WWW Site for John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor, Science Education, OISE/University of Toronto

Curriculum Vitae

Bencze, L., Hewitt, J., & Pedretti, E. (2001). Multi-media case methods in pre-service science education: Enabling an apprenticeship for praxis. Research in Science Education, 31(2), 191-209.

In recent years, teacher educators have looked to case methods as one means of bridging the theory-practice gap in university-based pre-service programs. This paper explores how case methods may be used to foster habits of praxis – that is, critical, reflective practice – that enable beginning teachers to adapt to the many diverse contexts they may encounter in the field. Our research used qualitative ethnographic methods to determine the efficacy of a case method designed to encourage critical analysis of a Year 8 science Optics lesson. Results suggest student teachers: (1) understood an associated analytical framework; (2) effectively analysed curriculum and pedagogy; and (3) exercised prudence in their assessment of the case. These findings tentatively indicate emerging habits of praxis. Notwithstanding such gains, we encourage designers of case-based curricula to: ensure case authenticity, protect subjects from critique and use multi-media case methods in conjunction with other approaches to promote habits of praxis.

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