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A study to determine the nature of science teachers' functional paradigms using qualitative research… Cardwell, Steven McDonald 1988

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A STUDY TO DETERMINE THE NATURE OF SCIENCE TEACHERS' FUNCTIONAL PARADIGMS USING QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS by S T E V E N MCDONALD CARDWELL B.Sc, The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1979 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Mathematics and Science Education We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA OCTOBER, 1988 © Steven McDonald Cardwell, 1988 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Steven McDonald Card w e l l Department of Science and Math Education The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date October 12 t h , 1988 DE-6G/81) A B S T R A C T It i s believed that one of the overriding factors that has contributed to the resistance to curriculum change on the part of teachers i s that some of the new c u r r i c u l a seem to require a major change in teaching methodology and s t y l e . This change amounts to a c o n f l i c t between paradigms. If t h i s b e l i e f i s correct, then one can argue that there w i l l have to be a s h i f t in teachers' functional paradigms in order for these curriculum Innovations to be implemented. The study focusses on the goals, problems, exemplars, and routines, which constitute the "functional paradigms" of teachers. The term "functional paradigm" Is meant to convey the idea that the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which unite a community of p r a c t i t i o n e r s are l i k e l y to be centered on pr a c t i c a l matters: Why do teachers function in p a r t i c u l a r ways? Do teachers attach "common meanings" to p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s or e n t i t l e s ? The following s p e c i f i c research questions were exami ned: 1. What are some of the factors which influence the formulation of teachers' functional paradigms? 2. What i s the nature of teachers' functional paradigms? 11 3. a> What are the perceptions of teachers with regard to curriculum change? b> What i s the relationship between teachers'1 functional paradigms and their perceptions of curriculum change? c) To what extent do teachers' functional paradigms become idiosyncratic when they are faced with a curriculum change? The methodology involved interviews with teachers. A p i l o t study was conducted pr i o r to the main study. The Interviews In the main study were analyzed In terms of six main categories. The r e s u l t s seem to indicate: 1. There are common categories and sub-categories that contribute to the formation, development, and maintenance of teachers / functional paradigms. They Include: o past educational experiences. o background in general. o practicum experiences. o past and present teaching experiences. o curriculum materials. o constraints on teaching. o school, students, and other workers in the school. 2. There seems to be a "core" of common categories among teachers. The intersection of elements within these categories composes the functional paradigms of teachers In general. Although the paradigms are functional in an active sense, they are r e l a t i v e l y stable within the "culture", and over the long term. This s t a b i l i t y must be considered i f Innovators ln education ever contemplate a change which 11 i would require a s h i f t in teachers'" functional paradigms. This commonality of b e l i e f s , routines, problems, and exemplars i s probably greater among teachers within the same small segment of the organization than within the entire profession. 3 . Evidently, teachers se l e c t , Interpret, and u t i l i z e learning materials in di f f e r e n t ways dependent on the nature of their personal functional paradigms. A number of d i f f e r i n g elements In teachers'' functional paradigms have been i d e n t i f i e d . These elements determine how teachers teach in terms of their use of curriculum materials. Curriculum change agents must consider the functional paradigms of individuals and determine how common these paradigms are before attempting a major pedagogical change. This study has shown that i f these factors are not considered, then the curriculum change that i s contemplated w i l l be reduced to a mere change in content. The teachers w i l l u t i l i z e the curriculum materials according to their own functional paradigms. 4. The i n e r t i a against curriculum change i s most d i f f i c u l t to overcome with more experienced teachers, and more e a s i l y overcome with beginning teachers. This suggests that the focus of curriculum implementation needs to be aimed at certain segments of the profession. Somehow the change agents must a s s i s t educators to change their i v functional paradigms to meet the desired ends of the new curriculum p r i o r to implementation. The alternative i s the d i s p a r i t y that seems to exist between the curriculum that i s Intended by the policy makers, the curriculum that i s implemented by the teachers, and the curriculum that i s ultimately attained by the students. v T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Abstract I i Table of Contents vi L i s t of Tables lx L i s t of Figures x L i s t of Appendices xl Acknowledgements x i i Chapter 1 I N T R O D U C T I O N 1 1.1 Background to the Study 1 1.2 Teachers' Functional Paradigms ... 5 1.3 I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the Problem 7 1.3.1 General Statement of the Problem 7 1.3.2 Research Questions 8 1.4 Rationale for the Study 9 1.5 Philosophical Context 10 1.6 Theoretical Perspective 10 1.7 Situational Perspective 12 1.7.1 The Setting 13 1 . 8 Limitations of the Study 15 1.8.1 V a l i d i t y 15 1.8.2 R e l i a b i l i t y 16 1 .8.3 Generallzabi1ity 17 vi Chapter 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 20 2.1 Theories of Action 20 2.2 Paradigms according to Kuhn 22 2.3 Teachers' Functional Paradigms 27 2.3.1 Conceptual Framework 27 2.3.1.1 A concept of "Paradigms" 27 2.3.1.2 A concept of "Functional" 30 2.3.2 Empirical Framework 33 2.3.3 Teachers' Backgrounds 39 2.3.3.1 Past experiences 39 2.3.3.2 Teaching careers 43 Chapter 3 METHODOLOGY AND ANALYSIS 46 3.1 Methodology 46 3.2 Methods of Data Co l l e c t i o n 48 3.3 Methods of Analysis 53 3.4 Reporting Format 56 Chapter 4 R E S U L T S 58 4.1 Analysis of the P i l o t Study 58 4.2 Analysis of the Main Study 59 4.2.1 Teachers' Backgrounds and Experiences .. 60 4.2.2 Teachers' Perceptions of Teaching 89 4.2.2.1 Summary of teachers' perceptions of teaching 108 4.2.3 Teachers' Perceptions of Subject Matter . 112 4.2.3.1 Summary of teachers' perceptions of subject matter 134 v i i 4.2.4 Teachers' Perceptions of School Setting . 141 4.2.4.1 Summary of teachers' perceptions of school s e t t i n g 145 4.2.5 Teachers' Perceptions of Students 149 4.2.5.1 Summary of teachers' perceptions of students 149 4.2.6 Current Teaching Practices, Methods, and Styles 155 4.3 Summary of Analysis 169 Chapter 5 CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS 171 5.1 Introduction 171 5.2 Factors Which Influence the Formulation of Teachers' Functional Paradigms 173 5.2.1 Teachers' Backgrounds and Experiences .. 174 5.2.2 Current Teaching Practices 180 5.3 The Nature of Teachers' Functional Paradigms .. 185 5.3.1 Consistencies Across Categories 186 5.3.2 Teachers' Functional Paradigms and Career Position 199 5.4 Teachers' Functional Paradigms and Curriculum Change 204 5.5 Summary of Research Findings 209 5.6 Implications of the Study 218 5.7 Suggestions for Further Research 219 5.8 Concluding Remarks 221 REFERENCES 224 APPENDICES 233 v i i i LIST OF TABLES Table I A Comparison of the previous B.C. Junior Secondary Science Curriculum (pre 1983) to the current B.C. Junior Secondary Science Curriculum (1983) 4 Table II Relevant experience categories 55 Table III Teaching experience of part i c i p a n t s (as of June 30th, 1988) 61 Table IV Junior Secondary Science Curriculum Goals .. 114 Table V Sub-categories of teachers' functional paradigms 210 l x LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 Averaged representation of how chemistry teachers Interpret curriculum materials ... 38 Figure 2 An i l l u s t r a t i o n showing the major factors which influence the formation, development, and maintenance of teachers' functional paradigms 212 Figure 3 An i l l u s t r a t i o n depicting the rel a t i o n s h i p between various influencing factors and teachers' functional paradigms 215 Figure 4 An i l l u s t r a t i o n showing the possible emergence of a commonality of teachers' functional paradigms within the hierarchy of groupings within the profession 217 x L I S T Q F A P P E N D I C E S APPENDIX A Sample schedule of Interview questions used In the main study 233 APPENDIX B Sample transcript of Interviews from the p i l o t study — Interview #1 241 APPENDIX C Sample transcript of Interviews from the main study — Interview #7: Pete 261 APPENDIX D Sample l e t t e r of consent: Principal 280 APPENDIX E Sample l e t t e r of consent: Teacher participant 282 xi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The author would li k e to extend gratitude to the many individuals who have supported him both professionally and morally throughout t h i s study. In p a r t i c u l a r , special acknowledgement goes to Dr. Jim Gaskell, and Dr. Gaalen Erickson for their guidance and assistance. Without their advice and encouragement, t h i s project would not have reached f r u i t i o n . The author would also l i k e to extend gratitude to the individuals who gave up the i r valuable time in order to par t i c i p a t e In the study. F i n a l l y , the author would li k e to thank h i s family, Maryann and Stephanie, for their patience and understanding when he couldn't be with them. xi I CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background to the Study It i s becoming increasingly evident that the large scale curriculum projects, such as those undertaken by the National Science Foundation in North America and the N u f f i e l d Foundation in the UK, have not had the impact at the classroom level that was intended. Massive amounts of time, energy and money was spent putting together extensive curriculum packages, providing preservice, inservice and resource materials...and yet, Implementation of these projects has largely been a f a i l u r e ( E l l i s , 1984; Crocker, 1984a; Plimmer, 1981; Welch, 1979). These projects contemplated major changes in both content and methodology. Textbooks became much more generalized in their approach to science. The "everyday" p r a c t i c a l i t y of science gave way to a much broader concept. However, the idea of "discovery learning" as a form of pedagogy was not accepted as had been Intended. Chakagondua C1981) claims that the gap that e x i s t s between intended c u r r i c u l a and what i s actually going on in science classrooms i s due to the inapproprlateness of the s c i e n t i f i c methods of research in science education on a theoretical l e v e l , and on a 1 2 p r a c t i c a l l e v e l , due to the top-down approach i m p l i c i t in large scale curriculum developments. Common (1981) suggests that teachers have been able to r e s i s t the changes that administrators, researchers, curriculum developers and other change agents have been tr y i n g to implement. According to Common, classrooms look more or less the same as they did twenty years ago because: ...teachers had the power to shut the classroom doors and their minds to any cold winds blowing c e n t r a l l y advocated change (p.80). Olson (1980) argues that a l l i s not l o s t . Even though the classroom teacher has been bombarded with curriculum innovations, we are s t i l l l e f t with the "status quo". The very s t a b i l i t y of the system provides an avenue for research Into why there i s such a strong teacher-inertia against curriculum Innovation, especially as i t applies to intended changes in teaching methodology. Olson believes that these attempts at curriculum change challenge established practices and even If the status quo does remain, we should have a better understanding of what these practices are and how they are formulated. Science education in Canada i s not excluded from t h i s discussion. C r i t i c i s m s and concerns about the state of science education in schools led to a major study of science education ln Canadian schools between 1980 and 1983 (Orpwood and Souque,1984). Recently, a second p a r a l l e l 3 study of science education In Canada stated as one of Its primary assumptions that teachers "markedly influence the translation of curriculum policy intentions". The authors f e l t that t h i s was partly due to teachers' perceptions of curriculum p o l i c i e s , processes and practices (Connelly, Crocker and Kass, 1985, p.273). Science teachers in B r i t i s h Columbia have experienced a number of curriculum changes over the last few years. Although, In my mind, none of the changes are p a r t i c u l a r l y "innovative", some of the changes have been more "traumatic" than others. These include a major change in the Junior Science Curriculum (see for example Table I ) , changes in the Senior Biology and Chemistry courses (including a l i s t of options for the nontraditional topics) and, due to changed graduation requirements, the imposition of a new course c a l l e d Science and Technology 11. In addition, elementary teachers in B.C. anticipate a change in the Elementary Science Curriculum. Some of the policy changes seem to have been readily accepted, whereas others have s t i l l not or have only p a r t i a l l y reached the classroom acceptance stage. In reference to the Junior Science Curriculum, Langdale (1984) provides evidence to show that there are c o n f l i c t s between the assumptions and intents of the curriculum and the b e l i e f systems of the teachers who must implement t h i s new curriculum. 4 TABLE I A Comparison of the previous B r i t i s h Columbia Junior  Secondary Science Curriculum (ore 1983) to the current B r i t i s h Columbia Junior Secondary Science Curriculum (1983). B.C. JUNIOR SECONDARY SCIENCE CURRICULUM: 1968-1979 o lab centered. o discovery approach based on inquiry and observation. o emphasis on s k i l l s , processes, and knowledge. o experimental in nature. o lab oriented a c t i v i t i e s . o content in discrete d i s c i p l i n e s . o grades 8, 9, and 10. CURRENT B.C. JUNIOR SECONDARY SCIENCE CURRICULUM: 1983 o student centered. o personal and p r a c t i c a l approach. o emphasis on s k i l l s , processes, knowledge, and thinking abi1i t ies. o investigative and experiential in nature. o wide variety of a c t i v i t i e s s t r e s s i n g application of solution and c l a r i f i c a t i o n of science related societal issues. o integrated (thematic) content, o grades 8, 9, and 10. Source: Ministry of Education, Curriculum Development Branch, (1970, 1977, 1979, 1983). Junior Secondary Science Curriculum Guide. V i c t o r i a : Ministry of Education, Province of B.C. 5 Olson <1982a) Indicates that in order to effect a curriculum change, there must be some compatibility between teachers'' b e l i e f systems and the curriculum innovation. Since the choices that teachers make in the classroom are a function of their b e l i e f systems, we must focus our research on the nature of these b e l i e f s . This concurs with the view of Crocker and Banfield (1986) who suggest that the incompatibility arises out of a lack of understanding of teachers'' thoughts, Judgements, and decisions r e l a t i v e to science curriculum. This study focusses attention on teachers' b e l i e f s , values and practices In the context of curriculum Innovations...in t h i s case, the recently revised B.C. Junior Science Curriculum. 1.2 Teachers' Functional FaradHgms Crocker (1983) formulated the concept that teachers belong to a community of p r a c t i t i o n e r s who share common b e l i e f s , goals, problems, exemplars and routines — these and other c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s constitute the p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' functional paradigms. Crocker argues that one can apply the concepts of a paradigm as described by Thomas Kuhn in h i s much quoted book, The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions, to teaching. He builds on the work of Alan Imershein <1977), whose analysis in a social arena is that members of an 6 organization can be considered to operate under a shared paradigm in a manner analogous to that of a community of scholars. Crocker's fundamental assumption i s that: ...individuals act on sit u a t i o n s on the basis of the meanings they derive from these s i t u a t i o n s . The development of meaning i s an interactive and dynamic process which evolves as individuals encounter objects, events, and symbols in the social s e t t i n g . The extension of t h i s i s that meanings may s t a b i l i z e on sustained encounters with a si t u a t i o n and that s i m i l a r encounters on the part of di f f e r e n t individuals are l i k e l y to be given common Interpretations and hence y i e l d common meanings. Such common meanings evolve into what i s c a l l e d a functional paradigm (1984d, p.5). A study was recently conducted to determine the extent to which teachers' functional paradigms, as they apply to tra n s l a t i n g new curriculum materials into practice, are idiosyn c r a t i c and to what extent they are common to a l l teachers CLantz and Kass, 1987). The authors generated a model of teachers' Interpretations of curriculum materials based on previous work done by Roberts (1980) and Connelly, Crocker and Kass (1984). The model outlined the relationship between the teachers' functional paradigms, backgrounds and teaching s i t u a t i o n s . Among other things, the study i d e n t i f i e d aspects of the teachers' backgrounds as having a strong influence in shaping their current functional paradigms. It i s worthwhile c l a r i f y i n g the notion of a functional paradigm at t h i s point. The term "functional" i s used in an active rather than passive sense. That i s , the 7 ideas, b e l i e f s , goals, problems, exemplars and routines that describe teachers' paradigms are the solutions for every s i t u a t i o n in which the individual faces an Impasse due to competing factors. Even though paradigms can change, they become entrenched over time, and become problematic i f change i s contemplated <Nespor, 1987, p.326; B a l l , 1982, p.25). It i s perhaps for these reasons that functional paradigms are very d i f f i c u l t to change. It i s of interest to consider how open functional paradigms are to change in the context of a curriculum innovation requiring a s h i f t in methodology. This notion of a "functional paradigm" i s considered further in section 2.3.1.2. 1.3 I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the Problem 1.3.1 General Statement of the Problem It i s believed that one of the overriding factors that has contributed to the resistance to curriculum change on the part of teachers i s that some of the new c u r r i c u l a seem to require a major change in teaching methodology and s t y l e . This requirement produces a c o n f l i c t between paradigms. If t h i s b e l i e f i s correct, then one can argue that there w i l l have to be a s h i f t in teachers' functional paradigms in order for these curriculum innovations to be implemented. 8 The purpose of t h i s study i s to determine the nature of teachers' functional paradigms in terms of how they interpret curriculum change. The term "curriculum change" i s used generally here to mean any change in curriculum p o l i c y . A change in topics, sequence, timing, methodology or emphasis constitutes such a curriculum.change. For the purposes of t h i s study, the recent changes in secondary science c u r r i c u l a ln B r i t i s h Columbia are considered, p a r t i c u l a r l y at the junior science l e v e l . A subsidiary purpose i s to examine teachers' backgrounds and determine what aspects of their backgrounds might influence the formation of their functional paradigms. Of p a r t i c u l a r interest i s the nature of teachers' past educational experiences in terms of how these might shape their functional paradigms. 1.3.2 Research Questions The following s p e c i f i c research questions were examined: 1. What are some of the factors which influence the formulation of teachers' functional paradigms? 2. What i s the nature of teachers' functional paradigms? 3. a) What are the perceptions of teachers with regard to curriculum change? 9 b) What i s the relationship between teachers' functional paradigms and their perceptions of curriculum change? c) To what extent do teachers' functional paradigms become idiosyncratic when they are faced with a curriculum change? 1.4 Rationale JQV the Study Several studies have indicated a need for more research on the nature of teachers' p r a c t i c a l knowledge — in p a r t i c u l a r , the summary report of the study into science education in Canadian schools (Orpwood and Souque, 1984b), and such comprehensive reviews as Shavelson and Sterns' work on teachers (1981) and Fullan and Pomfret's review of curriculum and instruction implementation (1977). This study may provide p r a c t i c a l knowledge for those Interested In some form of organizational change whose impact i s at the classroom l e v e l . This research w i l l hopefully shed some light on the gap between the mandated and translated curriculum by e x p l i c a t i n g the nature of teachers' functional paradigms. The study may also provide an insight into why teachers and classrooms function as they do. For example, i s a teacher most l i k e l y to teach using an e c l e c t i c model of teaching which has i t s roots predominantly in the teacher's own experiences as a student? 10 1.5 Philosophical Context This study was approached from a contextual 1st point of view. Central to t h i s outlook Is the b e l i e f that adequate knowledge of objects and events cannot reasonably be obtained without knowing the context in which they occur (Roberts, 1982b). In t h i s sense then, one can argue that human behaviour i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y Influenced by the natural settings In which i t occurs. Although Kllbourn <1980a) contends that much of science teaching and the curriculum materials from which t h i s i s drawn are oriented towards a more mechanistic world view, he does subscribe to the notion of the "hidden curriculum" and the sort of i n t u i t i v e teaching that takes place in every classroom. It i s t h i s intuitiveness or, as Schon (1984, p.11) Implies, " t a c i t knowledge" that i s of interest in t h i s study. 1.6 Theoretical Perspective The methodology to be outlined later has i t s basis in social phenomenology. It holds that an individual's b e l i e f s , values and actions are shaped and moulded by l i f e experiences. The personal history, background, acquaintances, and experiences Influence current p r a c t i c e . 11 An attempt to change current behaviour depends largely on the Individual's internal constructs. The s e t t i n g influences behaviour in terms of the physical arrangements, Internalized notions about what i s expected and allowed, and the t r a d i t i o n s , r o l e s , values and norms. A researcher may enter a s e t t i n g with a preconceived understanding of the events and objects therein. However, once present, the person attempts to seek c l a r i f i c a t i o n and mutual understanding of the common interest (Spector, 1984a; Wilson, 1979). Much of the understanding in t h i s area evolves from the writings of s o c i o l o g i s t s such as Herbert Blumer who coined the term "symbolic Interaction". He contends that individuals act toward events or objects on the basis of the meanings that these things have for them. Such meanings are derived, modified and interpreted through a process of social interaction (Blumer, 1969). Blumer suggests that organizations are composed of networks of people in t e r l i n k e d by their various actions. The organization and lnterdependency Is between such actions of people stationed at d i f f e r e n t points. At any one point the p a r t i c i p a n t s are confronted by the organized a c t i v i t i e s of other people into which they have to f i t their own acts. It (symbolic interact ion ism) seeks explanation in the way in which the pa r t i c i p a n t s define, interpret, and meet the s i t u a t i o n s at their respective points (p.18). 12 1.7 Situational Perspective The methodology used in t h i s study w i l l be outlined in a subsequent section; however, since the study i s phenomenological, i t i s worthwhile expanding on the nature of the s e t t i n g . Olson (1982b) describes "phenomenology" as a "representation and interpretation of the viewpoint of the person involved in the action being studied"(p.72). According to Wilson (1979), t h i s mode of inquiry r e f l e c t s Habermas' historical-hermeneutic form of science — at the root i s a mutual understanding of the structures, meanings and rules that are constructed In p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s . As discussed earier, in order to gain an understanding of an individual's actions, the researcher has to be in the s e t t i n g — i d e a l l y , the researcher should be a part of the s e t t i n g . Olson and others have distinguished between an "insider" and an "outsider". The former i s a person who i s a part of the s e t t i n g . The insider must deal with the day-to-day tasks such as those required of a classroom teacher. The l a t t e r i s a person external to the set t i n g . The outsider may have the insider's best interests in mind; however, as with curriculum developers and researchers, the outsider may not understand the meaning behind an insider's p r a c t i c e . It i s clear that, in t h i s case, the best approach would be for the researcher to be a part of the s e t t i n g . 13 1.7.1 The Setting This study took place in a small, compact d i s t r i c t located in the Northern part of B r i t i s h Columbia. The town has a population of about 12000 people, and i t i s the s i t e of a major industrial processing plant. There i s one secondary school and a small alternate school serving the school d i s t r i c t . The secondary school has an enrollment of approximately 1050 students and a s t a f f complement of 66 teachers. The senior courses are semestered, whereas the Junior courses are on a linear timetable. A p i l o t study took place in two schools in a s i m i l a r sized town located approximately 65 Km away. The science department i s comprised of 7 teachers <6.7 ful1-time equivalents). The teachers in the department range ln age from about 24 to 40. There are 2 female science teachers. There Is one teacher who has just graduated from university; one teacher who has taught a variety of subjects as a substitute teacher, but has never been f u l l y employed as a teacher before; one teacher who taught science for one year on a part-time basis a few years ago, but has now transferred into science f u l l - t i m e , having taught physical education for the previous 13 years; and the remaining 4 teachers who have taught for 7, 8, 10 and 16 years respectively. None of the teachers has taught 14 for more than one year elsewhere. The "substitute" teacher has a B.Ed. The remaining teachers have Bachelor of Science degrees plus one year of teacher t r a i n i n g . The s10' year teacher has an M.Sc. in physics and the v8' year teacher has almost completed h i s M.A. in Science Education. The v8' year teacher Is the Department Head (second year) and i s the author of t h i s study. In order to protect the c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y of the pa r t i c i p a n t s as much as possible, pseudonyms have been used (see Table III in Chapter 4). S i m i l a r l y , f a l s e names have been used for the schools. In addition, the location of the study, and any other clues that might indicate the location of the s i t e have not been divulged. The school shall be referred to as Mountainview Secondary. There are d i s t i n c t advantages and disadvantages In being both a researcher and an active participant in the s e t t i n g . One can see that there can be a certain ease of entry into the s i t u a t i o n . In t h i s case, the researcher i s read i l y accepted, he has c r e d i b i l i t y , and he knows h i s co-workers as they know him. However, from an external perspective, one might interpret h i s position as Department Head as having a negative influence — es p e c i a l l y with the newer department members. Wilson (1979) f e e l s that the possible bias that might occur when using an insider i s outweighed by the level of understanding of the "ethos" 15 portrayed by the insider that might otherwise be missing with a researcher external to the s i t u a t i o n . Lantz and Kass (1987) found that using an experienced insider helped establish and maintain a f e e l i n g of trust and c o l l e g i a l i t y in the interviews. In my view, t h i s s e t t i n g i s a r i c h microcosm. The heterogeneity described provides a meaningful source of evidence in support of the research study. For a further discussion of these points, see Chapter 3. 1.8 Limitations of the Study 1.8.1 V a l l d l t v The v a l i d i t y of t h i s form of inquiry may be challenged due to the unintended projection of ideas, opinions and feelings toward the teacher-respondents. S i m i l a r l y , "knowing" teacher-respondents may wish to a s s i s t the researcher through t a c i t c o l l u s i o n . Reason (1981, p.244) suggests that v a l i d i t y i s much more personal in this, form of research. The v a l i d i t y of the study depends on the s k i l l s , s e n s i t i v i t i e s and actions of the researcher. The author states that v a l i d research cannot be conducted in a vacuum; i t can be enhanced by systematic checking; the researcher can c r i t i c a l l y examine the data as in the conventional notion of f a l s i f i c a t i o n ; d i f f e r e n t methods can 16 be used; and the work can be b u i l t on other research work, or be r e p l i c a t e d I t s e l f . Dodge (in Spector, 1984b, p.461) indicates that the researcher must be competent, systematic, exercise care in avoiding conscious bias, reduce bias a r i s i n g out of poor techniques, and report a l l instances of known bias. Benson (1984) suggests that an Important method of ensuring v a l i d i t y in q u a l i t a t i v e studies i s to confirm (or disconfirm) the researcher's descriptions and interpretations with the p a r t i c i p a n t s . This i s , in a sense also a test of r e l i a b i l i t y . Woods (1979) argues that the more typical the school the greater the chances are for the r e s u l t s to have external v a l i d i t y . The school selected i s representative o large secondary schools in B.C. The teachers represent a broad range of backgrounds, age, and experience. There are both male and female teachers p a r t i c i p a t i n g in the study. 