Supporting the Development of Teachers’ Knowledge and Instructional Abilities: Research Published in the Journal of Science Teacher Education


lederman-photoOrganisers: Norman G. Lederman and Judith S. Lederman
Discussant: Knut Neumann, IPN – Kiel, GermanyThe Journal of Science Teacher Education (JSTE) is the flagship journal of the Association of Science Teacher Education. This research journal is the only peer reviewed research journal that focuses solely on science teacher education. Consequently, the research published in the journal is much more targeted than other journals in science education. The science teacher education focus of this journal relates to studies in which an intervention is used as a mechanism for professional development. The studies published are not simply studies that have implications for science teaching.  Rather, an intervention is necessary for the research to be considered for publication. The selection of papers comprising this symposium span the elementary grades and secondary grades. In addition, the various research presented will focus on both teachers’ knowledge and teachers’ instructional abilities. Scientific explanations are heavily emphasized in the U.S. Next Generation Science Standards. The first paper will focus on providing support for secondary science teachers in their attempts to facilitate students’ understandings of scientific explanations. Teaming science teachers with science researchers has long been advocated in science teacher professional development. The second paper focuses on the development of collaborations between scientists and science teachers. Elementary science teachers often struggle with their depth of subject matter knowledge. The third paper focuses on the use of educative curriculum materials in elementary classrooms to facilitate teacher learning. Finally, the fourth paper focuses on the development of science teachers’ perspective taking skills for socioscientific reasoning.

Dr. Norman G. Lederman, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Science Education at Illinois Institute of Technology was an award winning biology/chemistry teacher. Internationally known for his scholarship on students’ and teachers’ conceptions of nature of science and scientific inquiry, he has  authored or edited 10 books/chapters and over 200 peer reviewed articles, and made  500+ national/international conference presentations. He was Co-Editor of both volumes of Handbook of Research on Science Education and School Science and Mathematics. Currently he is Co-Editor of the Journal of Science Teacher Education. Dr. Lederman is former President of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching and the Association for the Education of Teachers in Science. He served as  Director of Teacher Education for the National Science Teachers Association. He is a  Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Educational Research Association. He received the Distinguished Contributions to Science Education through Research Award from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching and the Distinguished Service to Science Education from the National Science Teachers Association.

Dr. Judith Sweeney Lederman is an Associate Professor and Director of Teacher Education in the Department of Mathematics and Science Education at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago IL. She has been the Curator of Education at the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium in Providence and has taught middle and secondary level physics and biology, as well as bilingual elementary science. Dr. Lederman has over 600 national and international presentations/publications on the teaching and learning of Scientific Inquiry and Nature of Science in both formal and informal settings. She is co-editor for the Journal of Science Teacher Education, an author for a National Geographic elementary science book series and co-authored an elementary science teaching methods text. Dr. Lederman was a Fulbright Fellow working in South Africa with teachers at the Cradle of Humankind. She is on the board of directors of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and is past president of the Council for Elementary Science International (CESI).