Teacher Expertise and Personal Theories of Learning: Master and Novice Teachers' Interpretations of a Constructivist Teaching Episode
Noethen, Kimberly Grace
This study is an investigation of some of the similarities and differences between Novice and Master science teachers. The research focused on Novice and Master teachers? personal theories of learning as revealed through their perception and interpretation of a videotape of a teaching episode. The teaching episode was selected to illustrate teaching practices consonant with constructivist learning theory. Participants? interviews, during and following the video-clip, provided the sources of data. I transcribed all the interviews and analyzed them using both deductive and inductive analysis tools. Category development proceeded using both open-coding, for data-driven category development, as well as anticipated categories drawn from the three theoretical frameworks. Anticipated categories were drawn from research studies of teacher expertise, from the teacher development literature, and from cognitive science expert/novice research. Qualitative data analysis methods were used to determine Novice and Master teachers? perceptions and interpretations of the video-clip. The Novice teachers were pre-service science teachers. Some had completed student teaching and some were about to student teach. The Master teachers were Nationally Board Certified science teachers. The Novices were students in a reform-based teacher education program. They have had a variety of experiences with contemporary methods of instruction, but from this research, appear to straddle both a traditional approach to learning and a more constructivist approach. For both the Novices and the Master teachers, the best indicators of their personal theory of learning lies with the role they see for the teacher in the science classroom, the degree of responsibility for learning that is placed on students, and the role student misconceptions play in teaching and learning science.
teacher education; science education; constructivist; learning theory; expertise; novice
dissertation or thesis