Beginning Teachers Shape their Own Future: Class Teachers and Science Instruction

By Sivbritt Dumbrajs and Tuula Keinonen.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the present study young class teachers converse about the school reality they encounter when starting to teach sciences. Altogether 9 pre- and in-service teachers participated in the conversation. Teachers want to build their primary science teaching on the prior knowledge of the students and to keenly involve themselves in students’ interests and skills. However, they think that lack of time and experimental equipment makes it difficult to allow students to work in small groups and perform their own experiments. Teachers’ fragments of stories are collected to a collage allowing us to look into the future. A collage goes beyond realist storytelling. It is playing with ideas and reveals possible courses of future action. In discussing the curriculum teachers note that they themselves must find out how to connect experiments and theory. This seems to be a challenge, especially when abstract concepts should be applied. Teachers feel to have difficulties to admit that they do not know everything; however they try to give qualified knowledge whenever possible. More collaboration between teachers could be a cure both for limited subject matter knowledge and limited time resources. Our teachers are building a sense of commitment by developing a shared understanding of the future they seek to create and the guiding principles, values and practices by which to get there.

Keywords: Teacher Education, Conversation, Collage, Science Instruction

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp.103-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.193MB).

Dr. Sivbritt Dumbrajs

University of Joensuu, Espoo, Finland

I defended my dissertation for a PhD in the summer of 2007 at Joensuu University. The topic was: A Learning Community: Teachers and Students Engaged in Developing Their Own Learning and Understanding. Since then I have researched teacher education in collaboration with Prof. Tuula Keinonen at the Department of Applied Education of Joensuu University. Special interest has been devoted to science teaching in primary school.

Prof. Tuula Keinonen

Professor, Department of Applied Education, University of Joensuu, Joensuu, Finland

PhD in Physics 1984, Department of Physics, University of Joensuu; PhD in Education 2005, Senior Assistant 1998-2008, Department of Applied Education, University of Joensuu, Professor 2008- Research activities: Optics in Physics, Science Education in Education.


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