, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 124-150
Date: 23 Oct 2010

Teaching Science Inquiry in Urban Contexts: The Role of Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs

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Abstract

This paper reports on a study of elementary preservice teachers’ inquiry-based practices, their efficacy beliefs, and the role beliefs had on two preservice teachers’ practices in urban classrooms. Results show inquiry-based practices can be cultivated through field-based experiences and preservice teachers’ efficacy beliefs, as it relates to practice in urban settings, are malleable. Specifically, personal efficacy beliefs about teaching science improved or were sustained for one cohort of preservice teachers. However, beliefs about students’ ability to learn science, that is outcome beliefs, were less stable. The results of two case studies show that science content knowledge was a factor in preservice teachers’ inquiry-based practices. However, why preservice teachers’ beliefs about student learning declined is less clear. More research is needed, along with follow-up data on teacher induction, to learn how preservice teachers’ beliefs impact urban students’ science education.