Development of science teacher identity in pre-service teachers as "situated cognition"
Lyon, Grace Ellen
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This multiple case study employed interpretivist methodology to form a grounded theory of how three participants, in a unique situated block of course-work integrating methods, curriculum and practicum, advanced their developing identity from that of a university student of teaching to that of a beginning teacher. The study found that pre-service science teachers viewed the move from student to teacher with varying levels of anxiety and expectation depending on the initial understanding of teacher identity that had been established from their personal and school biography. The pre-service science teachers studied cast themselves into the role of science teacher through different means. Access to multiple role models and fully contextualized was pivotal to their further development of teacher identity. Constant exposure to multiple styles in method of teaching, in student teacher interface, and even classroom atmosphere developed a strong implicit message about teaching as a created process rather than a prescribed process. Pre-service science education students arrive at their final year of training with an understanding of what it means to be a teacher. This initial understanding forms the lens through which they will view their final year experiences. It must also be allowed to form the foundation of their development. Accomplishing this requires authentic practice with multiple points of contact in which they may locate their learning. Although many reformed programs exist, their commonalities and their full impact are not presently known.