10 SES 09 D, Research on Values, Beliefs & Understandings in Teacher Education
Focussing on student teachers’ interests and expectations is necessary to facilitate effective teaching and learning in teacher education and training. The student teachers’ interests and expectations toward their studies and profession determine how they engage in their studies and further on behave in their everyday working life. Moreover, this knowledge is fundamental for universities in order to make the teaching profession more attractive to a wider pool of candidates, as emerged as one of the policy implications from research conducted by the European Commission (European Commission, 2015).
Research has shown that the students’ motivation and interests to their studies decrease over the years of study (Keiner, 2004). Accordingly, university entrants are more performance and success oriented than students in higher years of university. In addition, teacher education students are characterised by a high inner intrinsic motivation, based on students’ aptitudes.
In teacher education, students are asked to be self-regulated learners who possess and develop well-founded knowledge about teaching and learning. Undoubtedly, performance motivation plays an important role in acquiring well-founded knowledge. Cramer (2012) studied in a longitudinal study the professional development of teacher education students (for secondary schools) in Germany. Among others, he studied the students’ experiences during their study. For example, Cramer (2012) found that male students scored higher on avoiding extra work than female students did. The time students invest in their education did not depend only on curricular opportunities, but also on their attitude towards work.
Furthermore, the students’ interests in teacher training is connected with the forms and habits of knowledge acquisition as well as use and processing of subject specific literature. Keiner (2000) studied teacher training students’ study preferences, time-investment, used information resources, and the students’ reading behaviour in two universities in Germany. For example, the author found students to have moderately profiled expectancies toward their study, low time investment, and strong reference to everyday knowledge. Gross & Herzer (in press) found that future kindergarten, primary and secondary school teachers find lectures and text-writing less important than for example practical experiences. This indicates a higher interests toward practice (e.g., internships) than classical working methods within university studies.
With the purpose of an efficient design of teacher training, it is therefore necessary, to investigate student teachers’ interests and expectations toward their studies and future profession. Hence, this research tries to answer the following questions:
- What does a general picture of the student teachers look like with regard to their interests and expectations?
- Are there differences in gender in student teachers’ interests and expectations?
- Are there differences in year of study in student teachers’ interests and expectations?
Participants Data for this article were obtained from a larger study on student cultures in South Tyrol, Italy. Data were collected in July and August 2017 and at the Faculty of Education at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (South Tyrol/Italy) through an online-questionnaire (N = 154). While 83% of participants were female students, only about 17% were male students. Nearly fifty-eight percent of students were attending year one or two of their studies, while the rest of students were enrolled in year three or four. While some participating students were attending a professional in-service training (University Vocational Training Course, UBK), most students attended the German-language master course (the University offers a German, an Italian and a Ladin master course), which qualifies future kindergarten and primary-school teachers. University courses are strongly related to territorial and sociocultural needs of the region, which is characterised by a high cultural and linguistic diversity (German, Italian, and Ladin). The emphasis of the study programme is on inclusion, multilingualism and interculturalism within its sociolinguistic and sociocultural context. Instrument A questionnaire was constructed and included the following sections: students’ background, view of pedagogy, engagement and passion, student motivation and performance motivation, students’ interests in teacher education, prestige of future profession, view of the child, and teamwork. For this paper, in order to answer the research questions, items from the sections student motivation/performance motivation and students’ interests in teacher education will be analysed. Data Analysis Data will be analysed by means of SPSS 24 whereby descriptive statistics, a factor analysis, a two-sided t-test, and a one-way ANOVA will be used to answer the research questions.
The outcomes of the analysis are expected to give new insights into student teachers’ interests and expectations toward their studies. Moreover, implications for decision makers and university stakeholders are sought.
Cramer, C. (2012). Entwicklung von Professionalität in der Lehrerbildung. Empirische Befunde zu Eingangsbedingungen, Prozessmerkmalen und Ausbildungserfahrungen Lehramtsstudierender. Bad Heilbrunn: Verlag Julius Klinkhardt. European Commission, (2015). Strengthening Teaching in Europe: new evidence from teachers compiled by Eurydice and CRELL. Retrieved from ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/repository/education/library/policy/teaching- profession-practices_en.pdf Gross, B. & Herzer, G. (in press). Reception and Acquisition of Educational Research Knowledge between Library and Internet: The Viewpoint of University Students. Ricerche Pedagogiche. Keiner (2000). Leben, Lernen, Lesen – Erziehungswissenschaft im Aneignungsverhalten von Studierenden. In L. Wigger (Ed.), Beiträge zur Diskussion um ein Kerncurriculum Erziehungswissenschaft (pp. 7-20). Vechta: Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft. Keiner (2004). Akademische und studentische Fachkulturen als Kontexte von Studienreformen. Zum Stand der Forschung im Schnittfeld von Politik und Wissenschaft. Unpublished paper.
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