Exploring Middle-school Prospective Teachers’ Challenges Related to Next Generation Science Standards
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The dissertation consists of three related studies focused on how to support middle-school prospective science teachers prepare for the latest science education standards-Next Generation Science Standards [NGSS]. The first chapter provides an overview of the three studies. Chapters two, three, and four explore prospective middle-school teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about three new tasks proposed in NGSS. Specifically, in Chapter two, a case study conducted in a methods course is presented. This study aims to exam how middle-school prospective teachers’ knowledge about engineering design and its teaching changed during an engineering learning module. In Chapter three, a theoretical model about teaching crosscutting concepts is proposed using a cognitive perspective. An example is also presented to illustrate how to use the model to facilitate student learning of a set of crosscutting concepts from NGSS. In Chapter four, results from a multiple-case study are described. This study explored four middle-school prospective teachers’ beliefs, intentions, and practices related to the three-dimension teaching approach recommended by NGSS. The last chapter synthesizes the conclusions of the three studies, discusses the implications for science teacher education, and points out future directions.