Aiming to nurture teachers with high-quality science teaching skills, we established a
science laboratory named the Science Teacher Cram School® and have since celebrated its third year. Each year, during the summer holiday, we conducted training programs (open lectures) targeting elementary schools and scientific research societies in the prefecture. According to a participant survey, the view that“ preparing for science classes is a pain” decreased. Additionally, opinions like the following increased:“ If there is a lot of laboratory apparatus, children come to like science” and“ As experience with experiments increases, I can come to like science.” Furthermore, the survey revealed that the fewer years of experience teachers had, the less they taught using the science laboratory; they tended to lack confidence.
In our open lectures this year, we incorporated into the lectures the types of observations and experiments that elementary school instructors might find difficult. Through the investigation of the changes in their feelings and confidence in teaching science, we examined effective ways of conducting open lectures. The investigation clarified that teachers who are not good at science have insufficient understanding of scientific phenomena and they lack opportunities to learn science experiments, and that, even with laboratory apparatus prepared, they have little confidence in their ability to conduct experiments. This is more noticeable in teachers who are not good in physics or chemistry. On the other hand, the open lectures were effective for teachers who were not good at science. For those with less understanding of scientific phenomena and with less confidence in implementing experiments even though they found them interesting, the open lectures were highly effective in strengthening their confidence in teaching science. This suggests that, in order to enhance their confidence, it is important to introduce interesting experiments based on striking scientific phenomena and to increase opportunities to realize its enjoyment．