English/Language Arts Education
Many science educators emphasize the need for meaningful science learning experiences and promote the idea of social constructivism in their methods classes, usually with inquiry-based activities that include physical manipulatives. However, the proliferation of technology in the nation’s schools suggests the need to incorporate this trend into inquiry-based elementary classrooms. This paper describes a shared common course assignment on forces and motion in an elementary science methods course, in which the iPad was introduced to preservice teachers as a tool for developing understanding of key concepts and processes. The study focused on the aspects of iPad use that 98 elementary preservice teachers perceived as beneficial in the forces and motion unit. Participants discussed the utility of the iPad for recording and replaying test data, its potential for visualizing science phenomena, and its value for communicating science understanding. Additionally, participants described how the iPad influenced instructional efficiency, engagement, and social learning. The implications of these findings are described given the scientific and engineering practices outlined in the new Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council, 2012).
Social Studies Education
This paper reports on a design experiment of web-based curriculum materials explicitly created to help social studies teachers develop their professional teaching knowledge. Web-based social studies curriculum reform efforts, human-centered interface design, and investigations into educative curriculum materials are reviewed, as well as examples of previous efforts to develop educatively scaffolded teaching resources. Three teachers piloted the materials created by the authors, and their experiences are described. The authors then make recommendations for the design of future educative curricula.
This study investigates the use of interactive video in teacher education as a way of laying the cognitive groundwork for developing teacher self-reflection. Two interactive video approaches were designed to help early preservice teachers (novices) align what they observed in classroom teaching videos of other preservice teachers with what experienced teacher-educators (experts) observed in the same videos. The first approach of video coding, based on qualitative research methods, required preservice teachers to write their own observations when viewing short video clips before being shown the observations written by experts who had viewed the same clips. The novices then compared their observations to those of the experts before viewing and coding the next video clip. Both experts and novices coded the video clips, which came from a middle-school language arts class and an elementary mathematics class, for instances of classroom management and student questioning. The second approach of guided video viewing involved preservice teachers reading experts’ written observations while viewing the same video clips used in video coding but not writing their own observations. On a written classroom observation posttest, the video viewing group performed better than the video coding group and significantly better than a no-video control group.