The Effect of Teaching Strategies Using Models on Pre-service Elementary Teachers' About Earth-sun-moon Relationships
As early as 1979, Hill and Obenhauf, noted that ""spatial visualization, problem solving, and cognitive development has been of interest to science educators"" (p. 665) and those components could be useful in the development of instructional strategies for science teachers. Posing the question that current modes of teaching need to be examined and perhaps modified, Stepans, Dyche, and Beiswanger (1988) investigated two instructional strategies -- expository and learning cycle -- to determine if one model of instruction would be better in correcting student misunderstandings. More specifically Klein (1982) suggested a need for additional research to determine if different methods and materials would increase children's understanding of Earth-sun-moon relationship. Cohen (1982) offered that even when using a ""hands-on"" approach to teaching the phases of the moon, the teaching strategy may lead to the development of misconceptions. He submitted a ""more appropriate approach might be to raise questions based on observations"" (p. 8).
It was postulated by Shuell (1987) that ""how students learn science is not the same thing as understanding the best ways to teach science to students"" (p. 240). Preservice teachers are future classroom teachers. The instructional materials teachers use reflect their individual conceptions of teaching and learning (Smith and Anderson, 1985). The preservice population needs to have their misconceptions identified, examined, and remediated (Arditzoglou, 1990; Cohen, M., 1982) and to grasp conceptual change instructional strategies as part of their professional preparation. Shell (1987) submits that teaching is a prescriptive process and :
the fundamental task of a good teacher is to get students to engage in learning activities that are likely to result in them achieving the desired outcomes, taking into account factors such as prior knowledge, the context in which the material is presented, and the realization that students' interpretation and understanding of new information depend on the availability of appropriate schemata....The teacher's task is the nontrivial one of determining which learning tasks are most appropriate for the students to work on, getting the students to engage in these activities, monitoring their progress to insure that the desired learning is actually taking place, and repeating this cycle if the learning process is judged to be ineffective (p. 245).
Keeping in mine that it is the task of a good teacher to get students to engage in activities which result in achievement, it is imperative that teaching strategies be isolated and examined for appropriateness and relevancy to desired student outcomes (Confrey, 1990). In this case, desired outcomes were the remediation of spatial visualization inabilities and, more specifically, misconceptions or error patterns originating from projective conceptionalizations of Earth-sun-moon relationship.
Type of Publication
Callison, Priscilla Lois
Kansas State University
Curriculum and Instruction
Number of Pages
Nation(s) of Study
United States of America