The Influence of Informal Science Education Experiences on the Development of Two Beginning Teachers’ Science Classroom Teaching Identity

December 1st, 2013 | RESEARCH

In case studies of two first-year elementary classroom teachers, we explored the influence of informal science education (ISE) they experienced in their teacher education program. Our theoretical lens was identity development, delimited to classroom science teaching. We used complementary data collection methods and analysis, including interviews, electronic communications, and drawing prompts. We found that our two participants referenced as important the ISE experiences in their development of classroom science identities that included resilience, excitement and engagement in science teaching and learning–qualities that are emphasized in ISE contexts. The data support our conclusion that the ISE experiences proved especially memorable to teacher education interns during the implementation of the No Child Left Behind policy which concentrated on school-tested subjects other than science.


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Team Members

Phyllis Katz, Author, University of Maryland, College Park
J. Randy McGinnis, Author, University of Maryland, College Park
Kelly Riedinger, Author, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Gili Marbach-Ad, Author, University of Maryland, College Park
Amy Dai, Author, University of Maryland, College Park


Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.1007/s10972-012-9330-z
Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 1046-560X

Publication: Journal of Science Teacher Education
Volume: 24
Number: 8
Page(s): 1357

Related URLs


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Scientists | Undergraduate | Graduate Students
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM | History | policy | law
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Higher Education Programs | Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs