Pre-Service Science Teachers’ Scientific Inquiry in Environmental Field Trip Learning Context

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The significance of pre-service teacher education in the wellness and improvement of the environment has gained importance with increasing environmental problems. For effective environmental education environmental content should be integrated in teacher training programs. As in other science contents, in order to integrate environmental content fruitfully in these programs, first it is necessary to encourage pre-service science teachers’ (PST) use of inquiry skills in constructing environmental knowledge. This study explored senior PSTs’ use of scientific inquiry processes in constructing environmental knowledge during inquiry based field trips. A total of 5 environmental science learning task prepared by the researchers of this study implemented to 20 PSTs during an elective course. PSTs tested their hypotheses about environmental issues by carrying out scientific investigation in the field. Each environmental science learning task included two-week investigation period: one week PSTs were in the field for hypothesis testing and data collection and the following week they were in the classroom to interpret collected data in light of hypothesis they developed in the field and perform necessary discussion in the supervision of their instructors. Data were collected through videotapes, direct observations, and PSTs’ written responses to previously prepared worksheets. The data were analyzed by two researchers independently. The results indicated that a) PSTs’ perceived environmental knowledge was derived from their daily life experiences so they asserted arguments mostly supported by informal explanations, b) due to this reason both in the field and discussion, they could not integrate science knowledge gained through biology, physics, and chemistry courses to environmental knowledge, and c) lack of necessary conceptualization of environmental knowledge resulted in ill-structured scientific investigations.


Keywords: Pre-Service Teacher, Scientific Inquiry, Knowledge Construction, Environmental Education
Stream: Teacher Training and Professional Development
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Cihan Gulin Cihangir

Research Assistant, Elementary Department
Faculty of Education, Giresun University

Giresun, Turkey

I am a graduate of Elementary Science Education at Middle East Technical University (METU). I had also graduated from a minor program in the Department of Biological Sciences at METU. The reason why I run a minor program as I have also mentioned before is my special interest on the field of biology, ecology and its great contribution to my general knowledge. Now I have attended a master program, Elementary Science and Mathematics Education and worked as research assistant in the same university. My research interests are environmental education, scientific inquiry and knowledge construction mainly as expected from my major and minor. Except academic studies I am also interested in history and philosophy of science and art.

Ozgul Yilmaz-Tuzun

Associate Professor, Elementary Department
Faculty of Education, Middle East Technical University

Ankara, Turkey


Gaye Teksoz

Doctor, Elementary Education, Middle East Technical University
Ankara, Turkey


Ref: L09P1327