Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 8, Issue 1, Article 2 (June, 2007)
Evaluation of pre-service teachers’ images of science teaching in Turkey

Previous Contents Next

Conclusion and Recommendation

The DASTT-C is one of the essential instruments that can be used to help to develop techniques and procedures for promoting reflection and analysis of pre-service teachers’ thinking.  Exploration of pre-service teachers’ beliefs of elementary science teaching plays a vital role in their acquisition and interpretation of knowledge and subsequent teaching behavior. It directs science educators to devote efforts for changing pre-service teachers’ beliefs to plan more insightful learning experiences in the teacher preparation program (Finson, Riggs, & Jesunathadas, 1999; Simmons et al., 1999; Thomas, & Pedersen, 1998a-1998b; Thomas, Pederson, & Finson, 2001).

This research is only a beginning in the quest to understand why Turkish government efforts have not still succeeded during the past five years in Turkey. In this study, though student-centered science teaching style was found twenty percent, the results also showed that forty-one percent of pre-service teachers see themselves using teacher-centered teaching approaches.  This is true even though programs for teacher preparation were restructured in 1998. Most of the elementary pre-service teachers showed through their drawings a positive science teaching identification, which is an indication of changes being made in the way science is taught. According to Louca, Rigas, and Valanides (2002), “good teaching requires a blend of teacher-centered and student-centered skills and deep understanding of when to do what kind of teaching” (p. 247).

This study showed most of two hundred thirteen pre-service elementary teachers did not depict constructivist science teacher and constructivist learning environment in their drawings. However, it appears that they had images of constructivist science teacher and constructivist-learning environments in their minds because of their written captions, which noted what the teacher and/or students, were saying and/or doing. This discrepancy could also be linked to the students knowledge of the “correct words to use to describe teaching” but not having a full and deep understanding of the concepts behind the words which in turn is not depicted in their drawings.  It seems clear that the pre-service teachers’ personal theories and experiences were most influential in how they represented (through drawings) their perception of science teaching. Their images of science teaching are what they think science teaching should be, shaped by experiences throughout their life.  There might be many reasons why Turkish pre-service elementary teachers lack constructivism integration in their educational experiences and why they are one step behind where to be expected in respect of restructured science programs. It seems that Turkish academics have not had a positive impact on the use of constructivism and may not sufficiently model the appropriate use of constructivism for instructional purposes in science courses.

Based on the results and findings of this study, there are several salient recommendations to be made relating to issues of integrating constructivist perspective, which is the essential of reform, into the Turkish education system.



Copyright (C) 2007 HKIEd APFSLT. Volume 8, Issue 1, Article 2 (June, 2007). All Rights Reserved.