Principal Author: Brendan E. Callahan, Kennesaw State University
Co-Authors: Anissa Lokey-Vega, Kennesaw State University
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) both rely heavily on the processes of science to achieve learning. The NGSS formalized these processes into the eight Science and Engineering Practices (SEP). The Georgia Standards of Excellence does not separate these practices from science concepts, however practices are interwoven throughout the standards. Both sets of standards are relatively new. Many college students in Georgia have not been exposed to the new standards in any meaningful way, if at all. As a result, these students will be expected to teach science in a manner different from how they were taught.
Science content instructors must grapple with the problem of a wide range of student backgrounds as they prepare a science course. This is particularly true of preservice elementary education students. Content awareness is a factor in how they teach science. Teachers with stronger content knowledge have a tendency to ask more questions and use scientific practices. However, some students readily admit to not having had high school chemistry or physics, while other students took advanced science coursework at the high school level. Designing a course for these various groups of students has the potential to be very difficult.
For this proposal we are presenting a design case. In this case, we are transforming a successful physical science course designed for preservice elementary teachers into a course that has a more personalized learning structure, meaning the learner has some choice over learning path and pace. Personalized learning is an educational paradigm shift that values learner differences and harnesses technology to allow the educator and learner to co-plan a unique educational experience.
We anticipate that science content instructors and curriculum developers would be most interested in this presentation. Others, such as educational researchers, interested in personalized learning in teacher education would likely be interested in this presentation as well.