“Re-envisioning teacher preparation for science in Washington State”

Chris Ohana, Matthew Miller, Daniel Hanley

Abstract


Despite an urgency to expand opportunities to learn science, historically, little attention has been paid to science education in the elementary years. While there are no clear standards or universally accepted expectations for elementary science methods courses, science in the elementary grades is starting to receive more attention due to an understanding that it is crucial that young learners have opportunities to build a strong foundation in science prior to middle school. Recent works have supported the case that young children are powerful thinkers who are capable of sophisticated scientific reasoning and that our models and assumptions of reaching elementary children need to be examined. In this paper we explain how this new emphasis on elementary science education and recent research on the needs of preservice teacher education programs to address these issues has guided our science education faculty to develop a new model for science teacher preparation here in Washington State, Methods of Research-based Education for Teachers (M.O.R.E.).



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