Initial training of teachers in science education activity: Exploring non-formal environments.
Conceptions of Science influence educational practices and interpretations about the construction of scientific knowledge. Therefore, this study aimed to use scientific practice to test the efficiency of non-formal educational environments in training candidates for teacher certification in Biological Sciences. Training of candidates was performed in four meetings held on the State University of Goiás in Anápolis, which features an interpretative trail for environmental education. To test the hypothesis that the training was effective, a paired t-test was performed on the grades obtained in the questionnaires before and at the end of the activities (pretest and post-test). The test showed that the course was effective and led to an increase in students’ knowledge of the content covered (t test: t = 2.95, df = 16, p = 0.01), showing that on average, the scores of students increased in the post-test. This denotes a cognitive gain at the end of the course.
KEYWORDS: Science education. Interpretative trails. Pre- and post-tests.