Becoming a science teacher: Is it merely a process of trial and error?

Gourlay, Helen (2022) Becoming a science teacher: Is it merely a process of trial and error? Research in Science Education, 52 (6). 1677–1698. ISSN 0157-244X

[thumbnail of Published_Version]
PDF (Published_Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (890kB) | Preview


In this paper, I explore preservice science teachers’ (science PSTs’) reflective practice (RP) during a 1-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education programme in England. Previous research suggests that science PSTs are not very reflective, and I hypothesised that lack of reflectivity is related to their difficulty in learning to teach. Science PSTs (n = 38) took part in a teaching intervention designed to support development of RP, and eight volunteered as research participants. Four seminars about the diagnostic teaching cycle and action learning (AL) took place in the university during the year. Data collected included written reflective journals, analyses of critical incidents, and action plans; audio recordings of AL sets; and school-based mentors’ reports of participants’ progress in school placements. I investigated participants’ reflectivity using Zwokdiak-Myers’ nine dimensions of reflective practice. There was substantial variation between participants, and more evidence of reflectivity in some dimensions than in others. A relative strength was that participants adopted a range of teaching strategies (Dimension 6), but linking theory with practice (Dimension 3) was a weakness.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: action learning,diagnostic teaching cycle,reflective practice,science teacher education,education ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3304
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Research in Mathematics Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2021 02:01
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 22:35
DOI: 10.1007/s11165-021-10023-9

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item