1.8.2 R e l l a b l l l t v R e l i a b i l i t y , in the q u a l i t a t i v e sense, i s how the researcher's descriptions and Interpretations r e f l e c t the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' perceptions of the real world. This can be checked by looking for inconsistencies in a p a r t i c i p a n t ' s responses. P a r t i c i p a n t s ' perspectives can also be compared for s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences. The taped interviews are 17 transcribed verbatim. In the analysis, quotes are taken d i r e c t l y with bridging words only added where necessary to f a c i l i t a t e the reader's understanding. In the discussion, statements are either quoted d i r e c t l y or paraphrased using "denotative analogues". Jones <1985a) suggests that the use of open-ended questions helps eliminate interviewer bias. This study used a combination of open-ended and s p e c i f i c quest ions. 1.8.3 Generallzabl11tv The notion of general 1zabi1ity in t h i s form of research i s understood to mean that the reader can take general findings or trends from t h i s study and apply them to p a r t i c u l a r instances. Woods (1979) finds that some researchers view t h i s form of research as being e n t i r e l y "idiographlc", that i s , descriptive of a s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n . The research "descriptions are f u l l of content, meanings, s t y l e and pattern, features which are not ea s i l y quantifiable" (p.268)... therefore they may not allow for generalization, but they might serve as a basis. Other researchers view t h i s kind of research as generalizable through repeated studies, broader based studies, or more narrowly focussed studies. Woods suggests that these two viewpoints are not necessarily exclusive of one another. He 18 points out several ways of improving the generalizabi11ty of studies. In another study, Measor and Woods (1984) make three points with regard to the general 1zabl11ty of such research. F i r s t l y , others can use the material to add to their own knowledge and apply t h i s knowledge to other si t u a t i o n s as they see f i t (the entire t r a n s c r i p t s of 10 interviews, and the audiotapes are available, providing c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y of the partic i p a n t s i s maintained). Secondly, the material adds to a c o l l e c t i v e body of knowledge from which new theory can be generated. Thirdly, one must recognize the lim i t a t i o n s of each study as i t i s car r i e d out and reported (p.158). In the context of t h i s study, the re s u l t s can be generalized through further investigation. However, one must recognize the fact that the sample size i s small, the interview questions are not al1-encompassing, there are certain groups of individuals not represented in the study (see for example section 3.3), and the study was conducted over a r e l a t i v e l y short time-frame. F i n a l l y , one must consider that the interviewer in th i s case i s not just an "insider" — he i s the Department Head. Although, i t i s believed that t h i s did not affect the outcome, one must s t i l l take t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y into account. 19 Addi t i o n a l l y , caution must be used when considering the re s u l t s in that being an "insider" may place the researcher too close to the s e t t i n g . He may not be able to "see the forest for the trees"! The interviewer must be careful not to bring preconceptions to the study. F i n a l l y , one must be aware that, as such, the analysis and interpretation of the re s u l t s are those of the researcher. It i s possible that other researchers may f i n d other relationships in the same s i tuat ion. In considering the v a l i d i t y , r e l i a b i l i t y and generallzabl11ty of t h i s study, many of the points raised above have been addressed. CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE In order to provide a framework in which to ground t h i s study, the review of relevant research has been divided into several categories: 1. Theories of Action. 2. Paradigms according to Kuhn. 3. Teachers' Functional Paradigms. 2.1 Theories of Action The behaviours that an Individual manifests in a certain s i t u a t i o n may not be congruent with the i n t r i n s i c behaviours to which an individual may subscribe. The former behaviours are referred to as "theories-in-use" or "level of p r a c t i c e " . The l a t t e r behaviours correspond to an individual's "espoused theories" or "level of r h e t o r i c " . Various dilemmas may arise in a person's theories of action when the dichotomy between the two levels becomes incongruent, or the level of practice becomes incompatible with the individual's internal constructs (Argyrls and Schon, 1974, p.7; Orpwood and Souque,1984,p.27). In order to understand teachers' perspectives on curriculum change, i t w i l l be useful to explore the concept of "theories of action" a l i t t l e further. 20 21 At the classroom l e v e l , theories-ln-use include actual teaching practices, the use of curriculum and other learning materials, and the a c t i v i t i e s of the students. The espoused theories refer to both the intended curriculum guides and teachers' communications about their teaching. Argyris and Schon (1974) provide many examples of the incongruities that exist between espoused theories and theories-in-use. On introducing a new curriculum to teachers, the authors state that: ...most of the schemes for changing the curriculum assumed that a cle a r , rational picture, e f f e c t i v e l y presented to individual teachers would result In the programs' acceptance. Ignored were the feelings, attitudes, values that had developed around the old curriculum, the group norms that protected them, and the bureaucratic arrangements that had evolved over the years to protect individual feelings and values as well as the group norms (p.175). According to Argyris and Schon, theories-in-use constitute human behaviour in everyday l i f e . One cannot know another individual's theory-ln-use without actually observing their behaviour. Furthermore, individuals may not understand their own theories-in-use. They are able to assess objects and events, or exhibit s k i l l s for which they cannot describe their c r i t e r i a or procedures (Schon, 1984, p.11). Such i n t u i t i o n i s referred to as " t a c i t knowledge" (Polyani in Argyris and Schon, 1974, p.11). Teachers, as a community of professional p r a c t i t i o n e r s have p a r t i c u l a r espoused theories and 22 theories-In-use, much of which i s Implicit knowledge. However, the boundaries of t h i s body of knowledge are i n d i s t i n c t , in that, an individual's personal b e l i e f systems may not be congruent with those of the community. Clearly, i t would be an impossible task to ident i f y the entire range of b e l i e f s that constitute one individual's espoused theories — let alone the b e l i e f s relevant to the behaviours of a whole community! One question of interest, in t h i s case, i s to what extent are an individual's set of espoused theories idiosyncratic and to what extent are they common to a community of pr a c t i t i o n e r s ? In the study of Science Education in Canadian Schools (Orpwood and Souque, 1984), the researchers u t i l i z e d the concept of "theories of action" to d i f f e r e n t i a t e between the theoretical level of education and the p r a c t i c a l level of teaching. They also found Roberts' concept of "curriculum emphases" to be useful in explaining the rela t i o n s h i p between the intended curriculum and the variety of classroom teaching strategies that occur. A curriculum emphasis i s a coherent set of messages about a subject that may be communicated i m p l i c i t l y and e x p l i c i t l y (Roberts, 1982a, p.245). Again, there i s a need to analyze the nature of teachers' curriculum emphases and how they re l a t e to teachers' functional paradigms. 23 2.2 Paradigms according to Kuhn Before attempting to describe teachers' functional paradigms, i t i s necessary to delineate the concepts of paradigms as Kuhn defines them ln h i s essay t i t l e d The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions. This book has generated a substantial body of l i t e r a t u r e , some of which i s more c r i t i c a l of Kuhn's thesis than others — others comment on the possible misuse of Kuhn's work, espe c i a l l y in the social sciences (Erickson, 1987, p.13; Scharnberg, 1984; Gutting, 1980, p.14). For example, Scharnberg contends that much of the social science research, Including pedagogical research, that has taken place over the last 10 to 15 years has been based on a s t r i c t l y s c i e n t i f i c paradigm. He argues that "there i s a fundamental difference between the natural and the behavioural sciences. Quantitative and experimental methods as well as "hard" data are adequate within the former. But they are...wholly inappropriate within the l a t t e r . The main reason i s that man has consciousness...(the behavioural sciences) require "soft" data as well as q u a l i t a t i v e , "understanding" and empathetic methods" (p.13). This problem w i l l be discussed again in a later section. Gutting (p.13) indicates that the fact that there are so many attempts by social s c i e n t i s t s to apply Kuhn's logic to t h e i r own s i t u a t i o n s i s evidence that these d i s c i p l i n e s 24 do not have a consensus of opinion as to what exemplary models describe their f i e l d . This p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s i m i l a r l y constitutes evidence of t h i s point. Kuhn responds to those c r i t i c s of h i s so c i o l o g i c a l and philosophical stance in a postscript to the second edition of h i s book. In a socio l o g i c a l sense, he describes a paradigm as "the entire c o n s t e l l a t i o n of b e l i e f s , values, techniques, and so on shared by the members of a given community" <p.l75). The paradigm governs a community of pr a c t i t i o n e r s . These p r a c t i t i o n e r s have undergone sim i l a r academic and professional t r a i n i n g ; they have studied the same body of l i t e r a t u r e and they possess a common " d i s c i p l i n a r y matrix". The components of the matrix i nc1ude: 1. common symbols or expressions; 2. shared b e l i e f s and values; 3. exemplars — shared examples, models or pr a c t i c a l solutions to common problems. Part of the confusion evident in Kuhn's work i s h i s use of the term "paradigm" to denote a body of knowledge c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a community of scholars/practitioners and hi s other use of the term as being synonymous with "exemplar". According to Kuhn <p.43>, t h i s matrix i s developed through a process of observation, study, and practice of 25 established exemplars (v i a textbooks, lessons and other means of schooling). Geeraerts (1985) points out three c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s common to paradigms. F i r s t l y , paradigms are not so l e l y conceptual e n t i t i e s ; they are incorporated into a larger set of cognitive a b i l i t i e s through a combination of both academic and pr a c t i c a l experience. Secondly, concrete examples provide a unifying function in the relati o n s h i p between theory and practice. Thirdly, the exemplars provide a way of "seeing" r e a l i t y (p.247). One other aspect of Kuhn's thesis worth considering i s h i s notion of "incommensurability" since t h i s also has i t s application in curriculum change. "Two men who perceive the same si t u a t i o n d i f f e r e n t l y but nevertheless employ the same vocabulary in i t s discussion must be using words different1y...they speak from Incommensurable viewpoints" (p.200). Kuhn states that since the two men have a great deal in common, perhaps their only difference i s in their use of language. Each needs to be able to translate the other's language and, hence, gain an understanding of the other's point of view (p.203). Geeraerts finds that differences ln value systems and world views may also contribute to incommensurability (1985, p.238). Other researchers have found that there are "barriers to dialogue" (Southgate and Randall, 1981). They propose that there are four d i f f e r e n t approaches to solving problems — 26 somewhat akin to Pepper's "World Hypotheses". These d i f f e r i n g ideas, values and approaches to problems can influence constructive dialogue (p.61). Equating these ideas to curriculum problems suggests that there i s a communication b a r r i e r between the curriculum theo r i s t s and p r a c t i t i o n e r s and somehow the differences between them must be a r t i c u l a t e d . Roberts (1980) proposes the concept of a "Developer-Teacher Interface" that links the theoretical world and the pr a c t i c a l world of the teacher. At t h i s l e v e l , the teacher has to "unpack" the curriculum in order to determine i t s meaning. The teacher then either r e j e c t s or "modulates" the new curriculum depending on their perceptions of the intended change. It i s becoming clear that one must come to understand teachers' perceptions of a curriculum in terms of their own "practical-language". 27 2.3 Teachers' Functional Paradigms 2.3.1 Conceptual Framework 2.3.1.1 A Concent of "Paradigms". Crocker (1983) reformulates the concept of "paradigm" away from the idea of a set of exemplary procedures and practices for conducting s c i e n t i f i c research towards what he c a l l s the "functional paradigms of teachers". Crocker assumes that: ...teachers are, indeed, si m i l a r to other communities of scholars or p r a c t i t i o n e r s in that they share common goals, problems, exemplars, routines, etc. which constitute a "functional paradigm"...(this) term i s meant to convey the idea that the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which unite a community of p r a c t i t i o n e r s are l i k e l y to be centered on p r a c t i c a l matters (p.354). E s s e n t i a l l y , Crocker i s concerned with r e d i r e c t i n g our focus on teaching from the question of how teachers and classrooms function to a question of why they function in p a r t i c u l a r ways (Crocker, 1984c, p.119). In considering the c i r c u i t o u s nature of Kuhn's concept of a paradigm as i t might apply to teachers, one can understand that the paradigm characterizes a set of exemplars ln teaching which are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of teachers. Of Importance to t h i s study i s the nature of some of these exemplars. 28 In proposing the concept of functional paradigms for teachers, Crocker r e l i e s on the work of Imershein (1977). His central thesis i s that members of a social organization (health care delivery services, labour unions, teachers...) can be considered to operate under a shared paradigm si m i l a r to Kuhn's "community of s c i e n t i s t s " . This paradigm delineates the realm of thinking, the range of acceptable behaviours and determines the rules that are considered appropriate for members of that organization. Problems are resolved by r e f e r r i n g to exemplars that are common to fam i l i a r s i t u a t i o n s and applying them to the new sit u a t i o n s . Imershein finds that, in the health care f i e l d , l i t t l e has been done to define the explanatory framework or exemplars that are used to account for problems of change or to predict the p o s s i b i l i t i e s for change. Crocker (1983) believes that a s i m i l a r condition e x i s t s in the f i e l d of education. Imershein contends that e x i s t i n g paradigms can be retained i f the change to be implemented requires only minor adjustments, and any problems that occur can be resolved using prevalent exemplars. Recalcitrant problems (Kuhn r e f e r s to these as "anomalies") can be resolved by extending and modifying the e x i s t i n g body of knowledge. If the present repertoire of exemplars cannot be used to solve the problem, then a major s h i f t in paradigms must occur i f the innovation i s to be successful (p.38). However, Candy (in Olson, 1982b, p.74) warns educators to be cautious in 29 that "major interventions in people's construct systems raise the real problem of how a person immersed in one set of personal constructs can construe and, ultimately, come to use another "mind set" or personal paradigm." The writer adds that there are ethical considerations to be considered when an individual i s asked to reconstruct h i s or her own world view. Since a functional paradigm implies a commonality, the research must focus on shared exemplars rather than the more t r a d i t i o n a l focus on differences between teachers. These exemplars are not as d i s t i n c t as they might be in the natural sciences. This i s in agreement with Olson (1980), who proposes that the challenges faced by teachers when experiencing a curriculum change present ambiguities. In order to "survive", teachers have to deal successfully with these ambiguities. He suggests that we should focus on these ambiguities as they w i l l shed light on what i t i s teachers generally deal with successfully. "(This)...suggests that there i s more at issue than their behaviour when confronted with innovative suggestions, because i t emphasizes understanding e x i s t i n g constructs that are l i k e l y to be well adapted to the purpose of keeping ambiguity under control" (p.10). C l e a r l y , i t i s Important to examine the exemplars common to teachers facing a curriculum change. 30 West (1986) has recently proposed a p a r a l l e l paradigm for teacher education based mostly on the work of John Dewey. Others also use the concept of "paradigm" to denote a model, pattern, or scheme (Gage, 1963, p.95); or to represent a broad conceptual framework (Schubert,1986, p. 10). 2.3.1.2 A Concept of "Functional". The notion of a "functional paradigm" must be extended beyond the r e l a t i v e l y s t a t i c model proposed by Crocker and others. The problem with a " f u n c t i o n a l i s t " perspective for an organization such as teaching i s that i t does not take into account the myriad of i d e n t i t i e s that develop over time. Bucher and Strauss (1976) use the term "segment" of a profession to describe groups having common i d e n t i t i e s , values, and interests. They describe a profession as a loose "amalgamation of segments pursuing d i f f e r e n t objectives in di f f e r e n t manners and more or less d e l i c a t e l y held together under a common name at a p a r t i c u l a r period in history" (p.24). 31 Coalitions develop between and among segments. They (segments) are continually undergoing change. They take form and develop, they are modified, and they disappear. Movement i s forced upon them by changes in their conceptual and technical apparatus, in the i n s t i t u t i o n a l conditions of work, and in their relationship to other segments and occupations. Each generation engages in s p e l l i n g out, again, what i t i s about and where i t i s going. In t h i s process, boundaries become dif f u s e as generations overlap, and d i f f e r e n t l o c i of professional a c t i v i t y a r t i c u l a t e somewhat di f f e r e n t d e f i n i t i o n s of the work s i t u a t i o n . Out of t h i s f l u i d i t y new groupings emerge (p.24). One can surmise from t h i s account that science teachers constitute a p a r t i c u l a r segment of the profession. There are overlaps between segments. For Instance, secondary and elementary groupings; Junior and senior secondary teachers; biology, physics, and chemistry teachers. Olson (1988) makes a p a r a l l e l argument. He suggests that teachers belong to a society. The way in which t h i s society communicates and acts i s i t s culture. He goes on to say that there are s o c i e t i e s within the culture. "These s o c i e t i e s have d i s t i n c t l y d i f f e r e n t cultures and those who j o i n them as neophytes are encultured in quite d i f f e r e n t ways" (p.168). Olson uses the term " r i t u a l " to describe t h i s process. Perhaps one can equate these "subcultures" to the "segments" discussed e a r l i e r . If these segments develop and evolve over time, then i t follows that i f teachers'" paradigms are indeed common to the organization, then they too must evolve over time. This 32 Is why the concept of "functional paradigms" must be thought of in an active rather than passive sense. Ball (1982) supports the notion of fl u c t u a t i n g paradigms. He finds that the time required for a major curriculum change to take effect does not allow normal analysis of paradigmatic changes. Curriculum change Is seen to be a long term and interpersonal process, based upon the establishment of subject paradigms vi a networks of communication and apprenticeship. With many of the teachers who are not exposed d i r e c t l y to experience of these paradigms being influenced marginally or not at a l l , by them (p.25). In a later work, Ball and Goodson (1985) suggest that there are both pragmatic and paradigmatic orientations. The former allows for "p a r t i a l redefinement and si t u a t i o n a l adjustment", the l a t t e r "allows for no compromise" <p.i6). In r e f e r r i n g to current analyses of teaching, Cole (1985) uses the terms "hegemony amongst teachers, emphasis on common structural parameters, ideology, conservative attitudes, determinism, structuralism and stereotypes" <p.89). He argues that teachers must be considered as active p a r t i c i p a n t s in the s o c i a l i z a t i o n process of schooling. Clearly, in lig h t of the foregoing, one must accept the term "functional paradigm" as portrayed in the active sense. 33 2.3.2 Empirical Framework Functional paradigms are probably based on individual differences, external influences, and the p r a c t i c a l aspects of d a i l y schooling (Connelly, Crocker and Kass, 1985, p.274). The following studies provide more insight into the nature of teachers' functional paradigms. Based on the recognition that the reasons for the f a i l u r e of many curriculum development projects in the UK were generalizable across classrooms, schools, age le v e l s , and c u r r i c u l a , a teacher-centered action research project was i n i t i a t e d in the UK ( E l l i o t , 1977). The study encouraged teachers to r e f l e c t on their own actions in the classroom. The research group was Interested in having teachers explain the meaning of an innovation requiring an inquiry/discovery teaching approach. This fundamental change in teaching was a source of dissonance between students and teachers in that the students had an expectation of certain teacher behaviours based on the commonly held teacher paradigms pr i o r to the innovation. Crocker (1983) suggests that a p a r a l l e l can be drawn here to Kuhn's argument that paradigms become self-perpetuating as they are incorporated in textbooks, lessons and other pedagogic structures. The f i n a l part of the report provided a number of hypotheses related to teachers perceptions 34 about curriculum change <p,18). Although the report suggests that a greater degree of implementation w i l l occur through the sort of intensive dialogue that occurred in t h i s study, the e f f o r t required on the part of the teachers Involved makes the exercise almost impossible (see also Lampert, 1986, p.246; Schon, 1984, p.19; Connelly and Ben-Peretz, 1980, p.102). In a study of teacher perspectives on curriculum change In primary science in A u s t r a l i a (Crocker, 1979),the researchers found that certain elements of the teachers' functional paradigm included a concern with content coverage, classroom management, time pressures, c l a r i t y of the curriculum mandate, and a concern for slow learning students. In addition, the teachers studied also held the view that students should be taught through direct instruction and that teachers have to intervene to f a c i l i t a t e student learning. Crocker concludes the study by st a t i n g that "rarely does the curriculum developer have to base h i s decisions on the r e a l i t i e s of the teachers' world...the factors that the teacher needs to consider in order to function in the classroom are not the same as those that the curriculum developer must consider in producing a product and attempting to have the product implemented" (p.60). In a sim i l a r study (Spector, 1984a), teachers' responses to the demand for role change due to 35 the implementation of a new course were explored. The researcher found that the perspectives that teachers held about the change-agent, the school se t t i n g , teaching, and curriculum change , derived from their past experiences, influenced their willingness to i n i t i a t e the new curriculum Similar findings have been reported by others (Taylor and Richards, 1985, p.96; Doyle and Ponder, 1977). In another study that investigated teacher interventions in elementary science laboratory groups, Oakley and Crocker (1980) found that teachers' espoused theories were incongruent with their theorles-in-use. Teachers asked to change their teaching approach from a "whole class" to small group sit u a t i o n s believed they were doing so based on surface changes. On analysis, in r e a l i t y there was no s i g n i f i c a n t role change. This again has implications for curriculum developers who desire a role change of the teachers In 1984, Crocker r e p l i c a t e d the study that he had conducted in A u s t r a l i a in 1979. Although there appeared to be some research design problems with t h i s more recent study, Crocker (1984a) found that the major factors influencing the implementation of an elementary school science program were the attitudes of teachers toward the curriculum, regardless of the features of the innovation i t s e l f . The researcher suggested some areas for further 36 research including comparative studies in contrasting contexts. The study of Science Education in Canada (Connelly, Crocker, and Kass, 1985) also focussed on science teachers' perceptions of curriculum in r e l a t i o n to their functional paradigms. This approach was taken because: 1. the way in which teachers approach curriculum i s probably common; 2. teachers are l i k e l y to have a d i f f e r e n t perspective of curriculum than curriculum developers because the two groups have d i f f e r e n t functional paradigms; 3. the alternate viewpoint of p r a c t i t i o n e r s should be examined as compared to that of the researcher. The r e s u l t s provide several important insights into teachers' functional paradigms as they apply to curriculum translat ion: 1. there i s an overriding concern with the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the students; 2. i t appeared that as long as teachers are s a t i s f i e d that the curriculum w i l l meet the needs of a p a r t i c u l a r group of students, the curriculum can be constructed on the basis of a variety of s c i e n t i f i c rationales; 3. teachers are sensitive to the Impact of their actions on the school and community; 4. teachers favour c u r r i c u l a that emphasize "learning how to learn", the use of p a r a l l e l student textbooks, and smal1 groups as opposed to "whole classes"; 5. teachers desire more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for curriculum decision-making. 37 Other hypotheses r e s u l t i n g from t h i s study include: i . dependent on whether teachers 1' functional paradigms are determined by the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the educational system, or are more in t e r n a l l y determined, one might expect teachers to want c u r r i c u l a r autonomy that i s consistent with the degree of c e n t r a l i z a t i o n that e x i s t s in their own J u r i s d i c t i o n O n the f i r s t instance), or one might expect their behaviours to be common across a l l J u r i s d i c t i o n s <in the l a t t e r case). 2. in line with point (2) above, teachers may translate c u r r i c u l a to the extent that the required teaching methods are compatible with their own teaching s t y l e s . In a related sub-study, Crocker and Banfield (1986, p.815) suggest that the functional paradigms of science teachers are grounded in three main areas: (1) for students; (2) for strong school s p i r i t and morale; and (3) for teaching methods. Recently, Lantz and Kass (1987) examined the nature of teachers' functional paradigms in r e l a t i o n to a new chemistry curriculum at the secondary school l e v e l . The researchers have proposed a model to i l l u s t r a t e how teachers Interpret curriculum materials (see Figure 1). Some of the parameters i d e n t i f i e d in the Lantz and Kass model w i l l be examined further in t h i s study. 38 F I G U R E X Averaged representation of how chemistry teachers  interpret curriculum materials (Lantz and Kass, 1987, p.127). I POLICY DOCUMENTS I I I I I ICURRICULUM MATERIALSI I I I I I TEACHERS' I I BACKGROUND I I I TEACHERS' FUNCTIONAL I PARADIGMS I I I CLASSROOM PRACTICE I I I I I I TEACHING I I SITUATION I I I 39 Lantz and Kass categorized their data according to Schwab's four curriculum commonplaces (Schwab, 1973, p.502). These include an equal consideration of perceptions about the subject matter, teaching, the students, and the school s e t t i n g . Results indicated that there were some variations between teachers' personal functional paradigms; however, there were many shared elements. The study found that while teaching theoretical chemistry rated highly, teaching references to science, technology and society, and the nature of science had a low value. The s p e c i f i c teaching s i t u a t i o n was an Important factor. Academic history also seemed to be a major factor in shaping teachers' functional paradigms. The authors suggest that t h i s should be examined in more d e t a i l . The Lantz and Kass model, and many of the categories therein form a basis for the analysis of t h i s study found in Chapters 4 and 5. 2.3.3 Teachers' Backgrounds 2.3.3.1 Past Experiences. In the study conducted by Lantz and Kass (1987), a teacher's background was found to have a considerable influence on shaping his/her perceptions of the nature of the subject. The individual's academic history, including t r a i n i n g and experiences, influenced his/her interpretation 40 of the c u r r i c u l a r materials by shaping the functional paradigm. Merton (1957, p.101) suggests that when individuals are confronted with stimuli that would be expected to cause responses counter to their predispositions, their actual behaviour can be predicted more on the basis of their predispositions than i t can on the basis of the s t i m u l i . As part of Goodlad's study of schooling, Klein (1980, p.5) surveyed teachers across the U.S. The researcher asked, "How much influence do each of the following (categories) have on what you teach?" Over 2/3 of a l l respondents f e l t that their own backgrounds, interests, and experiences had a "high" influence ( t h i s was the primary Influence across a l l subject/grade l e v e l s ) . Student interests and a b i l i t i e s was rated second highest. These findings seem to be supported by others (Erlckson, 1987, p.27; Spector, 1984a; Wilson, 1984, p.105; McFadden, 1980, p.50; Beecher, 1978, p.37). 