Secondary Science Teachers’ Reported Practices and Beliefs on Teaching and Learning from a Large National Sample in the United States
beliefs, professional development, Secondary science teachers, teaching practices
Journal of Science Teacher Education
Recent adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) across the United States has prompted teacher educators to reexamine effective strategies to improve science teaching practices that align with the principles of the NGSS. Past research attempted to address changing teaching practices by examining the alignment—or lack thereof—with teachers’ beliefs on teaching and learning. Recently, teachers’ beliefs on student learning and beliefs on teaching were examined separately and results suggest that practices align better with beliefs on learning rather than teaching. However, these studies are small and ascertain the belief structure first as a lens for examining practice. This article presents the results of a nationally disseminated questionnaire (N = 474) that first asks secondary science teachers to self-report on classroom practices and then indicate beliefs on the purpose for specific practices and teaching tools. Overall, teaching practices align better with the practices teachers report believing are better for student learning, rather than those they believe represent “good teaching.” Additionally, chi-square and one-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) indicate that these beliefs and consequently practices are unchanged when experiences such as continued education, years of teaching experience, and specific professional development activities are taken into account. Secondary science teachers’ beliefs on student learning appear stable regardless of experiences, and ultimately shape their teaching practices. Consequently, as teacher educators, we must first address teachers’ beliefs on student learning before expecting to see change in teaching practices that better align with the NGSS.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Boesdorfer, Sarah B.; Del Carlo, Dawn I.; and Wayson, Jessica, "Secondary Science Teachers’ Reported Practices and Beliefs on Teaching and Learning from a Large National Sample in the United States" (2019). Faculty Publications. 440.