Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 811–832 | Cite as

Promoting Shifts in Preservice Science Teachers’ Thinking through Teaching and Action Research in Informal Science Settings



The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of an integrated experiential learning and action research project on preservice science teachers’ developing ideas about science teaching, learning, and action research itself. The qualitative, interpretive study examined the action research of 10 master’s degree students who were involved in service learning with children in informal education settings. Results indicated that all of the participants enhanced their knowledge of children as diverse learners and the importance of prior knowledge in science learning. In-depth case studies for three of the participants indicated that two developed deeper understandings of science learners and learning. However, one participant was resistant to learning and gained more limited understandings.


Secondary Informal science Action research 


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Copyright information

© The Association for Science Teacher Education, USA 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Science EducationIndiana State UniversityTerre HauteUSA

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