Early childhood and elementary preservice teachers’ beliefs

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [The Aga Khan University]On: 16 December 2014, At: 22:53Publisher: Taylor &amp; FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Journal of Early Childhood TeacherEducationPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ujec20</p><p>Early childhood and elementarypreservice teachers beliefsHueyLing Lin a , Nedra Hazareesingh b , Janet Taylor c , JeffreyGorrell c &amp; Helen L. Carlson ba Alabama State University , Montgomery, AL 361010271, USAb University of Minnesota , Duluth, MN, USAc Auburn UniversityPublished online: 03 Aug 2006.</p><p>To cite this article: HueyLing Lin , Nedra Hazareesingh , Janet Taylor , Jeffrey Gorrell &amp; HelenL. Carlson (2001) Early childhood and elementary preservice teachers beliefs, Journal of EarlyChildhood Teacher Education, 22:3, 135-150, DOI: 10.1080/1090102010220302</p><p>To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1090102010220302</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. 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Terms&amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p><p>http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ujec20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/1090102010220302http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1090102010220302http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p></li><li><p>Pergamon</p><p>Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education 22 (2001) 135-150</p><p>Journal of J?arly</p><p>ChildhoodTeacher</p><p>Education</p><p>Early childhood and elementary preservice teachers'beliefs</p><p>Huey-Ling Lina,*, Nedra Hazareesinghb, Janet Taylorc, Jeffrey Gorrellc,Helen L. Carlsonb</p><p>aAlabama State University, Montgomery, AL 36101-0271, USAbUniversity of Minnesota, Duluth, MN, USA</p><p>cAuburn University</p><p>Received 19 June 2000; accepted 17 September 2000</p><p>Abstract</p><p>In this study we examined 382 preservice teachers' perceived efficacy, their beliefs regarding teaching andlearning, and the relationship between these two variables by analyzing quantitative and qualitative data using amodified version of the Gibson and Dembo Teacher Efficacy Scale and six open-ended questions. A general linearmodel analysis revealed that several factors differ across certain preparation programs. Preservice teachers'efficacy beliefs increased at the end of these two different teacher education programs. Qualitative analyzesrevealed variance in preservice teachers' beliefs about teaching and learning between the two majors and in thetwo locations which they were studying. Most ending-level preservice teachers had adopted the views of the wayteachers are supposed to teach promoted by the particular teacher education program. The internal programcoherence, program structural contexts, program's goals, and learning experiences in the program may act asimportant factors on preservice teachers' beliefs. 2001 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.</p><p>1. Introduction</p><p>Preservice teachers enter teacher preparation pro-grams with well established beliefs about teachingand learning which may be subject to change (Clark,1988; Clark &amp; Peterson, 1986; Florio-Ruane &amp; Lens-mire, 1990; Hollingsworth, 1989; Lottie, 1975; Nes-por, 1987; Weinstein, 1989; Wilson, Konopak &amp;Readence, 1994) but those beliefs often are resistantto change (Kagan, 1992; McLaughlin, 1991; Tschan-nen-Moran, Woolfolk &amp; Hoy, 1998; Weinstein,1989, 1990). Several studies provide evidence thatteacher education programs have little impact onteachers' beliefs (Finlayson &amp; Cohen, 1967; Gibson,</p><p>*Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-334-229-4237; fax:+ 1-334-229-4904.</p><p>E-mail address: feelinglin@aol.com (H.-L. Lin).</p><p>1972; Lacey, 1977; Lortie, 1975; McDiarmid, 1990;Zeichner &amp; Tabachnick, 1981). Zeichner &amp; Tabach-nich (1981) reported that the beliefs preservice teach-ers bring with them tend to be maintained whenstudent teachers learn the curriculum and pedagogi-cal methods from their cooperating classroom teach-ers. Formal training in pedagogy at the university isseen as having little impact in comparison with theinfluence of prior experiences (Zeichner &amp; Grant,1981).</p><p>Although there is no conclusive evidence con-cerning the degree to which teacher education pro-grams have an impact on preservice teachers' beliefs,evidence exists to support the idea that under certainconditions preservice teachers' conceptions aboutteaching and learning may change during teacherpreparation programs (Feiman-Nemser, McDiarmid,Melnick, &amp; Parker, 1989; Florio-Ruane &amp; Lensmire,1990; Gibson, 1972; Hollingsworth, 1988; Skipper &amp;</p><p>0163-6388/01/$ - see front matter 2001 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.PII: S0190-1027(01)00117-9</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>The</p><p> Aga</p><p> Kha</p><p>n U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 22:</p><p>53 1</p><p>6 D</p><p>ecem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>136 H.