Preservice secondary science teachers' habitus and beliefs about teaching and student motivation
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The purpose of the study is to examine preservice science teachers’ beliefs about teaching and student motivation and their development of teaching habitus throughout their student teaching programs. The research questions are concerned (a) preservice teachers’ teaching goals and their meanings of student motivation, (b) their beliefs about the relationship between student motivation and their roles as teachers, (c) the development of participants' habitus in motivating students during their teaching practices, and (d) their habitus in learning to teach. I employed a naturalistic inquiry method with three preservice teachers' student teaching cases. Based on the data from interviews, classroom observation, and documents, the study explicates the differences among the three participants' beliefs and habitus. The findings indicate that the participants initially had transmissionist beliefs about teaching and learning; their meanings of student motivation included student goals, caring relationships, and paying attention. Although participants demonstrated some dispositions of habitus that could have helped them change their traditional beliefs, their lack of curriculum knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and their uncritical nature of habitus in learning to teach hindered them from reflecting on their teaching practices and developing pedagogically sound beliefs about teaching and student motivation. As a result, participants' student teaching experiences reinforced their naive beliefs and developed a habitus that was reproductive of the current culture of science teaching. The implications of the findings include that teacher education programs should (a) provide opportunities to obtain curriculum knowledge with critical views, (b) provide opportunities to obtain pedagogical content knowledge that connects the teacher role with student motivation, (c) provide opportunities to critically reflect on their existing habitus and beliefs in relation to the culture of schooling and the society, and (d) make the reflection process salient during student teaching and provide an iterative process of reflection and practice. The areas for further research include the long-term development of habitus, sources of consistency and changes in beliefs and habitus during student teaching, the development of preservice teachers from different backgrounds with different habitus, and the identification of the variety of habitus that preservice teachers bring into their experience of learning to teach.