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Becoming a Teacher in Mathematics and Science: A Study of the Transition from Initial Teacher Education to School Practice
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Education.
2004 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study follows student teachers from initial teacher education into their first teaching jobs, with the aim of gaining insights how student teachers become teachers of mathematics and science. The study has in two stages. In the first part focus, the focus is on the beliefs and conceptions – termed here as ’personal didactics’- that student teachers have about teaching and learning mathematics and science. These are captured by open-ended interviews on completion of initial teacher education. Stage 1 is thus subject specific. Findings indicate that student teachers have an applied approach to mathematics and science. Findings of the study challenge teacher education to develop mathematics and science as a more democratic, moral and cultural enterprise. It is suggested that closer connections are needed between different parts of initial teacher with a continued discussion about how and in what areas subject teaching can develop in teacher education. The second stage of research - two years later – involved data collection through observation, field notes and post-observation interviews. This stage is a follow-up study building on the stage 1 and has a more sociological emphasis inspired by Bernstein’s concept of educational codes. The research shows how the structure of schools influences teachers and their possibilities to enact teaching that is consistent with their understanding of mathematics and science as school subjects. Schools have different codes and teachers’ practices were constrained by the opportunities that each school offered as well as each teacher’s personal didactics. Most of the teachers in the study worked in schools organised in such a way that new teachers have considerable autonomy over their own teaching. After two years of practise teachers generally felt freer to organise science teaching and put more planning and preparation of science lessons as compared to mathematics. The overall study illuminates the relationship between initial teacher education and school practice, and suggests an enhancement of initial teacher education and professional development as a unity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Pedagogik , 2004. , 110 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; nr 19
Keyword [en]
Education, initial teacher education, mathemataics and science teaching, personal didactics, educational codes, school practice
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-327ISBN: 91-7305-715-0OAI: diva2:143107
2004-10-08, N 420, Naturvetarhuset, Umeå Universitet, 13:00
Available from: 2004-09-29 Created: 2004-09-29Bibliographically approved

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