Date of Award
Program or Major
Doctor of Philosophy
This descriptive research will present two case studies of experienced science teachers using project-based curricula in all or part of their secondary life science/biology courses. The purpose of this study is to reveal the underlying relationships between teachers' conceptions of the nature of science, their understanding of their role as science teachers and their expectations for appropriate and worthwhile student learning, and to describe the influence of these factors on their curricular choices within the project-based framework. Using a modification of Hewson, Kerby and Cook's (1995) Conceptions of Teaching Science protocol as a model, teachers' beliefs and intentions are classified and examined to identify organizing themes. Comparisons between teachers' beliefs and the actions they take in their project-based classroom are used to reveal relationships among the choices that result in students' learning experiences. Finally, the curricula presented by these two exemplary teachers are compared with the teaching standards and content goals defined in the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996). Recommendations for the application of the case study perspective of the evolution of learning experiences to reform efforts are offered to practitioners, policy makers, curriculum developers and teacher educators.
Laba, Karen Anne, "Influences on teachers' curricular choices in project-based science classrooms" (1998). Doctoral Dissertations. 2021.