Exploratory Study of the Teaching Practices of Novice Science Teachers Who Participated in Undergraduate Science Education Research

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Sarah B Boesdorfer
Laura M. Asprey


Research experiences for teachers have been shown to improve their knowledge and teaching practice. One type of research experience not as well studied is undergraduate science education research. Using qualitative research methodologies, the teaching practices and tools of seven novice teachers who participated in undergraduate science education research along with three novice teachers who did not participate in research were compared. Novice teachers with research experience included some similar practices and tools in their teaching—collecting student data, regularly using formative assessments, and employing questioning as a teaching tool—which novice teachers without the research experience did not. The results of this exploratory study suggest a positive impact of undergraduate science education research on teachers’ practices likely because it changes the preservice teachers’ learning community; however, more exploration is needed to understand the characteristics of the research experience which might have made it valuable to the preservice teachers’ learning. 

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Research / Empirical