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Abstract


SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER CANDIDATES’ EXPERIENCE IN SCIENCE EXPERIMENT CENTERS
Science experiment centers hold a crucial value in education since they increase interest in science by provoking curiosity among children, the young, and adults, improve scientific thinking skills, provide a setting where new information, discoveries, and inventions are discussed, and since they help comprehending social matters. The topics studied and experiments made in these centers are not only related with physical sciences but also with social sciences. Social studies is composed of disciplines within the field of social sciences and included in the curriculum for 4th-to-7th graders in primary education. Experience in these centers is of great significance for teacher candidates to instruct this course in terms of their personal and professional development. Therefore, this research aims to determine social studies teacher candidates’ experience in science experiment centers. The participants are 55 teacher candidates who took the course General Physical Geography open in Social Studies Teacher Training Department within the Faculty of Education affiliated with Anadolu university during spring term of 2014-2015 and who partook in activities conducted at Eskisehir Science Experiment Center. Teacher candidates were administered a questionnaire containing open-ended questions, and the obtained data has been analyzed through content analysis. Research findings have revealed that experience in science experiment centers has a positive influence over both personal and professional development of teacher candidates.

Keywords
Social studies, Teacher Candidates, Science Experiment Center.


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