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Improving Teacher Preparation and Credentialing Consistent with the National Science Education Standards: Report of a Symposium one in the Standards, it is a critical one if teachers are to provide developmentally appropriate activities, examples, and exemplars. Research in cognitive science and other areas of science education has begun to explicate how children process knowledge, how they construct concepts, and why they cling to prior conceptions. Both in-service and pre-service teachers need to see their classrooms as laboratories in which they can study the teaching and learning of science. The insights gained through thoughtful observation, analysis, and assessment will contribute to improved practice and to the professionalization of teacher preparation. There has been over a decade of research about the learning of mathematics. Mathematics teachers and researchers have worked together to develop, test, and revise mathematics curricula and materials based on that knowledge. Now it is being applied directly to the creation of cognitively and developmentally appropriate Standards -based curricular materials. A great deal more is known about how children and adults learn mathematics compared with science, and we need research that addresses the learning of science to improve the preparation of teachers. The need for better curriculum materials in the science education community must be communicated in the strongest possible way to policy makers, publishers, foundations, deans, and faculties. Science education does not have the research base to proceed into the same kind of validated curriculum development that is going on in mathematics. The National Science Education Standards are dynamic, creating change as change occurs. They will continue to evolve, and they will need to be revisited as ways to extend them into teacher preparation, credentialing, and professional development are designed. Such activities will bear fruit only if they involve collaboration and coordination and if they are communicated to the multiple constituencies involved. Response to Dr. Butler Kahle from the State Perspective Terry Janicki, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing The Standards will not be implemented if we cannot find better ways of involving undergraduate science faculty. We need to find better ways of getting science professors to use inquiry-based methods in their work. A role for credentialing agencies is to provide some of the leverage to make the changes that many faculty members would like to make but that as individuals they cannot. They need the leverage of their administrators or the money to make the changes. It is important to talk about the collaboration needed between the K-12 community and the higher education community. One of the biggest changes coming up in California is a joint governance over teacher education. The K-12 community in California is now saying that they should be partners in the education of teachers, not just once they get in the classrooms and in the in-service programs
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