EarthCaching for Pre-Service Teachers: Examining Attitudes and Intentions towards Informal Science Learning

The goal of this NSF-funded project is to increase future elementary teachers’ preparation to teach earth science through field-based experiences. Phase I utilizes a design and development approach that will iteratively assess the creation and implementation of nine new EarthCaches. Phase II involves a small efficacy study to examine how the integration of EarthCaching activities into a science course for pre-service teachers impacts the learning of geoscience content as well as attitudes towards and intention to use informal learning experiences both personally and in teaching. Phase II will explore the following research question:

Do pre-service elementary teachers who participate in EarthCaching increase their

  1. Understanding of geoscience concepts
  2. Positive attitudes towards informal learning activities
  3. Positive attitudes toward field-based learning
  4. Intent to personally participate in informal learning experiences
  5. Intent to implement informal learning activities in teaching

CollaboratorsSIUE Dept. of GeographySIUE Dept. of Physics