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Insects. 2018 Mar 14;9(1). pii: E32. doi: 10.3390/insects9010032.

The Six-Legged Subject: A Survey of Secondary Science Teachers' Incorporation of Insects into U.S. Life Science Instruction.

Author information

1
Department of Entomology, University of Nebraska‒Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA. eingram3@unl.edu.
2
Department of Entomology, University of Nebraska‒Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA. dgolick2@unl.edu.

Abstract

To improve students' understanding and appreciation of insects, entomology education efforts have supported insect incorporation in formal education settings. While several studies have explored student ideas about insects and the incorporation of insects in elementary and middle school classrooms, the topic of how and why insects are incorporated in secondary science classrooms remains relatively unexplored. Using survey research methods, this study addresses the gap in the literature by (1) describing in-service secondary science teachers' incorporation of insects in science classrooms; (2) identifying factors that support or deter insect incorporation and (3) identifying teachers' preferred resources to support future entomology education efforts. Findings indicate that our sample of U.S. secondary science teachers commonly incorporate various insects in their classrooms, but that incorporation is infrequent throughout the academic year. Insect-related lesson plans are commonly used and often self-created to meet teachers' need for standards-aligned curriculum materials. Obstacles to insect incorporation include a perceived lack of alignment of insect education materials to state or national science standards and a lack of time and professional training to teach about insects. Recommendations are provided for entomology and science education organizations to support teachers in overcoming these obstacles.

KEYWORDS:

arthropod; biology; entomology education; in-service teachers; insect; life science

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