Initial Science Teacher Education in Portugal: The Thoughts of Teacher Educators About the Effects of the Bologna Process

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December 2016

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Vol. 27, No. 8, p. 873–893, (December, 2016)

(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The purpose of this article was to examine how science teacher educators perceived the changes that took place in the formal way of educating junior school and high school science teachers, due to the implementation of the Bologna process guidelines.

Methods
The participants were 33 science teacher educators including science specialists and science education specialists from Portugal.
The participants answered an open-ended online questionnaire. The questionnaire focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the pre- and post-Bologna initial teacher education (ITE) programs, the overall quality of teacher education and measures for improving ITE.

Conclusions
The findings reveal that participants are not concerned with the change in the type of degree required for teaching.
However, they stated that they are concerned about the teaching practice and the science to be taught components. They believe that these components should be strengthened in the post-Bologna masters in teaching.
Furthermore, the participants considered the research methodologies and the cultural, social and ethics training as less important components.
The authors argue that the changes were introduced in Portuguese educational laws.

These changes were proved to be consistent with the participants' opinions.
For example, the weightings of the science to be taught and the teaching practice components increased a little.
The cultural, social and ethics training and the educational research components- which the participants considered as less important components- were omitted.

The authors conclude that teacher educators are central to ensuring the quality of the learning of preservice student teachers. Hence, the professional development of teacher educators along with evidence-based ITE programs are necessary conditions for overcoming the challenges that teacher education is still facing in Portugal.

Updated: Apr. 10, 2018
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