Using Technology to Engage Preservice Elementary Teachers in Learning about Scientific Inquiry

  • Loretta L. Jones
  • James R. MacArthur
  • Sevil Akaygün
Keywords: Classroom response systems, Clickers, Elementary science education, Scientific inquiry, Technology


Elementary teachers are often required to teach inquiry in their classrooms despite having had little exposure to inquiry learning themselves. In a capstone undergraduate science course
preservice elementary teachers experience scientific inquiry through the completion of group projects, activities, readings and discussion, in order to develop a sense of how inquiry 
learning takes place. At the same time, they learn science content necessary for teacher licensure. The course exposes students to different pathways of scientific discovery and to the
use of the computer both as a tool for conducting inquiry-based investigations and as a means of collecting and sharing student opinions. The students involved have many misconceptions
about science and it is often difficult for them to distinguish science from pseudoscience. Computer simulations are used to help students understand that difference. In addition, a classroom response system using “clickers” is used to poll student opinions on controversial issues and to stimulate discussion. 


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