Designing and Testing Modules on Non-Formal Education for Teacher Education Candidates: A Brazilian Experience

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Title: Designing and Testing Modules on Non-Formal Education for Teacher Education Candidates: A Brazilian Experience
Author: Gioppo, Christiane
Advisors: John E. Penick, Committee Chair
Lundie Spence, Committee Member
Peter Hessling, Committee Member
Glenda Carter, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: Two modules for preparing educators to use non-formal and Informal education opportunities were developed and tested at the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil. The first module prepared teacher candidates to create and teach lessons that use informal environments such as beaches and natural areas, while the second module focused on preparing museum interns to design and teach with activities prepared specifically for non-formal settings. The research was carried out in three steps. The first sought the perceptions of three groups of professionals about the use of non-formal/ informal settings by school groups and their teachers, and asked for suggestions on designing educational modules. In the second step, the conception and development of the modules was enlightened by interview responses, research literature, and Biology Education program constraints. The third step tested both modules by having Biology Education majors, develop and pilot activities for middle and high school students, with the results observed the research as post at. The results of testing Module I indicated that teacher candidates need a strong support system to become effective teachers. Data also showed that they needed additional instruction on preparing integrated inquiry lessons and how to use the module as a regular and permanent addition to the curriculum. Thus, the first module was redesigned but not further tested. Module II results indicated that museum personnel and administration became interested in designing more interactive activities and the school students who participated in the activities enjoyed being at the museum. Module II data also indicated need for revision and more study, especially regarding the use of inquiry, the implementation strategy for traditional museums, and the development of activities that are feasible for large group of museum visitors. This study indicated that such modules are valuable and could lead to change in informal and non-formal instruction. But, the teacher candidates who design the activities need considerably more instruction on innovative teaching practices, lesson design, and the expected goals and roles of such activities.
Date: 2004-11-09
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Science Education

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