Science and theatre education: A cross-disciplinary approach of scientific ideas addressed to student teachers of early childhood education
Tselfes, V. and Paroussi, A. (2009). Science and theatre education: A cross-disciplinary approach of scientific ideas addressed to student teachers of early childhood education. Science & Education,18 (9), 1115-1134.
This study followed 57 early childhood education student teachers in a theatrical applications and physics education course to explore how theatre benefited the teaching and learning of scientific ideas. Study subjects created various theatrical works based on their reading of Galilean texts. While researchers draw mixed conclusions about the results of the program, they determined that the program was effective in connecting the student teachers to in-depth scientific ideas and practices through theater.
- Theatrical narrative texts revealed student teachers’ understandings of the scientific venture as described in the science text.
- The student teachers’ early theatrical performances reflected only surface understandings of texts, but successive performances revealed deeper understandings although the theatrical pieces did not achieve the level of narrative hoped for by the researchers.
- Study participants were able to interpret conflicting hypotheses and creatively depict them within their theatrical works.
- The student teachers successfully understood the basic goals of scientific enterprise, ideas about conflicting hypotheses, observations, and the relationship between scientific knowledge and authority.
- Study participants’ science understanding was more about scientific practice, such as developing hypotheses and testing them, and less about topics such as formulas and laws.
- Researchers conclude that deeper narrative reflections in theater offer greater chances for student teachers to gain more refined understanding of scientific issues.