Title

The effect of concept mapping on preservice elementary teachers' knowledge of science inquiry teaching

Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation

Advisor(s)

Nick L. Smith

Keywords

Preservice teachers, Concept mapping, Elementary teachers, Science inquiry

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Instructional Media Design | Teacher Education and Professional Development

Abstract

This study examined the effect of concept mapping as a method of stimulating reflection on preservice elementary teachers' knowledge of science inquiry instruction methods. Three intact classes of science education preservice teachers participated in a non-randomized comparison group with a pretest and posttest design to measure the influence of mapping on participants' knowledge of inquiry science instruction. All groups followed the same course syllabus, in class activities, readings, assignments and assessment tasks. The manner in which they presented their ideas about inquiry science teaching varied. Groups constructed pre-lesson, post-lesson, and homework lists or maps across three inquiry based instruction modules (ecosystems, food chains, and electricity). Equivalent forms of the Teaching Science Inventory (TSI) were used to investigate changes in preservice teachers' propositional knowledge about how to teach using inquiry science instruction methods. Equivalent forms of the Science Lesson Planning (SLP) test were used to investigate changes in preservice teachers' application knowledge about how to teach using inquiry science instruction methods.

Data analysis included intrarater reliability, ANOVAs, ANCOVAs, and correlations between lists and maps and examination responses. SLP and TSI scores improved from the pretest to the posttest in each of the three study groups. The results indicate that, in general, there were basically no relationships between the treatment and outcome measures. In addition, there were no significant differences between the three groups in their knowledge about how to teach science. Conclusions drawn from this study include, first, the learners did learn how to teach science using inquiry. Second, in this study there is little evidence to support that concept mapping was more successful than the listing strategy in improving preservice elementary teachers' knowledge of teaching science using inquiry science instruction methods.

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