Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 34, No. 1, February 2011, 81–97.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The purpose of this study was to determine the longitudinal changes in the attitudes of
pre-service primary education teachers towards teaching as they progressed through training.
Specifically, the study examined the following questions:
(i) is there a difference between the attitudes of freshman and senior student teachers towards the teaching?
(ii) What are the views of student teachers related to the changes in their attitudes towards teaching in the duration of their education and what are the factors that affect these changes?
The longitudinal sample was composed of 66 pre-service primary education teachers who entered the programme in 2004 and completed practice teaching in 2008. Students received training to teach in primary schools for Grades 1 through 5 as class teachers with a minor degree in social studies, mathematics, science, or arts.
A mixed methods research strategy was employed in this study.
Data were collected through the Attitude Scale towards Teaching (ASTT) and semi-structured interviews.
The results demonstrate that student teachers’ attitudes towards teaching during freshman and senior years are positive. However, students’ attitudes decrease in their senior years when their scores are compared to those in their freshman years.
Furthermore, the findings from the interview data reveal that both positive and negative changes are observed in the attitudes of student teachers towards teaching during the teacher education period. Student teachers mention teaching practices, cooperating teachers, the training programme and supervising teachers as the reasons for these changes.
The author recommends that in order to develop positive attitudes, teacher education institutions and practice schools need to create environments which boost beliefs in student teachers in their ability to perform.
Moreover, supervising teachers and cooperating teachers should be good models of attitudes and the courses need to be designed to encourage active participation and allow practice.