Singaporean Pre-service Teachers’ Beliefs about Epistemology,Teaching and Learning, and Technology

From Section:
Preservice Teachers
Nov. 01, 2011

Source: Teacher Development, Vol. 15, No. 4, November 2011, 485–498.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This qualitative study examines seven pre-service teachers’ epistemological beliefs, their beliefs about learning and teaching, and their perceptions about the use of ICT.

Research questions
The following research questions are used to guide this study:
(1) What are the pre-service teachers’ reported epistemological beliefs?
(2) What are the pre-service teachers’ reported beliefs about learning and teaching?
(3) How do pre-service teachers perceive the relationships between their reported epistemological beliefs, their beliefs about learning and teaching, and their perception about the uses of ICT?

Participants and Method
Seven pre-service teachers attending a one-year Postgraduate Diploma for Education program at the National Institute of Education in Singapore were randomly selected to participate in this study.
Five participants were females and two were males.
Five of them were training to teach in secondary schools, the other two were training to teach in primary schools.

Data were collected through semi-structured interviews.


The pre-service teachers in this study held varied epistemological beliefs.
Most pre-service teachers in this study vacillate between the dualistic and multiplist views of knowledge and they are well aware that at least part of the currently known knowledge is relatively uncertain.

The reported beliefs about teaching by the pre-service teachers are more didactical in nature.
The findings suggest that pre-service teachers’ beliefs about learning seem to align with their epistemological beliefs, while their beliefs about teaching are inconsistent with their epistemological beliefs.

As the pre-service teachers are mostly brought up in a didactic teaching environment, the didactic image of teaching has become deeply rooted in their minds.
This implies that teacher educators need to help pre-service teachers to confront such inconsistencies and perhaps structure ample opportunities for the pre-service teachers to experience constructivist learning experiences.

On the other hand, the pre-service teachers in this study would use ICT in ways that are more aligned with their beliefs in teaching rather than their beliefs in learning.
The authors suggest that teacher educators may need to tackle such perceptions in their quest to help pre-service teachers develop the competency of using ICT effectively.

Updated: Oct. 26, 2019
Beliefs | Epistemology | Information communication technologies (ICT) | Preservice teachers | Teaching and learning | Technology use