American students studying science are expected not only to master the fundamental concepts of the discipline but more importantly to understand the methods of inquiry in science. The workplace now expects graduates to be able to use scientific knowledge to design experimental investigations, devise and test models of natural phenomena, work collaboratively, and communicate effectively. Research in education demonstrates that the success of the current reform goals in K-12 science education depends on the preparation of teachers. In addition to knowing the content and the methods of scientific inquiry teachers should be able to create learning environments in which students can master the concepts and processes of science while working with their peers. Students will not learn if content knowledge is simply transmitted to them.
Undergraduate students at the University of Arizona who wish to become middle or high school science teachers have a unique opportunity to pursue their goal in the company of other science majors under the guidance of science educators and experienced mentor teachers. In this article, I present some of the central ideas that guide this teacher preparation program, and how those ideas are implemented. I conclude with information about program enrollment and teacher retention.
Search for more Curricula resources