To educate teachers who have adequate content knowledge, possess the necessary skills to implement effective teaching strategies, and are confident and have positive attitudes toward science and the teaching of science, alternative teaching models are necessary. The University of Wyoming model provides such an alternative. Based on observations and interviews of students and the mentor teachers, it is apparent that it has created a very positive response in prospective teachers who have participated in it.
The Wyoming model provided an effective process to train future elementary teachers. Even though it focused on science, the basis is general enough that it could be successfully extended to other disciplines with only minor modifications; however, all of the major components of the Wyoming model are vital to its success.
Content courses designed specifically for prospective teachers have been successful in giving the students the content knowledge and providing opportunities for effective modeling. The seminars provide strong mechanisms to connect content to methodology and make the content relevant to teaching and to children. Because of their modeling, peer coaching, and sharing their time and students, the mentor teachers are essential partners in helping the university educate future teachers. Finally, the cooperation of all partners—district administrators, teachers, science content and science education university faculty, and students—is necessary to provide early and continuous experiences to prospective teachers.