RESEARCH ARTICLE

Pre-service Teachers' Representations About Children's Learning: A Pilot Study

The Open Psychology Journal 13 Nov 2020 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874350102013010315

Abstract

Background:

Research on teachers' representations of children's learning is currently ongoing.

Social representations are common-sense theories built and shared in everyday interactions. Their analysis can detect the possible differences between teachers’ naïve beliefs and scientific learning theories.

Objective:

The objective of this pilot study is to analyse the beliefs about children’s learning of a group of teachers. The beliefs will be related to the most acknowledged learning theories.

Methods:

A mixed methods research was employed to analyse 100 pre-service teachers’ representations of the origins of learning and the psychological processes involved.

Results:

It emerged from the results that the teachers interviewed consider children’s learning mainly as culturally acquired, which reveals the prevailing constructivist conception of learning. Many pre-service primary school teachers, however, tend to see learning as mere ‘transfer of information’; many pre-service kindergarten teachers perceive learning as ‘behaviour modification’. The most considered psychological aspects are ‘knowledge’ and ‘acquisition’, while emotions are barely considered.

Conclusion:

Linking implicit theories and disciplinary theories could support pre-service teachers in integrating the theory and the practice of learning so as to understand the way their models influence their educational choices.

Keywords: Social representations, Pre-service teachers, Teachers’ beliefs, Teaching process, Education, School environment.
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