Redesigning science teacher education to reflect the nature of contemporary science
conference contributionposted on 01.01.2006, 00:00 authored by Russell TytlerRussell Tytler, David Symington
Evidence that many students are not being captivated by school science has led to advocacy of revising the science curriculum. However, there need to be accompanying changes in science teacher education. This study is designed to lay foundations for innovation in the pre-service education of secondary science teachers, involving a reconceptualisation of the nature of contemporary science and a course structure that links science teaching with broader science public reform initiatives. We held a series of Focus Groups, built around Government Research Priority areas, which brought together people from industry, government, research organisations, and community groups involved in science and its applications. In the groups the participants discussed how science currently operates in their area, ways in which the area will develop in the coming decade, and what implications there are for the nation and its citizens and for science education. What emerged was a concern for public responses to science at a range of levels, and a very different view of science practice and community involvement with science to that represented in current university and school science courses. This was confirmed in interviews with science graduates working in disparate fields, and also focus groups of school students. The paper will report on the insights generated, and explore the implications for redesigning the pre-service education of science teachers.