41 The influence of past experiences either before or during an individual's career must be considered as a major determinant in shaping teachers' functional paradigms. A number of researchers have found that both early experiences as a student and later experiences as a p r a c t i c i n g teacher have a profound effect on the development of teachers' personal knowledge (Diamond, 1988; Z e u l i , 1988; Roehler et a l . , 1988; Clandinin and Connelly, 1987; Smith, 1985; Cole, 1985; Woods, 1984; B a l l , 1982; Mardle and Walker in Ball 1982; L o r t l e , 1975). Various terms have been used to refer to t h i s personal knowledge. Clandinin and Connelly (1987) provided an extensive review of studies of teacher's personal knowledge. They used the term "the personal" to describe t h i s inner knowledge. In their review, the researchers found a high degree of commonality between studies. They i d e n t i f i e d three components pertaining to teacher thought: "practical actions, biographical history, and thoughts in i s o l a t i o n from action and biographical history" (p.498). Evidently, most studies focussed on the l a t t e r case. Their study e l i c i t e d a number of responses from the f i e l d , and their suggestions for further research In the three component areas seems to be of value — and Is pertinent to t h i s study. Lo r t l e (1975) states that " s o c i a l i z a t i o n i s a subjective process - i t i s something that happens to people 42 as they move through a s e r i e s of structured experiences and in t e r n a l i z e the subculture of the group" (p.61). Even as students in the classroom, our understanding of "teaching" i s being shaped and developed. Students are exposed to a wide variety of teaching s t y l e s during their school l i f e . They come to know the routines, exemplars, and methods of teaching. Students can distinguish the "good" from the "bad". By the time students complete high school, they are: ...thoroughly f a m i l i a r with a variety of teaching s t y l e s and approaches to teaching,... they may already have i d e n t i f i e d with one or more of those s t y l e s and the ploys and strategies inherent within i t . Thus experience as a pupil i s more l i k e l y to provide the basis of a role model than experience as a probationary teacher (Mardle and Walker in B a l l , 1982, p.24). These thoughts are supported by the work of Ball (1982, P.25) involving English teachers. He found that a student's personal experiences as a pupil are equally as l i k e l y to have an Influence on h i s or her understanding of a school subject and i t s pedagogy, as any teacher t r a i n i n g . The extensive l i f e h istory studies conducted by Woods (1985, p.260) and others, suggests that in addition to the influence of schooling i t s e l f in the development of a teacher's personal knowledge, home environment, age, parents, marriage, and socioeconomic and p o l i t i c a l factors may also be of influence. 43 2.3.3.2 Teaching Careers. It i s worthwhile at t h i s point to consider the nature of the teacher's whole career in the context of curriculum interventions. For the purposes of t h i s study, we shall use the d e f i n i t i o n suggested by Becker (1976). A career i s a: ...patterned s e r i e s of adjustments made by the individual to the "network of i n s t i t u t i o n s , formal organizations, and informal relationships" in which the work of the occupation i s performed (p.75). Huberman (1988) argues that curriculum innovations "have been construed as a time-bound process, with l i t t l e concern being shown for the pri o r and subsequent careers of the actors involved" (p.119). He suggests that curriculum implementation might be better understood through a closer scrutiny of the relationship between teachers' professional biographies and the innovations. Few attempts have been made to study the careers of teachers apart from the work of Becker (1970), Ball and Goodson (1985), Sikes, Measor and Woods (1985), and Smith and Kleine et a l . (1985). Huberman summaries the impact of curriculum Innovations by s t a t i n g that: ...large-scale Innovations are only moments, however intense and s i g n i f i c a n t , in the 40-odd years of a c t i v i t y ; they constitute a few b r i e f episodes in a professional and personal biography...when one overlooks people's l i v e s to focus on events - and large-scale improvement e f f o r t s are mostly Just that..., one i s taking out the actors and assuming that the scenery i s animate enough to carry the plot and account for the denouement (p.120). 44 Huberman also reports that in a 1984 study of school improvement, Huberman and Miles found that about half the teachers and administrators had career related motives for adopting the innovation (p.121). Researchers have also i d e n t i f i e d key stages or phases that occur during an Individual's career l i f e cycle (Huberman, 1988, p.130; Diamond, 1988). In t h e i r study, Sikes, Measor, and Woods (1985) use age phases to categorize their subjects. But they admit that these categories are not r i g i d in that some people could have entered the profession at an early or late stage in their l i f e . "Thus what the late entrant has to say may, in some instances and in r e l a t i o n to their occupational development, be representative of a person in a younger age group" (p.25). One must therefore be f l e x i b l e in categorizing people. In t h i s study, i t was believed that r e l a t i v e experience levels would provide a more accurate indication of the individual's position along the career path. In summary, the work of Crocker, Lantz and Kass, and others has led to a general understanding of the notion of teachers' functional paradigms. In an e a r l i e r study, Crocker (1979, p.2) decried the lack of a coherent theory of implementation. In a postscript to a summary of research on teaching in Canada, Crocker (1984c, p.119) points at the lack 45 of a theoretical framework s p e c i f i c to the study of teaching. Other researchers have also pointed t h i s out (Winne and Marx, 1977). Perhaps by concentrating more research on the nature of teachers' functional paradigms — by f l e s h i n g out the common goals, problems, exemplars, routines...and yet keeping in mind their individual career stages, we shall s t a r t to gain a better understanding of why teachers and classrooms function as they do. CHAPTER 3 METHQPQLQgY AND ANALYSIS 3.1 Methodology There Is a continuing debate that predominates research l i t e r a t u r e ln the soc i a l sciences. This discourse revolves around the value of q u a l i t a t i v e versus quantitative research methods (Power, 1976; Kilbourn, 1980b; Russell, 1980; Reason and Rowan, 1981; Roberts, 1982b; E l l i o t , 1983; Benson, 1984; Pinar, 1986). Discussion centers on the appropriateness of using the more quantitative experimental and survey research paradigms in education. Woods (1987, p.121) argues that such teacher knowledge i s "produced in a s c i e n t i f i c paradigm, whereas many would claim that teaching i s also, and perhaps more e s s e n t i a l l y , an a r t " . Lincoln and Guba (1986) approach the problem from.a moral and ethical point of view. They argue for an "emergent-^paradigm" or " n a t u r a l i s t i c Inquiry", s t a t i n g that such an inquiry focusses ...upon r e a l i t i e s as multiple, divergent social constructions, the search for a single " r e a l i t y " i s avoided...the emphasis on u t i l i z i n g , rather than compensating for, the i n t e r a c t i v i t y of researcher and respondent, creates the conditions for p a r t i c i p a n t s in research processes to retain their locus of control i n d i v i d u a l l y , (and) to make informed decisions regarding their participation...(p.36). 46 47 Much of the research has not been f r u i t f u l — c o n f l i c t i n g r e s u l t s , or "no s i g n i f i c a n t difference" are t y p i c a l . The r e l a t i v e merits of the experimental and survey research paradigms, and the more n a t u r a l i s t i c research paradigms w i l l not be discussed here; however, the notion of "complementarity" or "synergistic payoffs" in u t i l i z i n g both approaches, referred to by Roberts (1982b) i s a worthwhile consideration that has been successfully used by others (Orpwood and Souque, 1984; Connelly, Crocker and Kass, 1985). In h i s paper, E l l i o t (1983) describes the strengths and weaknesses of four commonly used research paradigms: (1) The "systems analysis" paradigm views social processes as s e l f - r e g u l a t i n g . It provides the basis for a f u n c t i o n a l i s t empirical/analytical orientation towards society that i s free of value bias; (2) The phenomenological model views social processes as constructions of autonomous Individuals; (3) The educational action-research model i s founded on the b e l i e f that social processes r e l y on subjectively shared rules of interpretation for t r a n s l a t i n g social t r a d i t i o n s and values; and (4) The social-reproductionist model theorizes that subjective meanings expressed in social action are biased by their economic function. 48 The methodology employed in t h i s study i s somewhat sympathetic with both Adam Schutz's phenomenologlcal approach and Habermas' action-research approach. According to E l l i o t , the orientation of the former "views teachers as craftspersons drawing on t a c i t common sense ^knowledge', acquired through experience in the context of the i r personal l i f e and career h i s t o r i e s " (p.9). It follows then that the shared understandings (exemplars...) c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the community of p r a c t i t i o n e r s are constructed out of the social interactions that occur throughout the " l i v e d experience". The l a t t e r orientation accounts for the apparent ambiguities attributable to the former case. Habermas ( i n E l l i o t , p.9) contends that in order for individuals to communicate their perspective of the real world to others, then they must already share certain concepts or rules for interpreting the world — such rules are vested in shared values. The t r a d i t i o n s that govern the community are embodied in social i n s t i t u t i o n s and are rooted in descriptions of i n s t i t u t i o n a l practice. 3.2 Methods of Data C o l l e c t i o n In light of the previous discussion, t h i s study involved a se r i e s of interviews with each member of the science department. Clearly, the interview method i s an 49 appropriate means of examining the nature of teachers'" functional paradigms. In t h i s case, the espoused theories and t a c i t knowledge shared by a community of teachers can best be "got at" by actually being a part of the se t t i n g . This researcher shares the language, concepts and values of the community to be examined. Woods (1987) indicates that the input of teachers who one can consider as the prime reource in the s e t t i n g are largely l e f t out of studies. He c a l l s for: ...a new conception of knowledge, one that i s not simply an extant body of facts and theories, but a l i v i n g , e x p e r i e n t i a l , processual, f l e x i b l e , creative, compilation of Insights, memories, Information, associations, a r t i c u l a t i o n s , that go into resourcing on-the-spot teacher decision-making and action. It w i l l include the ambiguities, inconsistencies, contradictions of l i f e ; what to some outsiders may appear as t r i v i a , but what to teachers are of the utmost importance;...it w i l l also include the s k i l l of "orchestration" - a kind of pr a c t i c a l theorizing whereby the teacher blends actions together into a harmonious whole (p.122). Woods i s suggesting something more than i s p r a c t i c a l ln t h i s study. However, h i s c a l l for a "new conception of knowledge" i s not taken l i g h t l y . This author c e r t a i n l y believes that the methods u t i l i z e d in t h i s study w i l l add to t h i s body of knowledge. The " l i f e - h i s t o r y " method used by Woods and others was not used because in Wood's words, "teachers must want to do l i f e h i s t o r i e s for them to be of any value...and they are more naturally disposed to them at key career points in their l i v e s " (p.132). Clearly, in t h i s 50 study, time and willingness on the part of the partic i p a n t s was a factor in choosing a less ambitious form of interview. Various authors have reviewed the Interview process as a method of qu a l i t a t i v e research. Massarik (1981) describes seven Interview typologies. This study took an e c l e c t i c approach and u t i l i z e d parts of, in Massarik's terms, the "Rapport Interview" and the "Depth Interview" (p.202). The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the "Rapport Interview" most closely f i t my Intentions. In t h i s s t y l e of interview, there i s a genuine human relationship between the Interviewer and interviewee — rapport and mutual trust are important aspects. Although the objectives can be quite focussed, small-talk and interpersonal exchanges can occur. In t h i s case, the interviewer appears as a "human-being-in-a-role". Woods (1986) describes three posi t i v e elements of an interviewer; trust, c u r i o s i t y , and naturalness. It i s believed that being an "insider" w i l l help promote such at t r i b u t e s . In the "Depth Interview", the interviewer explores more deeply the perspectives and dynamics of the interviewee. Conversely, the interviewee may ask questions, seek c l a r i f i c a t i o n and reciprocate in the depth of his/her responses. This interview may be open-ended in terms of questions and time frame. The interviewer i s regarded as a 51 "peer". Jones (1985a) discusses the need for trust and rapport with the subjects. She also suggests that some open-ended questions be used to help eliminate "interviewer bias". The interview method was chosen as a research tool e s s e n t i a l l y because i t allowed for a greater access and depth of understanding into the nature of the teacher's perceptions. I n i t i a l questions e l i c i t e d unanticipated responses, and responses to p a r t i c u l a r questions were followed up in more det a i l with secondary focus questions. Some of the questions were more open-ended than others. Each Interview lasted for about one hour. An i n i t i a l p i l o t study was conducted with six teachers in a c i t y located approximately 65 kilometers from the primary s i t e . The p i l o t study was conducted in order to test the Interview questions, and to provide the interviewer with p r a c t i c a l knowledge in terms of the process. The interviews were conducted In two schools. One of the schools i s a grade 8 to 10 Junior secondary school, and the other i s a grade 10 to 12 senior secondary school. The schools are situated almost next to each other. Most of the students pursuing more academic programs take grade 10 in the senior high school. The individual teachers were f i r s t contacted by l e t t e r asking for their p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the study (see Appendices D and E). The teachers who 52 volunteered were then contacted by phone to set up meeting times that were convenient to them. Four teachers agreed to pa r t i c i p a t e at the junior secondary, and two agreed to take part at the senior school. The interviews were conducted two at a time over a period of one month. Following the f i r s t two interviews, the interview schedule was revised to provide more focus. It was found that most questions in the schedule served as a guideline. In f a c t , as the interviews progressed, the interviewer did not have to refer to the schedule as much. An e l e c t r i c a l short in the microphone lead during the second set of Interviews caused the audiotape to be almost inaudible. It was decided that those two interviews would not be used since, i t was believed that in comparison to the other interviews, there was i n s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l . The session did serve a purpose, however, in that i t provided the interviewer with more experience. Following the t h i r d set of p i l o t interviews, the interview schedule was revised for a f i n a l time. The number of categories was reduced, and some of the more extraneous questions were eliminated. The f i n a l interview schedule can be found in Appendix A. The four audible interviews were transcribed. This provided data from two teachers at each school. 53 One other reason for conducting a p i l o t study was to provide a comparison against the six interviews that formed the data base for the primary study. 3.3 Methods of Analysis The interviews were audiotaped — notes were not taken ln order to allow the interviewer to focus on the responses, and to be less disruptive. A l l the audiotapes were transcribed. The t r a n s c r i p t s were then checked for inaccuracies against the master tapes. Samples of the tr a n s c r i p t s for both the p i l o t study and the main study can be found in Appendices B and C respectively. An added benefit in using data transcribed onto a word processing program i s that the researcher was able to manipulate the data to f a c i l i t a t e analysis in a manner somewhat sim i l a r to the methods suggested by Jones <1985b). One way of analyzing q u a l i t a t i v e Interview data i s to c l a s s i f y or categorize the Information. In so doing, one gradually breaks down the large amount of data into more manageable units. It i s then possible to identify themes, trends or dimensions within the data (Alkenhead, 1984, p.171; Jones, 1985b; Woods, 1986, p.125). One danger i s that the data may become too d i l u t e in the process, and meaningful r e s u l t s may then not be as forthcoming. 54 The Interview questions were categorized according to the following general scheme: 1. Background and experience... 2. Teacher views and opinions... 3. Curriculum perceptions, emphases, and meanings... 4. Teaching practices, methods, and s t y l e . . . 5. Perceptions of teaching... The responsess were then analysed according to six main categories: teachers' backgrounds, experiences, and teaching s i t u a t i o n s ; teachers' current classroom practices; and teachers' perceptions of teaching, subject matter, s e t t i n g , and students. In a study conducted in 1984, Crocker u t i l i z e d six d i f f e r e n t descriptive categories of teachers (1984b, p.13). This Interview schedule incorporates s i m i l a r categories to those used by Crocker (1979), and Lantz and Kass (1987). The categories used in the analysis are discussed further in Chapter 4. The data were also grouped according to the experience levels of the pa r t i c i p a n t s . As was discussed in section 2.3.3.2, the use of career-related experience levels rather than age categories was determined to be a more appropriate method of grouping the subjects. 55 Table II that follows shows the experience groupings that were used in t h i s study: TABLE II Relevant Experience Categories a) Apprentice teachers: 0 to 3 years of teaching experience. b> Post-apprentice teachers: 4 to 10 years of teaching experience c> Experienced teachers: 11 years and more of teaching experience. These p a r t i c u l a r groupings were used to separate the teachers simply because there are approximately ten incremental steps that are required to reach f u l l pay in the B.C. education system. The boundaries between the groups must be f l e x i b l e , e specially considering the size of the population studied. These groupings more than anything, simply f a c i l i t a t e analysis. There are, of course, more groupings possible. Another study could Investigate a pre-apprenticeship group, a pre-retirement group, and a r e t i r e d group of teachers. This study did not involve teachers who were close to retirement or who had r e t i r e d ; nor did i t Involve those enrolled in teacher t r a i n i n g inst i tutes. 56 3.4 Reporting Format The r e s u l t s were categorized, compiled, and reported in a descriptive "case study" s t y l e . Each section i s summarized with respect to the i n i t i a l questions. An overarching summary i s provided at the end to rel a t e each section to the general problem to be studied. The subgroups were compared using the "key decision rule that a common Ntheme' has to include either the s p e c i f i c term or a denotat1ve analogue..." (Huberman, 1988, p.122). There also had to be simi l a r features describing the theme. Among others, the following researchers refer to the use of case studies and other methods of ethnographic techniques in educational research (Wiersma, 1986; Olson and Russell, 1984; Kenny and Grotelueschen, 1984; Smith, 1978; Wilson, 1977). Kenny and Grote1ueschen characterize case studies by the following: "data are q u a l i t a t i v e ; data are not manipulated; studies focus on single cases; ambiguity in observation and report i s tolerated; multiple perspectives are s o l i c i t e d ; holism i s advocated; humanism i s encouraged; and common and/or nontechnical language i s used" (p.38). S i m i l a r l y , in their work, Ball and Goodson (1985) f i n d that such methods "serve to identify aspects of common experience and to isol a t e some of those factors which separate and d i f f e r e n t i a t e teachers; factors l i k e age, 5? subject, level of sp e c i a l i z a t I o n . . . these methods tap into the li v e d experiences of teachers in schools, their successes and f a i l u r e s , their r elationships with the h i e r a r c h y ' , their conditions of work, their responses to change" <p.l3). It i s prec i s e l y these aspects and factors of teachers / l i v e s that t h i s study intends to investigate. These features serve to support the methodological approach, followed in t h i s study, as outlined previously. C H A P T E R 4 RESULTS 4.1 Analysis of the P i l o t Study The Interview questions were p i l o t tested with a group of six science teachers at two schools in a nearby town — changes were made as necessary to the Interview schedule (see section 3.2). After comparing the tr a n s c r i p t s of the p i l o t study and the main study, there do not seem to be any ma.lor inconsistencies between the projects. There was only one recognizable difference between the two sets of data. The interviews were, for the most part, much longer in the p i l o t study. This i s understandable primarily because there were more questions in the p i l o t study. The interviewer was also r e l a t i v e l y unknown to the respondents in the p i l o t study, but was well known in the primary study. It i s possible that there was a greater commonality of underlying meanings and understanding between the interviewer and p a r t i c i p a n t s in the main study than in the p i l o t study, and so both the interviewer and respondents were r e l y i n g on t h i s common knowledge in their dialogue. Perhaps another point to consider i s that the primary study was conducted 5 8 59 at the end of the school year, and so timing could have been a factor. Another consideration i s that as the interviews progressed, the interviewer became more experienced and adept at posing questions. 4.2 Analysis of the Main Study For the reasons discussed in previous chapters, the data were grouped according to the experience levels of the p a r t i c i p a n t s (see Table I I ) . As was outlined in Chapter 3, the groupings of teachers were analyzed according to the categories i d e n t i f i e d by Lantz and Kass (1987). They categorized the data on teachers'' functional paradigms according to Schwab's curriculum commonplaces (Schwab, 1973, p.502). These Include teachers' perceptions of teaching; subject matter; school s e t t i n g ; and students. One component of the "Perceptions of teaching" category as suggested by Schwab (p.504), and Lantz and Kass (p.133) i s teachers' background and experience. This was i d e n t i f i e d as another category in the analysis. Current teaching s i t u a t i o n was examined b r i e f l y in the preceding category. Current teaching practices was also considered as a separate category. It was anticipated that elements of teachers' functional paradigms would emerge from a consideration of the following categories: 60 1. Teachers' background and experience. 2. Perceptions of teaching. 3. Perceptions of subject matter. 4. Perceptions of school s e t t i n g . 5. Perceptions of students. 6. Current teaching practices, methods, and s t y l e . This chapter w i l l focus on the functional paradigms of individuals taking part in the study with respect to the foregoing categories. Each category i s analyzed in the context of "why" teachers se l e c t , Interpret, and u t i l i z e curriculum materials in certain ways. 4.2.1 Teachers' Backgrounds and Experiences The following Table (Table III) outlines the teaching experience of the p a r t i c i p a n t s as of June 30th, 1988. The pa r t i c i p a n t s are grouped accordingly. It should be noted that the study included both a male and female in each group except for the "experienced teachers" group of senior teachers. This i s consistent with the trends of males to females found at the high school level in the Science Council of Canada Study (Orpwood and Alam, 1984c, p.34) in that there are fewer female science teachers in the senior years of teaching. One perhaps would assume (and hope) that t h i s trend i s beginning to change, although there were no female science teachers at either of the schools in the p i l o t study. 61 TABLE III Teaching Experience of Participants (as of June 30 th, 1988). Apprentice teachers: (1) Betty 1 year (2) Sam 1 year Post-apprentice teachers: (3) Leona 8 years (4) Pete 10 years Experienced teachers: (5) Ron 14 years (6) Dave 16 years An "early entrant" to teaching i s c l a s s i f i e d in t h i s study as one who started teaching at an age younger than 24. A "late entrant" i s one who started teaching af t e r age 28. For the purposes of t h i s study, " t r a d i t i o n a l 1st" teachers are regarded as those who teach using a standard lecture-lab format. Their teaching i s conformist, in that they do not stray from the curriculum. They are reluctant to try new methods of teaching, although they do adjust the content of t h e i r material i f i t becomes f a c t u a l l y outdated or technically incorrect. These teachers value academic r i g o r , and they tend to adhere to a s t r i c t knowledge-based 62 course. Their view of science i s d i s c i p l i n a r y with firm boundaries between each science d i s c i p l i n e . The notion of a "progressive" teacher i s used to mean those teachers who are w i l l i n g to try new ways of teaching. Their teaching approach i s varied, in that they use a variety of teaching strategies. These teachers tend to value the application of science to every day societal problems. They are interested in the technological aspects of science. They do not view science as a se r i e s of discrete d i s c i p l i n e s , rather they see science as i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y in nature. These teachers are more concerned with the p r a c t i c a l i t y of science, than with science as a body of facts and p r i n c i p l e s . In the discussions that follow, "SC" i s the interviewer. Apprentice teachers; (1) Bettv: Betty graduated from UBC in 1982 with a Bachelor of Education degree. Her concentrations were Biology and Physical Education. She i s a r e l a t i v e l y late entrant to teaching. This year i s Betty's f i r s t year at teaching, although she has substitute taught for a number of years. 63 Betty Is currently teaching Science 8 classes, two Science 10 classes, and two Modified Science 10 classes <a generalized program for students with learning d i f f i c u l t i e s ) . Betty i s married, in her mld - t h l r t l e s , and has one small c h i l d and another on the way. Betty grew up In t h i s town, and so she s t i l l has family members nearby. Her husband i s employed by one of the larger industries in town. When asked why she chose teaching as a career, Betty indicated three reasons: an interest in coaching, family support, and the influence of one of her early science teachers. Betty: I think i t was probably because I enjoyed working with students. I was quite active, a t h l e t i c a l l y involved and I thought I would r e a l l y l i k e to pursue coaching. So that's probably a lot of why I went into teaching. Some of Betty's uncles are teachers. She said that teaching i s looked upon favourably by her family members. Betty stated that she always wanted to be a teacher... SC: Do you know what influenced that? Betty: Okay, well I think once again the Phys. Ed. part and also my science teacher. SC: That person stands out in your mind? 64 Betty: Yes, and I think he's the reason why I pursued the science because I enjoyed i t and a lot of i t was personal interest. Betty's response was immediate in r e c a l l i n g the science teacher as being a factor in her career choice. This point was pursued further. She was asked to describe the science teacher whom she r e c a l l e d as being i n f l u e n t i a l in her decision to enter teaching. Betty: I Just found him fun and interesting. I think I r e a l l y enjoyed h i s classes. SC: How would you describe h i s classes? Can you picture that? Betty: Okay he...that was way back when. I think he was demanding, l i k e he expected a lot of you. But the way he taught he was interesting, he was also fun. He was just a fun person. SC: Did he teach in what you might c a l l a t r a d i t i o n a l method, using the blackboard and lecture? Betty: Yes. I think he was f a i r l y sort of...structured. Lots of notes I remember. Like the lab work, I r e a l l y enjoyed that. SC: Was he more of a, would you say he was more of a theoretical kind of science teacher or more p r a c t i c a l ? Betty: I think he was a combination. SC: So he li k e d to vary. Betty: He would just throw in interesting things too. Not Just lecture and notes. Betty was then asked to describe her favourite courses during high school. She responded: Betty: Biology and I probably enjoyed the math and then there's Phys. Ed. I wanted construction then. SC: Did you take construction? 