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Using Facets of Effective Science Learning Environments to Examine Preservice Elementary Teachers' Observations of Their Clinical Experiences in Korea and the U.S.

  • Received : 2012.08.24
  • Accepted : 2012.11.29
  • Published : 2012.11.30

Abstract

This study examined the science learning environments experienced by Korean and U.S. preservice elementary science teachers during their 3-week clinical experience. Observational experiences of 97 Korean and 112 U.S preservice teachers were surveyed with an instrument that we developed for the study. Follow-up interviews provided a clearer picture of what preservice teachers observed and experienced in science classrooms during their clinical experiences. Korean preservice teachers experienced a variety of science teaching environments, whereas the U.S. preservice teachers reported limited opportunities to observe science teaching and learning in terms of 6 identified facets that we posed. Along with our interpretation of the contrast in findings, some of the challenges are discussed in providing preservice teachers with opportunities to observe, experience, and teach in effective science learning environments during the clinical experience.