PEN Academic Publishing   |  ISSN: 1308 - 951X

Volume 4 Issue 3 (September 2013)

Original articles

Examining The Beliefs Of Prospective Elementary And Science Teachers Regarding Reformed Science Teaching And Learning


pp. 1 - 9


Turkey following the footsteps of western education system is nowadays struggling to implement constructivist paradigm in its schools. The success of the integration of constructivist elements into the schools is heavily contingent upon the support of teachers. This necessitates that the ideas advocated in constructivist reform movements should be promoted adequately in the preparation of teacher candidates. Therefore, investigating the beliefs of prospective teachers regarding reformed science teaching and learning becomes crucially important for an accurate portrayal of the current structure of the teacher profiles. This study focuses on the beliefs of prospective elementary and science teachers regarding reformed science teaching and learning. An adapted version of the BARSTL (Beliefs about Reformed Science Teaching and Learning) questionnaire developed originally by Sampson, Grooms and Enderle (2013) was delivered to a total of 393 first-year elementary and science teachers. The reformed science teaching and learning beliefs of prospective teachers with respect to their majors, genders and type of high school from which they graduated was investigated using independent samples t-test statistics and one-way ANOVA statistics. The results of the study indicate that many prospective teachers regardless of their majors adopt traditional perspectives in science teaching and learning. Particularly, prospective elementary and science teachers scored lower on “how people learn about science” and “the nature of the science curriculum” sub-dimensions of the BARSTL questionnaire, which implies that traditional beliefs are more dominant in these two specific sub-dimensions. The mean scores of elementary and science prospective teachers differ statistically significantly in two sub-dimensions of the BARSTL questionnaire (“characteristics of teachers and the learning environment” and “the nature of the science curriculum”). With respect to gender, the mean scores of male teacher candidates are significantly higher than their female peers in two sub-dimensions of the questionnaire (“how people learn about science” and “lesson design and implementation”). No statistically significant difference is present between the mean scores of prospective teachers graduated from different types of high schools. The results obtained from the study indicate the limited acceptance of constructivist reform ideas by pre-service elementary and science teachers.

Keywords: -

Challenges Faced By Novice Language Teachers: Support, Identity, And Pedagogy In The Initial Years Of Teaching


pp. 10 - 23


Beginning teachers experience various challenges as they strive to develop their teaching in new environments. In this paper, we explore the challenges faced by novice language teachers and the support needed to address these. For this purpose, recent studies on the experiences of novice language teachers were reviewed. Three major themes were prevalent in research on this issue: support, identity and pedagogy. In the paper, we discuss each area and a selection of related studies. In addition, to present a specific case, we highlight the results of an exploratory semi-structured interview we conducted with a novice language teacher at a university in Cyprus. The results underscore the criticality of addressing challenges faced in initial years of teaching. Since beginning teachers make decisions to either stay in the profession or drop out, instead of alienating novice teachers, educational leaders ought to organize collaborative opportunities with beginning teachers. Such endeavors may help provide the necessary environment fostering safety, belonging, and self-esteem for novice teachers.

Keywords: Novice teachers; language teacher education; novice English teacher; Cyprus