Journal of Elementary Science Education

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 42–54 | Cite as

The effects of participating in an elementary science practicum on classroom practice

  • Linda E. James
  • Scott B. Watson


The purpose of this study was to observe, describe, and analyze how teachers may change the way they teach science after supervising university science practicum students in their classrooms. This study utilized a one-group pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design along with interview methodologies. The instrument used for the quasi-experimental portion of the study was the Self-Report about Teaching (Curriculum Research and Development Group [CRDG], 1990). The independent variable for this study was the participation of classroom teachers in the supervision of a science practicum in their classrooms. The dependent variables were the scores from the instrument utilized. Interviews were conducted in order to determine the teachers’ perceptions of changes in their own practice of teaching science. Classroom observations were also made to confirm and support data from the instrument and from the interviews. For the quasi-experimental portion of the study, a paired-samplet-test was utilized to make comparisons between the pretest and posttest scores from the instrument. A highly significant difference was indicated between the pretest and posttest scores, with the teachers showing a marked increase in their perceptions of their science instruction. The main finding from the interviews was that students were very interested in the lessons taught in the classroom and were successful in learning the objectives through hands-on, inquiry-based instruction. Classroom observations served to confirm the information from the quasi-experimental portion of the study by demonstrating how the teachers actually taught in their classrooms. The interviews confirmed the changes indicated in the posttest Self-Report about Teaching and went into specific explanations.


PRESERVICE Teacher Science Teacher Elementary Teacher Elementary Science Practicum Experience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Science EducationEast Carolina UniversityGreenville

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