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Conceptions about teaching and learning that influence Thai preservice biology teachers’ orientations to teaching science

Abstract

Orientations to teaching science are considered as an overarching component of pedagogical content knowledge for teaching science. It is proposed that orientations to teaching science have several dimensions, including conceptions about science teaching and learning. However, there is no clarity about what kinds of conceptions about science teaching and learning are influential when science teachers adopt specific types of orientations to teaching science. The current study aims to examine specific relationships between orientations to teaching science and conceptions about science teaching and learning. A mix-methods research was employed. Two quantitative datasets were collected from 32 preservice biology teachers using a Likert-scale survey to measure their conceptions about science teaching and learning, and the Pedagogy of Science Teaching Test was used to measure their orientations to teaching science. They were divided into two groups according to different orientations to teaching science, and then both groups’ conceptions about science teaching and learning were compared using Mann-Whitney U tests. Qualitative data were also used to illustrate the quantitative results. The two groups were significantly different in their conception about science learning as listening. This conception might be generated from the preservice biology teachers’ personal epistemology and can be an important factor that influences them to adopt didactic orientations to teaching science. The science teacher education curriculum should facilitate more inquiry-based orientations to teaching science by making preservice science teachers’ initial conceptions about science teaching and learning explicit and challenging them to broaden those initial conceptions to better align inquiry-based instruction.

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Acknowledgments

It could not have been completed without the support of Dr. Thararat Malaitao, the instructor of the “Learning and Classroom Management” course, who helped collect the data. Gratitude is also due to Associate Dr. Chatree Faikhamta, Assistant Dr. Chokchai Yuenyong, and Assistant Dr. Thasaneeya Ratanaroutai Nopparatjamjomras, who provided feedback when developing the instrument measuring conceptions about science teaching and learning.

Funding

The current study was supported by a grant from the School of Education, University of Phayao.

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Correspondence to Luecha Ladachart.

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Ladachart, L. Conceptions about teaching and learning that influence Thai preservice biology teachers’ orientations to teaching science. Curric Perspect 41, 3–15 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41297-020-00118-0

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Keywords

  • Conceptions about science teaching and learning
  • Orientations to teaching science
  • Personal epistemology
  • Science teacher education curriculum