Is This a Course about Science?

What science content, process, and epistemological knowledge should elementary teachers know and experience in preparation for engaging their future students? In response to this question, a new university science course was developed specifically for pre-service elementary teachers. The course addressed big topics such as climate change; water, energy and food security; genetics, health, and evolution; and ecology, sustainability, and industry; through an inquiry approach while also investigating Indigenous and Western understandings of science. This work provides an overview of the course and its initial development, rationale for the course focus on science inquiry, discussion of pedagogical tensions experienced by the course instructor and teaching assistants relating to science content, science process and their relation to the mandated government science curricula for grade kindergarten to grade eight. The discussion concludes with what was learned by the instructor and teaching assistants and what changes might be made to improve the learning experience of students.

Science, Teachers, Preservice

Pedagogy and Curriculum

Virtual Lightning Talk

  • Tim Molnar
    • Assistant Professor, Curriculum Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Canada SK, Canada
    • Tim Molnar is an assistant professor in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Previously he taught for twenty years in a variety of contexts in public school systems from kindergarten to grade twelve across disciplines such as science, mathematics, wellness and digital media. His current teaching and scholarly interests involve examining ethical issues in contexts of ethno-cultural difference, particularly in relation to educational contexts involving people of First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit heritage. He also investigates the use and nature of inquiry for making learning meaningful in the contexts of science and teacher education.