P806: Problem-based learning (PBL) with middle-school students: Engaging pre-service teachers in authentic science teaching in an after-school setting

Author: Kermin J. Martinez-Hernandez, St. John Fisher College, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 3:40 PM4:00 PM

Room: MAN 122

Related Symposium: S15

Traditionally, Problem-Based Learning (PBL) has been implemented successfully in a single classroom with a group of students. However in this study, another layer was added by exposing pre-service teachers to work in conjunction with middle-school students in their PBL projects. The first goal was to provide an early exposure to pre-service teachers to work directly with middle-school students in an authentic setting. The second goal was to provide middle-school students participating in an after-school program with an opportunity to learn how to do research of their own interest using PBL in conjunction with college students. A pre/post-survey and weekly reflective journals were used to assess the change of pre-service teachers attitudes about science and science teaching and level of confidence after being engaged in a service learning activity through PBL with middle-school students. In addition, middle-school students completed a perception survey about their PBL experience after completion of the project. In this presentation, I will present results from this study as well as suggestions for future implementations of this type of projects.