Teachers' personal epistemologies and teacher education : emergent themes and future research
Keywords130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
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AbstractThis chapter summarizes the responses to four questions in each of the chapters in this volume. The questions addressed the use of a conceptual framework that guides the chapter, issues of domain-generality, how personal epistemology relates to teaching, and how personal epistemologies change. We concluded that all of the chapters discussed the distinction between constructivist and transmission teaching practices, while suggesting that there are many inconsistencies in understanding the relationship between the nature of beliefs and teachers’ practices regardless of the relative sophistication of teachers’ personal epistemologies. We also summarized a multi-component instructional model for calibrating teaching practices based on suggestions in each of the chapters, and made four suggestions for future research, including the need for an integrated theory that accounts for the development and manifestations of personal pistemology in the classroom, the generalizability of fi ndings across different measurements, a set of guidelines to promote teacher epistemological change, and an explicit instructional model that explains the development and calibration of beliefs and practices. The goal of this volume was to examine the relationship between teachers’ personal epistemologies and teacher education. Sixteen different chapters addressed one or more aspects of this issue. Although each of the chapters addressed different aspects of teachers’ personal epistemologies, a number of common themes are apparent across the chapters. We believe it is useful to articulate these themes in greater detail to provide a better retrospective understanding of this volume, as well as a better prospective framework for future research and changes to teacher training programs. We divide this chapter into two main sections. The fi rst section addresses four key questions about the nature of teachers’ personal epistemologies that were discussed in the introductory chapter as part of a larger set of questions. These questions focus on how to conceptualize these beliefs as explicit models; whether beliefs are domain-specifi c or domain-general; how beliefs are related to teaching; and how beliefs change over time. We provide a summary of each chapter in terms of these four questions. The second section proposes four general suggestions for future research based on the studies reported within this volume.