Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Brett Taylor

First Committee Member

Laura Hallberg

Second Committee Member

Fred Estes


Science instruction in the early years of a student’s education career is essential to a student successfully continuing science in their secondary and postsecondary careers. However, the amount of high-quality science instruction students receive at the elementary level has been steadily declining for two decades, resulting in an inequitable imbalance in those who pursue STEM careers, a lack of critical science literacy in the U.S. populace, and a shortage of qualified employees entering the U.S. economy. Much of the lack of science instruction can be traced to decreased training of teachers to teach science during elementary credentialing programs or the complete absence of said training. This qualitative study sought to understand, through multiple-case study analysis, what makes one university “successful” at teaching science methods to their pre-service teachers and what makes another “unsuccessful.” Through interviews, observations, and an online document review, the author found that pre-service teachers entering the elementary school classroom need to feel they have the content knowledge necessary to teach science, feel they can overcome and work within barriers to high-quality science instruction in the K-12 system, and feel ready and prepared to teach science by their chosen Teacher Preparation Program.





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