The Science Education Dept. at Harvard University conducted a nationwide
study, over the course of three semesters, on the strengths and weaknesses of
STEM, and on the teaching knowledge of preservice educators who will soon enter
the STEM teaching workforce. By examining pre-service teachers’ experiences
before and during their preparation program, we’ll share our findings about
experiences that optimize teacher knowledge for effective science teaching. The
study also characterizes two essential types of teacher knowledge: 1) subject
matter knowledge; and 2) pedagogical content knowledge concerning the common
preconceptions and misconceptions held by learners, reflecting stages in student
learning progressions. This research helps identify promising features of
undergraduate PST programs for future implementation.
Attendees will learn what factors impact preservice teachers’ interest in teaching, the status of teacher education programs, and what are the strong and weak STEM content knowledge areas of preservice science teachers, including the prevalence of learning about students’ misconceptions.
Philip Sadler (Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian: Cambridge, MA), Cynthia Crockett (Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian: Cambridge, MA)