graduates and their supervisors report that their teacher preparation programs were inadequate, idealistic, or too theoretical.
Too often, teacher preparation programs are characterized by a lack of coherence and articulation across the general education, science education, and professional education curriculum strands. In each of these three areas, expectations typically are defined by a list of courses. These courses in turn usually are defined by a body of basic knowledge within the respective disciplines without major attention to the nature of the investigative modes that produced them. Similarly, few courses address the application of this knowledge to societal issues or other matters—dimensions that the Standards say need significant attention in K-12 education in science.
National Research Council, 1997b
In the past decade, the criticism of teacher preparation programs also has extended to content preparation. Numerous reports, including those from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1990) and the National Research Council (1989, 1991, 1995, 1999h) have criticized the nearly exclusive use of lecture-based teaching that prospective teacher candidates experience in many of their undergraduate science and mathematics courses. As noted in the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996a), science is not something that is done to students, it is something that students do. If teachers are to implement standards-based teaching approaches, then they too must experience these models of instruction in their undergraduate classes. Furthermore, prospective teachers need to experience science and mathematics learning through inquiry, problem-based approaches, and direct, hands-on experiences in the classroom, laboratory, and field (e.g., Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1996; NRC, 1999h).
Although calls for reform persist, teacher educators at some major research universities have been working for many years to reform teacher education. Representatives from many of these universities banded together in 1986 to produce the hallmark Holmes Group Report (Holmes Group, 1986). This report was to be the first in a series of efforts to deal with the reform and revitalization of teacher education. The Holmes report called for prospective teachers to acquire a solid background in the liberal arts as undergraduates and then to engage in substantive post-