Transitioning Students to Teacher/Researchers: a model for science teacher preparation

Donald French
Edward E. Bartlett Professor of Pedagogy in Integrative Biology and Co-Director OSUTeach
Oklahoma State University

The Transitioning Students to Teacher Researchers (TSTR) workshop will share a program model for STEM learning for undergraduate science majors who are preservice science teachers (PSTs). The program provides multiple authentic research experiences to PSTs prior to their entering the teaching profession. The core of our model is the evidence-based, instructional practice of providing Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs). Our approach is to embed research experiences and practices into two Science Methods – Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (SM-CURE) courses and an optional Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SM-SURE), followed by two Science Methods – Course-Based Undergraduate Teaching Experience (SM-CUTE) courses. All SM-CUREs are embedded in a transformed curriculum that integrates undergraduate research with reflection, pedagogy, and practice to strengthen PSTs’ research skills, scientific thinking, pedagogical and instructional practices. TSTR created a comprehensive curriculum integrating research and teaching experiences with theoretical coursework. During SM-CURE1, PSTs develop questions, design experiments, collect and analyze data, defend conclusions and learn about the tools, culture, challenges, and rewards associated with authentic research. However, what is unique about SM-CURE1 is that PSTs learn about both the nature of science (NOS) through the explicit lens of their research and how to transition their research into standards-based inquiry lessons that address the science and engineering practices identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. During SM-CURE2, PSTs co-mentor others in research while strengthening their own understanding of how to actively engage learners in the scientific practices.


Julie Angle