Author: Vosniadou, Stella, Curtis, David, Van Deur, Penny, Lawson, Michael, Wyra, Mirella, Napier, Rebecca
Type of paper: Abstract refereed
A questionnaire entitled Beliefs about Learning and Teaching (BALT) was designed and analysed for the purpose of investigating pre-service teachers’ beliefs about learning and teaching. The innovative feature of the BALT questionnaire is that it brings together a number of different beliefs about learning and teaching, and investigates their interrelatedness. More specifically, the questionnaire includes questions designed to investigate (1) beliefs related to learning and teaching such as, beliefs about intelligence, effort, self-efficacy; (2) beliefs about learning and teaching such as, whether learning is something that happens naturally or something that needs to be taught, and whether teaching mainly involves the transmission of information or not;(3) beliefs about Self-Regulated Learning (SRL); and (4) self-reported, SRL practices. The design of the questionnaire took into consideration the existing literature and it was further refined following a detailed analysis of interview responses from five experienced teachers and five early career or less-experienced teachers. The questionnaire consisted of 106 questions, which were administered to 384 pre-service teachers (67% female and 77% below 25 years of age). Responses were examined using Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis. We will report on the factors that were derived from the questionnaire, relations among the different factors, and descriptive results indicating that intuitive beliefs about learning and teaching continue to exert considerable influence on pre-service teachers. A second study with a revised questionnaire is currently being undertaken in order to validate the above results with a second cohort of pre-service teachers. The implications of the study will be discussed with respect to the education of pre-service teachers.