ERG SES E 02, Pre-service Teachers and Education
There have been major changes in current national curriculum of different disciplines in 2004 and 2013 in Turkey. Science was one of those disciplines that underwent radical changes. Science has been rearranged to reflect the relation between science and daily life and the dynamic interaction between science and technology more (MoNE, 2006). The recent curriculum framework has brought a different approach to learning for science and technology. There has been a pedagogical shift from behaviorist to constructivist approaches starting from 2000. The committee, responsible from science curriculum, suggested that teacher-centered traditional teaching activities like lecturing, note-taking, following steps in laboratory-work to confirm results are not sufficient to educate scientifically literate individuals (MoNE, 2006). Therefore, the curriculum places less emphasis on teacher-centered traditional classroom activities and more emphasis on student-centered, inquiry based activities to educate students for scientifically and technologically developing world. The aim is to help students to be creative, discover knowledge, to test hypothesis and evaluate results, to argue and make decisions based on evidence. Such a great goal, of course, cannot be achieved without teachers. Teachers’ pedagogical shift from behaviorist to constructivist approaches cannot be so expeditious. Here their orientations toward teaching science play a significant role in implementing updated science curriculum. Orientations toward teaching science refer to “teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about the purposes and goals for teaching science at a particular grade level” (Magnusson, Krajcik, & Borko, 1999, p. 97). There is a substantial body of literature highlighting the role of teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about teaching science on the success of the reforms in science education (e.g. Czerniak & Lumpe, 1996; Handal & Herrington, 2003; Levitt, 2002). For reforms to be successful, it is necessary to explore teachers’ orientations and to support them in changing or combining their orientations in coherence with the goals of reform (Abell, 2007; Nargund-Joshi, Rogers, & Akerson, 2011). With this in mind, this study is seeking to find answers to the question how much Turkish preservice science teachers are ready to apply the recent reform in science curriculum.
Magnusson, S., Krajcik, J., & Borko, H. (1999). Nature, sources and development of pedagogical content knowledge. In J. Gess-Newsome & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Examining pedagogical content knowledge: The construct and its implications for science education (pp. 95–132). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Ministry of National Education [MoNE] (2006). Ilkogretim Fen ve Teknoloji dersi (6-8. siniflar) Ogretim Programi (Elementary School Science and Technology Curriculum (grades 6-8)). Ankara, Turkey: MoNE. Levitt, K. E. (2002). An analysis of elementary teachers' beliefs regarding the teaching and learning of science. Science Education, 86(1), 1-22. Handal, B. & Herrington, A. (2003). Mathematics teachers’ beliefs and curriculum reform. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 15(1), 59-69. Czerniak, C. M. & Lumpe, A. T. (1996). Relationship between teacher beliefs and science education reform. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 7(4), 247-266. Abell, S.K. (2007). Research on science teacher knowledge. In S.K. Abell & N.G. Lederman(Eds.), Handbook of research on science education (pp. 1105–1149). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Nargund-Joshi, V., Rogers, M. A. P., & Akerson, V. L. (2011). Exploring Indian secondary teachers' orientations and practice for teaching science in an era of reform. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(6), 624-647. Merriam, S. B. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons.
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