Faculty of Education - Theses

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    Student teacher perception of enquiry in the teaching of senior secondary biology
    Benjamin, Mark (1937-) ( 1987)
    Ten student teachers were interviewed to determine the extent of their perception of enquiry in the teaching of senior secondary biology. Previous studies had indicated that both newly-trained and experienced teachers had difficulty in discussing the concept in the context of their teaching. Part of this problem has been due to confusion over the authentic meaning of the term itself. Enquiry was seen both as a classroom strategy, being used synonymously with discovery and as a process of scientific investigation. Biology teachers have given a low priority in their teaching to the understanding of science as a process. Although teaching science as a process of enquiry has been advocated in curriculum materials, often this has not been translated into classroom practice. The findings of this study have confirmed those of earlier ones. Few of the respondents were able to discuss science as enquiry, few were aware of the pre-eminent position of science as enquiry in the Web of Life course and none were conversant with how to use the course materials to present science as enquiry. The majority were able to discuss some aspects of scientific method. It is proposed that if similar problems are to be avoided in this and other areas, far more time must be given to more detailed consideration of the teaching of difficult concepts in teacher education programs. Awareness of and sympathy with the goals of teacher training institutions by supervising teachers in the schools seem essential.