65 Betty: Yes. Actually, that was a good course. We had a good instructor there. SC: Why was that a good course? Betty: Well, I enjoyed woodworking...I s t i l l do, and our instructor was r e a l l y good...It was fun. It was real 1y fun. Betty i s practical-minded. She enjoys lab work and woodwork. This i s c l e a r l y evident in her descriptions of the science and construction classes — she made a s i m i l a r comment regarding lab work at the university l e v e l . Her response regarding taking the construction course indicate that t h i s was something unusual (which i t was), and her tone indicates that i t was something of an achievement. Her r e c o l l e c t i o n s of these classes suggest that each teacher had something more to o f f e r than a t r a d i t i o n a l i s t sense of teaching. Betty does not r e c a l l any outstanding teachers during her university years (either p o s i t i v e or negative). She enjoyed most of the "instructors". She said that they "weren't too bad". Her use of the term "instructor" suggests that Betty does not necessarily view university educators as being the same as school teachers. Her expectations of them were evidently confirmed during her undergrad. years — they were not great, but they weren't too bad either. The term perhaps stems from her physical education courses, where the teachers were probably technically " i n s t r u c t o r s " . 66 Betty was asked to comment on whether she t r i e s to empathize with certain teachers from her past. Betty: Well, I think you do because you're thinking about the classes that you enjoyed and so you try to follow in their footsteps and you work on i t . Summary Betty i s a beginning teacher, who got started in the profession at a later stage. She has family members who are teachers, and they seem to be supportive of her career choice. Betty always wanted to be a teacher. She claims that she entered teaching for three reasons: an interest in coaching, family support, and the influence of one of her early science teachers. Betty Is practical-minded. She enjoyed lab-work during her own schooling. Her impression of her university "instructors" was non-committal. Evidently, they did not leave a l a s t i n g impression. Betty believes that there i s some kind of relationship between her teaching, and that of her previous instructors. Betty i s quite committed to teaching, although there also seems to be a family pressure. Betty used the following terms to describe the teachers who she says had an impact on her...they were fun; enjoyable; interesting; good; t r i e d d i f f e r e n t teaching methods; not just lectures and notes; the labs were enjoyable; structured; demanding; expected a l o t ; 67 t r a d i t i o n a l ; used a combination of theoretical and pra c t i c a l approaches... (2) Sam; Sam graduated from UBC in 1986 following f i v e years of study. He has a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biochemistry, "heavy on the organic and inorganic side as well as genetics". In 1986-87, Sam took one year of teacher t r a i n i n g , also at UBC. Currently, Sam Is teaching the Science and Technology 11 course, two Chemistry 11 classes, three classes of Science 10, and one Modified Science 8 c l a s s . Recal1 that the senior courses are semestered, whereas the Junior courses are on a linear timetable. Sam i s a r e l a t i v e l y early entrant to teaching — he i s about 24. Sam i s single at the moment. Sam does not have any r e l a t i v e s l i v i n g nearby. Sam i s from the central part of Southern B.C. When Sam was asked about h i s reasons for choosing teaching as a career, he indicated that i t was a f a i r l y late decision (second year u n i v e r s i t y ) . It was an unexpected but fortuitous chance at tutoring a student that seems to have convinced him of t h i s career choice. 68 Sam: I tutored a...One summer, I wasn't working so much at the m i l l that I worked at for a summer job, so I took another job on. Just a k i d came down with a case of the measles and I was asked to tutor him for two weeks before h i s f i n a l s , in four subject areas for grade eight. I r e a l l y enjoyed that. That was back in my second year and I r e a l l y enjoyed it...and the kid passed with f l y i n g colours which was kind of a p o s i t i v e thing to me. I ended up tutoring him again the following year in Just one subject, in science, and he d i d the same thing again, he passed the course. He was f a i l i n g before the f i n a l and passed i t . So I was doing something right with him. So i t gave me another branch, i t wasn't...I didn't have a clear-cut teaching profession in mind but i t was there. I was encouraged to take i t . In h i s early years, Sam wanted to be, among other things, a dentist, or an e l e c t r i c a l engineer. These ambitions s t i l l held up in un i v e r s i t y . However, he also entertained ideas of entering medicine — apparently, teaching was an acceptable alternative to be considered throughout. Evidently, teaching, in Sam's mind i s held in r e l a t i v e l y high esteem...along with dentistry, medicine and engineering. Sam: (When I was) very young, I wanted to be a dentist. Then in high school, I wanted to be an e l e c t r i c a l engineer. Then in university, I wanted to be either. When that didn't pan out I was looking...I d i d very well in biology and chemistry so I thought, I was looking towards medicine...but teaching was right beside i t . According to Sam, i t didn't matter which career he chose, although i t was always something "professional". It seems that towards the end of h i s undergraduate years, he was " f i s h i n g around" for a career, with no set d i r e c t i o n in mind. Although Sam does not have family members who are 69 teachers, he has a number of friends who went into teaching, and he used to s o c i a l i z e with p r a c t i c i n g teachers in h i s hometown before he himself became a teacher. Again, i t i s apparent that teaching was not a second choice to other career possibi 1ites; i t was one of a number of acceptable a l t e r n a t i v e s . Sam's family were quite supportive of h i s career choice, although, they perhaps have a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t view of the hierarchy of professions than Sam. Another reason for Sam choosing the profession i s for the coaching aspects. This i s somewhat si m i l a r to Betty's reasoning, although Sam wants to provide a service, whereas Betty wants to enjoy her p a r t i c i p a t i o n as a coach. Elsewhere in the interview, Sam said that " i f I was in t h i s Job for the money, obviously I wouldn't be ln t h i s Job. There's something else that's motivating me to do i t " . Sam i s currently coaching a number of teams. Betty i s not coaching t h i s year — probably due to the time constraints and family pressures that Sam does not face. Sam: My family's quite proud of me for even, l i k e I'm the only one in our family history to have a degree, in their history. And so they're a l l quite proud that I'm at least something, l i k e a teacher, and they're a l l s t i l l . . . t h e y know that one of my aspirations was to be a doctor and they're r e a l l y s t i l l keen on me t r y i n g to do that but I need to...One of the reasons why I took i t was because I was involved heavily ln the v o l l e y b a l l program and I don't think I could put back Into the system what I got out of It by being a doctor, going through med. school right now, so that's, in a sense, why I'm 70 doing t h i s . While I'm younger I s t i l l have the energy to coach and that. In reading the above a l i t t l e more cl o s e l y , Sam i s not firmly committed to teaching...yet. In fact, Sam f e e l s that i f he was to change jobs, a career at a college or university might be acceptable. Evidently, Sam views teaching in levels, with possibly elementary teaching being the "lowest" form of teaching, and post-secondary being most acceptable. From h i s e a r l i e r comments, these impressions may be family oriented. Interestingly, administration in the secondary school did not come up as a form of career advancement. SC: Do you see teaching as a lifetime career? Sam: No, I don't right now because I don't think I could have t h i s , i t takes a lot of energy. I don't think I could be as successful a teacher t h i r t y years down the road. But possibly, t h i s i s at the high school l e v e l , i f that's what you mean maybe just at the high school l e v e l , but possibly I can envision myself being a college or university teacher or something l i k e that. Sam was asked about h i s formative school years. He has a p o s i t i v e image of h i s high school years. He commented that "we" had a good time at high school, and despite a few "quirks", he l i k e d a l l h i s teachers. When asked about these questions, Sam's introspection l e f t a smile on h i s face, and h i s reference to "we" suggests that h i s high school years were also p o s i t i v e in terms of the social scene. Sam r e c a l l e d two high school teachers in p a r t i c u l a r who stood out in h i s mind. He described these teachers as 71 being very personable. They incorporated some humour into their classes, and they involved themselves in a c t i v i t i e s beyond the normal c u r r i c u l a r school day. Sam: ...they lik e d to discuss things with you. They always had a nice thing to say walking down the hall...They coached us or ran some sort of club and that's where, I think, you r e a l l y get to know the teacher better, just in a smaller group s e t t i n g , something d i f f e r e n t from up in a classroom s e t t i n g . Sam could not remember any p a r t i c u l a r elementary teachers because he says that he moved around a lot during those years. He just had a vague r e c o l l e c t i o n that " i f you showed maturity, they treated you l i k e a small adult". Apparently, changing schools a lot prevented him from bui l d i n g up a strong i n i t i a l image of h i s teachers...and perhaps the constant moving was also a negative factor. At the university l e v e l , Sam r e c a l l e d three "profs" who stuck out in h i s mind. The f i r s t two were Biochemistry and Chemistry teachers, and the t h i r d was from h i s teacher t r a i n i n g year. In h i s description of these teachers, Sam was very enthusiastic! On the science "profs.": Sam: ...they made the course much more pleasurable to be In. They used some humour in their teaching; used a number of diff e r e n t teaching strategies, such as not just straight overhead notes; they incorporated some demonstrations or something d i f f e r e n t out of the ordinary than other profs., instead of just getting up there and lecturing the whole way through. 72 On the teacher t r a i n i n g year "prof.": Sam: Very enthusiastic. In a sense, that supports another attribute of the other two. Wandering around the classroom, l i k e maybe put the notes on...like step back into the audience to see what they wrote and ask questions...and you weren't a f r a i d to ask questions. In p a r t i c u l a r , in t h i s f i f t h year, Incredibly knowledgeable about how they teach s t u f f . I mean, he was the Science Education prof, and at eight o'clock in the morning, incredibly enthusiastic about the job...he would wake you up b a s i c a l l y . Always smiling always got something posit i v e to say, no matter, even i f i t ' s a t e r r i b l e job he would f i n d something p o s i t i v e to say about i t . Very enthusiastic tone in h i s voice. Sam's espoused theories of teaching seem to be based on the pos i t i v e elements just discussed. Sam: ...I t r i e d to take that enthusiastic approach. I think i f the kids can be entertained in some way, they don't f i n d the cla s s as boring or as...I think t h e y ' l l also learn, maybe pick-up on something, even If you say i t in a funny way or whatever, th e y ' l l hang onto i t better. Sam did however r e c a l l some negative aspects of teachers, but only at the university l e v e l . He commented on thei r monotone voices, i n a b i l i t y to communicate with the undergrads, and inadequate responses to questions. He also f e l t that the ones he didn't l i k e were "so high above us and they didn't come down to our l e v e l " . This i s in keeping with h i s e a r l i e r comments regarding the hierarchy of professions, and hi s place In the system. 73 Summary Sam i s a beginning teacher. He decided to opt for teaching as a career midway through h i s undergrad. program. His family were supportive of h i s career choice, although they may have hoped that he would choose one of h i s "higher" career ambitions. A posi t i v e experience tutoring a student f i n a l l y convinced Sam to teach. Sam views teaching to a certain extent as a service. He f e e l s that i t i s important to be involved in a l l aspects of teaching. At t h i s stage in h i s career l i f e c y c l e , Sam i s not firmly committed to teaching. If he does change careers, i t would most l i k e l y be for a teaching position at a post-secondary i n s t i t u t i o n . Sam's high school days had a po s i t i v e e f f e c t on him. Sam describes the teachers who he r e c a l l s in a pos i t i v e light as being...personable; humorous; Involved in school a c t i v i t i e s ; very enthusiastic; discussed things with you; c i r c u l a t e d around the cl a s s ; e f f e c t i v e communicators; good at question and answer; used di f f e r e n t methods; not just lecture and labs; entertaining...He also described some negative factors. They inc1ude...monotone voice; poor communicators; could not answer questions c l e a r l y ; were "above" the students... 74 Post-apprentice teachers; <3> Leona; Leona obtained a Bachelor of Science degree ln Marine Biology from St. John's Memorial University in Newfoundland. Prior to taking teacher t r a i n i n g at Simon Fraser University, Leona worked as a substitute teacher in town, and worked part time at the local Catholic school. Following her t r a i n i n g year, she worked for 6 months as a permanent substitute teacher in Vernon, B.C. The following September, she began a year of substitute teaching at Mountainview Secondary. Leona began f u l l time teaching at Mountainview in September 1981. She i s currently teaching Science 8, Science 10, and Biology 11. Leona spent a lot of her formative years ln t h i s community; her parents s t i l l l i v e here. She i s about 34 years old and s i n g l e . Leona would not be considered,an early or late entrant to teaching. Leona did not have any s p e c i f i c career goals ln mind. She r e c o l l e c t s that two teachers In town were factors in her decision to enter teaching. However, i t becomes apparent that her parents, especially her mother were major Influences in her career path. 75 Leona: My mother... 1 ikes to reminisce about me s i t t i n g on the doorstep with a l l the neighbourhood children, reading them a story and then having a test a f t e r . And then I started teaching swimming and was the swimming instructor and lifeguard before I went into teaching as a career. So she thinks, even though I wasn't in a school s e t t i n g , that was always where I was headed. SC: And what do you think? Leona: Looking back, mostly I agree. At the time, Leona doesn't recal1 wanting to be a teacher. She had o f f e r s of a Department of the Environment job in Ottawa, which she turned down. Leona: ...I didn't know what I wanted to do so...I sort of wandered around. But when I was working at the swimming pool, we had a school swimming program organized, Cli v e Penman (a p r i n c i p a l ) . B i l l Irvine (a teacher), and myself. Clive Penman c a l l e d me in to sub for B i l l Irvine and that's how i t started...he's (Clive) the one who brought up the papers to the swimming pool one day and said, here, f i l l t h i s i n . It was November and I said, "Well, what i s t h i s ? " , and he said, "I think you should be a teacher". Made me f i l l in the papers and I was accepted two weeks later and had to quit my job and drive down to Vancouver. That's you know, li k e I never did i t for myself. Apparently, teaching was an acceptable career for both Leona and her family. She enjoyed the "people" aspect of teaching, and had had some b r i e f p o s i t i v e experiences as an unqualified substitute teacher. Leona does not have a strong commitment to teaching. She does not view i t as necessarily a l i f e l o n g career. Leona indicates that she would lik e to get into p o l i t i c s , business, or some form of consulting. Her f r u s t r a t i o n , the 76 need to change, and to change things i s evident in the following comment. Leona: I got into teaching, I guess, because I thought, you know, you're sort of in charge of your own classroom and what you want as an environment, you can have. A l l the outside issues are s t a r t i n g to r e a l l y play on me and I feel almost li k e a puppet where I would li k e to be in some sort of more control of what I'm teaching and how I teach. Leona was asked about her past educational experiences. Leona: Well, I went to a convent for grade 11 and grade 12. They were very curriculum oriented and the teachers that stood out were the ones, not for their teaching a b i l i t y , more for their personality. There was one nun there who had come over and b u i l t the very f i r s t convent in Canada...she taught social studies. So i t wasn't learning from her, i t was l i s t e n i n g to her. Again, Leona's parents played a strong role in her upbringing, choosing to send her to a convent. The nun, who Leona speaks of, obviously had more to offe r than her colleagues... and that i s why she stands out in Leona's mind. S i m i l a r l y , Leona remembers a grade 4 teacher in a po s i t i v e light..."She f i r s t taught me about prejudice". Other teachers have made an impact on Leona's personal growth...she c i t e s " d i f f e r e n t methods...teaching styles...and personality" as the reason for their i nf1uence. At u n iversity, there were two teachers who stood but from the r e s t . One was a mammologlst, the other was "into organic gardening and communicating with whales by f l u t e . 77 So d i f f e r e n t ends of the spectrum". Leona was asked to describe what was d i f f e r e n t about them. Leona: Dr. Thrafull came in and lectured. Big booming voice, lots of examples, and humour, sort of...and the other professor was you know, came in with work boots, manure up to h i s elbows and sort of sat around in big c i r c u l a r tables and discussed ecology. Although appearance and s t y l e were d i f f e r e n t , both university professors were personable, and people with whom Leona could r e l a t e . Leona does not feel that her previous teachers at any level have influenced her teaching. She Indicates that she does not remember how they taught, she just enjoyed them or didn't. Summary Leona has taught for about 8 years. She did not intend to be a teacher, but i t seems that opportunities, and family (mother) pressures pushed her towards t h i s career. Her family i s very supportive of her decision to teach. Her experience as a swimming coach, and the influence of two teachers were also influencing factors. Leona i s not d i s s a t i s f i e d with her career choice, but she would l i k e to be able to have more control over things. She says that she i s not firmly committed to the profession. Although Leona does not feel that any of her past teachers influenced her teaching s t y l e , she does mention 78 some pos i t i v e a t t r i b u t e s of those teachers who s t i l l stand out In her mind...personality; used d i f f e r e n t methods; someone you could l i s t e n to; humorous; used lots of examples; could relate to them; more to o f f e r ; personable; taught about prejudice (positive values); d i f f e r e n t teaching s t y l e s ; enjoyable... (4) Pete: Pete graduated from the University of V i c t o r i a with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. He went on to the University of Waterloo where he obtained a Master of Science degree in Geophysics and Astronomy. He completed h i s teacher t r a i n i n g at U.Vic. Pete has taught for 10 years at Mountainview Secondary. Pete i s currently teaching one Physics 12, three Physics 11, one Earth Science 11, one Science and Technology 11, and one Science 9 c l a s s . Pete i s single, and about 36 years old. He does not have r e l a t i v e s in town; however, he does have r e l a t i v e s in nearby towns. His family i s from Prince George, B.C. where h i s father was a lab technician. Pete attended a private Catholic school for most of h i s formative school years. 79 Pete chose to go into high school teaching following hi s graduate degree as a secondary career choice. However, teaching had always been in h i s mind. Pete: ...the s i t u a t i o n at the time, sort of demanded that I change what I had planned to do. I had planned to go into university teaching. Get my Ph.D. and get into a university and do research. However, NASA was shutting down about that time, their f i r s t b i g shutdown. They were laying off a lot of physics types and the job market was r e a l l y crowded. So, I s t i l l intended to teach so I went into high school teaching instead. Pete has an aunt who i s a teacher. His family were ambivalent as far as h i s career choice, although they were supportive. Pete i s firmly committed to teaching as a career. Teaching i s a major component of h i s l i f e . Pete: I consider my l i f e as a whole, so what you do in one af f e c t s the other. Pete r e c a l l s one teacher, a p r i e s t at the Catholic school, who, he says, probably Influenced h i s own teaching s t y l e . I asked him why he r e c a l l e d t h i s person. Pete: He was an intere s t i n g guy. He did a lot with experimentation, so we did a lot of experiments in his c l a s s and you learned that way. The classes were small, single-graded, and lab experiments were conducted without a lab book. Pete does not r e c o l l e c t any outstanding features of h i s university days. Classes were quite t r a d i t i o n a l involving mostly lectures. Pete does not lecture, and so he says that these courses had l i t t l e bearing on h i s own teaching methodology. 80 He had l i t t l e regard for h i s teacher t r a i n i n g year, finding that the practicums were r e a l l y the only p o s i t i v e aspect. Pete p a r t i c u l a r l y remembers one in-service a c t i v i t y that d e f i n i t e l y l e f t an impression. Pete: The only thing that r e a l l y influenced me a lot in my teaching was going on a summer course in geology. It was sponsored by Shell Canada. It was a very hands-on thing. We got to deal a lot with, Just looking at materials and going places and things lik e that. So once again, i t was sort of a hands-on. SC: ...did you f i n d that you were able to use some of that experience in the classroom when you got back? Pete: You can to some degree. Like I try to keep a lot of rocks around. I try to get people interested in doing projects with rocks. Pete i s Interested in more creative and p r a c t i c a l aspects of teaching. From personal experience, I would characterize him as a progressive teacher. He Is w i l l i n g to try new ideas. For Instance, he s t i l l teaches science using an Integrated approach. I would characterize Leona the same way, but less so. Summary Pete had always wanted to be some sort of teacher. I n i t i a l l y he had wanted to be a post-secondary teacher. However, the job market at the time closed that avenue for him. Pete has taught for about 10 years, and i s firmly committed to h i s career. He has a r e l a t i v e who Is a 81 teacher. His family i s ambivalent as to h i s career choice. They were generally supportive of whatever he chose to do. Pete describes a teacher whom he r e c a l l s as...interesting; lots of experimentation without lab books... He says that a short-course that he took was an influence on h i s teaching. It was hands-on, going places, observing things...He says that the foregoing i s how he l i k e s to teach. He does not lecture. Experienced teachers; (5) Ron: Ron has a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesthesiology and a teaching diploma from Simon Fraser University (having t r a v e l l e d through Europe in between the two). Ron i s neither an early, nor late entrant to teaching. He has taught for 13 years at Mountainview Secondary. This year, he i s teaching Science 8, Science 9, and Biology 11. This i s Ron's f i r s t time teaching f u l l - t i m e science. He has taught mostly physical education during h i s career, although he did teach a couple of Junior science courses a number of years ago. He chose to teach science t h i s year as a way of making himself more marketable, as he would l i k e to move next year. 82 Ron i s about 39. He i s married with two young children. His wife i s also a teacher at the secondary school. Ron was asked why he chose teaching as a career. Coaching and teacher influence were c i t e d as the predominant reasons. Although there may have been other extenuating circumstances. Apparently, Ron's family was not p a r t i c u l a r l y supportive. Ron: I'm the only member of my family who even went to university, out of six kids...my family was very noncommi t a l . I detected a s l i g h t note of bitterness in Ron's tone. Ron's career goals were set high. He was at one point accepted to medical school in Newfoundland, but chose teaching anyway. Perhaps there i s a sense of disappointment here — both ln Ron's mind, and h i s parents. Ron: I wanted to be an athlete. I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be a teacher...I had to choose between the two and i t just came down to which took too 1 ong. In the end, time may not have been as much a factor as f i n a n c i a l considerations, and distance away from home — although, I did not pursue t h i s . Ron had sa i d that a couple of teachers had also influenced h i s career choice. He was asked to expand on t h i s comment. 83 Ron: I had a former English sergeant-major who taught social studies and i t was r e a l l y e x c i t i n g . Not only did he know a lot but he (had) l i v e d a l o t , quite a bi t of it...He had fought in India and a l l over the place...he was an old-timer. He was s t r i c t l y a lecturer and you work and you be quiet and work. But i t was a dramatic, e x c i t i n g lecture... I can't say that I've had a science teacher who excited me. I had some English teachers who were r e a l l y e x c i t i n g , who r e a l l y got us going and we did r e a l l y e x c i t i n g things. I always like d P.E. too. Actually, I like d P.E. and I thought there were ways that i t could be done better. Clearly, Ron's description of h i s former teachers indicate that they had a marked impact on him. These memories stay with him because the teachers were able to add to the t r a d i t i o n a l lessons and capture Ron's attention. I would argue that Ron's espoused teaching methodology closely resembles the previous description. This becomes evident later on when Ron discusses h i s own teaching. University courses did not hold much att r a c t i o n for Ron, p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s teacher t r a i n i n g year. Ron: I must admit that the education courses were the most boring I've ever experienced in my l i f e . I took one course in physical education teaching that was exc i t i n g , when the guy was actually teaching us things that were useful. The science people were try i n g to t e l l us about how you could do directed studies and a l l t h i s kind of stu f f and then i f you went and researched i t a b i t you found that they worked well as long as you had a "wasp" upper-class classroom, and i f you had anything else they didn't work. Again, there i s a certain amount of f r u s t r a t i o n expressed here. It seems to be a r i s i n g from Ron's personal background. There i s a need to consider how these feelings have contributed to Ron's personal knowledge of teaching. 64 Summary Ron has taught most of h i s 13 years in the P.E department. He chose to switch to science t h i s year in order to improve h i s job prospects elsewhere. Ron's family do not seem to be very supportive of h i s career decision. Coaching and teacher influence were the reasons for him choosing teaching. Ron i s committed to teaching. His wife i s a teacher, and there are teachers in her family. Ron had the dilemma of choosing between teaching and medicine. He indicates that time was a factor in h i s f i n a l choice, although other reasons may also have swayed him. He i s perhaps wondering what i t might have been l i k e i f he had chosen the other career path. Ron uses the following terminology to describe the sergeant-major/teacher whom he r e c a l l s v i v i d l y . . . e x c i t i n g ; dramatic; knew a lot ; had li v e d a l o t ; s t r i c t l y a lecturer; work...be quiet...work; did e x c i t i n g things... Ron also remembers some negative aspects of schooling, mostly at universlty...boring, out of touch; didn't apply to the real worId... <6> Dave t Dave has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and a teacher t r a i n i n g diploma, both from Simon Fraser 85 University. He was an early entrant to teaching (age about 22-23) and has taught for 16 years, a l l at Mountainview Secondary. Currently, Dave i s teaching Chemistry 11 and 12, Science 8, Science 9, and Modified Science 9. Dave i s about 39. He i s married with two young children. His wife i s also a teacher, but has not taught for a few years. Dave does not have any other r e l a t i v e s in town. Dave commented on why he chose teaching. He did not r e a l l y have a clear career path in mind u n t i l late in h i s f i n a l year. He stated three reasons for h i s decision. Dave: One, I l i k e d working with young people. Two, I'd helped other people and found that I was successful at it...and three, I wasn't p a r t i c u l a r l y interested in the other options available to me. Dave was asked to elaborate on h i s reasons for choosing teaching. Dave: I had...well, at that time I was young as well, but I had helped classmates in school, that sort of thing. I helped my brother with some things. It seems that being "young" was a factor. Perhaps Dave considered himself young enough to try teaching...and i f things didn't work out, then he could s t i l l try something else. Dave i s pragmatic enough to consider these options. This logic i s evidential in the previous few paragraphs. Family support in a general way was also present. Dave's brother was already accepting him as a 86 tutor. Dave also has four or f i v e r e l a t i v e s who are in teaching. One i s a superintendent in Saskatchewan. Dave was asked i f h i s family accepted h i s career choice. Dave: Oh I don't r e a l l y have a problem with i t . I enjoy teaching. I don't think that i t was a p a r t i c u l a r l y i l l u s t r i o u s position or p a r t i c u l a r l y d i s t a s t e f u l or anything. During h i s early years, Dave had always favoured the "science-technical" side. He had at times wanted to be a chemist and others, an ar c h i t e c t . He did not mention teaching. He did expect to be working in some form of science. Interestingly, i t seems that the post-sputnik era generally had an impact. Dave: Yes. General law in the s60's, you were going to get a job in science. When asked about whether any of h i s school teachers had made an impression on him, Dave described a math teacher in p a r t i c u l a r . Dave: . . . i t was about halfway through the course before I re a l i z e d we'd taken up anything new. It was just so smooth, e f f o r t l e s s . A Chemistry teacher, he was very good. Had a very wry sense of humour. Same thing with junior high English teacher... and a Socials teacher. Sense of humour stands out, and e f f i c i e n c y . Dave commented that the teachers were quite t r a d i t i o n a l in their sty 1e...1ectures, labs...I asked him i f he incorporates anything from those days in h i s classes. Dave: I enjoyed people with a sense of humour, so I try to include that in my thing. But that's not because of a teacher, i t ' s Just the way I am. 87 We then turned to Dave's university years. He r e c a l l s that the only useful aspects of h i s teacher t r a i n i n g year were the p r a c t l c a . His undergrad. experience, i f anything, tended to reinforce Dave's own feelings for science. Dave: Well, c e r t a i n l y love of science because I found many good topics r e a l l y fascinating. I c e r t a i n l y value higher education and promoting students going on in education, i f at a l l possible. More of a generalist approach to science questions in that they're not s p e c i f i c a l l y a question, they were much broader than a p r a c t i c a l question, whether i t ' s how they relate to society or whatever. Dave espouses a p r a c t i c a l philosophy about science, science should have meaning...and yet, Dave i s very t r a d i t i o n a l i s t in h i s approach to science pedagogy. This i s r e f l e c t e d further in h i s comments about one p a r t i c u l a r Chemistry teacher who springs to mind from time to time. Dave: A certain happiness about...the one I'm thinking of right now i s chemistry, <he) just seemed to be r e a l l y happy about chemistry...happy of what he's doing, happy to teach i t , happy to talk about i t . Very good at i t , to talk about i t and explain i t . So he just seemed to be, I don't know, he seemed to be enjoying i t and the enthusiasm sort of was catching. Dave was then asked to describe the teaching s t y l e of the Chemistry teacher in more d e t a i l . Dave: I'd say probably straight forward would be the best. He was very we 11-organized. You could t e l l that he'd taught the course for a number of years and so he'd anticipate a l l the problems, and he had h i s notes a l l outlined, and he had h i s hand-outs, h i s patter or whatever you want to c a l l i t . Very we 11-organized and yet s t i l l enthusiastic about i t . SC: Did he use the overhead, blackboard...? 