Clashing Epistemologies: Aspiring Teachers’, Practicing Teachers’, and Professors’ Beliefs about Knowledge and Research in Education

Apr. 16, 2007

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education , Volume 23, Issue 2, April 2007, P. 123-135 

The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in preservice teachers’, practicing teachers’, and teacher education professors’ beliefs about educational research; specifically, what counts as legitimate knowledge in education and how that knowledge may be obtained.

Participants’ responses to two vignettes and dilemmas indicate that many preservice teachers believe that educational knowledge is highly particularistic, and that it cannot be falsified. In contrast, most professors articulated the belief that educational knowledge can be generalized and also falsified. Practicing teachers fell in the middle of this continuum. Implications of these different beliefs and assumptions for teacher education are discussed.

Updated: May. 12, 2008