Predicting Turkish Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Orientations to Teaching Science with Epistemological Beliefs, Learning Conceptions, and Learning Approaches in Science

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The present study investigated to what extent Turkish preservice elementary teachers’ orientations to teaching science could be explained by their epistemological beliefs, conceptions of learning, and approaches to learning science. The sample included 157 Turkish preservice elementary teachers. The four instruments used in the study were School Physics Teachers’ Conceptions of Teaching (Gao & Watkins, 2002), the Epistemic Belief Inventory (Schraw, Bendixen, & Dunkle, 2002), and the Conceptions of Learning Science and the Approaches to Learning Science questionnaires (Lee, Johanson, & Tsai, 2008). Step-wise multiple regression analyses indicated that the teachercentered/moulding orientation to teaching science was mostly predicted by unfruitful learning approaches, naïve epistemological beliefs, and traditional learning conceptions in science. On the other hand, the student-centered/cultivating orientation to teaching science was mostly explained by constructivist learning conceptions in science. These findings suggest that epistemological beliefs, learning approaches, and learning conceptions are important factors in the genesis of conceptions of teaching science. © 2016 by author/s.


Elementary preservice teachers; Epistemological beliefs; Learning approaches; Learning conceptions; Teaching conceptions

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