The purpose of this study was to determine pre-service and in-service science and mathematics teachers’ perceptions of the characteristics of a professional teaching environment. The study further investigated the relationships of field placement contexts and grade levels on pre-service teachers’ perceptions of importance and availability of certain aspects of a professional teaching environment.
Materials and methods:
The teacher perceptions were assessed using the Professional Environment for Teaching Survey (PETS). The responses reflecting the teacher perceptions of importance were subjected to a principal component analysis and two components were identified. These were Resources for Teaching and Recognition of Teacher Contributions. Data obtained from pre-service teachers who (were) enrolled in a graduate teacher education licensure program at a large Midwestern university and from in-service teachers who were mentors for the pre-service teachers.
Correlation and forward stepwise multiple regression analyses of the data suggested that the perceptions of importance and/or availability of those pre-service or in-service teachers with more experience were related to the academic degree they held and the content that they were teaching or expecting to teach.
Results for the in-service and pre-service teachers’ perceptions were discussed in terms of characteristics of a professional teaching environment.