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Adequate Preparation for the Teacher of Biological Sciences in Secondary Schools   By:

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J. Daley McDonald

Submitted to the School of Education of the University of California in partial fulfillment of the minor requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

November 15th 1921


Introduction 3 Retarding factors in improvement 4 Qualifications in subject matter 5 Scope of Biology 6 Values and relations of Biology 7 Adaptation of course to community conditions 10 Freedom from textbook slavery 11 Materials and laboratory equipment 12 Historical setting 13 Spirit of research 14 Qualifications in method 16 Factors determining correct method 16 History of scientific method 17 Problem method 17 Accuracy and logical constructive thinking 18 Teacher's final method necessarily unique 19 Summary of necessary qualifications 19 Opportunity for adequate preparation 20 Lack of professional course 20 Requirements of Teachers Recommendation in Zoology 21 Courses not adapted for teacher preparation 22 Professional course the goal 23 Suggested modifications of present courses 24 Course in special methods 25 Practice teaching 27 Bibliography 29

The use of the term preparation herein is intended to indicate partially the limitation of the problem attempted. The following discussion will be concerned only with such attributes of the successful teacher as are the direct result, or at least greatly enhanced by thorough preparation. A sufficiently comprehensive and difficult problem remains after still further restriction of the field so as to include only subject matter and the method of biological science.

It is scarcely necessary to make the statement that the standards of preparation and the facilities for meeting these standards have been enormously improved within the past few years. Evidence of this is found in the changes recently made in the curricula of and the requirements for graduation from the California State Teachers Colleges. Neither is it necessary to say that improvement must continue. Such problems are evolutionary. Notwithstanding that requirements for teachers certificates have been raised the country over, the universities are not generally making very rapid strides in affording opportunities for better preparation in subject matter and special methods. In corroboration, witness the recent criticisms of the departmental courses in special methods now given in universities generally (Swift, 1918; Taylor, 1918). The length of time or the number of units of work required for certification may be increased but that does not insure a finer quality of preparation.

In attempting to explain the slow pace of improvement in the quality of preparation for the teaching of science, one becomes involved in a cycle. Science had its development in the college and university whence it diffused slowly into the secondary schools, and finally slightly into the elementary grades... Continue reading book >>

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