Impact of structured group activities on pre-service teachers’ beliefs about classroom motivation: An exploratory study
AbstractPre-service teachers’ beliefs about classroom motivation, and how these beliefs may be developed during initial teacher preparation, is a relatively new aspect of enquiry in the fields of motivation and teacher education. An empirical study, grounded in a social constructivist perspective, was designed to examine the impact of providing pre-service teachers with opportunities to develop their existing beliefs about classroom motivation in interaction with peers. Participants were 53 teacher education students who participated in three semi-structured small group seminars, involving guided reflection and collaborative activities. Data were collected through matched pre- and post-questionnaires, and a final individual interview. The findings show that pre-service teachers’ initial beliefs about classroom motivation can be consolidated and expanded through engagement in semi-structured collaborative learning activities that induce in-depth reflection and examination of beliefs, and in authentic problem-solving situations that connect with theory. Implications for further research and teacher education are discussed.