88 Dave: Yes, overhead. He came prepared with transparencies. Although Dave commented later that he didn't feel that h i s university professors were of much "value" in terms of h i s own teaching, I would argue that Dave closely empathizes with t h i s p a r t i c u l a r Chemistry teacher. Summary Dave has taught for about 16 years. He was an early entrant to the profession. His wife i s a teacher, but has chosen to work at home while their children are young. For Dave, teaching i s a lifetime career. Dave states three reasons for going into teaching: he like d working with young people; he had been successful in tutoring others; and he did not see any other careers of interest. There was general family support for h i s career choice. Four or f i v e r e l a t i v e s are in the teaching profession. Dave favours the "science-technical" side of things. He had variously wanted to be a chemist, an architect...something in science. Dave was able to describe the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of teachers who he r e c a l l s from time to time... smooth; e f f o r t l e s s ; very good; humorous; e f f i c i e n t ; t r a d i t i o n a l in s t y l e ; lecture-lab approach; happiness; happiness about what he i s doing; talks about i t ; explains i t ; enjoying i t ; enthusiasm; straight forward; anticipatory; prepared; wel1-organ!zed... 89 4.2.2 Teachers' Perceptions of Teaching This category i s taken to mean a teacher's knowledge of what teachers should know; and what constitutes "good teaching"...What makes a teacher successful, and how does t h i s a r i s e . I was interested in t r y i n g to get at their personal knowledge of teaching. In subsequent questions, I attempt to f i n d more det a i l by asking the part i c i p a n t s to c l a r i f y t heir own p r i o r knowledge of teaching. Apprentice teachers; CD Bettv; Some people enter teaching with a view of o f f e r i n g service to others. To a certain extent, Sam alluded to t h i s in h i s reasoning for entering teaching. Some people enter teaching with almost a mission in mind. The following question was asked of a l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s . SC; Some people have said that teaching i s a c a l l i n g . Others have said that you are born with the a b i l i t y to teach. Can you comment on these notions? Betty: I've always enjoyed working with people, even those people that are having d i f f i c u l t i e s . For most of the time, I feel that I was just an average student and I had to work for things...and so thinking back about how I was, I l i k e to help those who are having d i f f i c u l t i e s . 90 Again, there i s a service element in what Betty i s t r y i n g to say. Betty was asked to c l a r i f y how she knew how to teach. In her response, she indicated her a b i l i t y to re l a t e well with others, es p e c i a l l y with the younger "crop". She f e l t that her d i s p o s i t i o n was personable. When asked to consider the following question, Betty indicated that there i s a commonality amongst teachers, in terms of the i r teaching methods, routines, and exemplars. SC: Would you say i f you considered a l l teachers, not just Science teachers, how would you think their teaching routines, and their ways of doing things, how common do you think they are? Is there a commonality there or i s everyone quite d i f f e r e n t ? Betty: ...I think there i s . I think a lot of It i s f a i r l y common because nowadays a lot of people use the lecture method, I mean, that's the most used, so that's going to be a common area. How they get i t across to students i s their own way, whether they're a l i v e or monotone or whatever. Her expectation was that most teachers lecture, and i t i s how well that they do t h i s that makes a teacher successful. Clearly, the "lecture method" in Betty's terms i s Just a tool for teaching...a way of doing things. The performance i s everything. Her response needed more c l a r i f i c a t i o n . . . SC: Consider a P.E. teacher, for instance. What i s s i m i l a r between a P.E. teacher and a Science teacher, in their routines, their b e l i e f s , s trategies and so on? Betty: I have to get across to the students that what they're learning i s important to them, and I have to t i e that ln somehow and get them to understand that 91 because that's a common question, "Why do I need this?" I do r e a l l y believe that being physically active, l i k e after you get past school i s r e a l l y important. So that's Physical Education...and then I do believe that the sciences t i e s into everyday 1 i f e . Betty i s viewing education in a wholistic sense. In t h i s case, she sees Physical Education and Science as being a part of the entire educational process. Without s t a t i n g i t , Betty intimates that the problems of both d i s c i p l i n e s are simi1ar...and the need to rel a t e the importance of both strands to everyday l i f e i s a commonality. As a follow-up to some previous questions, I wanted to f i n d out what Betty thinks are the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a "good" teacher. I asked t h i s question near the end of the interview, separated from the questions regarding her past teachers and her own teaching. I did not want Betty to immediately repeat previous responses. Following her i n i t i a l response I pursued the questioning a l i t t l e more. Betty: Being able to understand where the students are coming from. You have to analyze them and try to determine what types of things they need to learn. SC: I'd lik e to pursue the...re 1 at 1onship, I can see between your Science teacher that you r e c a l l , how that person taught and your perceptions of how you think you are and how you perceive a good teacher should be... Betty: The teacher has to be understanding. That's the personality end, they have to understand...and they have to u t i l i z e d i f f e r e n t methods of getting something across to students especially when they are having d i f f i c u 1 t i e s . . . s o they have to vary their teaching methods for the students. 92 I was t r y i n g to get a deeper sense of Betty's thoughts on teaching. I came back to t h i s question again towards the end of the interview. SC: I'd l i k e to focus one more time on this...you've talked about the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a good teacher and your perceptions of who you r e c a l l perhaps influencing you. Can you comment a l i t t l e further on that, in terms of how you feel teachers become good teachers? Betty: They have to, I think, pass on the fact that t h i s course can be inte r e s t i n g and why they'd enjoy i t , and pass that on to the student...make i t Interesting for them...tie i t into everyday l i v i n g , If possible, because kids do not see, they can't understand why learning about t h i s or that i s important s t u f f , l i k e they'll never use i t again. Summary Betty enjoys working With people. She l i k e s to help those people who are having d i f f i c u l t i e s . There i s a certain "service" element to her perception of teaching. Betty f e e l s that her a b i l i t y to relate well with children, and her personable nature are the at t r i b u t e s that have enabled her to teach. Betty believes that there i s a commonality amongst teachers in terms of teaching methods, routines, and exemplars. She thinks that most teachers use the lecture method. She i d e n t i f i e s differences in teaching s t y l e . . . 1 i v e l y or monotone... Betty believes that teachers have s i m i l a r problems to address with students ("why do I 93 need t h i s ? " ) , the need to relate schooling to everyday l i f e . Betty used the following terminology to describe her constructs of a "good" teacher (paraphrased): able to understand the students; able to analyze the students, and ascertain their needs; understanding; personality; u t i l i z e d i f f e r e n t methods; vary their teaching methods to account for those with d i f f e r i n g a b i l i t i e s ; convey interest; relate to everyday l i v i n g . . . (2) Sam: Sam was asked for h i s understanding of how a teacher becomes a teacher. Sam: ...whether you're born or not to be a teacher, I'm not sure about that, but I think there are people that have t h i s t r a i t to get the point across a l i t t l e b i t d i f f e r e n t l y or more than understandable for somebody that i s maybe having d i f f i c u l t y learning or just s t a r t i n g to learn. Whether i t ' s an a b i l i t y , I'm not sure. I think with the environment that you're brought up in you could develop t h i s t r a i t . I think you have to, I'm not sure i f you have to be out-going or not, but I think that i f you can have t h i s a b i l i t y to communicate and whether i t be at the teaching profession or something else, i t depends on what the person's interested i n . Sam's response i s si m i l a r to Betty's. He believes that there must be something c a l l e d a " t r a i t " — not necessarily in a genetic sense. This a b i l i t y i s one that can evolve over time. His response gives an impression that 94 the refinement of these a b i l i t i e s takes place over the long term. I asked Sam how i t was that he knew how to teach --even before h i s p r a c t i c a . He didn't question the assumption that, in f a c t , he did know how to teach at that stage. Sam: ...the previous teachers that I had, the ones that I f e l t were successful in getting the point across, I t r i e d to " i d o l i z e " them in a way...the courses that I found I enjoyed the most seemed to...there was something to do with their teaching strategies, not so much that they were knowledgeable in their subject but, they may not be as knowledgeable as one person, but they did something d i f f e r e n t to make i t better. I asked Sam to what extent he thought the b e l i e f s , the routines, the practices of teachers are common (or d i s s i m i l a r ) between subject area teachers and even between levels of teachers? Sam: I think i f there i s a commonality, one of them d e f i n i t e l y has to be enthusiasm. If they are enjoying their job and l e t t i n g the students see that they're enjoying the job, I think the students probably enjoy the c l a s s better. Rather than somebody that just comes in and just goes, "Let's do t h i s and t h i s " . One of the ones that I can think of...gets involved. I think i f a teacher gets involved on a l i t t l e b i t more personal level with the students, I think the students see that, "Hey, you know, t h i s guy isn't so high-powered, but you s t i l l have to respect him but he's coming down to meet us at our l e v e l " . I think that would be a commonality of successful teachers. Sam has a clear v i s i o n of what constitutes a "good" teacher. I don't believe that we r e a l l y got at the Intended question. His response i s somewhat s u p e r f i c i a l , and a l i t t l e s i m i l a r to Betty's f e e l i n g s . He views "enthusiasm", and "involvement" as necessary c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of good 95 teaching, but does not refer to the commonality of function that I was tr y i n g to address. I asked Sam what he f e l t were the q u a l i t i e s of a "good" teacher. Sam: I think enthusiasm for sure. Sort of t h i s personal touch, getting down on the kids level but s t i l l maintaining a hierarchy system, I guess. They have to...you can't get down to their level a l l the time, there's a respect in your cl a s s . Knowledgeable in your subject area. To be able to bring in interest and i t ' s not just from things that the curriculum mentions but i f you have things that you know you can bring i n . Summary Sam believes that there i s an a b i l i t y , possibly innate, or knack to teaching...a t r a i t that enables one to get the point across a l i t t l e b i t different1y...more understandable for somebody that i s maybe having d i f f i c u l t y learning or just s t a r t i n g to learn. Sam uses terms such as: out-going, communicative, and interested to describe t h i s a b i l i t y . It i s environmentally enhanced, and develops over time. Sam t r i e s to mimic h i s successful teachers... the ones that got the point across, or used d i f f e r e n t techniques. Sam describes the commonality among successful teachers using words such as: enthusiasm; enjoying the job; gets involved; on a personal l e v e l ; generates respect; 96 Sam used words l i k e the following to depict h i s concept of a "good" teacher: enthusiasm; personal touch; down at the kids l e v e l ; respect; rapport; knowledgeable; generate interest; go beyond the regular curriculum... Post-apprentice teachers: (3) Leona: Leona was asked the opening question in t h i s section. She commented on her views of teacher development. Leona: I don't know. With me, obviously, my mom, you know, my parents and everybody around me saw i t and sort of guided me along and I hesitated. You know, so I don't know, maybe. She saw It when I was in grade 3. There i s a f e e l i n g of "knowing teaching" at an early age. Leona again re f e r s to the influence of her mother. When asked how she knew what to do when f i r s t faced with a room f u l l of students, Leona Indicated that her previous experiences as a swimming instructor, and from when she had worked with handicapped children had provided her with the requ i s i t e s k i l l s . She stated emphatically that her teacher t r a i n i n g was not the source of her knowledge. Leona was asked to describe her b e l i e f s with regard to the commonality of teaching amongst d i f f e r e n t segments. 97 SC: In your opinion, to what extent do you think the b e l i e f s , the routines, the way teachers act, are the same, are s i m i l a r , in terms of say a Science teacher, a P.E. teacher, d i f f e r e n t levels of teachers? Do you think there are any s i m i l a r i t i e s in terms of a general teacher? Leona: ...I u t i l i z e a lot from what I see from other teachers that works with them. But I also know that, percentage-wise you can't reach a l l the kids with your personality. Some people w i l l l i k e you or not li k e you. Some people w i l l l i k e the way you teach and learn from you. Unfortunately, we are teachers. We don't get to go into other teachers' classrooms and see what they do because we're busy al1 the t ime. Leona's response r e f l e c t e d her greater teaching experience. She indicates that one's "trlcks-of-the-trade", so to speak, are learned while p r a c t i c i n g the profession. Her comments regarding "personality" run counter to the b e l i e f s held by the two apprentice teachers. Leona believes that the q u a l i t i e s of a good teacher are the same as for any job...a commitment to the job. Being f u l l y prepared < " 1 1 0 % " ) t ready to provide a service, and being f l e x i b l e . Summary Leona has a f e e l i n g of being able to teach at an early age. Leona believes that she was more or less s e l f taught in teaching s k i l l s . Her previous Job experiences were more of an influence than her teacher t r a i n i n g year. Leona sees a commonality amongst teaching because, as much 98 as we are able, we learn from each other. She thinks that personality i s a common feature but i t isn't the only factor. Job commitment, being 110% prepared, f l e x i b i l i t y , and ready to provide a service are the elements of a "good" teacher in Leona's opinion. <4> Pete; Pete did not accept the argument that "people are born with the a b i l i t y to teach", yet he did feel that there are some basic prerequirements necessary to becoming an e f f e c t i v e teacher. Pete: ...some people feel better with children than other people do. I think that in order to run a classroom properly you have to be able to keep control and some people aren't able to do that or get their ideas across very well. I mean, you have to have some s k i l l s , anyway, to be a teacher...most of those people, f i r s t of a l l , want to teach. Pete was asked why he teaches in the way that he does. He f e l t that by using "hands-on" a c t i v i t i e s , he would be able to c i r c u l a t e more and respond to more of the student's needs. I asked Pete i f he saw a commonality amongst teachers in terms of their b e l i e f s , routines, and pr a c t i c e s . He finds that the basic methods are s i m i l a r . I probed a l i t t l e deeper, and asked him to compare two 99 completely d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s : a grade 12 class and a grade 1 c 1 ass. Pete: There's s i m i l a r i t y of course. I mean, a course with younger children you can't keep them doing one thing for very long so you have to switch an awful lot of the time. But you know, you give them hands-on things to do, you talk to them, you get them to do things, you do things. Pete seems to think that there i s a good deal of overlap between segments of the organization. He sees many of the routines as being s i m i l a r . There are s i m i l a r ways of doing things and handling certain problems, whether you are a primary school teacher or a senior secondary teacher. I would surmise that even within a segment as small as a school department there i s a degree of commonality. Pete's responses tend to support t h i s notion. When questioned further, Pete explained that h i s basic repertoire of classroom management stemmed from h i s practlcum experiences. Pete: . . . l i t t l e things l i k e c lass control, how to talk to the c l a s s , what to do, learn the order to do i t in, st u f f 1 ike that. It i s precisely these " l i t t l e things" or " s t u f f " that Pete ref e r s to that I believe are the essential elements of the core profession. If there i s commonality in functional paradigms, i t l i e s in these "tricks-of-the-trade", ways of dealing with the day to day necessities of teaching, the routines needed to get the message across. 100 Pete had a practice teacher <pre-apprentice teacher) in h i s classroom last year. I wanted to see i f what he had just t o l d me was also conveyed to the teacher on practicum. Pete: ...I sort of did the same thing that one of my practice teachers did. What he did, was leave me alone for a while and then he came back and listened in on us and then gave me a few hints, went away again, and came back again...when you're f i r s t l e f t alone in a course, you sweat...(you) make sure that the whole class i s l i s t e n i n g , that people aren't doing something that, you know, i s inappropriate or whatever. SC: If I was to take t h i s idea of commonality between teachers,... how might t h i s be of use to a person or a group of people who are planning a curriculum change in any topic area,...in t h i s case...science? Pete: You'd probably come up with some things that you couldn't do, or you couldn't do right off the bat. I think there always has to be that. A teacher i s always looking for some sort of structure, at least at the very beginning, unless the students have been doing something in the last lesson that c a r r i e s over, which you don't need very much then. But you always have to have some sort of structure at the start of a lesson. So i f you're designing something, i t always has to have something, I'm not saying there has to be a set, but there has to be something that gets everybody going. In the above paragraph, Pete has i d e n t i f i e d another commonality that i s understood to be a standard of prac t i c e . Structure and organization in terms of lesson preparation i s the norm. Pete commented on the q u a l i t i e s of a "good" teacher. Pete: ...an interest in the kids. You usually get involved f a i r l y well with the students. If you looked at what they c a l l "master teachers" some of those have quite a f l a i r to them. They have a very inte r e s t i n g personality which makes them above average. 101 Personality, involvement, and enthusiasm are common themes running through most of the responses. There i s c l e a r l y a s i m i l a r expectation of what i s good in a teacher. Whether t h i s image i s a f a l s e , perhaps stereotypic picture remains to be seen. Summary Pete believes that there are some basic r e q u i s i t e s or s k i l l s to be a teacher. He mentioned: being comfortable with children; maintaining classroom control; being able to communicate ideas; must want to be a teacher... In terms of commonalities among teachers, Pete finds that there i s overlap ln terms of teachers'" routines, but not necessarily ln teaching s t y l e . He also finds that there are s i m i l a r problems, and s i m i l a r ways of solving the problems. For instance: maintaining Interest with students; providing hands-on a c t i v i t i e s ; communication; class control; organization; and structure are common. Pete uses descriptors s i m i l a r to the following to describe the q u a l i t i e s of a "good" teacher: Interest in kids; involved; f l a i r ; interesting; personality; above average. 102 Experienced teachers; (5) Ron: Ron was asked to comment on the f i r s t question in t h i s section. E s s e n t i a l l y , how i s i t that people know how to teach? SC: Some people have said that teaching i s a c a l l i n g . Others have said that you are born with the a b i l i t y to teach. Can you comment on these notions? Ron: I think i t ' s partly true. I think that personality probably plays a more important role in teaching than in anything else. People who have boring p e r s o n a l i t i e s tend to teach with a boring s t y l e and people who are out-going tend to be quite successful. But I think people can be taught to teach. There are a lot of techniques out there that people can be taught that would r e a l l y help them. Ron was then asked how i t came about that he knew how to teach. He said that he had learned a lot from the extended p r a c t i c a that he took at SFU. When commenting on the s i m i l a r i t e s between teachers, Ron thought that teachers have a lot in common...but they must be able to learn by watching others and p r a c t i c i n g what they see. This i s in keeping with Leona's comments e a r l i e r . She mentioned the lack of available time to learn from others by watching them teach. Ron: ...I don't think you can categorize them. Like I don't think you can say, li k e the "Madeline Hunter" s t u f f . I don't think you can say that t h i s i s the only good way. Somebody might do everything 103 seemingly wrong and yet their kids may be learning a lot because their personality i s such that that works for them. So I think i t ' s impossible to categorize but on the other hand, I think that probably good teachers do a lot of things in common...and i f you want teachers to do good things you have to expose them to them. This i s an example. I know that In C a l i f o r n i a they wanted "Madeline Hunter" in t h i s one school d i s t r i c t that my father-in-law was involved in. So what they did was they taught i t to the p r i n c i p a l s , and they taught i t to people that they considered master teachers in the schools and gave them time off school to go and learn i t , and then...any teacher who wanted to be exposed to t h i s could contact the administration, and then they and the master teacher got time off school to go and work...and what happened was that people in the school were using i t and saying that, "Oh, t h i s i s r e a l l y working well", and other people wanted to learn i t and so they did. SC: The same example has been put forward in t h i s school d i s t r i c t and others. For example in t h i s school d i s t r i c t , why do you think i t has not taken of f ? Ron: F i r s t of al 1, I don't think that the people at the top even understand i t . They have no conception. They think i t ' s an evaluation t o o l . Secondly, because they haven't given any lead time, they just drop things, and of course, everybody r e s i s t s being dropped on...and t h i r d l y , because they haven't given any time for people to learn i t . If they had taken some examples and taught i t to them and had people going around saying how well i t worked, then probably everyone would want to use i t . Ron also f e l t there are s i m i l a r i t i e s in teaching P.E. to Science. Ron: I think i t ' s very s i m i l a r . The kids in P.E. are very interested in how their bodies work and why t h e i r bodies work. So you can often Interest them in things that they might not be interested in just by b u i l d i n g i t up a l i t t l e b i t and giving them a l i t t l e extra information. Ron's comments here are int e r e s t i n g in terms of bringing about change at the classroom l e v e l . He i s saying that to be f u l l y implemented, teachers must be given the 104 chance to "know" the change. They must be given the opportunity to inter n a l i z e the changes. To match them with the paradigms that they have b u i l t up over the years...and to adjust, i f possible. Ron's reference to the "Madeline Hunter" and the " e f f e c t i v e schools" movement i s a good example of a major s h i f t , which required s i g n i f i c a n t changes by the p r a c t i t i o n e r s . In some areas, the change contemplated may have been so r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t from the teachers' common funtional paradigms that i t was rejected holus-bolus, and yet the change was not rejected in other areas — such as in C a l i f o r n i a ! Ron responded to the question concerning the q u a l i t i e s of a "good" teacher. He f e l t that f i r s t and foremost, i s that the teacher should li k e children. He went on to state that he believed that some teachers do not p a r t i c u l a r l y l i k e children. Ron: ...a lot...don't r e a l l y l i k e children, they l i k e their subject and the subject i s probably the least important thing in the whole building. The second thing, I think, i s that teachers have to be outgoing. It's r e a l l y d i f f i c u l t to be a good teacher i f you're a withdrawn kind of person because you're in front of t h i r t y people, you've got to do something. The t h i r d thing I guess i s , you've got to be w i l l i n g to work. I come up with a l l kinds of c l a s s i c stupid l i t t l e things but to me they're the kinds of things that show you. A student comes to you and says, "I l e f t my coat in your room can you come and open the door", and i t ' s f i v e hundred steps, teachers won't go, they're lazy. Teachers take the last cup of coffee and leave a quarter of an inch in the bottom of the pot and they're lazy, 105 right? I don't see how you can be a good teacher, and be lazy. Ron was quite emphatic about the l a t t e r point. It had obviously been plaguing him for some time. He believes that " l o t s " of teachers are too subject-conscious. His willingness to give up 13 years of teaching P.E. to pick up f u l l time science Indicates to me that he i s not in t h i s category. Ron i s c e r t a i n l y outgoing. His "gym-voice", coaching, willingness to speak out and express views are a l l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s that are counter to h i s second point above. Ron would l i k e l y c l a s s i f y himself as a "good" teacher using h i s c r i t e r i a . Summary Ron believes that an out-going personality i s an essential element of good teaching. He believes that there are increasing degrees of t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , and people can acquire the techniques of teaching through learning experiences. Ron's own a b i l i t y to teach came through experience on hi s p r a c t l c a . He believes that there i s a lot in common amongst teachers. However, their approaches may d i f f e r . Ron outlined three reasons for the f a i l u r e in the implementation of certain Innovations: a lack of understanding of the contemplated change by some of the 106 stake holders; the imposition of the change with no lead time; and the lack of release time to actually implement the innovation. He f e e l s that these are problems common to the profession. Ron also sees a commonality across d i s c i p l i n e s . For instance, developing an interest in students, the students own interests, and the need to provide enrichment are sim i l a r e n t i t i e s , no matter what the course i s . Ron fe e l s that a "good" teacher can be characterized by the following sorts of features: l i k e s children; child-centered rather than subject-centered; out-going; w i l l i n g to work hard... <6> Dave: Dave does not believe that Just anyone can teach. He thinks that above a l l , you must lik e children — no matter what level you are teaching. A second requirement, according to Dave, i s that you have to be "reasonably clever". Dave was asked how he knew how to teach in the beginning. Dave: Well, I probably didn't...I just had the information. You have the information, you have the students, and then you have to match. You follow the stock plan, but then you always...1 ike the f i r s t year of teaching was taking t h i s plan and adapting i t in your own words. 