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Preservice Science Teachers’ Science Teaching Orientations and Beliefs About Science


"This paper offers clarification of science teacher orientations as a potential component of pedagogical content knowledge. Science teaching orientations and beliefs about science held by 237 preservice science teachers were gathered via content-specific vignettes and questionnaire, respectively, prior to participation in a UK-based teacher education program. Data presented support Didactic, Academic Rigor, conceptual change, activity driven, and inquiry orientations as intuitive teacher stances. The paper proposes a continuum for these five science teaching orientations, ordered by potential teaching quality that may be useful to science teacher educators. Even though all participants were qualified scientists, naive beliefs about science were prevalent, with few examples of informed and partially informed beliefs. Alignment of orientations and beliefs shows that orientations override preservice teachers notions of science teaching. Therefore, a further recommendation based on these data is that preservice science teachers beliefs about science are regarded as a component of subject matter knowledge and excluded from science teaching orientations."