CHARACTERIZING PEDAGOGICAL BELIEFS OF GEOSCIENCE INSTRUCTORS ACROSS A RANGE OF INSTITUTIONAL TYPES: POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
We examined the pedagogical beliefs of a group of geoscience instructors involved in the development of instructional materials in the context of societal issues as part of the InTeGrate project. Data was collected using the Teacher Beliefs Interview (TBI) and the Beliefs About Reformed Science Teaching and Learning (BARSTL) survey. Most responses coded as student-centered or as transitional between instructor- and student-centered teaching approaches. However, prompts targeting course design and lesson flow were more likely to yield instructor-centered responses. A linear regression of the BARSTL and TBI scores was performed to determine the degree of correlation between an instructor’s conceptualization and description of their pedagogy. The regression yielded a significant positive correlation, but a low to moderate relationship between the two instruments. Congruence between the conceptualization of their pedagogy and how they describe it was found for 22 of the 25 teachers. Analysis of the TBI responses reveals several nested epistemologies. These epistemologies support the importance of understanding a teacher’s pedagogical beliefs in order to facilitate change in geoscience classrooms. The results described in this research can aid in the design of future professional development programs by providing insight into certain pedagogical beliefs that need to be addressed.