Beyond Belief: Preservice Teachers' Planned Instructional Strategies

Sep. 30, 2008

Source: Action in Teacher Education, v. 30 no. 3, (Fall 2008) p. 64-73.

The research describes a mixed-methods study of preservice teachers' planned instructional strategies. Of special interest were the preservice teachers' most salient strategies and how often these preservice teachers planned to use each one.

Overview of the Study

The purpose of this study was to explore preservice teachers' instructional strategies. As such, the authors focus on two questions: Which instructional strategies are most salient in preservice teachers' planning? How does content area influence preservice teachers' plans for their instructional strategies?


The participants were 128 preservice teachers drawn from four undergraduate educational psychology courses at a large southeastern university. Generally speaking, participants in this teacher education program are Caucasian female upper-division undergraduates between the ages of 19 and 22, from middle to high socioeconomic backgrounds. The sample in this study was 72% female. Juniors and seniors formed 90% of the sample, and 58% had either experienced observation or weekly practice in a classroom.

Contrary to many earlier findings on preservice teachers' beliefs, results from this study of planned action indicate that preservice teachers in all content areas choose a variety of instructional strategies, although the extent of use for any one strategy differs across content domains. As such, the authors discuss the role of planned action as a focus for studying preservice teachers.

Updated: Apr. 22, 2009