on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 10, Issue 1, Article 12
Some studies show that although teachers have student-centered teaching and learning beliefs, they may not be able to implement their beliefs into their classroom practice because of the inadequate practical knowledge needed in the classroom. For example, Mellado (1998) conducted a study with 4 student teachers in Spain to investigate the relationship between pre-service teacher conceptions of science teaching and learning and their classroom practices. The data gathering procedures included a questionnaire and interviews, both analyzed by means of cognitive maps and classroom observations during the participantsí practice teaching. Each participant was observed teaching the same subject for one or two classroom sessions. The authors could not find any clear relationship between the teachersí conceptions about teaching and learning of science and their classroom practices. The authors believe that the reason could be due to the fact that the knowledge the teachers received concerning science education was theoretical, impersonal and static with little relationship to the practical knowledge needed in the classroom.
Similarly, Hancock and Gallard (2004) conducted a study with 16 pre-service teachers in an undergraduate science education methods course that involved observation and teaching experiences in K-12 classrooms in order to understand the impact of field experiences on the beliefs developed by pre-service science teachers. Data was gathered through drawings representing beliefs and in-depth interviews with 5 participants. The findings of the study revealed that field experiences both reinforce and challenge the beliefs held by pre-service teachers.
One of the studies that showed an inconsistency between teacher beliefs and classroom practices was done by Simmons et al. (1999) as a part of the Salish I Research Project. Nine university research sites selected 10 beginning teachers who were graduates of the participating university. A total of 116 beginning teachers participated in the study. Data was collected from interviews, classroom observations and the Constructivist Learning Environment Survey developed by Taylor et al. The authors categorized teacher beliefs as student-centered beliefs or teacher-centered beliefs. Although many beginning teachers hold student-centered beliefs, only 10% of first-year teachers implemented student-centered, inquiry-based instruction.
Copyright (C) 2009 HKIEd APFSLT. Volume 10, Issue 1, Article 12 (Jun., 2009). All Rights Reserved.