Title: Enhancing science and mathematics teacher education: evaluating an enhancement module for science pre-service teachers

Authors: Geoff Woolcott; Robert Whannell; Linda Pfeiffer; Tony Yeigh; James Donnelly; Amanda Scott

Addresses: School of Education, Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW 2480, Australia ' School of Education, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351, Australia ' School of Education and the Arts, Central Queensland University, Gladstone QLD 4680, Australia ' School of Education, Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW 2480, Australia ' School of Health and Human Sciences Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450, Australia ' Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program, Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW 2480, Australia

Abstract: Motivated and well-trained science and mathematics teachers are a requirement for sustaining an industrialised economy. The Australian government has funded several projects to satisfy this requirement designed to improve pre-service teacher (PST) education in regional and rural Australia. One such project uses a collaboration nexus model with lesson feedback and Reflection Module in an iterative process using a repeated sequence comprised of an Enhancement Module, a subsequent Teaching Lesson and a Reflection Module. This paper reports on qualitative investigations of the effectiveness of the collaboration nexus in the Enhancement Module and comments on the value of the iterative process. Results from small-scale trials with PSTs indicate that the module positively engages participants, PSTs, university scientists and specialist educators. The module and its iterations appear to be effective in grounding PST education in targeting regional contexts relevant to the daily lives of both PSTs and their classroom students.

Keywords: PST; problem-based learning; pre-service teacher; mathematics and science education; collaboration nexus; critical moments; teacher education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLC.2017.084615

International Journal of Learning and Change, 2017 Vol.9 No.2, pp.131 - 144

Received: 30 Jun 2016
Accepted: 04 Dec 2016

Published online: 17 Jun 2017 *

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