2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 152-9
Presentation Time: 3:45 PM

PRE-SERVICE TEACHER REFLECTIONS FROM A PLANT ECOLOGY INVESTIGATION WITHIN A NINE-WEEK SUMMER 2013 GEOSCIENCE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE


MIMS, Anthony, Middle Tennessee State University, Bechtelsville, PA 19505 and BRIGGS, Kathryn, Middle Tennessee State University, 3517 Ramsgate Ct, Lexington, KY 40503, mranthonymims@gmail.com

The Summer 2013 interdisciplinary Geoenvironmental Challenges Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) provided an opportunity for ten pre-service science teachers to experience the scientific method in a hands-on, minds-on fashion. By conducting research (collecting soil depth measurements in the cedar glades of Tennessee), two pre-service middle school science teachers (Mims and Briggs) learned the process of using data to interpret conclusions and predict future results. Teachers will use this process every day in their classrooms and this opportunity was invaluable to future science teachers.

Classroom use of research experience photographs provides evidence of the impact of the experience on one of the pre-service teachers (Mims). During his time as a student teacher, he taught in an urban school district that followed a day-by-day schedule, using a basal reader. He used Summer 2013 field photographs to provide students with visuals for the vocabulary words they learned while reading the story, Journey to the Center of the Earth. Photographs included images of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and snakes encountered while collecting field data in the cedar glades of central Tennessee.