Learning study is “hard”: case of pre-service biology teachers in British Columbia

Learning study is “hard”: case of pre-service biology teachers in British Columbia PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to describe a pilot learning study (LS) comprising of three biology pre-service teachers (PSTs) in British Columbia, which took place during an initial teacher education (ITE) course and school-based practicum. The study explored PSTs’ learning experiences, and identified conditions that supported and challenged their engagement with the LS discourse.Design/methodology/approachDrawing from a variety of methods including teacher semi-structured interviews and reflective entries, the PSTs’ experiences of teaching and reflection were described and themes were constructed; course assignments, classroom materials, meeting notes and fieldnotes served triangulation purposes. Variation theory framed the LS and analysis of this case study.FindingsFindings highlight how the PSTs developed comfort with the tension of making mistakes that supported their interpretation of classroom pedagogy and refining of instructional strategies. As the study alluded to how LS is “hard,” the PSTs demonstrated how positive experiences in the course-based cycle sustained their pursuit of learning despite challenges faced in the school-based practicum.Research limitations/implicationsThis small-scale study has limited generalizability.Practical implicationsExposing PSTs to a variety of “mistakes” in ITE and to approach them not merely as ontological objects of pedagogical shortcomings are discussed together with factors that promoted teacher learning.Originality/valueThis study contributes to literature exploring the organization of LS within ITE, as situated in educational contexts where LS is unfamiliar and organizational structures are not readily in place to fully support its implementation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Lesson and Learning Studies Emerald Publishing

Learning study is “hard”: case of pre-service biology teachers in British Columbia

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2046-8253
DOI
10.1108/IJLLS-02-2017-0013
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to describe a pilot learning study (LS) comprising of three biology pre-service teachers (PSTs) in British Columbia, which took place during an initial teacher education (ITE) course and school-based practicum. The study explored PSTs’ learning experiences, and identified conditions that supported and challenged their engagement with the LS discourse.Design/methodology/approachDrawing from a variety of methods including teacher semi-structured interviews and reflective entries, the PSTs’ experiences of teaching and reflection were described and themes were constructed; course assignments, classroom materials, meeting notes and fieldnotes served triangulation purposes. Variation theory framed the LS and analysis of this case study.FindingsFindings highlight how the PSTs developed comfort with the tension of making mistakes that supported their interpretation of classroom pedagogy and refining of instructional strategies. As the study alluded to how LS is “hard,” the PSTs demonstrated how positive experiences in the course-based cycle sustained their pursuit of learning despite challenges faced in the school-based practicum.Research limitations/implicationsThis small-scale study has limited generalizability.Practical implicationsExposing PSTs to a variety of “mistakes” in ITE and to approach them not merely as ontological objects of pedagogical shortcomings are discussed together with factors that promoted teacher learning.Originality/valueThis study contributes to literature exploring the organization of LS within ITE, as situated in educational contexts where LS is unfamiliar and organizational structures are not readily in place to fully support its implementation.

Journal

International Journal of Lesson and Learning StudiesEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 2, 2018

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