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The impact of a student-teacher-scientist partnership (STSP) on students’ and teachers’ content knowledge and attitudes toward science

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Title: The impact of a student-teacher-scientist partnership (STSP) on students’ and teachers’ content knowledge and attitudes toward science
Author(s): Houseal, Ana K.
Director of Research: DeStefano, Lizanne
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Abd-El-Khalick, Fouad
Doctoral Committee Member(s): DeStefano, Lizanne; Bresler, Liora; Sanford, Robert A.
Department / Program: Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline: Secondary & Continuing Educ
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Student-teacher-scientist partnerships (STSP) Attitudes about science and scientists Geoscience content knowledge gains Inquiry middle level learners
Abstract: Engaging elementary students in science through inquiry-based methodologies is at the center of science education reform efforts (AAAS, 1989, NRC 1996, 2000). Through scientific problem solving, students can learn that science is more than just learning facts and concepts (NRC, 2000) The process of scientific inquiry, as a way of approaching scientific problem solving, can be taught to students through experiential, authentic (or real-world) science experiences. Student-teacher-scientist partnerships (STSPs) are one vehicle used to connect students to these science experiences with practicing research scientists. However, the literature on STSPs demonstrates they are fraught with challenges and very little is known of their effects on teachers’ and students’ content knowledge growth or changes in their attitudes about science and scientists. This study addressed these two areas by researching a particular STSP. The STSP, called Students, Teachers, and Rangers and Research Scientists (STaRRS), designed to be incorporated into the existing long-standing education program Expedition: Yellowstone! (E:Y!) was the focus of this study. For teachers, a pre-test, intervention, post-test research design addressing content knowledge gains, attitude changes, and pedagogical changes was used. A quasi-experimental pre- post-test design using treatment and comparison groups of students addressed content knowledge gains and attitude changes. Findings provided evidence of significant positive shifts in teachers’ attitudes regarding science and scientists, and trends of shifting pedagogical choices made by teachers. Students showed significant content knowledge gains and an increased positive attitude regarding their perceptions of scientists.
Issue Date: 2010-05-19
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16066
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Ana Houseal
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-05-19
Date Deposited: May 2010
 

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