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Keywords:

  • research experiences;
  • science teacher education;
  • graduate education

Abstract

This study examined an interdisciplinary scientific research project to understand how graduate and undergraduate honors students learn to do science. It was found that the education of the students occurs as part of an apprenticeship. The apprenticeship takes place in research groups. In general, research groups are structured in two ways: loosely organized and tightly organized, and have characteristics of both communities of practice and epistemic communities. Students have different roles in the research groups: novice researcher, proficient technician, or knowledge producer. Their role depends on their knowledge and skills, and their degree programs. It is possible for students to develop expertise along a continuum from novice researcher to knowledge producer. The members of the research group, including the professor and other students, facilitate the development of the students along the continuum of roles. Implications for the education of science teachers are discussed. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 442–459, 2009