Teacher images can impact numerous perceptions in educational settings, as well as through popular media. The portrayal of effective science teaching is especially challenging to specify, given the complex nature of science inquiry and other standards-based practices. The present study examined the litany of representations of science teachers available via a Google Images search. Initial data collected included image type (photograph, cartoon/clip art, text/graphic) and demographic information of the depicted science teachers. Common themes were detected and documented, including science teachers’ attire, actions, materials and equipment, and interactions with students. The potential impact of these images is discussed, including comparisons with science education literature. Implications include ways science teacher educators can use these images to foster reflection and dialogue among preservice and in-service teachers. Furthermore, an examination of stereotypes may need to be addressed and overcome in order to recruit, prepare, and support science teachers successfully.
Science teachers’ experiences, attitudes, perceptions, concerns, and support needs related to the use of educational computer games were investigated in this study. Data were collected from an online survey, which was completed by 111 science teachers. The results showed that 73% of participants had used computer games in teaching. Participants who had used computer games in teaching had more positive attitudes toward the use of educational computer games in the classroom than those who had not used games. Middle school teachers were more confident and reported a higher level of perceived benefits than did high school teachers. Potential distractions appeared to be the major concern the participants had about using computer games in the classroom. The major barriers to integrating educational computer games into the classroom included lack of computers, lack of time, time needed for preparation for school and national high-stakes testing, and lack of knowledge about science games. Participants indicated their greatest needs were computers and access to trial versions of games to integrate educational computer games effectively in their classrooms. Participants reported that a computer game must be aligned with state and national standards, free, compatible with school computers, fun, challenging, proven to be effective, and easy to use in order to be used in their classroom.
This study was conducted to investigate eighth-grade science teachers’ self-efficacy during the implementation of a new, problem-based science curriculum. The curriculum included applications of LEGO® robotics, a new technology for these teachers. Teachers’ responded to structured journaling activities designed to collect information about their self-efficacy for teaching with the curriculum and, later, to a survey designed to probe their self-efficacy for enacting specific elements of the curriculum. Participants reported high confidence levels throughout the study but expressed some concerns related to their local contexts.
This case study described teachers with varying technology skills who were implementing the use of geospatial technology (GST) within project-based instruction (PBI) at varying grade levels and contexts 1 to 2 years following professional development. The sample consisted of 10 fifth- to ninth-grade teachers. Data sources included artifacts, observations, interviews, and a GST performance assessment and were analyzed using a constant comparative approach. Teachers’ teaching actions, beliefs, context, and technology skills were categorized. Results indicated that all of the teachers had high beliefs, but their context and level of technology skills strongly influenced their teaching actions. Two types of teachers persisting in practices from professional development were identified: innovators and adapters. Persistence of practice and implementation of the integration of GST within PBI must continue after professional development ends, or the sustainability of the positive results experienced during the professional development will not persist.