Developing a Tool to Evaluate Differences in Beliefs About Science Teaching and Learning Among Freshman Science Student Teachers from Different Science Teaching Domains: A Case Study
Ingo Eilks 1  
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University of Bremen, Bremen, GERMANY
University of Cyprus, Nicosia, CYPRUS
Publish date: 2008-04-22
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2008;4(2):109–120
This paper presents a pilot case study on developing a qualitative tool to evaluate science student teachers‟ beliefs concerning science teaching and learning. The study is based on student teachers‟ drawings of themselves in a typical classroom situation and four open questions. Data was collected from 104 freshman science student teachers, and evaluated based on the basic tenets of Grounded Theory. Applying Grounded Theory led to a framework of categorising the student teachers‟ beliefs in three categories: (I) Beliefs about Classroom Organisation, (II) Beliefs about Teaching Objectives, and (III) Epistemological Beliefs. All three categories were expanded to a dimension between more traditional beliefs and beliefs in line with modern educational theory. The participants in the study were from different groups of student teachers in one of four domains of science teaching: secondary school Biology, Chemistry or Physics or Primary Science. The tool proved to be interesting for gaining insights into the beliefs of freshman science student teachers. The initial results from this case study indicate that secondary student teachers of Chemistry and, even moreso, Physics hold teacher- and content-structurecentred beliefs about science teaching and learning, whereas Biology student teachers, and even more pronouncedly Primary Science student teachers, hold more student-centred and scientific literacy-oriented beliefs.