- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1540789
- First Name Gillian
- Last Name Roehrig
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Physics
Joshua Ellis firstname.lastname@example.org
Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota, email@example.com; Joshua Ellis, Florida International University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Much of the research related to the induction period has had a singular focus on retention, ignoring the development of practices and beliefs over the first three years in the classroom. However, more critical is an exploration of the induction period as this is a time when science teachers’ practices and cognitive modes are conceptualized, constructed, and crystallized, the importance of this period is too often overlooked. This beginning period is a time when science teachers’ practices and cognitive modes are crystallized, the importance of this period is too often overlooked. However, recent work reveals that the beginning years encompass a vital phase of science teacher development Studies on induction programs have been conducted which are aimed at developing beginning teachers’ capacity for inquiry-based and student-centered teaching strategies. While studies of teachers’ beliefs are becoming common, there is limited research on developing reflective for beginning teachers.
The research questions guiding this study were: 1) How do beginning secondary science teachers beliefs and practices develop over their first three years in the classroom? 2) How do beginning secondary science teachers describe their development over the first three years in the classroom?
A single embedded case study design was employed for this study. Data was collected from multiple sources, including classroom observations, interviews and reflective journals. The teachers were observed and interviewed at the beginning, middle and end of their first two years in the classroom to gain insight into their changing knowledge and practices. As the teachers completed their third year of teaching, reflective interviews were conducted based on the videos of their classroom teaching. Classroom observations were videotaped allowing for two levels of analysis: one from the researcher’s perspective and the other from the participating teacher’s perspective.
Findings indicate that the teachers beliefs and practices centered around three themes: 1) role as a teacher: from being a ‘sage on the stage’ to being a ‘facilitator’ 2) instructional practices, and 3) level of student teacher interactions. In the first theme category, analysis of the data revealed that teacher roles have changed over the first three years from being a ‘sage on the stage’ to being a ‘facilitator.’ In the second theme category, teachers acknowledged that their practices have improved since their first year of their teaching. They stated that the expectations they had from their students, the directions that were provided and the classroom activities were too fast in the first years which made it difficult for them as well as for their students. Finally, in the third theme, teachers reflected on their evolving student-teacher interactions over their first three years in the classroom, they described that student-teacher interactions have improved in terms of questioning.
Reflective practice process can bring to teachers’ attention their practices that they do intentionally or unintentionally. If it is a positive practice, they may want to do it more often. If it is a negative practice, they may make attempts to stop it. Teachers beliefs provide a strong basis for their classroom actions. In order for teachers to create successful opportunities for the students, it is important to reflect on their own beliefs.