Each year about 1,000 science teachers from across the state gather at the Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST) conference to share ideas and innovations. The majority of the presentations are led by college professors and master teachers. Preservice teachers rarely attend the conference, let alone lead presentations. In most cases, preservice teachers feel they have little to offer a chemistry teacher who has been in the classroom for twenty years. However, for the past ten years, every student in the Curry School's secondary science methods class has attended VAST, both for the experience of interacting with the professional community and for sharing their own educational expertise. Our preservice teachers have usually presented on a couple of topics that are popular with teachers: teaching the nature of science and digital technologies for teaching science.
Randy L. Bell