ERIC Number: ED436498
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
An Analysis of Preservice Teacher Perceptions of Instrumentality through the Lens of Epistemological Theory.
Crowson, H. Michael
This paper examines the relationship between preservice teachers' epistemological beliefs and their perceptions of their college preparatory work as being instrumental to their futures, arguing that preservice teachers often find little relevance in the theoretical, philosophical, and historical content presented in their preparatory classes. Nor do they find efforts to promote more critical, reflective, and complex thinking instrumental to future teaching. The perception that teacher education emphasizes abstract meanings rather than practical content may be noteworthy because of the tendency for practicing teachers to maintain their beliefs that undergraduate training was ineffective or irrelevant. One reason for decreased motivation among preservice teachers to participate fully in required learning tasks may relate to a perceived structural incongruence between what they understand about the nature of teaching and the epistemological requirements associated with learning tasks. This incongruence may pose significant motivational problems during teacher training. It is hypothesized that when the content of preservice teachers' goals is at odds with the epistemological requirements of learning tasks, those tasks may be perceived as less instrumental to students. This may result in short-term efforts to manage learning tasks by ignoring task-associated complexities and redefining them in well-structured terms and/or engaging in various self-handicapping strategies designed to attribute perceived future failure to non-ability factors. (Contains 40 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Point Clear, AL, November 17-19, 1999).