ERIC Number: ED430964
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Feb
Impact of Student Teaching on Student Teachers' Beliefs Related to Behaviorist and Constructivist Theories of Learning.
Woolley, Sandra L.; Woolley, Anita Williams; Hosey, Michele
This study examined changes in student teachers' beliefs related to behaviorist and constructivist learning theories as a result of student teaching and the impact of their cooperating teachers' beliefs on those changes. Participants included all 38 spring 1998 student teachers in an elementary education program at a small state university in Pennsylvania and 71 out of 75 of their cooperating teachers. A survey measured student teachers' and cooperating teachers' beliefs about behaviorist management, behaviorist teaching, constructivist teaching, and constructivist parents. Student teachers were also interviewed individually about their beliefs and student teaching experiences at the end of the semester. Results indicated that most student teachers were more constructivist and less behaviorist than cooperating teachers. Some student teachers and cooperating teachers seemed to believe in both learning theories. Some student teachers' beliefs were changed as a result of their cooperating teachers. Cooperating teachers influenced student teachers through modeling, giving feedback, and encouraging students to take risks. This study suggests that teacher educators should focus on when to use behaviorist and constructivist learning theories rather than the superiority of either theory, and that methods courses may be more powerful in shaping students' beliefs than sometimes reported. (Contains 16 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators (Chicago, IL, February 12-16, 1999).