Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Can experiential education strategies improve elementary science teachers' perceptions of and practices in science teaching?
by Sindel, Kasey D., Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2010, 123; 3427074
Abstract (Summary)

This study was prompted by the growing amount of research that is in support of science reform and from this researcher’s personal experience and concern that science instructions is no longer a top priority in elementary schools nor are young scientists given the opportunities to act as scientists in a real world setting. This study uses experiential education strategies in a workshop format to try and affect change in the attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of elementary science teachers.

Experiential education is not new, but the methods of teaching can span a wide range of topics. The main focus of the workshop featured in this study was a combination of outdoor education and inquiry. The format was Project WET, a program focused on the teaching and learning of water education.

The workshop was given to pre-service teachers enrolled in a science methods course at a local university. The workshop was held both in and out of doors and featured six lessons from the Project WET Activity Guide.

Data gathered offered insight into pre-service elementary teachers’ attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of science instruction, through the use of the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument. A z test for the difference in proportions for two sample means was used to analyze each statement on the STEBI, individually. A follow-up questionnaire, via an online survey instrument, provided feedback regarding the Project WET workshop.

Final analysis indicated no significant difference in the responses to 12 of the 13 individual questions, but follow-up survey questions indicate that there are definite advantages to further research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kania-Gosche, Beth
Commitee: Emrick, William, Wisdom, Sherrie
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 71/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Elementary education, Science education
Keywords: Experiential education, Science, Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument, Water education
Publication Number: 3427074
ISBN: 9781124303048
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