Drs. Victoria Deneroff, Karynne Kleine and Rosalie Richards have had a paper accepted at the International Conference for the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), a worldwide organization of professionals committed to the improvement of science teaching and learning through research. The conference is scheduled for April 6-9, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
ENGAGING PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS IN ARGUMENTATION IN AN UPPER LEVEL PHYSICAL SCIENCE CONTENT COURSE
After a decade of struggle to understand how to engage non-majors in the intellectual processes of science, we have begun to investigate the origins of their knowledge and develop a theoretical framework with the power to guide us in making substantive changes in the ways we design the PHSC 4010/5010 course: Physical Science for Middle Grades Teachers. We do this out of respect for our students, having known them as diligent and willing to try to accomplish what we ask of them. Our work with students in PHSC and our design of the course is founded on three stands of scholarship: constructivist learning theory, studies of the nature of science (NOS), and social practice theories of learning. We have come to see that the practice of school science does not provide students with the identity of scientist, and that the task of our instruction is to serve as brokers between these two worlds. As a consequence, we have come to see conversation as our principal tool for instruction. Conversation implies an equality of status between the parties. Although as instructors we are more knowledgeable about the concepts of our course, only the students can articulate their prior experiences and the conclusions they have drawn from them.