Teacher quality is among the strongest correlates of student outcomes. However, only about a quarter of the nation’s elementary teachers consider themselves qualified to teach science. In this descriptive and exploratory study, we investigated whether helping pre-service teacher candidates explore connections between science and issues of equity, particularly around sustainability issues, could help them see the importance of teaching science to their students more often. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from 59 students enrolled in revised science methods courses at a large public university. Our findings suggest that positioning science instruction thusly was perceived as a strong motivator to include science instruction in their future elementary classes, even when they themselves felt uncomfortable with their own science content understanding.
Grinell Smith and Colette Rabin. "Making Connections Between Science and Equity: A Motivation to Teach Science in Elementary Grades" American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting (2011).