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Interests, Attitudes and Beliefs concerning Science Education Topics amongst Kindergarten and Primary School Trainee Teachers

Pahl, Angelika (2018). Interests, Attitudes and Beliefs concerning Science Education Topics amongst Kindergarten and Primary School Trainee Teachers. In: New Perspectives in Science Education, Conference Proceedings (pp. 660-665). Limena: Pixel

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Many studies, like the international ROSE-Study (Sjøberg & Schreiner, 2010), have investigated pupils’ interests and show that whereas female adolescents prefer biological subjects, male adolescents favour hard sciences like physics and chemistry. Similar results were also found in studies which investigated primary school teachers (Kleickmann, 2015). Kalcsics and colleagues (2016) explored the interests of a sample of students in a primary school teacher training programme of Switzerland, using qualitative methods. They found that trainee teachers are mainly interested in issues connected to their identity (their own body, self-concept, and personal rules). Furthermore, they like issues tied to the relationship between humans and nature as well as animals and plants, whereas they dislike religious, economical, chemical and physical topics. This investigation focuses on interests, attitudes and beliefs of kindergarten and primary school trainee teachers using a more quantitative method. It analyses the differences between groups and the relationships between variables. For the study, a sample of female first year students in the kindergarten and primary school teacher training programme at University of Teacher Education Bern was analysed. A questionnaire (Adamina & Müller, 2008) was used to survey how students rate different areas of science and social subjects (social/ethical, cultural/religious, historical/political, geographical, economical, physical/technical, biological), which constitute the official subject “nature – human – society” in Switzerland’s primary schools. In the second part of the questionnaire, students had to rank the curricula contents of the subject “nature – human - society” according to the students’ individual preferences. In the third part, they had to rate different learning activities. Next to this questionnaire, the German version of AIST (Bergmann & Eder, 2005), which detects more general areas of interests in the sample, was applied. In addition, exploratory questions were asked to explain the reasons for their preferences and dislikes. First results show the tendency that biology and physics/technology are extreme positions on opposite ends of a large spectrum of interest in social and natural science areas. All other subject areas are positioned between. Relationships between learning activities and areas were found. Trainee teachers often justified their preferences for areas with their relevance in the lifeworld.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)

PHBern Contributor:

Pahl, Angelika








Jessica Brunner

Date Deposited:

24 Nov 2022 12:29

Last Modified:

01 Dec 2022 18:30




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