Publication 7251

Shymansky J. & Matthews C. (1993) Focus on children’s ideas about science – An integrated program of instructional planning and teacher enhancement from the constructivist perspective. In: Proceedings of the Third International Seminar on Misconceptions and Educational Strategies in Science and Mathematics. Cornell University, Ithaca, 1–4 August 1993. Misconceptions Trust, Ithaca NY: **MISSING PAGES**. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/7251
FOCIS is a recently-completed five-year project to develop a program that integrates science instructional planning and teacher enhancement. Separate modules of videotaped and printed materials have been developed (1) for use by science methods instructors in college-based courses for teachers and teacher candidates and (2) for inservice teachers and their local curriculum coordinators or workshop leaders in school district-based programs for teacher enhancement and curriculum design. The underlying FOCIS intention is to help teachers approach their curriculum planning and teaching in ways that restructure their own understanding, as well as their students’ understanding, of the science topic. From a constructivist perspective, the primary planning strategy employs studying the structure and evolution of students’ ideas on the science topic – with assistance from a science consultant who has expertise on the topic and from a “learning activity” consultant who has experience and expertise on teaching the topic by means of activities that help to challenge and refine students’ ideas in the direction of scientists’ ideas on the topic. Concept mapping and associated interviews constitute the main FOCIS strategies for studying student ideas. The primary FOCIS teaching strategy employs accessing, analyzing, and challenging student ideas. The paper emphasizes the nature and use of the FOCIS videotape/print modules for teachers (and teacher candidates) and their “science methods” instructors and for in-service teachers and their in-service leaders.

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