Considerable concern has been raised in Sweden about decreasing interest in science among young people. One key to improving attitudes towards science is an early positive contact with science. Numerous studies have however shown that elementary and pre-school teacher generally have negative attitudes towards science and science teaching, as well as poor science content knowledge. As a consequence, science teaching in pre-schools often is fragmented. A pre-school teacher education that prepares student teachers for teaching science with confidence has therefore been put forward as a way of increasing quality science teaching in pre-schools.
In this longitudinal study, attitudes towards science and science teaching of students enrolled in a science and art oriented pre-school teacher programme were followed during their first years of university studies.
The results show that the socialization process into the scientific discourse takes time, and that one full year of exposure to activities with scientific content was needed for skeptical attitudes towards science to change. The results also indicate that dominant attitudes, norms and behaviors of the pre-school professional culture may clash with developing science teaching skills. Pre-school teacher education therefore also needs to communicate about these contradicting cultures.
Ankara, Turkey: Pegem Akademi , 2010. 157-166 p.