Prospectus Presentation – Marian Nourollahi

January 22, 2014 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
College of Education Forum - Room 630
30 Pryor Street Southwest
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303

How Preservice and Mentor Science Teachers’ Interactions Affect Their Beliefs and Science Teaching Practices

by Marian Nourollahi

The purpose of the this study of preservice and mentor science teachers’ interactions and beliefs is tri-fold: 1) to distinguish between knowledge, or what the preservice and mentor teachers “know” to be true about science teaching based on research or experience, and their beliefs or true opinions, 2) to determine how preservice and mentor teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs concerning their ability to effectively implement inquiry-based, and other reform-based practices in the classroom impact their science teaching practice, and 3) to determine how preservice and mentor teacher interactions shape beliefs of science teaching and how this may affect their teaching practices. The main research question is: How do the interactions between preservice science teachers and their mentor teachers affect their beliefs and science teaching practices? This question will be explored through a symbolic interactionism/grounded theory lens. Symbolic interactionism provides a theoretical framework in which to study the preservice and mentor teachers’ interactions and the subsequent meanings regarding science teaching that may occur as a result of those interactions. A conversion parallel mixed methods design will be used to compare and analyze qualitative interview and observation data and quantitative survey data on teacher beliefs. One-on-one interviews of the preservice and mentor teachers will be analyzed for emergent themes on teacher self-efficacy and science teaching beliefs. Videotaped observations of preservice and mentor teachers while planning and discussing lessons will be analyzed to determine the meanings on science teaching practices that emerge through their interaction and subsequent discourse. The meaning making that results from the written and verbal communication between the preservice and mentor teachers may provide important insight into their relationship and the possible subsequent influences on science teaching practices. This may also have important implications for the future design of preservice teacher field experiences in science teacher education programs.