Integrating Science Concepts through Poetry: A Study Comparing Online and Face-to-Face Teaching Methods Courses for Pre-Service Elementary Educators

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The literature has documented a lack of daily instructional time dedicated to teaching science in comparison to mathematics and literacy in elementary education. Utilizing poetry has shown promise in increasing teachers’ integration of science concepts, teaching literacy skills, improving student engagement, and fostering creativity. This study examined changes in the science teaching beliefs of two cohorts (n = 46) of elementary pre-service teachers (PSTs) co-enrolled in a literacy methods course and an elementary science methods course. The instructors collaboratively taught a hands-on integrated science and poetry unit, and mentored PSTs in creating their own poems and a corresponding 5E lesson plan. One cohort participated synchronously online due to COVID-19, while the other cohort participated the following year in person. The study revealed significant increases in PSTs’ self-efficacy to teach science after the methods courses. When comparing the two cohorts, PSTs from the online group reported significantly greater gains in their self-efficacy to teach science. There were no significant differences between groups regarding their outcome expectancy for teaching science, and their perceived understanding of and preparation for teaching science content. This research has implications for teacher preparation programs, professional development efforts, and the integration of more science teaching within elementary classrooms.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Science Education and Technology
StatePublished - Sep 2023

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