Learning about teaching: A longitudinal study of beginning teachers

Year: 1994

Author: Loughran, John

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In 1991, 20 beginning science teachers volunteered to participate in an ongoing study into their pedagogical development. This paper extends the findings from the first two years work (Loughran 1992, 1993) as it outlines the teachers' views of their third year of full-time teaching. Zeichner and Tabachnick (1981) described the attitude shift that student teachers make when they move from university course work to school teaching. The results of the third year of this study further enhances the view that teachers' preservice training is not so much "washed-out" but repressed (Loughran, in press) as the conditions of teaching restrict their practice.

With greater content familiarity, confidence and a sense of belonging in their school, the teachers in this study demonstrate how their views of teaching and learning begin to direct their practice in ways similar to their preservice experience. They appear to have reached a point in their development where they feel in control of their teaching and are able to teach in more challenging ways to enhance their students' understanding. This paper discusses how these teachers approach their classroom practice through a developing confidence in their ability to "teach" rather than "tell" their students about a topic.