Embedding probeware technology in the context of ocean acidification in elementary science methods courses

Research indicates that preservice teacher (PT) education programs can positively impact perceptions of scientific probeware use in K-8 environments. Despite the potential of probeware to improve science instruction and student engagement, its use in elementary education has been limited. Sixty-seven PT enrolled across three sections of an elementary science methods course participated in a mixed-methods study through which they utilized probeware in a thematic experience on ocean acidification. One-way repeated measures ANOVA of pre and post survey data measuring subscales of utility, ability, and intent to use probeware demonstrated a statistically significant increase with medium to large effect sizes for all subscales across all sections (p<0.01,η2p=0.384;p<0.001,η2p=0.517;p<0.001,η2p=0.214)p0.01ηp20.384p0.001ηp20.517p0.001ηp20.214. Analysis of reflective journals revealed over 60% felt the multiple capabilities (notably graphing) of probeware make it a useful classroom tool, and almost one-half believed that its use makes science more enjoyable and engaging. Mapping of the unitized data from the journals on the Next Generation Science Standards suggested that probeware use especially engages learners in planning and carrying out investigations and in analyzing and interpreting data. Journals also revealed that despite PT having prior experience with probeware in science courses, its use in their future elementary classroom is conditional on having a positive experience with probeware in a science methods course. Further, embedding a probeware experience in a unit on ocean acidification provides PT with strategies for addressing climate change and engaging in argument from evidence.

Ensign T. I., Rye J. A. & Luna M. J., in press. Embedding probeware technology in the context of ocean acidification in elementary science methods courses. Journal of Science Education and Technology. Article (subscription required).

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OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book