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Using anchored instruction to teach pre-service teachers to integrate technology into primary science education
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Paper presented at the World Association of Lesson Studies Conference, Hong Kong, 1-4 December 2008
John Dewey’s (The Essential Dewey, Vol. 1, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 1902) proposed that rich and engaged learning requires teachers to “psychologies” their subject-matter. However, this task has proven to be too challenging for pre-service teachers to undertake seriously and widely. In this study, we asked pre-service teachers to design instructional materials using the anchored instructional model so as to empower them with the powerful methods and ideas to make learning science more meaningful to elementary students. According to Bauer, Ellefsen, and Hall (1994), anchored instruction “is a model that can be applied to any grade level or content area. It can serve as both a context within which teachers can practice what they have learned about technology and science education together, seamlessly, in one assignment. A cohort of 77 pre-service teachers from the National Institute of Education in Singapore was involved in this study. Data collection and analysis were conducted through pre and post questionnaires and one-to-one interviews with pre-service teachers. The findings indicated that incorporating anchored instructional approach, as one of the course assignment, enhanced the teachers’ skills in technological applications in teaching and learning and also improved their content and pedagogical content knowledge in teaching elementary science. The use of anchored instruction as an assignment in this course had provided a model for the pre-service teachers to apply anchored instruction when they are teaching science in their own classroom.
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