2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 25, 2003)
Paper No. 84-7
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM

INQUIRY AS A METHOD TO PREPARE PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS TO USE INQUIRY TEACHING AND TO UNDERSTAND EARTH SCIENCE CONCEPTS

MILLER, Kurtz K.M., Geological Sciences, Wright State Univ, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Brehm Laboratory #285, Fairborn, OH 45324, Kat_Man_98@yahoo.com.

The National Science Education Standards (NSES) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Benchmarks integrate earth science (weather) education into the elementary and middle school classroom. The NSES and AAAS Benchmarks also strongly promote learning through inquiry activities. In order to better prepare future elementary and middle school teachers to develop inquiry learning in their classrooms and to fully understand earth science (weather) concepts, it is essential to offer inquiry science classes for pre-service teachers. The Wright State University College of Education and Human Services requires pre-service teachers (early and middle childhood) to follow a very stringent licensure course of study program. Instead of taking introductory science courses as general and science education requirements, the Teacher Education Program requires all early and middle childhood pre-service teachers to take inquiry-based science courses. Inquiry courses taken by early and middle childhood pre-service teachers include biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. These courses have been specially designed to meet the science education needs of these pre-service teachers. A multiple choice test administered to early and middle childhood pre-service teachers has initially suggested that knowledge obtained outside of the classroom may be a significant contributing factor to earth science content knowledge. The pre-service teachers who had not taken physical geography scored significantly better than those students who had taken physical geography. A nonparametric Mann-Whitney test was used to analyze the data and to show that the difference between the two sets of scores is statistically significant. Early and middle childhood pre-service teachers learn about earth science and weather concepts at Wright State University by taking two separate required courses: concepts in geology and physical geography. The geology course is taught in an inquiry type format whereas the physical geography class is a lecture course. Numerous educational studies have shown that learning outcomes are much greater for students who have taken an inquiry course versus a lecture type course.

2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 25, 2003)
Session No. 84--Booth# 74
Geoscience Education (Posters) I
Washington State Convention and Trade Center: Hall 4-F
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Monday, November 3, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, No. 6, September 2003, p. 154

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