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Thesis

Teaching Teachers: The Influences on the Primary Science Pedagogy of First Year Pre-Service Teachers at Two New Zealand Universities

10 Feb 2014
Description

This study investigated the influences of teacher educators and university coursework on the primary science pedagogy of first year pre-service teachers at two New Zealand universities. The mixed methods study employed a constructivist and an interprevist lens and evaluated data collected from the Preferred and Actual (pre/post) course Constructivist Learning Environment Survey (CLES), syllabi analyses, and semi-structured interviews. These tools investigated if the primary science learning environments teacher educators created informed the pedagogical approaches of pre-service teachers and worked towards the effective pedagogy practices stated in The New Zealand Curriculum. Descriptive statistics for both universities indicated that pre-service teachers preferred to learn in a critical constructivist environment. Actual CLES results indicated where perceived constructivist principles were weak or strong in the course. Paired-samples t-tests had significant findings (p < .05) for both universities with modest to large effect sizes. Completion of analyses on gender, age, ethnicity and science qualifications indicated if these groupings had any significant differences. ANOVA results had significant differences (p < .05) between two ethnic groups and independent-samples t-tests were significant (p < .05) for age at one university. Syllabi analyses indicated a difference in the number of pedagogies used in the courses (3 versus 1). Interviews revealed the pre-service teachers' science attitudes improved, however, science teaching time while on practicum was limited. Pre-service teachers indicated they were confident to teach science and that their teacher educators influenced their potential teaching practices. The findings supported 4 of the 7 effective pedagogy approaches listed in the curriculum. The research results indicated the complexity of the learning environment and ways to monitor it should be an important part of reviewing teacher education.

Publication Details
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Handle: 
http://hdl.Handle.net/10523/4585
Published year only: 
2014
10
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