What science class experiences do future teachers report? Implications for science teacher education

Josep Bonil Gargallo, Conxita M̈rquez Bargallö

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper aimed to explore the experiences of two groups of primary school teachers-in-training in connection with the experimental science classes they took during their own schooling, in order to obtain precise information with an eye to redesigning the programme of the «Teaching science» course. A descriptive study is presented involving a sample of 66 students. First of all, the data obtained is classified in fields (conceptual, attitudinal and ideological) and, within each field, in themes. Then the data are analysed statistically using either the SPSS v.14 programme, which applies the chi-square test (χ2), or the likelihood ratio (LR), Kendall's Tau-b statistic and multiple correspondence analysis. The conclusions show that future teachers leave scientific training behind as they progress through their academic careers. Two high correlations are observed: one between positive attitudes towards science and the functionality and significance of what is learnt, and another between negative attitudes and reproductive activities completed. Three types of students are identified: those who make no reference to conceptual aspects in their opinions; those who associate a transmissive teaching model with negative emotions; those who centre their reflection on activities performed throughout their education. Some suggestions are made for designing initial teacher-training programmes in the field of experimental science. These suggestions help overcome the obstacles thrown up by the educational experience of future teachers. The authors stress the need to favour a change in the way teachers-to-be feel, think and act in relation to scientific knowledge. The importance of establishing links between practicum periods in primary schools and the formats of university classes is discussed. Lastly, it is stated that there is a need to define programmes that make the relationship between the conceptual, attitudinal and ideological fields focal points of teacher training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-472
JournalRevista de Educacion
Volume354
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2011

Keywords

  • Higher education
  • Science education
  • Teacher-training programmes
  • Teaching students

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