107 Dave fe e l s that there i s some sort of standard way of teaching. We use i t to survive with during the f i r s t while in the classroom, and then revise i t to suit our individual ways. I probed a l i t t l e deeper, and asked Dave how common or idiosyncratic he thought the b e l i e f s , goals, routines, or problems faced by teachers were. Dave: ...I don't think that there i s that much ln common, besides the problems with the di f f e r e n t courses you are teaching. You know, the difference between teaching P.E., teaching French, or something l i k e that. There are basic things that you have to, that have to be there, respect and getting down to work, that sort of thing. But as far as the method of teaching or the actual approach you take, there's such a wide v a r i a t i o n . SC: Would you say that same variation e x i s t s in the Science Department or any department in t h i s school? Dave: Well, the closer an area you get the more overlap you get, I suppose. But s t i l l then, you're going to have a wide variation of teaching s t y l e s , teaching approaches. Dave's response i s sim i l a r to Pete's. Dave sees that there are certain aspects of teaching that must be common. However, even at the department l e v e l , there are basic differences in teaching s t y l e s , approaches and so for t h . Dave described what he considers to be some c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a good teacher. Dave: Well, patience. There are a lot of f r u s t r a t i n g s i t u a t i o n s . There's a lot of work. Hard-working. Clever. A real warm love of students, whatever the students may be. Observant, dynamic, honest. A model. 108 Summary Dave believes that there i s something inherent in teachers that makes them what they are. He says that a real love for children i s a common feature. Teaching i s an evolutionary process according to Dave...You have a stock plan (common to teachers) that i s adapted as the s i t u a t i o n requires. Dave sees a wide variation in methodology, but a commonality in terms of problems, need for respect, structure...getting down to work. He f e e l s that the more narrowly defined the group, the more overlap there i s in teaching. In describing h i s conceptions of a "good" teacher, Dave used words l i k e : patience; hard work; clever; love of students; observant; dynamic; honest; a role model. 4.2.2.1 Summary of teachers' perceptions of t e a c h i n g There are three elements within t h i s category that emerge from the teacher interviews: 1. E f f e c t i v e teachers are perceived as being student-centered; they have a good personality; they are w i l l i n g to go beyond the regular curriculum; and they re l a t e topics to everyday l i v i n g . Such teachers generate interest; they are hard-working and enthusiastic about 109 teaching; and are knowledgeable about their subject. They are structured and we 11-organ 1 zed in their teaching. The q u a l i t i e s that constitute e f f e c t i v e teaching as described by the respondents are remarkably s i m i l a r . Aspects of the preceding description were captured in each of the par t i c i p a n t ' s perceptions of a "good" teacher. For example, Betty states that "the teacher has to be understanding. That's the personality end, they have to understand...and they have to u t i l i z e d i f f e r e n t methods of getting something across to students especially when they are having d i f f i c u l t i e s . . . s o they have to vary their teaching methods for the students". Pete believes that one must have "an interest in kids". He goes on to say that "you usually get involved f a i r l y well with the students. If you looked at what they c a l l "master teachers", some of those have quite a f l a i r to them. They have a very interesting personality which makes them above average". Ron f e e l s that "the foremost quality of a good teacher i s that they li k e children". He adds that they must also be outgoing, and hardworking. 2. Teaching problems and routines A l l the par t i c i p a n t s believe that there i s a certain degree of commonality amongst teachers. However, the s i m i l a r i t i e s are generally r e s t r i c t e d to the kinds of problems that teachers face, and 110 the routines that they follow. One problem, for example, i s in t r y i n g to make courses relevant. Betty, for instance, indicated: I have to get across to the students that what they're learning i s important to them, and I have to t i e that in somehow and get them to understand that because that's a common question, vWhy do I need t h i s ? ' I do r e a l l y believe that being physically active, l i k e after you get past school i s r e a l l y important. So that's Physical Education...and then I do believe that the Sciences t i e s into everyday 1 i f e . S i m i l a r l y , Pete described the problems of classroom management: . . . l i t t l e things li k e c lass control, how to talk to the cl a s s , what to do, learn the order to do i t in, stuff l i k e that...a teacher i s always looking for some sort of structure, at least at the very beginning, unless the students have been doing something in the last lesson that c a r r i e s over, which you don't need very much then. But you always have to have some sort of structure at the st a r t of a lesson. So i f you're designing something, i t always has to have something, I'm not saying there has to be a set, but there has to be something that gets everybody going. 3. Teaching methodology and st v l e Beyond the common problems in teaching, the partic i p a n t s had d i f f e r i n g views. For instance, Dave believes that there i s a "wide variation of teaching s t y l e s , teaching approaches...method(s) of teaching". Whereas, Betty sees a commonality in method, but not in teaching s t y l e : "Nowadays, a lot of people use the lecture method, I mean, that's the most used, so that's going to be a common area. How they get i t across to I l l students i s their own way, whether they're a l i v e or monotone or whatever". Pete and Leona make sim i l a r comments. Pete believes that " a l l teachers use the same sorts of the d i f f e r e n t methods. They just use them in dif f e r e n t amounts, and possibly in several d i f f e r e n t ways". Betty, Sam, Pete, and to a certain extent, Leona also indicated that having a good "personality" i s a commonality amongst e f f e c t i v e teachers. Pete c a l l s t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a " f l a i r " . 4. In terms of teacher development, a l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s believe that teachers have some sort of " b u i l t - i n " a b i l i t y in order to be able to teach successfully. The comments here mirrored those describing the essence of a "good" teacher. They a l l f e l t that there are certain ski 11s that are prerequisites to becoming a successful teacher. Sam referred to t h i s as a " t r a i t " . He thinks that there are people that have t h i s t r a i t to get the point across a l i t t l e b i t d i f f e r e n t l y or more than understandable for somebody that i s maybe having d i f f i c u l t y learning or just s t a r t i n g to learn. Whether i t ' s an a b i l i t y , I'm not sure. I think with the environment that you're brought up in you could develop t h i s t r a i t . I think you have to, I'm not sure i f you have to be out-going or not, but I think that i f you can have t h i s a b i l i t y to communicate and whether i t be at the teaching profession or something else, i t depends on what the person's interested i n . 112 Ron made a similar comment with regard to the development of t h i s a b i l i t y . He believes that teaching techniques can be taught. Pete stated that " i n order to run a classroom properly you have to be able to keep control and some people aren't able to do that or get their ideas across very well. I mean, you have to have some s k i l l s , anyway, to be a teacher...most of those people, f i r s t of al1, want to teach". 4.2.3 Teachers' Perceptions of Subject Matter This category i s concerned with teachers' perceptions of high school science, in p a r t i c u l a r , junior science. The teachers were asked to explain their understanding of the various curriculum materials that they use. They were also asked to comment on their opinions about the development of science c u r r i c u l a . Apprentice teachers; (1) Bettv: Betty was asked how useful she found the curriculum guide. She indicates that she t r i e s to follow the curr i cu1um gu i de... 113 Betty: I pulled i t out for, just for the basic outline of the course, and maybe some test items. In retrospect, i t appears that Betty equates "curriculum guide" with "teachers' guide" -- both were provided at the star t of the year. Perhaps in t h i s sense then, the curriculum guide per se i s not useful at a l l for Betty. I asked Betty whether she saw any p a r t i c u l a r focus in terms of the junior science courses. Betty: I think i t ' s okay, l i k e they're t r y i n g to focus on the basics and I think that's okay, in those units...I don't think there's good s o l i d information i n s i d e . . . i t touches on things and leaves you hanging. Like i t just stops. Betty sees the Junior Science Curriculum focussing on the "basics" — meaning, chemical elements, body systems, forces, sedimentary rocks... The reference to "information" confirms that Betty views the textbook as the curriculum. There are four goals in the B.C. Junior Science Curriculum <in short, they are: knowledge, s k i l l s and processes, c r i t i c a l thinking, and attitude — see Table IV). Betty's understanding of the curriculum seems to be limited to the f i r s t goal. 114 T A B L E I V Junior Secondary Science Curriculum Goals GOAL A: GOAL B: GOAL C: GOAL D: The Junior Secondary Science Program should provide opportunities for students to develop posi t i v e science attitudes. The Junior Secondary Science Program should provide opportunities for students to develop the s k i l l s and processes of science. The Junior Secondary Science Program should increase the students' knowledge The Junior Secondary Science Program should provide opportunities for students to develop creative, c r i t i c a l and formal ( i . e . abstract) thinking a b i l i t i e s . Source Ministry of Education, Curriculum Development Branch, (1983). Junior Secondary Science  Curriculum Guide; 1983. V i c t o r i a : Ministry of Education, Province of B r i t i s h Columbia. 115 I asked the par t i c i p a n t s when they believed curriculum should be revised. Most stated that t h i s was a d i f f i c u l t question. According to Betty, the curriculum should be revised whenever new books are required. Again, an indication that the textbooks "drive" the curriculum. Advancement in s c i e n t i f i c knowledge, and student needs are the determinants for change. Committees of teachers should revise c u r r i c u l a at the provincial level (because of provincial exams). However, the curriculum should r e f l e c t a regional perspective. Betty: I guess they have to look at their (the teacher's) fe e l i n g s . What they believe i s important. They should also look at the students' interest and take into account what they feel i s important because i f they're interested in a course then they'll take science right away...depending on diff e r e n t areas that we l i v e i n, we require d i f f e r e n t things to be taught. In the next s e r i e s of questions, I wanted to ascertain the par t i c i p a n t ' s understanding of the s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences between the previous and current junior science curriculum. Ron and the two beginning teachers were not very f a m i l i a r with the previous curriculum. I t r i e d to f i n d out from them what problems, or posit i v e features they found with the new curriculum. 116 Betty: ...I f i n d that in some cases, i f the students have missed things and they have to study from the text, i t ' s r e a l l y d i f f i c u l t , so you have to supplement materials...They f i n d i t hard to pick up from just the text i t s e l f . In the Science 10, I've supplemented more, worksheets, notes and things l i k e that. I asked about the curriculum. However, Betty commented on problems with regard to the textbooks. Betty found the labs to be straight forward. Betty i s wanting more information for the students to learn from the textbooks. She would also li k e to see more questions. Summary Betty does not seem to have a clear understanding of the curriculum guide. She does not make much use of i t except in terms of a course outline. Betty finds that the junior science courses focus on the "basics". She f e e l s that the course (textbook) lacks s u f f i c i e n t information...the coverage i s s u p e r f i c i a l . Betty interprets the curriculum in terms of the lower level knowledge goal. Betty believes that the curriculum should be revised when the textbooks need changing. She c i t e s advances in science, the needs of students, and teacher's opinions as factors to consider ln whether or not to revise the curriculum. Curriculum should be p r o v i n c i a l l y determined, but with a regional perspective. 117 In describing the new curriculum, Betty finds the textbooks to be lacking in some respects (background information and supplementary questions). She finds that the labs are easy to understand. (2) Sam: Sam has a di f f e r e n t view of curriculum than Betty. He believes that curriculum revi s i o n should be on-going. In hi s mind, curriculum i s an evolving document that p e r i o d i c a l l y undergoes a major r e v i s i o n . Sam: I think there should be input every year, even i f i t ' s just sending something out to the teachers saying what's one thing they lik e d about .the course, one thing they d i s l i k e d . Then maybe after four years or something, compiling a l l the knowledge and maybe on the f i f t h or sixth year getting together a committee to kind of do the revisions or something 1 ike that. Sam has some posit i v e suggestions for how c u r r i c u l a should be revised. Sam: I think teachers in the courses should. If there are volunteers or some people that are pulled out of assignments with pay, lik e leaves of absence or something li k e that...where they devote a year or six months of their teaching career somewhere else. Going down and meeting at a place, l i k e working in a c i t y for however long i t takes. Sam believes that curriculum revision should take place p r o v i n c i a l l y to ensure the involvement of "reputable teachers", and for the fi n a n c i a l cost-benefits (textbooks 118 can be bought provincial 1y). However, Sam fe e l s that there should s t i l l be some f l e x i b i l i t y at the d i s t r i c t , and classroom le v e l s . Sam: You can s t i l l as a d i s t r i c t or in your own classroom, pull out things that you want to teach that you f i n d your strength...as long as the overall picture i s there that i t ' s a good curriculum. Sam has a better comprehension of curriculum than Betty. Possibly because he has Just completed h i s teacher t r a i n i n g , and these concepts are s t i l l fresh in h i s mind. Sam was asked to comment on the new curriculum. Like Betty, he also described the textbooks. He f e l t that the reading material in the textbooks "Jumped around" too much. He thought that some a c t i v i t i e s were misplaced, and some that were not there, should have been. He believes that the current course i s too lab-oriented. Sam: ...there's, I think, way too many of these (lab) a c t i v i t i e s . You can s t i l l incorporate a lot of labs in your course, but not a l l the ones that they mention. Even cutti n g out lots of the labs in the book, you can s t i l l do a lab every second day. It doesn't have to be the ones that they say. Even some of their labs take two days or something li k e that...Science 10 i s very d i f f i c u l t to do because there isn't that reading material that they need. Maybe that's the (difference), t h i s lack of s c i e n t i f i c reading that they probably miss, maybe that's how they structure i t so that when they get into the senior grades, t h i s i s what they're introduced to, maybe i t ' s sort of s c i e n t i f i c . Sam seems to be backing up h i s e a r l i e r comment that the text i s very lab-oriented. The lack of " s c i e n t i f i c 119 reading" seems to be a reference to a lack of academic r i g o r . This i s sim i l a r to a f e e l i n g expressed by Betty regarding the text. Summary Sam believes that curriculum revision should be on-going, with continuing minor revisions as a result of input from the f i e l d , followed by periodic reviews on a larger scale. Revision committees should be composed of representative teachers from around the Province. Although the curriculum document should be mandated provincial 1y, there needs to be f l e x i b i l i t y at the local l e v e l . Sam describes the new curriculum in terms of the textbook. He found that i t jumps around a lot and i s s u p e r f i c i a l in i t s coverage of science knowledge. Some lab a c t i v i t i e s shouldn't be in the text, whereas others are missing, and i t i s too lab-oriented. Post-apprentice teachers: (3) Leona: Leona was questioned about her understanding of curriculum and when i t should be revised. 120 Leona: ...curriculum i s good because i t ' s a guideline. If you follow i t to the " t " and just sort of say, "That's a l l I'm going to teach", It doesn't r e a l l y matter what they ask you, the methods they ask you, is what's important. I don't think the Chemistry and the Changes in Matter has changed since, you know, whoever went to school here. It's the method that you teach i t in, the s t y l e s , how you present i t , what you can do to the kids to make them understand better. Leona views the curriculum as simply a guideline, a l b e i t a useful one, to follow. Although she implies that the curriculum prescribes methods, Leona believes that i t is the individual's teaching s t y l e , and methodology that i s important. She f e e l s that the content in the curriculum has not changed at a l l . So what changes, i f any, i s Leona suggesting have taken place? Textbooks, teaching practices, use of other teaching materials, use of media... Curriculum committees should consist of a good cross-section of teachers. Leona r e i t e r a t e s that there needs to be more sharing of what actually transpires in classrooms. Curriculum committees must observe and know what i t i s that she does in her own classroom. Leona: ...I've been in my classroom and the thing I keep harping on i s that I would lik e to see other people in here, (learn) about other people's experiences. So a cross-section, obviously. When asked what she would lik e to see in revised junior science c u r r i c u l a , Leona responded that there should be a core plus a lot of options, s i m i l a r to the format in the new B.C. Senior Biology and Chemistry c u r r i c u l a . 121 Leona: . . . i n that way, they're (the teachers) more interested in the teaching, and in the learning aspects because i t ' s a lot harder to prepare a government exam around those because you're accounting for the i n d i v i d u a l i t y of the teacher in the s i t u a t i o n , more than i f you establish an entire core. There i s a clear bias against province-wide exams here. Leona has never taught a p r o v i n c i a l l y examinable course, but she i s obviously f e e l i n g the pressure. Her arguments for a reduced core with many options i l l u s t r a t e the more progressive nature of Leona that was Inferred in an e a r l i e r section. To some, the core i s the "meat" of the course. The options are the " f r i l l s " . Leona contends that the best teaching takes place outside the core — in the area where the teacher can be more exuberant; where she can focus on her own areas of Interest and expertise; where the "teachable moment" i s not constrained by time. Leona's described some of the s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences that she sees between the old and new c u r r i c u l a . Leona: It's a pendulum swing. The f i r s t curriculum was more reading and less lab work. The second one was a swing away from the reading and into labs. But both labs...you could predict the ending without actually even doing the lab. SC: So you could see a s i m i l a r i t y In terms of the labs? Leona: The lab content was almost the same. Like instead of one lab every ten pages of notes, i t s (now) ten labs for every page of notes...the new curriculum has very l i t t l e reading and l o t s of labs, but the labs didn't change that much. 122 Leona stated that she does not use the textbooks. She supplements the course with a lot of the old material. Leona: ...I think the only reason we use the Probe sometimes i s to do the labs, but even the labs I supplement with d i f f e r e n t labs out of other textbooks and workbooks. I asked Leona to describe the old and new courses in terms of their approaches to learning about science. She sa i d that the old course was "methodical", and the new course lacks continuity. Her comments with regard to the new course are quite s i m i l a r to those of the beginning teachers. Leona: Not sporadic, but more encompassing of d i f f e r e n t ideas, but in a h e l t e r - s k e l t e r approach. There isn't a continuity that I found in the other course. I think we need something in-between. Summary Leona's impression of curriculum policy i s that i t Just serves as a guideline. She fe e l s that content in junior science has not changed a great deal over the years. In her mind, i t i s r e a l l y the teacher who makes the curriculum. It i s the individual's teaching s t y l e , and methodology that i s important. Leona believes that curriculum committees should be broadly based. They should actually see classrooms in operation before recommending any c u r r i c u l a r changes. Leona 123 l i k e s the f l e x i b i l i t y that comes with a core curriculum plus lots of options. She sees t h i s as one way of getting away from teaching to the exam ( p r o v i n c i a l ) . Although Leona does not teach p r o v i n c i a l l y examinable courses, she s t i l l f e e l s the pressure, and sees the pressures encountered by others. Leona finds that the new curriculum lacks continuity; i t i s s u p e r f i c i a l ; consists of mostly labs; less reading; covers more ideas. Whereas she fe e l s the reverse was the case with the previous course — i t was methodical. Both content and p r e d i c t a b i l i t y of outcomes are simi l a r for both sets of labs. Leona does not use the textbooks very much...she prefers to supplement with material from other sources, including the old textbooks. (4) Petet Like Betty, Pete equates the "curriculum guide" with the "teachers' guide". When asked about the quality of the curriculum guide, he described the poor organization of the teachers' guide. However, hi s response to the question "When should a curriculum be revised?" indicates h i s general understanding of curriculum. Pete f e e l s that curriculum should not be revised unless there are sound reasons. There must be a purpose behind the r e v i s i o n . . . for example i f the subject matter i s inappropriate, (he c i t e d 124 the Science 9 Forces u n i t ) . Concerns about the curriculum should be expressed to some central body, and i f there i s enough demand, the curriculum should be changed. Pete believes that the current system of p r o v i n c i a l l y mandated c u r r i c u l a i s too structured. He f e e l s that there must be more f l e x i b i l i t y in what content should be taught. Pete: I think a lot of the curriculum i s too separate now, myself. It's too r i g i d . There's not enough room to move. Like in a lot of things, there's Just no room to move anywhere and in fact, there's too much to be done...I think they should give a f a i r l y wide range of ideas and things that could be looked at.. . e s p e c i a l l y in the Junior sciences. I don't think that i t ' s necessary (that) everybody should have to know what Vitamin Bj2 does or something l i k e that. Pete finds the s p e c i f i c i t y of knowledge required of students in the learning outcomes for the course are too much. He would l i k e the autonomy to decide those d e t a i l s at the classroom l e v e l . Pete was asked to respond to the question concerning the s i m l l a r l e s or differences between the o l d and new Junior science c u r r i c u l a . He finds that the subject matter has not changed a great deal; however, there i s more emphasis on knowledge in the new textbook, whereas the old text focussed on discovery learning. We then turned to a b r i e f discussion of the attitude goal in the junior science curriculum (see Table IV). 125 Pete: I think the attitude has to come with an interesting subject matter. SC: Do you think that's achievable with a curriculum?..How do you see those attitudes being gained by students? How can you make a course such that they w i l l pick up some of the attitudes? Pete: I don't think i t ' s only the course. I mean, you can design a course for anything. I think i t ' s the whole si t u a t i o n that has to come into account when you're tryi n g to change attitudes. SC: Such as? Pete: Such as the attitude in the school, the attitude in the Province, everyone's attitude. I think the main attitude towards schools at the present time has been down. You know, "squash the schools" in a lot of cases. So I don't think we can, i t ' s hard to foster a po s i t i v e attitude when you get into that si tuat i on. SC: How much influence does the teacher have in fostering that p o s i t i v e attitude towards science? Pete: A f a i r b i t , I think. But then i t ' s very hard for the teacher to go into a school with a po s i t i v e attitude when he or she i s being stepped upon! Pete was quite b i t t e r in t h i s part of the conversation. Evidently, general teacher morale i s another factor that, in some way, i s a constraint that Pete did not mention e a r l i e r . He believes that t r y i n g to teach attitudes i s more of a global task. He i s not even sure what i s mean.'t by "attitudes" or even i f they can be taught. Pete says that h i s teaching methods have not r e a l l y changed since the implementation of the new curriculum. The only change that he noted was in providing students with notes. 126 Pete: I probably don't...give quite as many notes as I used to because the old science curriculum didn't give you any back-up at a l l in terms of textbook information. This statement i s int e r e s t i n g since i t goes against what the previous p a r t i c i p a n t s have said. They f i n d the new course requires a lot of supplementing...Pete does not. Symmflrv Pete f e e l s that a curriculum should not be revised unless there i s a reason...i.e. i f the subject matter i s inappropriate. Curriculum should be a provincial matter. However, there should be less structure, r i g i d i t y , and s p e c i f i c i t y , and more individual f l e x i b i l i t y . Revision committees should consider input from the f i e l d before deciding to make any changes. Pete finds that the content of the new course has not changed remarkably from the previous one. He believes that the new course focusses more on knowledge, whereas the previous course emphasized discovery learning. There i s more background reading material in the new text. He believes that parts of the new textbooks are poorly organized. According to Pete, the new a t t i t u d i n a l goal (see Table IV) in the Junior Science Curriculum w i l l require a much broader s h i f t in teaching. 127 Experienced teachers; (5) Ron: Ron was asked to comment on some of the problems he sees in curriculum implementation. Ron: ...I think people who have been doing i t one way for a long time r e a l l y r e s i s t changing because they've got a l l t h i s material that they li k e to work with. Secondly, I think the real problem i s that the curriculum changes are mandated and there's no accountability. Nobody comes to check and see i f you're doing the new curriculum. So i f somebody fe e l s l i k e just staying with the old one, they just do i t . Really, the only course that matters i s the one that's a government examinable course and there they've gotten to, they're penalizing people, I mean f i f t y per cent of your mark on one test. It forces you to be a good test writer. Ron talks of two extremes here. He i s c a l l i n g for more f i d e l i t y in achieving the curriculum intents. Yet, he i s also saying don't go to the extent that the p r o v i n c i a l l y examinable courses have gone. R i g i d i t y , in t h i s case, i s achieved at the expense of the subjective nature of teaching. Ron believes that curriculum should be constantly under r e v i s i o n . This i s a s i m i l a r line of thought expressed by other p a r t i c i p a n t s . He believes that suggested changes, and newly developed materials should be c o l l e c t e d and only incorporated into a new book when there i s a real basis to warrant rewriting the book. Ron did not distinguish the 128 curriculum guide from the textbook. I asked Ron what he thought curriculum writers should consider when r e v i s i n g the curriculum. Ron: Well, I think they should stop worrying so much about content and st a r t worrying more about...how i t ' s going to impact on students. Our job isn't necessarily to teach kids that E = mc2, or something lik e that. I mean, who r e a l l y cares? Our job i s to get people interested and to get them to think and you can't do that i f you have to, l i k e say for academic Science 9, i f kids have to know t h i s massive amount of material...and...there was one lab in that whole course that was semi - i n t e r e s t i n g . The rest of them were... Ron's feelings closely match those of Pete. He wants to get away from the knowledge base, and concentrate on some of the other goals of the Junior Science Curriculum — thinking a b i l i t i e s , attitudes. I asked Ron about that "one lab" that was "semi-interesting". Ron: I did one where I brought f i s h into the room and they had to figure out how the f i s h were using their f i n s and they were quite interested. They got quite keen on that. Ron does not f i n d anything wrong with the curriculum. But he finds the labs in the textbooks to be boring. I asked him what he thought was missing. Ron: Action, you know...like there's no action. We're try i n g to excite kids about science and you give them labs where nothing happens. I'm not saying a l l of them, but they need some labs, some "whiz-bang" 1 abs. In comparing what he r e c a l l s of the old curriculum to the new curriculum, Ron finds a few posit i v e changes. 