Profiling preservice science teachers' early experiences, beliefs about teaching, and teaching practices
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CitationCansız, N., & Cansız, M. (2020). Profiling preservice science teachers’ early experiences, beliefs about teaching, and teaching practices. Research in Science & Technological Education, 1-19.
Background One of the most important, albeit ignored, issues in the process of curriculum implementation is teachers' beliefs; indeed, this is a vital issue since their beliefs about teaching and learning will in part govern their actions in the classroom. There is a substantial body of the literature that highlights how teachers' beliefs are important when ensuring that science education reforms are successfully carried out. Therefore, it is important to explore the beliefs of teachers and teacher candidates to support them in adapting these beliefs to be in accord with the goals of the reform. Purpose This paper presents the results of an investigation into the nature of preservice science teachers' (PSTs) beliefs about teaching, the congruency of their beliefs about teaching, their actual classroom practices, and the potential role of their early experiences as learners in shaping their beliefs and classroom practices. Sample At the outset of the study, there were 13 PSTs. Among them, four were recruited for the study by purposive sampling. They were all in the final year of their 4-year teacher education programme and will be able to teach middle school science classes after graduation. Design and methods This study employed a basic qualitative research method. The primary methods of data collection in this study were: 1) initial interviews to select participants in a purposeful manner; 2) classroom observation of each PST to identify how they taught science; and 3) final interviews with each PST to explore their beliefs about science teaching and their past experiences. Results We found that the PSTs who chose to participate in this study hold student-centred teaching beliefs while performing teacher-centred science teaching practices. The result was interesting in that the PSTs' teaching practices closely resemble those of their early science teachers.