principles and concepts. GEMS units are frequently used as models in preservice and educational methods courses.
Using Supported Video Exemplars for the Professional Development of Preservice Elementary School Teachers
This research investigated using videos of teachers using a software to help preservice teachers understand how to use it in the classroom.
Earth and Space Science Resource Alignment
This site attempted to align Texas science standards to various excellent resources for pre-service educators to use: information on misconceptions and ways to deal with those misconceptions, appropriate activities to conduct in the classroom, and additional information and resource guides.
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