129 Ron: . . . i n terms of the fact that the (Science) 8, 9, and 10 are more related. That's a d e f i n i t e advantage because there didn't use to be any rel a t i o n s h i p . Kids didn't have to take Science 8 or 9 to pass Science 10...and so now there i s a build-up of knowledge, which i s very good. I f i n d the course outlines and the objectives quite f r u s t r a t i n g because they're not very good, they're too philosophical. I f i n d the Biology 11 course outline excellent. There i s a l i s t of learning outcomes for every section and those are the things the kids have to know. Cut and dry. Kids must know these things. I r e a l l y l i k e i t that way and I think kids r e a l l y l i k e i t that way. SC: Do you see much of a t r a n s i t i o n between the Science 10 curriculum and the senior sciences, Biology 11 for instance? Ron: Not a tremendous difference. Just in terms of the amount of work they have to do. The Science 10, they're s t i l l not working very hard and then a l l of a sudden in B i . 11 they have to do a lot of work. In previous sections and here, Ron Infers that he i s a hard worker. He l i k e s a lot of structure...almost regimental. He l i k e s to have a clear purpose and di r e c t i o n in mind. Summary Ron contends that there i s a real resistance to change. Esp e c i a l l y , when teachers have developed a way of doing things that works for them. He finds that at one extreme, there i s no accountability, in that teachers do what they want...and the other extreme forces s t r i c t adherence to the curriculum objectives. He sees both ends 130 of the spectrum in terms of implementation as being unacceptable. Ron believes that curriculum revision should be on-going. He seems to equate the curriculum with the textbook. New texts shouldn't be written u n t i l s u f f i c i e n t material has accumulated. Curriculum writers should focus less on content, and more on student learning. He says that curriculum should be written to stimulate student Interest...i.e. better labs. Ron finds the textbooks for the Junior science curriculum are okay. But the labs are boring...they lack action and excitement. He finds that the new course i s more sequenced from grade 8 to 10. The course outlines and objectives are too philosophical; they are unclear in their i ntents <6) Dave: Dave understands "curriculum" to be a set of guidelines to follow. He f e e l s that the curriculum i s changed for reasons other than simply f a c t u a l l y updating the material to be taught. I detected a note of sarcasm in h i s response. Perhaps Dave sees the p o l i t i c a l side of curriculum. The "other reasons" which we did not pursue could be p o l i t i c a l l y motivated...or c e r t a i n l y , in Dave's mind for less important reasons. Dave does not agree with 131 r e v i s i n g c u r r i c u l a in response to current trends or "fashions". He does not want to lose touch with that which he considers to be the core of science education. Dave: I don't know i f i t (curriculum) should or not (be revised) according to a new fashion that comes i n , whether i t ' s energy conservation, whether i t ' s AIDS, or whatever. No doubt the next curriculum w i l l have a l l kinds of sections about AIDS in i t . I don't think at the high school we have to worry about changes in technical advances. The curriculum w i l l be changed for other reasons before i t ' s actually necessitated by the accuracy of information that's being taught. I asked Dave how he would react to a radical change in curriculum. SC: If tomorrow you were faced with a new curriculum in junior science that was perhaps a l i t t l e b i t more radical compared to the normal approach that you've been asked to do before, how would you adapt to that? Dave: ...I always f i n d that with curriculum change the biggest pain in the neck i s that there's no money to buy the equipment that we're supposed to have. So the actual curriculum doesn't matter that much because a l l you're l e f t with i s the content anyway. But supposing I did have access to the lab end of i t , i f in fact t h i s radical method used labs, I don't know. I'd probably start off with the same approach that I organize the course, set to these d i f f e r e n t expectations...first year you'd give i t a shot and see where you went wrong, and then second year you'd adopt, you know, change your s t y l e , your expectations, your methods. SC: If you had to how would you teach Science & Tech 11 approach that? for instance, Dave: That would probably be f a i r l y radical from what I've taught in senior grades before. You'd have to r e a l l y stop and think about what i t i s you want to get done and then you've got to b u i l d your course around that. I think the f i r s t time you go through i t 132 you're going to have...turn out to be some expectations that you have no right having. You know, i t was just s i l l y to expect t h i s out of the students. I think you're also going to have some things where you under-estimated the students. But I think getting straight in your mind what exactly you want and getting i t accomplished i s probably the biggest problem. SC: A course that would include some debate, some values c l a r i f i c a t i o n , simulations, d i f f e r e n t approaches rather than the t r a d i t i o n a l science lab and lecture approach. Would you f i n d those to be more d i f f i c u l t than perhaps the curriculum changes you've seen before? Dave: ...you'd have to learn how to organize the class...whether i t ' s debate or i f i t ' s , what do you c a l l i t , valuating things, making a judgement. SC: Would you be good at teaching those kinds of courses? Dave: Not the f i r s t time. F i r s t time would be a learning experience. Second time, probably better. Now whether or not I was, you know...didn't have any problems organizing the c l a s s , teaching i t and so on, whether I enjoyed teaching that...could be a lot of fun, could be a pain in the neck. Depends on what kind of students, (they) would make i t . Dave sees a number of changes with the new junior science curriculum. Although he finds that the content remains the same, the structure of the course has changed a l o t . Dave: The labs are d i f f e r e n t in that they're more l i k e mini-labs, I'm thinking of grade 8 right now. I f i n d that the theory isn't explained as well as i t used to be — so i t ' s harder to prepare lessons for i t . I f i n d that i t seems to have a far greater variety of materials, which we don't seem to have. It's broken into more modules...I think i t ' s broken into too many modules. There seems to be a b i t more d i f f i c u l t y in covering the course with a l l these l i t t l e modules...There c e r t a i n l y seems to be a lot of emphasis on energy. A new emphasis...! don't f i n d 133 i t as organized as...I f i n d i t ' s incomplete. They introduce a topic, they give you the name of the topic, and then they run away and st a r t a new topic... Many of the problems, that Dave sees with the new course, coincide with the impressions of the other pa r t i c i p a n t s . I asked Dave to describe the kind of science anticipated by the new course. SC: Would you say i t ' s an experimental or experiencial kind of science that you're doing...is i t discovery, or i s i t the recipe approach? Dave: No, I f i n d i t ' s probably the most unfortunate mixture of the two. I think i t ' s going for more hands-on science, but they've done i t in such a way as to expose the students to i t without them understanding it...then once they've actually experienced i t they s t i l l don't have the student understand i t . So, the student just ends up wondering what he's doing and why he's doing i t . Unless, of course, you take and spend time on i t , time to back i t up. But then,...the labs aren't organized in a way that you can take the time to back up every l i t t l e thing that they mention. So either you end up not doing the experiences, just so you can b u i l d up the skeleton that remains, the material. Or else, i f you do a l l these things then the students w i l l r e a l l y understand what you did and why you did i t . Dave finds the course to be f r u s t r a t i n g in t h i s sense. His teaching s t y l e requires him to follow a f a i r l y structured approach, and yet he f e e l s the text/lab a c t i v i t i e s do not provide the necessary organization and background. It i s then a time consuming process to prepare material and provide that material to the students. 134 Summary Dave sees the curriculum as a set of guidelines to be followed. He does not believe the curriculum should be revised for every new issue that develops. He seems to prefer a curriculum that focusses on the real "academic" side of science, and not on the f r i l l s . He doesn't believe that curriculum i s revised to r e f l e c t more accurately ( f a c t u a l l y ) advances in science. He believes that there are other motives. Dave sees curriculum revi s i o n committees in terms of "them and us". In terms of the new Junior Science curriculum, Dave sees changes mostly in approach, and very l i t t l e in content: the labs are shorter; theory i s s u p e r f i c i a l l y explained; requires supplementing; requires more materials; there are more modules; takes longer to cover the course; time-consuming; has a marked emphasis on energy; unorganized; incomplete; i n s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l ; unfortunate mixture of experimental and experiential science... 4.2.3.1 Summary of teachers' perceptions of subject matter 1. Curriculum materials Despite the intended changes contemplated by the Ministry of Education in terms of the new junior science course (see Table I ) , the p a r t i c i p a n t s in t h i s study f i n d s u r p r i s i n g l y l i t t l e difference between 135 the previous course and the current junior science course! Most of the comments are concerned with the textbook i t s e l f . Individually, the p a r t i c i p a n t s are in agreement concerning the s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences between the new course and the old junior science course. They do not see much change in content, in fact, most see the greatest change to be more of an emphasis on labs rather than theory. This appears to go against what the curriculum writers had envisaged! Pete, on the other hand, f e e l s that the reverse i s true. He comments that the new course has a renewed emphasis on knowledge (perhaps too much!), and a s h i f t away from the previous discovery learning approach. Not one of the p a r t i c i p a n t s mentioned what i s probably the major difference between the two c u r r i c u l a — and that i s the s h i f t towards an integrated form of science education away from the d i s c i p l i n e d approach. Content: Betty sees the new course as focussing more on the "basics". This seems to be contrary to the emphasis of the new course — which leans towards a more p r a c t i c a l science with applications to everyday l i f e . S i m i l a r l y , Dave, Ron and Leona f i n d that the content has not changed much. For example, Leona states: "I don't think the Chemistry and the Changes in Matter has changed since, you know, whoever went to school here. It's the method that you teach i t i n , the s t y l e s , how you present i t , what you can 136 do to the kids to make them understand better". Leona does see an evolution ln teaching methods to s u i t the present day needs of students. Both Pete and Ron also commented that the course focusses too much on content. Pete finds that the curriculum i s too r i g i d now — he would prefer more f l e x i b i l i t y . Leona also echoed t h i s comment. Course Emphasis: Leona has a view that seems to be opposite to the curriculum intents: The f i r s t curriculum was more reading and less lab work. The second one was a swing away from the reading and into labs. But both labs...you could predict the ending without actually even doing the lab...The lab content was almost the same. Like instead of one lab every ten pages of notes, i t s (now) ten labs for every page of notes...the new curriculum has very l i t t l e reading and lots of labs, but the labs didn't change that much...even the labs I supplement with d i f f e r e n t labs out of other textbooks and workbooks. These comments are repeated by Sam: "...there's, I think, way too many of these (lab) a c t i v i t i e s . You can s t i l l incorporate a lot of labs in your course, but not a l l the ones that they mention...Science 10 i s very d i f f i c u l t to do because there isn't that reading material that they need. Maybe that's the (difference), t h i s lack of s c i e n t i f i c reading that they probably miss". Dave also has t h i s view that the material i s more s u p e r f i c i a l : The labs are d i f f e r e n t in that they're more lik e mini-labs, I'm thinking of grade 8 right now. I f i n d that the theory isn't explained as well as i t used 137 to be — so i t ' s harder to prepare lessons for it...There ce r t a i n l y seems to be a lot of emphasis on energy — a new emphasis...It's going for more hands-on science, but they've done i t in such a way as to expose the students to i t without them understanding it...then once they've actually experienced i t they s t i l l don't have the student understand i t . So, the student just ends up wondering what he's doing and why he's doing i t . Unless, of course, you take and spend time on i t , time to back i t up. These comments are consistent with those made by Pete, Betty, and Leona. Betty responded: "I don't think there's good s o l i d information inside...It touches on things and leaves you hanging. Like i t just stops". Ron suggested that the course needs more "whiz-bang labs". Organlzation: Dave f e e l s that the new course lacks s u f f i c i e n t organization: I f i n d that i t seems to have a far greater variety of materials, which we don't seem to have. It's broken into more modules...I think i t ' s broken into too many modules. There seems to be a b i t more d i f f i c u l t y in covering the course with a l l these l i t t l e modules...But then,...the labs aren't organized in a way that you can take the time to back up every l i t t l e thing that they mention. So either you end up not doing the experiences, just so you can b u i l d up the skeleton that remains, the material. Or else, i f you do al1 these things then the students w i l l r e a l l y understand what you did and why you did i t . . . I don't f i n d i t as organized as...I f i n d i t ' s incomplete. They introduce a topic, they give you the name of the topic, and then they run away and star t a new topic... Leona also finds that the new course lacks organization: "(the course is) more encompassing of dif f e r e n t ideas, but in a hel t e r - s k e l t e r approach. There isn't a continuity that I found in the other course. I 138 think we need something in-between". Pete echoed t h i s comment. Ron finds that the course i s at least organized sequentially through the grade le v e l s . 2. In terms of curriculum policy most pa r t i c i p a n t s believe the curriculum guide i s simply a guideline to follow. Betty sees the guide as a course outline. S i m i l a r l y , Leona describes the curriculum as a guideline: "If you follow i t to the N t ' and just sort of say, ^That's a l l I'm going to teach', i t doesn't r e a l l y matter what they ask you...". Their conceptions of the curriculum seem to be limited to coverage of what i s prescribed by the curriculum document. Sam, on the other hand, f e e l s that the p r o v i n c i a l l y mandated curriculum provides a core for the course which can be manipulated and/or supplemented. He states that: "You can s t i l l as a d i s t r i c t or in your own classroom, pull out things that you want to teach that you f i n d your strength...as long as the overall picture i s there...". Ron believes strongly in curriculum " f i d e l i t y " . However, he does not see t h i s being possible right now. He thinks that "the real problem i s that curriculum changes are mandated and there's no accountability. Nobody comes to check and see i f you're doing the new curriculum. So i f somebody f e e l s l i k e just staying with the old one, they just do i t " . Ron seems to hold an extreme position in h i s r e l e n t l e s s adherence to the prescribed curriculum. He would 139 l i k e to be granted more freedom to act within the stated curriculum. Pete also f e e l s that the intentions of the junior science curriculum are too r i g i d for h i s l i k i n g . He states that "Science involves the World, so I think that any way we can show that i t involves the World, and that i t s very important to what happens to them i s more important than what's happening in the curriculum". Besides some basic science knowledge, Pete f e e l s that students should learn that "science i s a part of l i f e " . He perceives a d e f i n i t e r elationship between science and society. Dave would lik e high school science to include a core of basic science or fundamentals, which includes topics such as "measurement science". This must be imparted to a l l students. He distinguishes t h i s science from "sophisticated" sciences such as Chemistry 12, or Astronomy. Dave fe e l s that the curriculum should "cover more topics of interest that would make the people more rounded" in their education. From t h i s perception, one can see that Dave would value a more applied science course. 3. In terms of curriculum policy revision there i s general agreement that i t should be on-going. Dave indicates that curriculum policy seems to be i n i t i a t e d by changes in current trends or "fashions" rather than due to more legitimate changes in factual knowledge. He states that he i s unsure i f " i t (curriculum) should or should not 140 <be revised) according to a new fashion that comes i n , whether i t ' s energy conservation, whether i t ' s AIDS, or whatever. No doubt the next curriculum w i l l have a l l kinds of sections about AIDS in i t " . Dave adds that "at the high school, I don't think we have to worry about changes in technical advances. The curriculum w i l l be changed for other reasons before i t ' s actually necessitated by the accuracy of information that's being taught". These comments do not seem to support h i s aforementioned desire for more applied science. Dave i s quite pessimistic about curriculum innovations. He has experienced a few changes through h i s career, and comments that they a l l e s s e n t i a l l y b o i l down to merely content changes anyway. This i s in keeping with h i s e a r l i e r points concerning the recent changes in the junior science program. Perhaps Dave sums up hi s feelings best by the following comment: 111 always f i n d that with curriculum change the biggest pain in the neck i s that there's no money to buy the equipment that we're supposed to have. So the actual curriculum doesn't matter that much because a l l you're l e f t with i s the content anyway!" Leona c a l l s for much more input at the classroom level before contemplating a curriculum r e v i s i o n . She comments, "I've been in my classroom and the thing I keep harping on i s that I would lik e to see other people in here, (learn) about other people's experiences". 141 4.2.4 Teachers' Perceptions of School Setting Schwab (1973, p.503) re f e r s to t h i s category as the "milieus". He uses t h i s term to denote a l l the relevant environments that impact on the educational process. Schwab states that the "milieus are manifold, nesting one within another l i k e Chinese boxes". They encompass the community, the school, and the classroom. They also include the r e l i g i o u s , s o c i a l , economic, and p o l i t i c a l communities within the s e t t i n g . Lantz and Kass (1987) use t h i s category in a less comprehensive sense to include the school f a c i l i t i e s , local community concerns, and broader social issues. While cognizant of the broader view, t h i s study follows a narrower d e f i n i t i o n . Teachers p a r t i c i p a t i n g in the study were asked to comment on what kinds of pressures they experience within the s e t t i n g . Although the questions were quite focussed, the responses tended to be much more diverse. Apprentice teachers: (1) Bettv: Betty found that a major constraint on her teaching t h i s year was the room i t s e l f . The science room in which she was located was small and inadequately equipped. 142 Betty: I did not lik e using the bunsen burners with my grade 8's, not when I had twenty-eight students in there... they're looking outside and what's happening with their faces? So I r e a l l y kept away from that...a few of my students got to use i t and some of them didn't...and that would be because of my concerns with safety. Apart from the actual physical constraints, Betty comments on the large class s i z e , and her concerns for safety in the lab. Betty finds that her working conditions are the biggest constraint on her teaching practices. <2> Sam* Sam f e l t that the major constraint on him as a f i r s t year teacher was the paperwork. Coupled with t h i s , was the need for more time to do the Job e f f e c t i v e l y . He also stated that although he wasn't in the job for money, higher pay would be an incentive. Sam found the paperwork to be the biggest problem for him during h i s f i r s t year. He f e l t that time to accomplish things would have a l l e v i a t e d t h i s constraint. The salary level of a beginning teacher in today's market i s also inappropriate, and Sam commented on that fa c t . 143 Post-apprentice teachers; <3) Leona: I asked Leona If I could change 'X' to make her teaching s i t u a t i o n better, what would i t be? Leona: What I would li k e to do, r e a l l y would l i k e to do, i s to have people come in and work with me in my classroom, li k e for three months or six months and put me on a p i l o t project of some sort because you can read and you can read u n t i l your heart's content but to be able to implement something i s r e a l l y d i f f i c u l t i f you haven't seen i t . I would l i k e to do that or have that done with my classes next year. I would li k e to...and what else? What would make my l i f e easier? I often thought i t would be a professional marker, you know, so you didn't have to mark the s t u f f . But when I mark, I prepare the next days lesson from what I can see from the marking. Do I have to do a review or i s there mastery in the work that they've submitted and I can pace myself. So that's not even a good idea anymore because that's part of the overall evaluation of the kids. If I don't do i t , then I'm sort of the b l i n d leading the b l i n d . Leona i s echoing an e a r l i e r statement. Her view of curriculum implementation i s a process of peer assistance. Colleagues come into the classroom and work alongside the regular classroom teacher. This requires a team teaching approach whereby a group shares the t r i a l s and t r i b u l a t i o n s of an innovation. They can share their common knowledge, and also contribute that personal knowledge that has been acquired through their own teaching experiences. 144 Leona's second comment with regard to a professional marker i s one that I am sure many teachers have desired! The real problem that was not stated, but inferred i s the work load. Leona either desires smaller classes, or more time to do the job...or both! These sentiments seem to be in keeping with Sam, and others in the study. Leona would lik e more interaction with the f i e l d . She would favour some form of peer teaching approach. At the moment she f e e l s l i k e she i s teaching in a vacuum. Leona would also li k e to manage her time more e f f e c t i v e l y , she finds marking to be a time-consuming element of her day. She finds her workload to be a constraint. <4> Pete; Pete finds the pressure of government exams to be h i s biggest constraint. He experiences the pressure even at the grade 10 1 eve 1. Pete; ...there's pressures within the school on how you teach, what you teach... there i s a l i t t l e b i t of pressure once you get to, say grade 10. Because in physics, i f you want to cover the material in grade 12 quickly, then what they should have done i s had a very good background in e l e c t r i c i t y . That l e t s you cover a section very, very quickly in grade 12 and so you can spend more time on the others. The pressure of government exams...even at grade 10, and the p o l i t i c a l climate In teaching are Pete's biggest 145 constraints. He also finds the workload (marking and prep.) to be time-consuming aspects of h i s day. Experienced teacherst <5) Ron: Ron did not respond d i r e c t l y to t h i s question. However, throughout the interview, he commented on the need for more time in order to properly come to grips with new innovations. (6) Dave; Dave finds curriculum changes to be a hassle. To paraphrase, you are handed a curriculum with no in-service, and no back-up in terms of supplies and equipment. He f e e l s that curriculum changes simplify down to "content" changes anyway. The physical job of reorganizing yourself for the new curriculum i s the biggest problem in Dave's view. 4.2.4.1 Summary of teachers' perceptions of school  sett ing There are two i d e n t i f i a b l e constraints on teaching for the p a r t i c i p a n t s in t h i s study: internal influences; 146 and external influences. There i s some overlap between the two groupings. 1. Internal influences There i s a range of factors at play within t h i s element. Although working conditions tend to be Influenced both externally and i n t e r n a l l y , t h i s aspect was considered to be an internal factor. This was a concern expressed in varying degrees by a l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s . Betty has a concern about science safety. She f e e l s that the physical size and layout of her classroom, and c l a s s - s i z e are impediments to successful teaching. The following statement exemplifies her f r u s t r a t i o n s : "I did not like using the bunsen burners with my grade 8's, not when I had twenty-eight students in there... they're looking outside and what's happening with their faces? So I r e a l l y kept away from that...a few of my students got to use i t and some of them didn't...and that would be because of my concerns with safety". Sam was constrained by work load. He indicated that the amount of "paper work to be incredible...a lot of reading, s t u f f you have to follow through". He f e l t that beginning teachers should have at least three spares (preparation periods)! Time constraints (work load) are not just r e s t r i c t e d to new teachers. Leona, Pete,, and Ron also commented that they needed more time. 147 2. External influences Both Pete and Leona f i n d that P r o v i n c i a l l y mandated exams constrain their teaching. Evidently, school and community pressures to perform well on the government exams influence their teaching. Although, to a certain extent, there i s again a time pressure here to get the course completed. The following comment by Pete i s indicative of t h i s concern: ...there's pressures within the school on how you teach, (and) what you teach... there i s . . . a pressure once you get to, say grade 10, because in physics, i f you want to cover the material in grade 12 quickly, then what they should have done i s had a very good background in e l e c t r i c i t y . That l e t s you cover a section very, very quickly in grade 12 and so you can spend more time on the others. At the junior science l e v e l , Pete i s not as f a i t h f u l to the curriculum as he i s forced to be in the senior, p r o v i n c i a l l y examinable grades. This c l e a r l y supports h i s value for academic freedom as stated above. Ron considers that there i s an expectation for him to ensure that a l l h i s students meet the intended learning outcomes for a course. Dave, Leona, and Ron also f e l t that curriculum change i s an important consideration in terms of th e i r Job. However, both Leona and Ron indicate at various points during their interviews that time i s the biggest constraint in tr y i n g to properly implement a new course. Dave f e e l s that there i s never enough funding support for new equipment and supplies. Pete also indicated that there are "equipment constraints" — these constraints tend to 148 Impinge on the i r a b i l i t y to do lab work. Perhaps curriculum change i s not a factor with Betty and Sam simply because they have not yet experienced such a change! Pete has found the p o l i t i c a l turmoil over the last few years to have been demanding on h i s teaching. Although t h i s i s an externally created pressure, he finds that i t has affected the school environment. He commented on the d i f f i c u l t i e s in promoting posi t i v e attitudes among ch i1dren: I think i t s the whole si t u a t i o n that has to come into account when you're try i n g to change attitudes...such as the attitudes in the school, the attitude in the Province, everyone's attit u d e . I think the main attitude towards school at the present time has been down. You know, "squash the schools" in a lot of cases. So I don't think you can. i t ' s harder to foster a po s i t i v e attitude when you get into that s i t u a t i o n . . . i t ' s very hard for the teacher to go into the school with a po s i t i v e attitude when he or she i s being stepped upon! S i m i l a r l y , Leona stated that the "outside Issues are s t a r t i n g to play on me, and I almost feel l i k e a puppet where I would lik e to be in some sort of control of what I'm teaching and how I teach". Sam indicated that h i s pay should be more. This i s indicative of a general f e e l i n g that the s a l a r i e s , especially of beginning teachers are too low in B.C. 149 4.2.5 Teachers' Perceptions of Students Schwab (1973, p.502) refe r s to t h i s category as the "learners". He believes that in order to consider a curriculum change, one must know the c l i e n t s . Besides a general knowledge about the children, Schwab states that one must also take into account a knowledge of childrens' attitudes, competences, and propensities. Lantz (1984, p.7) s i m i l a r l y describes t h i s category as an "individual teacher's views of the needs, a b i l i t i e s , and interests of students". The foregoing d e f i n i t i o n for t h i s category i s also applicable to the current study. 