, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 399-421
Date: 03 May 2007

Revealing Student Teachers’ Thinking through Dilemma Analysis

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We explore the potential of dilemma analysis as an assessment tool to reveal student teachers’ thinking and concerns about their practice. For this purpose we analyze the dilemma analyses completed by 22 student teachers enrolled in our science teacher preparation program over a period of four semesters. Student teachers’ dilemmas fall into two main groups: dilemmas about student performance and dilemmas associated with instructional decisions. These dilemmas reveal a variety of concerns that student teachers have about their work. In particular, concerns about lack of student motivation and its consequences on performance and instruction play a central role in student teachers’ thinking. The recognition of common patterns of thought in our student teacher thinking has made us reflect on and re-evaluate important components of the curriculum in our science teacher preparation program.