Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Claudia T. Melear

Committee Members

Mehmet Aydeniz, Rita A. Hagevik, Gary Skolits


This study examined six novice pre-service secondary science teachers’ lesson planning processes when designing instruction while enrolled in a spring education course prior to their student teaching. Six novice pre-service secondary science teachers enrolled in an education course during the spring semester prior to their student teaching. During the course, participants were introduced to the lesson planning software, Tennessee’s Next Generation Tools for Teaching Standards-Based Science, version 1.4 (Jordan & Audet, 2007). This software provides resources, sample lesson plans, and links lesson planning with four science reform documents, Benchmarks for Science Literacy (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1993, p. 4), Science for All Americans (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1990), National Science Education Standards (NSES) (National Research Council, 1996), and Tennessee Curriculum Standards (Tennessee Department of Education, 2007). Participants used this software to write their first science lesson plans. The focus of this research was to examine the processes novice pre-service teachers pursue as they engage in lesson planning and the sources that influence their planning decisions. Findings are as follows: 1) novice pre-service secondary science teachers acknowledged the importance of Standards but planned in a sequence that found lesson activities before objectives; 2) despite similar experiences with a science lesson plan template, students used two different approaches to lesson planning; 3) science education reform documents were consulted by all participants when writing lesson plans, however participants did not find all of the science education reform documents to be beneficial.

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