Due to resounding evidence that the quality and frequency of science instruction in public schools has decreased over the past several decades, this study sought to investigate the factors that teacher preparation programs can emphasize in order to effectively prepare teachers to create positive experiences with science for their students. A case study of one two-week experience during a teacher preparation program that emphasizes the practice of inquiry-based instruction was used to investigate the factors that make a difference for teachers and students. The research revealed that training teachers in an environment that underlines an awareness of teacher beliefs about science, inquiry, and teaching practices is important. Cultivating an awareness of pre-existing beliefs and assisting pre-licensure teachers through the process of refining their approaches in combination with their beliefs will help teachers create positive classroom environments and experiences with science. Specifically, inquiry-based practices are important in the classroom and should be reinforced in teacher preparation programs via experience.
School is the place in which children spend a majority of their time growing up. From kindergarten through high school, children spend at least 15,000 hours in classrooms, and their experiences have implications not only for their academic success, but also their personal well-being (Eccles & Roeser, 2011). Students encounter cyclical and recurrent stressors just by attending school every day, and some students lack appropriate coping mechanisms to negotiate these stressors (Sotardi, 2016). In the academic environment, practicing mindfulness has the potential to reduce stress and anxiety (Bamber & Schneider, 2016). Mindfulness is a process that leads to a mental state of nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment, including one’s sensations, thoughts, bodily states, consciousness, and the environment, while encouraging openness, curiosity, and acceptance (Bishop, Shapiro, Carlson, Anderson, Carmody Segal, Devins, 2004; Siegel, 2010). The two major themes of mindfulness practice involve self-regulation of attention and an orientation toward the present moment (Hofmann, Sawyer, Witt, & Oh, 2010). This study sought to understand the connection between the academic and personal experiences of third graders before, during, and after a five-week mindfulness intervention. The study found that after the intervention, students had an increased fluency and vocabulary when speaking about emotional states and coping skills. Students showed growth in the ability to name emotions and identify emotions they wanted to practice moving toward, and similarly, those they wished to let go of. All of the interviewed students noted that they would participate in mindfulness in the future if given the choice.
A magazine created by Colorado College students as part of the course, FG200 Introduction to Feminist Thought, taught by Assistant Professor Heidi Lewis during Block 6, 2014.