This project focuses on critical needs in the preparation and long-term development of pre-service, undergraduate, K-6 teachers of science. The project investigates the impact on these students of undergraduate, standards-based, reform entry level science courses developed by faculty based on their participation in the NASA Opportunities for Visionary Academics processional development program to identify: short-term impacts on undergraduate students and long-term effects on graduated teachers; characteristics of reform courses and characteristics of effective development efforts.
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About Me (Bio):
Dennis Sunal holds a Ph.D. in science education, MA in Interdisciplinary Science, and a BS in Physics, all from the University of Michigan. He currently is a Professor of Science Education at the University of Alabama. His university teaching experiences include undergraduate and graduate courses in physics, engineering, curriculum and instruction, and science education. He holds both secondary, 6 -12, and elementary, K-6, teacher certification and has taught on both levels. His research interests include pedagogical content knowledge in undergraduate science pedagogy, pre-service science teacher education, professional development for inservice science teachers and science faculty. He has been project director and co-director in numerous grants (e.g. NSF, NASA, US Department of Education, USIA, US Forest Service, and U.S. Department of Energy). Dr. Sunal has published numerous articles and chapters in journals and books. Recent research presentations have been at the annual meetings of NARST, ASTE, NSTA, SCST, AACTE, and AERA. His published books include Teaching Elementary and Middle School Science; Integrating Academic Units in the Elementary School Curriculum; Reform in Undergraduate Science Teaching for the 21st Century; and The Impact of State and National Standards on K-12 Science Teaching, and The Impact of the Laboratory and Technology on Learning and Teaching Science K-16, and Teaching Science with Hispanic ELLs in K-16 Classrooms.