-L. Lin et al. /Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education 22 (2001) 135-150</p><p>Quantz, 1987; Tamir, 1991). Feiman-Nemser et al.(1989) conducted an exploratory study of conceptualchange with 91 preservice teachers in an introductorycourse. They found the entry preservice teachers per-ceived teaching simply as telling and the ending-levelpreservice teachers perceived teaching as being amore complex set of activities and relationships suchas facilitating and guiding. Hollingsworth (1989)stated that students enter teacher education programswith definite ideas about teaching and learning. Shedescribed how those beliefs and ideas may change asa result of the experiences provided in the preserviceprogram. Tamir (1991) concluded that teacher prep-aration and experiences of prospective teachers sig-nificantly affect their expressed views and beliefsabout learning and teaching. Florio-Ruane and Lens-mire (1990), Hollingsworth, (1988, 1989) Skipperand Quantz, (1987) and Tamir (1991) indicated thatteacher preparation programs seem to enhance theattitudes and beliefs of preservice teachers.</p><p>By using interviews, observation and question-naires, Tatto (1998) classified teacher training pro-grams into several categories based on their theoret-ical views of learning to teach. Her examination ofthe views of student teachers at different points oftheir teacher education programs showed there weresimilarities and differences across programs with re-gard to beliefs about teaching diverse students, andabout sources of school success and failure. She sug-gests that programs that build a highly coherent cur-riculum have faculty who share common perspec-tives which, in turn, influence graduates' to changetheir views to be more consistent with program em-phases.</p><p>Gibson (1972) conducted a study of studentteacher perceptions concerning teacher-role expecta-tions during a three-year period of teacher prepara-tion programs. He found that the early part of theteacher education program seemed to have significanteffects in changing students' attitudes. Also collegecourse work and student teaching experiences mayhave some influences on teachers' sense of efficacy(Ashton &amp; Webb, 1986; Enochs, Scharmann &amp;Riggs, 1995; Watters &amp; Ginns, 1995). The level ofself-efficacy would affect preservice teachers' con-cept change during teacher education (Imants &amp; Tel-lema, 1995).</p><p>Teacher's sense of efficacy has been linked tovarious personal and professional factors: (a) teachercharacteristics (e.g., willingness to try a variety ofmaterials and approaches, willingness to work withdifficult students, the desire to find better ways ofteaching, and implementation of progressive and in-novative methods) (Allinder, 1995); (b) preserviceteachers' level of professional commitment (Cola-darci, 1992; Evans &amp; Tribble, 1986); (c) external</p><p>factors (e.g., students' family background, parent in-volvement) (Bandura, 1997; Hoover-Dempsey,Bassler &amp; Brissie, 1987); (d) involvement in aca-demic activities (Guskey, 1987); (e) teachers' percep-tions of children and control (Woolfolk &amp; Hoy,1990); (f) classroom management and discipline(Emmer &amp; Hickman, 1991; Soodak &amp; Podell, 1994);and (g) attitudes toward teaching (Tschannen-Moran,et al., 1998).</p><p>Ashton, Webb, and Doda (1982) categorizedsome teacher characteristics which differentiated ahigh sense of efficacy from a low sense of efficacy.For example, teachers with a high sense of efficacyhad positive expectations for student behavior andachievement; took personal responsibility for studentlearning; used different strategies for achieving ob-jectives; and had a sense of control with confidencein their ability to influence student learning. Gibsonand Dembo (1984) found that teachers with a highlevel of perceived efficacy had a better academicfocus in the classroom and demonstrated more effec-tive types of feedback than teachers who had a lowersense of efficacy.</p><p>Gibson and Dembo (1984) applied Bandura's so-cial cognitive theory to construct a teacher efficacyscale (see Appendix for sample items) which mea-sures two factors: personal teaching efficacy and gen-eral teaching efficacy. Other researchers have con-firmed this two-factor finding (Allinder, 1995;Anderson, Greene, &amp; Loewen, 1988; Coladarci,1992; Coladarci &amp; Breton, 1997; Kushner, 1993;Saklofske, Michayluk, &amp; Randhawa, 1988; Soodak&amp; Podell, 1994). However other studies using theGibson and Dembo scale have shown inconsistencieswhen that scale is applied to divergent settings (Em-mer &amp; Hickman, 1991; Guskey &amp; Passaro, 1994; Lin&amp; Gorrell, 1998; Soodak &amp; Podell, 1996).