Resilience of Science Teaching Philosophies and Practice in Early Career Primary Teaching Graduates
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Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
Publication date: 2012-01-12
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2012;8(2):103-112
There has been recent concern over the variable quality of science teaching in New Zealand primary schools. One reason suggested has been the relatively low levels of science education components in initial teacher education (ITE) programmes. This paper follows a cohort of recent teacher graduates from a science education course in their ITE programme through the first two years of their teaching career. Their beliefs in science education, their confidence in their science subject matter knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge, and use of strategies suggested in their ITE science course were explored. It was found that the teachers retained their positive views of science in the curriculum, and confidence in their ability to teach science grew. The use of student and investigation-centred teaching strategies increased as the new teachers experienced success with the approaches. These outcomes are discussed in light of recent changes in primary curriculum emphasis on literacy and numeracy, and ITE science course contractions.
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