What are the voices of becoming practitioners telling us about science in pre-school?: Pre-school student teachers´ attitudes towards science and science teaching - a longitudinal study.
2010 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the developing professional identity and attitudes towards science teaching among student pre-school teachers. We see professional identity as a dynamic equilibrium between the professional self-image and the variety of roles (pre-school) teachers feel they have to play. Accordingly, professional identity can change over time through relevant others, events and experiences. In this longitudinal study, 65 students enrolled in an art and science dominated teacher programme have been followed since the start in august 2008. Results are presented from 4 consecutive questionnaires and an individual interview of 8 students. The results show that sceptical attitudes towards science decreased significantly after one year of science studies. On the contrary hesitance towards holding structured scientific activities persisted throughout the year. Results from the individual interviews confirm these findings. Here, the descriptions of perceived relevant roles of their profession are dominated by themes of caring and supporting, not teaching. The reluctance towards science teaching in early years thus appear to be more connected to student teachers’ view of the professional preschool teacher role, where structured teaching not is a pronounced part, than to negative attitudes towards science itself. These findings thereby contradict the general idea that the ambiguity about teaching science in pre-school among student teachers is connected to negative attitudes toward science as a subject. This new perspective suggests a need to integrate a discussion of the pre-school teacher role and professional identity into science courses for becoming pre-school teachers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-36289OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-36289DiVA: diva2:353463
European Early Childhood Education Research Association. 20th EECRA conference in Birmingham