Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 745–762 | Cite as

Preservice Teachers’ Images of Scientists: Do Prior Science Experiences Make a Difference?



This article presents the results of a mixed methods study that used the Draw-a-Scientist Test as a visual tool for exploring preservice teachers’ beliefs about scientists. A questionnaire was also administered to 165 students who were enrolled in elementary (K–8) and secondary (8–12) science methods courses. Taken as a whole, the images drawn by preservice teachers reflected the stereotype of a scientist as a man with a wild hairdo who wears a lab coat and glasses while working in a laboratory setting. However, results indicated statistically significant differences in stereotypical components of representations of scientists depending on preservice teachers’ program and previous science experiences. Post degree students in secondary science methods courses created images of scientists with fewer stereotypical elements than drawings created by students in the regular elementary program.


Draw-A-Scientist Test (DAST) Mixed methods Preservice teachers Science education Visual data 


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Copyright information

© The Association for Science Teacher Education, USA 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education and Professional StudiesGriffith UniversityMt GravattAustralia
  2. 2.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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