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Abstract

Implicit in the goal of recent reforms is the question: What does it mean to prepare teachers to teach “science for all”? Through a teacher research study, I have encountered characteristics that may assist prospective elementary teachers in developing effective, inclusive science instruction. I describe these strengths, link them to requirements for teaching, and suggest how science teacher educators might draw on the strengths of their own students to support teaching practices aimed at universal scientific literacy. My conceptual framework is constructed from scholarship concerning best practice in elementary science education, as well as that which describes the dispositions of successful teachers of diverse learners. This study is based on a model of teacher research framed by the concept of “research as praxis” and phenomenological research methodology. The findings describe the research participants' strengths thematically as propensity for inquiry, attention to children, and awareness of school/society relationships. I view these as potentially productive aspects of knowledge and dispositions about science and about children that I could draw on to further students' development as elementary science teachers. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 39: 845–869, 2002