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Learning to teach comes through teaching. Becoming an effective science teacher comes from critical reflection on practice in light of knowledge of how students learn science best. Beginning science teachers also need to understand their personal histories in education (beliefs, values, and experiences) and build upon existing talents and strengths in teaching while critically reconsidering those negative experiences that do not support student learning and motivation in diverse classrooms. For example, past experiences in working with youth in after school programs can be invaluable in teaching students in grades 6-12. Teaching must engage ALL students and connect to students' prior conceptions, interests, and diverse experiences - or meaningful and motivated learning will not occur. An effective science teacher also needs a good understanding of scientific concepts and principles (content) as well as how science works (process). Teaching science through use of scientific processes constitutes a form of teaching called inquiry. Striving to become highly effective inquiry teachers is a life-long journey and goal of science teachers. Science teacher preparation begins this journey.
Effective science teachers must also be individuals who ...
Feel passionately about their discipline
Care deeply about working with adolescent students as learners
Embrace and accommodate student differences and diversity
Strive to create a classroom climate that is positive and student-centered
In secondary science education we help each other become effective science teachers through a learning community where courses and experiences are sequenced to meet our growing abilities and preparedness to become independent teachers upon graduation. We continually evaluate our progress through feedback and self-reflection on performance. We approach all fieldwork as professionals, demonstrating professional commitment, attitude, and behavior in our school placements. We work to the best of our ability to become effective science teachers who will create and teach meaningful and engaging lessons that will make a difference in the scientific literacy of our future students.
Last Updated: Feb 12, 2011