Research in Science Education

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 289–305 | Cite as

‘You Have to Give Them Some Science Facts’: Primary Student Teachers’ Early Negotiations of Teacher Identities in the Intersections of Discourses About Science Teaching and About Primary Teaching

Article

Abstract

In the broadest sense, the goal for primary science teacher education could be described as preparing these teachers to teach for scientific literacy. Our starting point is that making such science teaching accessible and desirable for future primary science teachers is dependent not only on their science knowledge and self-confidence, but also on a whole range of interrelated sociocultural factors. This paper aims to explore how intersections between different Discourses about primary teaching and about science teaching are evidenced in primary school student teachers’ talk about becoming teachers. The study is founded in a conceptualisation of learning as a process of social participation. The conceptual framework is crafted around two key concepts: Discourse (Gee 2005) and identity (Paechter, Women’s Studies International Forum, 26(1):69–77, 2007). Empirically, the paper utilises semi-structured interviews with 11 primary student teachers enrolled in a 1-year Postgraduate Certificate of Education course. The analysis draws on five previously identified teacher Discourses: ‘Teaching science through inquiry’, ‘Traditional science teacher’, ‘Traditional primary teacher’, ‘Teacher as classroom authority’, and ‘Primary teacher as a role model’ (Danielsson and Warwick, International Journal of Science Education, 2013). It explores how the student teachers, at an early stage in their course, are starting to intersect these Discourses to negotiate their emerging identities as primary science teachers.

Keywords

Primary teaching Science education Primary science Teacher education Identity Discourse 

References

  1. Appelton, K., & Kindt, I. (2002). Beginning elementary teachers’ development as teachers of science. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 13(1), 43–61.Google Scholar
  2. Beauchamp, C., & Thomas, L. (2009). Understanding teacher identity: an overview of issues in the literature and implications for teacher education. Cambridge Journal of Education, 39(2), 175–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bryan, L. A., & Tippins, D. (2006). Employing case-based pedagogy within a reflection orientation to elementary science teacher preparation. In K. Appleton (Ed.), Elementary science teacher education: international perspectives on contemporary issues and practice (pp. 299–315). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. Bulunuz, N., & Jarrett, O. S. (2009). Understanding of earth and space science concepts: strategies for concept-building in elementary teacher preparation. School Science and Mathematics, 109(5), 276–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carlone, H. B., Haun-Frank, J., & Kimmel, S. C. (2010). Tempered radicals: elementary teachers’ narratives of teaching science within and against prevailing meanings of schooling. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 5(4), 941–965.Google Scholar
  6. Danielsson, A. T., & Warwick, P. (2013). ‘All we did was things like forces and motion…’: multiple discourses in the development of primary science teachers. International Journal of Science Education. doi:10.1080/09500693.2012.734639.Google Scholar
  7. Danielewicz, J. (2001). Teaching selves: identity, pedagogy and teacher education. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  8. Davis, E. A., Petish, D., & Smithey, J. (2006). Challenges new science teachers face. Review of Educational Research, 76(4), 607–651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dewey, J. (1933). How we think: a restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. Chicago: Henry Regnery.Google Scholar
  10. Edwards, D., & Mercer, N. (1987). Common knowledge: the development of understanding in the classroom. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Gee, J. P. (2005). An introduction to discourse analysis. Theory and method (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Gott, R., & Duggan, S. (2007). A framework for practical work in science and scientific literacy through argumentation. Research in Science & Technological Education, 25(3), 271–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hayes, M. T. (2002). Elementary preservice teachers’ struggles to define inquiry-based science teaching. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 13(2), 147–165.Google Scholar
  14. Holland, D., Lachicotte, W., Skinner, D., & Cain, C. (2001). Identity and agency in cultural worlds. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Katz, P., McGinnis, J. R., Hestness, E., Riedinger, K., Marbach-Ad, G., Dai, A., et al. (2011). Professional identity development of teacher candidates participating in an informal science education internship: a focus on drawings as evidence. International Journal of Science Education, 33(9), 1169–1197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kim, M., & Tan, A.-K. (2011). Rethinking difficulties of teaching inquiry-based practical work: stories from elementary pre-service teachers. International Journal of Science Education, 33(4), 465–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. King, K., Shumow, L., & Lietz, S. (2001). Science education in an urban elementary school: case studies of teacher beliefs and classroom practices. Science Education, 85, 89–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kvale, S. (1996). InterViews: an introduction to qualitative research interviewing. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  19. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Luehmann, A. L. (2007). Identity development as a lens to science teacher preparation. Science Education, 91, 822–839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lunn, S., & Solomon, J. (2000). Primary teachers’ thinking about the English national curriculum for science: autobiographies, warrants, and autonomy. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(10), 1043–1056.Google Scholar
  22. Mercer, N. (2000). Words and minds: how we use language to think together. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mikeska, J. N., Anderson, C. W., & Schwarz, C. V. (2009). Principled reasoning about problems of practice. Science Education, 93, 678–686.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mulholland, J., & Wallace, J. (2000). Beginning primary science teaching: entryways to different worlds. Research in Science Education, 30(2), 155–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mulholland, J., & Wallace, J. (2002). Navigating border crossings: how primary teachers learn to teach science. Australian Science Teacher Journal, 48(2), 12–19.Google Scholar
  26. Olsen, B. (2008). Teaching what they learn, learning what they live: how teachers’ personal histories shape their professional development. Boulder: Paradigm.Google Scholar
  27. Paechter, C. (2003). Masculinities and femininities as communities of practice. Women’s Studies International Forum, 26(1), 69–77.Google Scholar
  28. Pollard, A. (2002). Reflective teaching: effective and evidence-informed professional practice. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  29. Poon, C. L., Lee, Y. J., Tan, A. K., & Lim, S. S. L. (2012). Knowing inquiry as practice and theory: developing a pedagogical framework with elementary school teachers. Research in Science Education, 42(2), 303–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rutter, M., Maughan, B., Mortimore, P., & Ouston, J. (1979). Fifteen thousand hours: secondary schools and their effects on children. London: Open Books.Google Scholar
  31. Saka, Y., Southerland, S., Kittleson, J., & Hutner, T. (2012). Understanding the induction of a science teacher: the interaction of identity and context. Research in Science Education. doi:10.1007/s11165-012-9310-5.Google Scholar
  32. Sfard, A., & Prusak, A. (2005). Telling identities: in search of an analytic tool for investigating learning as a culturally shaped activity. Educational Researcher, 34(4), 14–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schön, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. London: Temple Smith.Google Scholar
  34. Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1–23.Google Scholar
  36. Skamp, K., & Mueller, A. (2001). Student teachers’ conceptions about effective primary science teaching: a longitudinal study. International Journal of Science Education, 23(4), 331–351.Google Scholar
  37. Volkman, M. J., & Anderson, M. A. (1998). Creating professional identity: dilemmas and metaphors of a first-year chemistry teacher. Science Education, 82, 293–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Warwick, P., & Siraj-Blatchford, J. (2006). Using data comparison and interpretation to develop procedural understandings in the primary classroom: case study evidence from action research. International Journal of Science Education, 28(5), 443–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice. Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wilson, R. E., & Kittleson, J. M. (2011). The role of struggle in pre-service elementary teachers’ experiences as students and approaches to facilitating science learning. Research in Science Education, 42(4), 709–728.Google Scholar
  41. Windschitl, M. (2002). Framing constructivism in practice as the negotiation of dilemmas: an analysis of the conceptual, pedagogical, cultural, and political challenges facing teachers. Review of Educational Research, 72(2), 131–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations