Impact of Backwards Faded Scaffolding in an Astronomy Course
for Pre-service Elementary Teachers based on Inquiry
In response to national reform movements calling for future teachers to be prepared to design and deliver science instruction using the principles of inquiry, we created and evaluated a specially designed course for pre-service elementary education undergraduates based upon an inquiry-oriented teaching approach framed by the notions of backwards faded-scaffolding as an overarching theme for instruction. Students completed both structured- and open-inquiry projects and presented the results of their investigations several times throughout the semester. Using a single-group, multiple-measures, quasi-experimental design, students demonstrated enhanced content knowledge of
astronomy and inquiry as well as attitudes and self-efficacy toward teaching.