Instructional strategies and motivating factors: a mixed methods study of pre-service teachers’ perceptions

  • Crystal Machado
  • Peizhen WangEmail author


Is constructivist teaching still valuable and relevant in an era where standardized testing reigns supreme? If so, how do college students, who have been subject to a considerable amount of testing, respond to constructivist pedagogy that nurtures student autonomy? This QUAN-QUAL study, conducted at a mid-sized university in the United States (U.S.), describes preservice teachers’ evaluation of a range of strategies grounded in constructivist principles, to varying degrees, and the factors that influenced their interest and willingness to participate. The researchers used SPSS to analyze survey data from 57 preservice teachers, and Nvivo to analyze qualitative data from seven interviews, the course syllabi, and the participant-researcher’s instructional narrative. The quantitative data confirmed that participating preservice teachers showed a preference for constructivist-based strategies over strategies that were more traditional. Additionally, participants were motivated primarily by grades, future career plans, learning goals, course requirements, and course value. Qualitative data deepened our understanding of the relationship between these variables. This study contributes to a limited body of literature that describes how preservice teachers respond to different types of pedagogy, the learning experiences they value, and the factors that propel them to participate in these experiences.


Constructivist teaching College teaching Preservice teachers Teacher education Learning motivation 


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Copyright information

© Education Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professional Studies of EducationIndiana University of PennsylvaniaIndianaUSA
  2. 2.Elementary EducationChangshu Institute of TechnologyChangshuChina

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