We investigated beginning secondary science teachers’ understandings of the science and engineering practice of developing and using models. Our study was situated in a scholarship program that served two groups: undergraduate STEM majors interested in teaching, or potential teachers, and graduate students enrolled in a teacher education program to earn their credentials, or preservice teachers. The two groups completed intensive practicum experiences in STEM-focused academies within two public high schools. We conducted a series of interviews with each participant and used grade-level competencies outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to analyze their understanding of the practice of developing and using models. We found that potential and preservice teachers understood this practice in ways that both aligned and did not align with the NGSS and that their understandings varied across the two groups and the two practicum contexts. In our implications, we recommend that teacher educators recognize and build from the various ways potential and preservice teachers understand this complex practice to improve its implementation in science classrooms. Further, we recommend that a variety of practicum contexts may help beginning teachers develop a greater breadth of understanding about the practice of developing and using models.
Noyce Award Number1240075
Carpenter, S. L., Iveland, A., Moon, S., Hansen, A. K., Harlow, D. B., & Bianchini, J. A. (2019). Models are a “metaphor in your brain”: How potential and preservice teachers understand the science and engineering practice of modeling. School Science and Mathematics, 119(5), 275-286. doi:10.1111/ssm.12340