Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Teaching and Learning

Program/Concentration

Curriculum and Instruction

Committee Director

Sue Kimmel

Committee Member

Angela Eckhoff

Committee Member

Shana Pribesh

Committee Member

Marcia Mardis

Abstract

Data indicate that students in the U.S. may start school with lower levels of science understanding and that these levels may consistently remain lower throughout their public-school career. With deficits in science achievement starting in the earliest years of students’ education, benefits may be gained by exploring alternate resources and alternative environments that can support young student’s science education and achievement. A largely unexplored area for science instruction is in the school library. This dissertation, a mixed-methods, case study, examined the creation and implementation of a novel information and science inquiry model and curriculum, SSLIM. This curriculum was created and implemented by one school librarian and the researcher with second-grade students. The school librarian and the researcher collaboratively designed and implemented six scientific and library inquiry lessons over six 45-minute class periods. Following an examination of the commonalities between national library and science standards and inquiry cycles, the researcher posits that the library may be an optimal space in the school for the complete scientific inquiry process including both textual and experiential investigations. Analysis included the stages of collaboration through this creation process, changes in librarian efficacy beliefs in teaching science as well as changes in student ideas about who can do science and student perceptions about the nature of science and scientific inquiry. Data collection included recordings of planning sessions conducted by the researcher and school librarian, journals maintained by the school librarian and the researcher, the Science Teacher Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI-B), a librarian and researcher designed science inquiry content test, the Draw-A-Scientist Test (DAST), and an abbreviated version of the Young Children’s Views of Science (YCVS) instrument. Results from this study indicate that extensive amounts of time and resources are necessary to build this type of curriculum. While the development of the curriculum did not have any measurable effects on the school librarian’s feelings or efficacy in teaching science, the science inquiry content test and the YCVS measures showed a statistically significant increase in mean student scores at the time of posttest. Additionally, female students drew significantly more diverse images of scientists on the DAST at the time of posttest.

DOI

10.25777/rr88-xx52

ORCID

0000-0001-9170-0421

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