Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. in Education

Department

Teacher Education

First Advisor

William J. Sumrall

Second Advisor

Joel Amidon

Third Advisor

Lainy Day

Abstract

There is a need for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education to be taught effectively in elementary schools. In order to achieve this, teacher preparation programs should graduate confident, content strong teachers to convey knowledge to elementary students. This study used interdisciplinary collaboration between the School of Education and the College of Liberal Arts through a Learning-by-Teaching method (LdL): Lernen durch Lernen in German. Pre-service teacher (PST) achievement levels of understanding science concepts based on pretest and posttest data, quality of lesson plans developed, and enjoyment of the class based on the collaboration with science students. The PSTs enrolled in two treatment sections of EDEL 404: Science in the Elementary Classroom collaborated with science students enrolled in BISC 327: Introductory Neuroscience to enhance their science skills and create case-based lesson plans on neurothology topics: echolocation, electrosensory reception, steroid hormones, and vocal learning. The PSTs enrolled in the single control section of EDEL 404 collaborated with fellow elementary education majors to develop lesson plans also based on the same selected topics. Qualitative interviews of education faculty, science faculty, and PSTs provided depth to the quantitative findings. Upon lesson plan completion, in-service teachers also graded the two best and two worst plans for the treatment and control sections and a science reviewer graded the plans for scientific accuracy. Statistical analyses were conducted for hypotheses, and one significant hypothesis found that PSTs who collaborated with science students had more positive science lesson plan writing attitudes than those who did not. Despite overall insignificant statistical analyses, all PSTs responded as more confident after collaboration. Additionally, interviews provided meaning and understanding to the insignificant statistical results as well as scientific accuracy of the lesson plans.

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Education Commons

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