Stability of Pre-Service Science Teacher Attitudes on Science Teachers, Courses, and Classroom Methods. (the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning)

By Cinaglia, Marianne Bobbin | Academic Exchange Quarterly, Spring 2002 | Go to article overview

Stability of Pre-Service Science Teacher Attitudes on Science Teachers, Courses, and Classroom Methods. (the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning)


Cinaglia, Marianne Bobbin, Academic Exchange Quarterly


Abstract

Attitudes of pre-service teachers about practicing teachers, instructional techniques and science courses given at various grade levels are examined. Although pre-service teachers prepare lessons using techniques advocated by reform efforts to meet course objectives while in a methods course, choices seem to revert back to more traditional strategies. Constructivism proposes that the reason for temporary learning in precollegiate classrooms is because the "new" knowledge has not been successfully locked onto an existing framework. The same reasoning can be used for learning about but not using reform-based teaching techniques by pre-service teachers. Osgood's semantic differential is used to measure attitudes.

Introduction

Studies in the literature on attitudes of potential science teachers concerning how students learn or how classrooms operate indicate that neither completion of a methods course nor student teaching experiences have any great effect on pre-existing beliefs (Cronin-Jones and Shaw 1992). These authors state that potential teachers "have an organized belief structure regarding teaching when they enter methods instruction" (p.22). Conceptualization of what teaching is and how teachers act forms in elementary school and solidifies in secondary school and college. This conceptualization seems to change little after the decision to become a teacher is made (Mellado 1998). Stigler and Hiebert (1998) make the case for teaching as a cultural activity--something guided by a "cultural script" learned by participating in schooling and play-acting about it. The script is guided by observation of classrooms, by family conversations and viewing TV and movies. In many of the aforementioned situations the teacher is the central figure--a sage, a cajoler, a mother-figure, a drill sergeant or even a clown. Work by Roos, Kocel, and Islam (1995) show that early observation assignments in schools reaffims the pre-service student's commitment to teaching.

Reform efforts advocate the use of group learning strategies and group or individual inquiry-guided methods (Weaver 1998). However, these procedures are still not widely used in classrooms. Stigler and Hiebert (1998) suggest that U. S. teachers take their responsibilities seriously and provide detailed guidance and plenty of practice to their students. This feeling of responsibility is reinforced by the contemporary trend of legislated teacher accountability. Teachers plan tightly sequenced lessons so that each step along the way is clearly illustrated. Lecture is the most frequently chosen teaching strategy. Some propensity for traditional lectures and verification labs may be due to anticipated class management problems. Preferred methods are those that keep the class under the teacher's control (Tobin, Tippins, Gallard1994) and conform to what both teacher and student expect in the classroom. Lecture allows teachers to focus interest and limit active interaction between both students and teacher and students and other students. Lecture and note taking also relieve the student of personal responsibility for working instantaneously with new ideas/concepts. These methods take the pressure off young, frail egos and are therefore preferred not only by teachers but also by students. Hildebrand (1999) notes that when teachers attempt to change the "pedagogic contract" -- what students expect to happen in class -- students are uneasy. This uneasiness stems from feelings that the balance of trust between teachers and students is disrupted. Students are not certain how a teacher will judge work done under unfamiliar methods.

Procedure

Data Gathering Instrument

The semantic differential strives to clarify links between attitudes and behavior. The method is an elaboration of the Likert scale and is a multi variate differentiation of concept meanings in terms of a limited number of semantic scales of known factor compositions (Osgood, Suci, and Tannenbaum 1957, p 42).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Stability of Pre-Service Science Teacher Attitudes on Science Teachers, Courses, and Classroom Methods. (the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.