2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 88-9
Presentation Time: 10:00 AM


RYKER, Katherine, Geography and Geology, Eastern Michigan University, 203 Strong Hall, Department of Geography and Geology, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, kryker@emich.edu

Reformed, active-learning techniques are well established in science education research (e.g. Blanchard et al., 2010; Knight and Wood, 2005; Prince, 2004). However, they are not consistently translated to the classroom (Ebert-May et al., 2011). Adoption of reformed, inquiry-based materials is done at the discretion of college geoscience instructors, and is often controlled by teaching beliefs (Bleicher, 2010; Joseph 2010; Wigfield and Eccles, 2000). These teaching beliefs have been identified as one of the driving forces behind instructors’ pedagogical decisions (Olafson and Schraw, 2006; Vartuli and Children, 2005; Kagan, 1992; Pajares, 1992). Therefore, an understanding of the relationship between classroom practices and teaching beliefs is critical in understanding why the implementation of reformed pedagogies in the geosciences is not more widespread.

A variety of research methods have been used to identify and describe teachers’ beliefs regarding their instructional practices, student learning outcomes, and relationship with professional development opportunities. I will describe efforts used to capture teaching beliefs using the TBI (Teacher Beliefs Interview; Luft and Roehrig, 2007) and STEBI (Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument; Enoch and Riggs, 1990) with geoscience faculty, graduate teaching assistants, and pre-service elementary teachers. I will highlight an examination of the science teaching beliefs of pre-service elementary teachers’ efficacy beliefs, and how they change over the course of a semester while taking an Earth Science course designed for future teachers (n = 300). Each set of participants brings a unique set of considerations and challenges for the researcher, which leads to the exploration of tools from other research communities to supplement those which are already used to answer GER questions.

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