ERIC Number: ED443699
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Common Standards and Personal Development: Changing Ideas of What You Need To Know.
Smith, Robin G.
This study was designed to investigate how a sample of primary student teachers developed their understanding of scientific ideas, their perceptions of the knowledge that they needed to teach the school curriculum, the sources of their learning, and their views on becoming teachers of science. Focus is placed on their own understandings of their learning and any changes in their views about the subject. Seventeen preservice students were interviewed at the end of a 3-year program of primary teacher education at the point when they could look back at their learning and look forward to their first teaching position. Interviews focused on their understandings of the knowledge that they needed for teaching science in primary schools. Evidence from tests and self-audits of their science knowledge undertaken earlier in the program was used to prompt their reflection on what they had learned and how their ideas had changed. Their views were sought on how they had learned and on how well prepared they felt for teaching science in their early careers. Completion of the study coincided with the introduction of national standards in England that all students will have to achieve in order to qualify as teachers. These standards include the specifications of pedagogical and subject knowledge in science. The study has immediate significance for informing the processes whereby students' knowledge can be audited and advanced. It illustrates the tensions between specifying standards for teaching and recognizing individual differences among student teachers not only in their knowledge, but also in their approaches to learning. More generally, the narrowing of teacher education to technical-rational prescriptions is questioned. Attention is given to the personal dimension and the relationship that adult learners have to a subject as they make the transition from students to teachers. (Contains 13 references.) (ASK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (Boston, MA, March 28-31, 1999).