</p><p>One of few studies that link efficacy and beliefsabout teaching and learning was conducted by Gus-key (1987). He found that teachers' perceived senseof efficacy in teaching and learning which was con-sidered as teachers' perception of personal responsi-bility for student learning. This study was designed tofurther explore the relationship between efficacy andbeliefs and to determine if those variables change dueto education programs. We chose a combination ofthe Gibson and Dembo (1984) scale and open-endedquestions to gain a better understanding of preserviceteachers' sense of efficacy and beliefs about teachingand learning. We analyzed, described and interpretedthe pattern of responses related to the sense of effi-cacy and beliefs about teaching and learning of earlychildhood and elementary preservice teachers at twouniversities. We also examined the connection be-tween their beliefs and their sense of efficacy, hy-pothesizing that preservice teacher beliefs may be</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>The</p><p> Aga</p><p> Kha</p><p>n U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 22:</p><p>53 1</p><p>6 D</p><p>ecem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>H.-L. Lin et al. /Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education 22 (2001) 135-150 137</p><p>Table 1Participants demographic data</p><p>Variable</p><p>Age</p><p>Degree will earn</p><p>Gender</p><p>University</p><p>SU</p><p>MU</p><p>SU</p><p>MU</p><p>SU</p><p>MU</p><p>Category</p><p>20 or below21 to 2526 and up20 or below21 to 2526 and upBachelor's degreePost-baccalaureateBachelor's degreePost-baccalaureateMaleFemaleMaleFemale</p><p>EC</p><p>Beginning</p><p>381838</p><p>103</p><p>59</p><p>1922</p><p>57</p><p>21</p><p>Ending</p><p>582</p><p>254</p><p>591</p><p>254</p><p>601</p><p>28</p><p>ELEM</p><p>Beginning</p><p>5182</p><p>15364</p><p>61</p><p>5324</p><p>571738</p><p>Ending</p><p>455</p><p>424</p><p>50</p><p>46</p><p>446</p><p>640</p><p>Note: SU: Southeastern University; MU: Midwestern University; EC: Early Childhood Education Major; ELEM: ElementaryEducation Major.</p><p>influenced by the structural context of their prepara-tion, by the goals of their teacher education pro-grams, and by their experiences in the program. Wealso hypothesized a relationship between the preser-vice teachers' sense of efficacy and their beliefsabout teaching and learning both before and aftercompletion of their teacher education program.</p><p>2. Method</p><p>2.1. Participants</p><p>The 381 participants in the study included 169early childhood preservice teachers (44%) and 212elementary preservice teachers (56%). Of the totalsubjects, 230 preservice teachers were from a south-eastern university (60%) and 151 were from a mid-western university (40%) and 196 preservice teacherswere at the beginning of their program (52%) while185 were at the end of their program (48%). Of thetotal sample, 91% were female and 93% were underthe age of twenty-six. Of the 230 preservice teachersat the southeastern university 120 were starting theprogram while 110 were at the end of their programand 119 were enrolled in early childhood educationand 111 in elementary education. Of the 151 preser-vice teachers at the midwestern university, 76 werestarting the program while 75 were at the end of theirprogram and 50 were enrolled in early childhoodeducation and 101 in elementary education. At thesoutheastern university, ending-level students inearly childhood programs had completed 300 hours</p><p>of practical work with children prior to their studentteaching and ending-level students in elementary pro-grams completed 160 hours of practical work prior totheir student teaching. At the Midwestern university,ending-level students in early childhood and elemen-tary programs completed 160 hours of practical workprior to their student teaching. Demographic infor-mation concerning the participants is presented inTable 1.</p><p>2.2. Teacher education programs</p><p>There are some similarities and differences amongthe four teacher education programs in terms of thecourses required, the program philosophy and theo-retical perspective, the method of program delivery,and the amount and kind of field based experiences. Allfour programs are situated at two state universities thatoffer initial and advanced programs for those who wishto teach in state-accredited preschool, kindergarten, pri-mary, and elementary schools. All have been accreditedby their state department of education and by the Na-tional Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Educa-tion.</p><p>2.2.1. Courses structureAll programs are four-year programs that consist</p><p>of approximately 180 to 204 quarter hours. The earlychildhood and elementary programs at both univer-sities are similar in that they all require a combinationof university core courses, core education courses,state course requirements, teaching field courses, andprofessional education courses. Th...</p></li></ul>


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