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

Curriculum Vitae

Bencze, L., Hewitt, J., & Pedretti, E. (2009). Personalizing and contextualizing multimedia case methods in university-based teacher education: An important modification for promoting technological design in school science. Research in Science Education, 39(1), 93-109.

Results of various studies suggest that multimedia ‘case methods’ (activities associated with case documentaries) have many benefits in university-based teacher education contexts. They can, for example, help to ‘bridge the gap’ between perspectives and practices held by academic teacher educators and those held by student-teachers – who may adhere to perspectives and practices commonly supported in schools. On the other hand, some studies, along with theoretical arguments, suggest that there are limits to the effectiveness of multimedia case methods – because, for example, they can never fully represent realities of teaching and learning in schools. Furthermore, often missing from multimedia case methods is the student-teacher in the role of teacher. To address these concerns, we modified an existing multimedia case method by associating it with a special practice teaching situation in a school context. Qualitative data analyzed using constant comparative methods suggest that student-teachers engaged in this modified multimedia case method developed relatively deep commitments to encouraging students to conduct technology design projects – a non-traditional practice in school science. Factors that appeared to influence development of this motivation included student-teachers’ pre-instructional perspectives about science and the personalization and contextualization inherent to the modified multimedia case method.

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