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Elementary science teachers’ first year in the classroom can be challenging. They must navigate leading active student learning experiences while diving into science content that is often outside their expertise. New teachers are more likely to feel prepared for this role if they’ve taken a high quality preservice methods course in college.
That’s why BSCS Science Learning developed ViSTA Plus—a full-semester online course designed to enhance preservice elementary teachers’ science content knowledge and instructional practices. ViSTA Plus users explore the powerful STeLLA® approach, learning to apply high-leverage teaching strategies through video-based lesson analysis. Throughout the course, users discover and pay attention to the ways students make sense of scientific concepts and design coherent lessons connected to big science ideas. The course focuses on two content areas, food webs and water cycle, and provides access to videos, assignments, and assessments.
ViSTA Plus is a valuable resource for university instructors who are looking to adopt a complete course for elementary science methods. A research study on ViSTA Plus showed successful science learning outcomes for new teachers and ultimately their students during the student teaching year.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1220635. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.