A study of the consistency between the Korean national Science Curriculum and the teacher education programs for secondary science teachers based on the perspectives of STS and constructivism
The purpose of this research was to determine whether the present Korean teacher education programs for secondary science teachers are effective in improving teacher understanding of constructivism and STS because the current Korean National Science Curriculum emphasizes both ideas as reforms.
The teacher education programs sampled in the research included pre-service programs and two types of in-service programs. These two were the Qualifying In-service Program and the Iowa Korean Science Teachers Workshop. The Iowa Program emphasized the constructivist perspective. Specially designed questionnaires for identifying teacher conceptions and perceptions before and after the programs were administered. Course syllabi, text materials, and e-mail correspondence with the program instructors provided other data for the study.
The conceptions about constructivism and STS improved as a result of the instruction in both of the pre-service and in-service teacher education programs. The teachers were inclined to agree with the ideas of constructivism and STS before and after the programs. The pre-service program was more effective than the in-service programs in improving the teacher perspectives of both constructivism and STS. The Iowa Korean Science Teachers Workshop was more effective than the Qualifying In-service Program.
Although there were no courses which focused specifically on constructivism in the pre-service programs, the longer period of time for learning and the introduction of the ideas provided an advantage for the pre-service programs. The ideas of constructivism and STS were included inmost of the courses in the pre-service programs in contrast to the lack of any mention of the ideas in the Qualifying In-service Program. Further, the instruction used in the Qualifying In-service Program did not focus on various teaching methods that dealt with either constructivism or STS. Instead, the instructors depended almost entirely on lectures. The Iowa Korean Science Teachers Workshop reflected the constructivist perspective in the instruction. Further, it was suggested as a way of aligning the Korean National Science Curriculum more quickly with recommended teaching practices in Korean schools.
PhD at The University of Iowa, 2001. 5.
Advisor: Robert E. Yager