4.2.5.1 Summary of teachers' perceptions of  students There are three i d e n t i f i a b l e elements in t h i s category. Concerns for the needs, a b i l i t i e s , and interests of the students. The elements within t h i s category emerged as the most prominent themes throughout the interviews. A l l the part i c i p a n t s have student-centered philosophies, but in d i f f e r i n g degrees. This becomes clear in the f i r s t section below, when the continuum of needs ranges from student perceived needs to teacher perceived needs. The three concerns for students were not as independent as the Lantz and Kass (1987) study portrayed. In fact there seems to be a great deal of overlap among the p a r t i c i p a n t s . 150 1. Concern for students' needs A concern for the students' needs, and a consideration of students' a b i l i t i e s are closely related themes. In an e a r l i e r section, Dave stated that he "values higher education and promoting students going on in education". This seems to agree with Betty who indicates that "learning i s important to them (students), and I have to t i e that in somehow and get them to understand that...Being able to understand where the students are coming from. You have to analyze them and try to determine what types of things they need to learn". In the l a t t e r part of t h i s statement, Betty i s c l e a r l y i n dicating that she values the needs of students. Perhaps she i s also concerned with what she perceives the needs of students to be, rather than what the students perceive their needs to be. Leona fe e l s that teaching methods and s t y l e s are "what you can do to the kids to make them understand better" — again, t h i s seems to be almost a forced approach. It i s more of a concern for what teachers perceive students need, rather than the reverse. Ron also implies that a teacher's view of students' needs i s important. When commenting on the recently revised senior Biology course, he describes the following: "There i s a l i s t of learning outcomes...and those are the things the kids have to know...kids must know these things. I r e a l l y l i k e i t that way, and I think kids r e a l l y l i k e i t that way". Ron's comments c l e a r l y support a teacher's concern 151 for the needs of students — as perceived by that teacher! One can see then that there i s an array of perceptions about students' needs. 2. Concern for students' a b i l i t i e s Betty also has a concern for students' a b i l i t i e s . She l i k e s "working with people, even those people that are having d i f f i c u l t i e s " . Ron has a sim i l a r perspective. He described a s i t u a t i o n that he had observed in another school as follows: I went and saw a course c a l l e d "Terminal Science 10" in White Rock, where the guy had set-up, i t wasn't individualized, but the guy had written h i s own course and he had everything al1 set-up for the whole year. The day we walked in there, every student in there was a student that you would expect to be...or you know, some other kind of problem...they were working r e a l l y industriously. He had the course set up so that there was a sheet of paper for every day and i t would say what they were doing, why they were doing i t , what they were tryi n g to learn and then i t would have, i t would almost li k e program learning. There would be a sentence with a blank and they would go through i t , whether i t was labs or whatever they were doing i t . The day I was there they were doing labs with acids and metals and i t would say take t h i s metal and put i t with t h i s acid and what happens, that kind of thing. But i t was on a level that kids were r e a l l y having a good time, they were r e a l l y learning something. If that could be indi v i d u a l i z e d so that you had that lab set up in a bin and one day, you might only have one kid doing that lab one day i f he's ahead. Then I can see that the student who gets into a modified c l a s s because they're not i n t e l l i g e n t enough to do academic but who s t i l l wants to work, could r e a l l y push through. The student who i s in a modified class because they just won't work, well they're going to go on slowly and I think what they're going to see i s that they see other students moving faster and they're way behind they're going to want to keep up. 152 The foregoing i s a good example of a teacher's concern for teaching according to student a b i l i t i e s . Leona f e e l s that one must be f l e x i b l e in teaching. She perceives that "you treat students d i f f e r e n t l y and act different1y...just from the composition of the c l a s s " . The overlap between elements i s evident with Dave. He has already Indicated that he values consideration of student needs. He also favors taking Into account students' a b i l i t i e s . For instance, he comments on the implementation of a new "r a d i c a l " curriculum..."I think the f i r s t time you go through i t you're going to have (problems)... turn out to be some expectations that you have no right having. It was s i l l y to expect t h i s out of the students. I think you're also going to have some things where you underestimated the students..." Dave i s saying that one must be quite clear on what the a b i l i t i e s of the students are before one can embark on a curriculum change. He adds that a new curriculum "could be a lot of fun, could be a pain ln the neck. Depends on what kind of students (you have, they) would make i t (or break i t ) " . 3. Concern for students' interests A l l the par t i c i p a n t s at some point or another expressed a concern for students' int e r e s t s . Ron complains that "we're tryi n g to excite kids about science, and you give them labs where nothing happens". He argues that "our job isn't necessarily 153 'to teach kids that E = mc2, or something l i k e that. I mean who r e a l l y cares? Our Job i s to get people interested, and to get them to think...and you can't do t h a t . . . i f kids have to know t h i s massive amount of material". Ron describes the c r o s s - d i s c i p l i n a r y nature of t h i s concern in r e l a t i n g students' interests about how and why their bodies work, and h i s a b i l i t y to b u i l d on the information in P.E. and Science. Betty made a similar comment with regard to her concern that students need to be physically active and mentally active in their everyday l i v e s , and the roles that P.E. and Science play in achieving these needs. Sam believes that i f the "kids can be entertained in some way, they don't f i n d the class as boring or as...I think they w i l l also learn...something". Elsewhere, Sam states that " i f they (teachers) are enjoying their job, and l e t t i n g the students see that they're enjoying the job, I think the students ( w i l l ) probably enjoy the class better". In both these statements, Sam i s alluding to the maintenance of student interest, but not necessarily s e l e c t i n g curriculum materials and teaching according to what students are interested i n . I would argue that the two points of view are on either ends of a continuum. This i s somewhat akin to the e a r l i e r concerns for students' needs as perceived by the student, and as perceived by the teacher. Leona fe e l s that t h i s element cannot be taken to the extreme that perhaps Sam i s suggesting. She warns that 154 "you can't reach a l l the kids with your personality. Some people w i l l l i k e you or not li k e you". In a s i m i l a r respect, Dave believes that focussing a course s t r i c t l y on the basis of student interests i s not that easy, and i t can possibly be detrimental to the whole program. He states that Students forming l o y a l t i e s to their own teachers and they don't necessarily Judge them. Certainly i f there are experiences they w i l l form Judgements. If there are good experiences or bad experiences. I've c e r t a i n l y noticed i t . I think there's a certain loyalty to their teacher as being good. I guess i t ' s probably the benefit of the doubt. If there are stand-out aspects of a teacher the student wi11 c e r t a i n l y notice that. If a teacher has gone out of the way for the student, you know, or i f the teacher has r e a l l y helped the student,...Students are aware of that. But, of course, the reverse i s also true and negative images can develop — possibly for those who choose not to teach topics that students enjoy, but rather teach topics according to the perceived needs of students. Dave f e e l s that the new senior Chemistry textbook does not provide topics that might be more interesting. He states that "they could have spent more students' time covering topics of interest that would make the people more rounded in chemical education". 155 4.2.6 Current Teaching Practices. Methods, and Stvle There i s a perception that one of the factors which influences the development of teachers' functional paradigms i s current classroom practice. In t h i s study, the view i s modified, for i t i s assumed that there i s a dynamic interplay between what occurs in the classroom, and the evolution of teacher's functional paradigms. It i s of interest to discover the b i d i r e c t i o n a l relationship between the two factors. It i s appropriate then at t h i s stage to examine the espoused practices of the p a r t i c i p a n t s taking part in the study. The relationship between classroom practices and teachers' functional paradigms w i l l be examined further in the following chapter. Apprentice teachers: (1) Bettv: Betty claims that her teaching i s e c l e c t i c , in that she "thinks" that she incorporates a l l sorts of methods. She explained that when she lectures, or does lab a c t i v i t i e s , she uses the overhead projector — partly because of her height, and partly out of general preference. When asked about the use of computers and other media, her answer indicates that perhaps she i s not yet 156 comfortable in using the computer, especially as a learning tool . Betty: I've used the computer, but I li k e f i l m s t r i p s and I try to t i e i t in with anything I can f i n d in the 1esson. Betty l i k e s to emphasize lab technique in her teaching. She views her role as preparing students for the next course...especially for the t r a n s i t i o n from grade 10 to the senior courses. Betty sees a hierarchy here both in knowledge, and in teaching I t s e l f . Betty: For example, ln the grade 8's one of the things that I emphasize i s lab technique. In grade 10, I try to teach them something about lab equipment. I think that's important because once we get everything solved in that area then we'll be okay for senior courses and doing proper lab technique...what science i s a l l about, observing, and things li k e that. Summary Betty thinks that she uses a variety of teaching methods. She uses the following sort of terms to describe her teaching: lecture; labs; overhead projector; f i l m s t r i p s ; preparing students for their next course; emphasis on lab technique; observing; lab safety; supplements with worksheets, and notes... 157 (2) Sam; Sam "thinks" that he i s a progressive teacher. Sam; .. . t r a d i t i o n a l ( i s ) just the sit-down type, do the work, and go over the problems and that. I've t r i e d to use dif f e r e n t strategies to get them motivated because I think that in t h i s day and age i t ' s hard to get the kids interested in certain things especially l i k e for example, women in science. You have to do something d i f f e r e n t to get them interested in that. Progressive I guess, in a sense that I do dif f e r e n t things outside of t r a d i t i o n a l things, i f i t means dressing up stupid one day or walking on your hands! Both Sam and Betty were tentative in their descriptions of their teaching. They perhaps do not have the self-confidence yet to be able to describe themselves. There i s also probably a b i t of modesty, or even reluctance here in describing their teaching, especially to the department head. Sam's reference to "women in science" indicates a f e e l i n g for some of .the current issues in science education. Sam went on to describe a typical lesson for him. He described a structured approach, typical of the "recipe" s t y l e s outlined in teacher t r a i n i n g years...the kind that Ron was tal k i n g about e a r l i e r . He was then asked to comment on the resources, props, media that he incorporates into h i s teaching. Sam: I prefer the overhead for just straight notes...I usually have them prepared...I put them on the overhead...walk around the classroom to make sure 158 that people are on-task, and then i t also gives me time to take a quick attendance in that f i r s t few minutes or sometime during the clas s , i t frees up a few minutes and then I can explain i t once I see everyone's done. The blackboard, I l i k e to use when we're going over problems, l i k e follow them along, write i t big so that everyone can see because I knew that there were kids that had problems with eyesight in my c l a s s . So step-by-step problem solving I use the blackboard, sometimes overhead because my arm gets sore I go to the overhead. On a number of occasions I use s l i d e presentations because I have a s l i d e set that I use for Earth Science and Astronomy. Films and videos, t h i s d i s t r i c t I found very limited in the material for chemistry, but for Science 10 there was lots of stu f f and the same for Science 8. I used a lot of them! Computers, for me, i t didn't seem l i k e the software t o t a l l y s a t i s f i e d the course. We Just got i t i n , I haven't had a chance to test i t out too much for chemistry and plus the a v a i l a b i l i t y of the computers wasn't that good for my clas s , l i k e G-H (classes) for chemistry i t was occupied by the Business Ed. (cl a s s e s ) . Sam describes a typical approach to science teaching. The routines described in the f i r s t section above are routines that I would argue are common to most teachers, in most segments of our "society". Not a l l people use a l l of the resources that he uses, but there i s some overlap. He seems to be comfortable with the idea of using computers for instructional purposes, even though he hasn't had time to try out the software av a i l a b l e . Summary Sam thinks that he i s a progressive type of teacher. He describes a t r a d i t i o n a l i s t as a sit-down...do your work...do some problems type of person. The following terms paraphrase Sam's description of h i s own teaching: d i f f e r e n t 159 strategies; t h i s day and age; get kids interested; women in science; do something d i f f e r e n t ; outside of the traditional/normal <i.e. dressing up); structured approach; typical lesson format; prefers the overhead for straight notes, but uses the board for problems; walk around the classroom; on-task; step-by-step problem solving; writes "big"; uses videos and films; limited use of computers... Post-apprentice teachers: <3) Leona: Probably for the same reasons discussed previously, Leona i s hesitant when she describes herself as being a progressive teacher. She states that she t r i e s to be more progressive, but "thinks" that she f a l l s more into the tr a d i t i o n a l category. Leona fe e l s that i t i s d i f f i c u l t to place herself without having the benefit of comparisons. Again, she f e e l s that peer observation would help. Her description, from another section of the interview, of what i s mean't by " t r a d i t i o n a l " and "progressive" indicates a deeper understanding than she cares to admit. SC: How would you categorize a t r a d i t i o n a l teacher? What would you say i s t r a d i t i o n a l ? Leona: Well, the thing i s too, I'm concentrating on approaches in the classroom more than how they teach the curriculum. Structure, set guidelines with 160 f l e x i b i l i t y ( i n each) case by case s i t u a t i o n . So that when you walk in you know what the expectations are. That to me i s a more t r a d i t i o n a l approach, but whether we're t a l k i n g teaching s t y l e s , I'm not sure. SC: And how about the progressive side of things? Leona: I would suspect you could work with that in group learning situations instead of, you know, cl a s s . More with the peer tutoring, group learning, the thing that we got from England. You know, teaching Science in a problem-solving fashion more than just labs supplementing the written. Leona described some of her teaching methods. She has a s i m i l a r problem with the blackboard as Betty. I would describe her espoused teaching methods as progressive from the account given. Leona: ...supplemental reading resources. I teach them how to do notes. Right, so I give them three or four d i f f e r e n t chapters and we go through the thing and do "how to take notes", we do labs, we do the use of equipment, we do q u a l i t a t i v e and quantitative essays, then descriptions about things, worksheets, group work, posters, model building. A l l those kind of things. SC: Do you use the blackboard at a l l or do you...? Leona: No, I'm too short, simple as that. I can't u t i l i z e the blackboard well enough...(I use the)...overhead, so I can face the kids and answer questions as I'm writing notes and I can look for eye contact and classroom behaviour management. You know, the minute you turn your back you don't know what's going on. Leona does not use the computer as an instructional t o o l . Leona explained why she did not use videos as much as she had in the past. Leona: ...because when we were allowed to tape them o f f . . . (the a i r ) I found them a lot more informative than the stuff we can get now...and i t ' s r e a l l y hard to 161 get NFB films to arrive on the scheduled day and then the equipment to be in here. Kids are not interested in videos as much as they were because they get to see t.v. a l o t . So they do a comparison, i f you're not entertaining then I'm not going to l i s t e n . . . I would rather them make a video on their own than watch one. My Biology 11 kids do that with l i f e cycles. They made up videos t h i s year. SC: Was that successful? Leona: i t was, i t was good...they were r e a l l y impressed with their work and the other kids enjoyed seeing what could be accomplished. A picture i s emerging of the teachers at Mountainview. They seem to have common problems, their day-to-day routines are very s i m i l a r , and yet there are differences in terms of th e i r own teaching approaches, and ways of getting the message across. Summary Leona categorizes herself as a t r a d i t i o n a l teacher...but she leans towards being progressive. She defines a t r a d i t i o n a l s t y l e of teaching as follows: structure; some f l e x i b i l i t y ; guidelines; clear expectations; labs and written materials...Her description of a more progressive approach uses the following words: group learning s t y l e s ; peer tutoring; science by problem-solving; more than notes and labs... In describing her own teaching, Leona uses the following terminology: supplemental reading resources; supplemental labs; notes taking; chapter readings; labs; 162 use equipment; q u a l i t a t i v e and quantitative essays; descriptions; worksheets; group work; model building; uses overhead projector; question and answer; monitors classroom behaviour; making videos... (4) Pete: Pete believes that h i s teaching s t y l e i s d e f i n i t e l y not t r a d i t o n a l . I asked him to describe a typical lesson in more d e t a i 1 . Pete: It's not a t r a d i t i o n a l lecture method or anything lik e that. It's more of a...I try to do more one-on-one with the students, i f I can...I usually tend to introduce a subject with just a small talk about what i t ' s about and then we do a few notes. Then I bring up problems in the way of labs as a way of determining what i s going on. Using question and answer type things after that, and look at the lab a l i t t l e b i t more. I questioned Pete on the use of other resources to supplement h i s teaching. He said that he would use computers to a s s i s t instruction i f he had enough of them — he has no problem using computers. Pete u t i l i z e s the overhead and blackboard for d i f f e r e n t uses. He does not use f i l m s t r i p s , or videotapes very much. I asked for more d e t a i 1 . Pete: I think that unless the videotape i s very good or the f i l m i s very good, I think they're sort of an overflow or an overload in terms of that...I use the overhead for notes and some problems and I do put my 163 problems on the board because there's more room to show the whole thing. Pete also incorporates other approaches to teaching Science. He mentioned "word-playing", "debates", but not in the so-called t r a d i t i o n a l courses li k e physics — due to the time constraints, and group work or small group work. He l i k e s t h i s arrangement because the slower learners can pick up a lot more from the faster learners. Pete encourages students to bring materials to do with current events into c l a s s . Especially i f they are t o p i c a l . SC: How important do you think that is? Is that more important than s t i c k i n g to the curriculum or do you think i t ' s appropriate? Pete: ...science involves the world, so I think that any way we can show that i t involves the world and that i t ' s very important to what happens to them i s more important than what's happening in the curriculum. Pete's concept of science and science education i s quite d i f f e r e n t from Betty's concept. Previously, Betty let on that science was learning about "observation, and things l i k e that...", and her science teaching was important in terms of preparation for the next grade. Pete has a much broader view of science. He places science in a societal context. Elsewhere in the interview he commented on the need to Improve thinking a b i l i t i e s in order to increase interest in science. Pete : . . . i n some cases, give them problems to solve. So that they have to try to discover the answer themselves. That i s very d i f f i c u l t for a lot of 164 them. A lot of them can't do i t . For those that can, I think i t increases their interest in science. Pete was asked to comment generally on the teaching s t y l e s of h i s colleagues within the department. Pete: I think they're f a i r l y diverse a c t u a l l y . I mean, everybody teaches the same sorts of things but I think that a lot of them emphasize one s t y l e more than the other... there's some that emphasize the lecture type approach in their c l a s s , that are almost wholly lecture oriented and they do very, very few labs. Whereas there are some of us who do a lot of 1abs...especial 1y grade 11 where you have more labs, I do, for the f i r s t part of the course I probably do, almost a lab a day, which i s a l o t . Pete sees d i v e r s i t y of s t y l e , even within a r e l a t i v e l y small segment of the school. The subject matter is the same; however, the methods are quite d i f f e r e n t . Summary Pete believes that he i s not a t r a d i t i o n a l type of teacher. He uses terms li k e the following to describe himself: not a lecture method; more one-on-one; a few notes; problem-solving through lab work; emphasis on lab investigations; hands-on a c t i v i t i e s ; c i r c u l a t e s ; responds to individual student needs; question and answer...would use computers; uses the blackboard and overhead for d i f f e r e n t purposes; does not use f i l m s t r i p s or videos much; uses word-playing; debates; group work; current events; 165 shows the relationship between science and society; improve thinking ski l i s . . . Pete does not believe that you should adhere to the curriculum r e l i g i o u s l y . Experienced teachers: <5> Ron: I did not go into much detail concerning Ron's teaching s t y l e . Ron: I'm very lab oriented, and I do a lot of r e l a t i n g with things to how human beings work. I f i n d that kids are more interested that way. Ron chose to dissect rats in h i s Biology 11 class t h i s year. It was something that has not been done at that grade level for a number of years. He managed to attract quite a following of non-registered students who simply were interested in what was going on, and what the students in h i s class were doing. Summary Ron says that he i s very lab oriented. He claims to be anthropocentrlc, and child-centered in h i s teaching <P.E. or Science) in that he l i k e s to relate a l l things to 166 the human being. Ron f e e l s that t h i s i s a good way of stimulating student interest. He has a "gym-voice", he coaches, and he i s opinionated. Ron l i k e s to have a clear purpose and d i r e c t i o n ; he i s highly structured (cut and dry); and does things "his way". <6) Dave; Dave was asked to describe h i s approach to teaching. Dave: The way I go about i t ? Well, i t ' s more of an empirical method on how I can get the idea, get the message across. Keep looking at what works, what doesn't, and what doesn't work w i l l be, we'll try to avoid that, get another approach, and what does work then we'll try to incorporate i t more. Dave's explanation shows the p o s s i b i l i t y of paradigm development in flux. He uses a trial-and-error method. Experience has given Dave a ser i e s of routines to try at any one time, and after t r y i n g them a l l , he wi11 resort to something new. Dave i s using the blackboard t h i s year, although he has used the overhead ln the past. He has moved the overhead projector onto a raised t r o l l e y , which he keeps at the side of the room. Dave: No, we don't use i t (overhead). It's just sometimes, you walk around and the kids have to move their heads. I asked Dave to outline a typical lesson that he might follow. There was some confusion. Dave distinguishes 167 a lab from a lesson. The two are separate e n t i t i e s . S i m i l a r l y , Dave has a di f f e r e n t approach to teaching juniors, as opposed to senior students. Dave: A lab, not a lab? SC: Yes, i t may incorporate a lab. What sort of materials would you use? Generally, not one lesson during your teaching day. What kinds of...? Dave: Is t h i s for the junior or for the senior? Or i t doesn't matter? SC: Both. It doesn't matter. Dave: Okay, sta r t i f o f f . Get them s e t t l e d . Attendance and a l l that, any special announcements, and then I start the lesson. Let's suppose that i t ' s going to be a demo. So then...you review the ideas that you're going to be ta l k i n g about. You run the demo with continuous conversation about what they should be looking for, what do they see, what does t h i s mean, that sort of thing. And then at the end, we'd have to wrap i t up so that everybody knew what they saw so that we're a l l ta l k i n g about i t from the same point of view. Iron out any problems that arise in the demonstration. And then go through and rel a t e t h i s to the idea that you're try i n g to get across, where t h i s demonstration t i e s i n . And then I would give them some kind of assignment. Dave operates a f a i r l y structured c l a s s . Without detracting from what he does, or the end r e s u l t s , I would argue that h i s methodology i s quite t r a d i t i o n a l . He runs through the lesson using a standard format. His schedule involves taking care of the administrivia at the outset, informing the students of the events that w i l l transpire, walking them through the demonstration lab (with comments throughout), checking for understanding at the end of the 168 demo, r e l a t i n g the demo to the concepts to be learned, and using an assignment to reinforce the lesson. Although most teachers use demonstration labs from time to time as part of their teaching strategies, Dave was the only one to refer to t h i s method during the interviews. It seems to be a technique that he favours, since i t works we 11 for him. Dave uses films more than videos. He i s beginning to use the computer as a teaching tool for h i s senior chemistry students. In light of an e a r l i e r point in which Dave stated that he teaches using an "empirical method", I asked him how h i s teaching has changed over the years. Dave: I'm more...I'm slow at the beginning of the course. I r e a l l y stress the fundamentals, and then later on we r e a l l y move along. So that's l i k e timing or whatever you want to c a l l i t . As far as the actual methods, I'm set out the course in a set way and repeat i t year after year, with refinements as I go through. Whereas before I was more...see how the class was going and t a i l o r i t more to them. Dave has developed an ordered way of teaching over the years. His personal knowledge of teaching has evolved as he has refined h i s ideas. Summary Dave empirical. describes h i s method of teaching as being He operates by t r i a l and error u n t i l he finds a 169 routine that works, then he s t i c k s with i t . Dave describes h i s teaching using words lik e the following: prefers the blackboard; s e t t l e the students; demo labs; lesson; structured format; talk about i t ; relate the parts; assignments; uses films more than videos; stresses the fundamentals; timing; set out the course in a set way; repeat the practice year after year; refined; measurement science; common-sense stu f f about how things work; sophistication...senior chemistry... 4.3 Summary of Analysis This chapter focussed on the functional paradigms of individuals taking part in the study with respect to a number of categories and sub-categories. The individuals were also grouped according to their teaching experience. Each category was analyzed in the context of "why" teachers s e l e c t , interpret, and u t i l i z e curriculum materials in certain ways. The main categories analyzed included teachers'' perceptions of teaching; subject matter; school s e t t i n g ; and students. Current teaching practices; teachers' backgrounds, teaching experiences, and current teaching s i t u a t i o n were also considered as separate categories. It was anticipated that elements of teachers' functional 170 paradigms would emerge from a consideration of these categories. This chapter provided an analysis of individual cases. In the next chapter, these r e s u l t s w i l l be brought together, and discussed with respect to the research questions. Where Chapter 4 focussed on s p e c i f i c s , Chapter 5 w i l l address the more general case, u t i l i z i n g s p e c i f i c examples from t h i s chapter. Consistencies w i l l be sought between categories, and comparisons w i l l be made in terms of career p o s i t i o n . It i s important to distinguish between the common categories for describing teachers' functional paradigms that have been i d e n t i f i e d , and u t i l i z e d in t h i s chapter, and the commonality that may or may not exist among teachers with regard to the elements of those categories which constitute teachers' functional paradigms. A broader discussion in terms of the "nature" of teachers' functional paradigms w i l l follow in Chapter 5. It i s intended that the next chapter w i l l provide some answers to such questions as "Why do teachers teach in certain ways?...Why do teachers s e l e c t , interpret, and u t i l i z e curriculum materials in certain ways?...How stable are these factors in the context of a curriculum change?" C H A P T E R 5 C O N C L U S I O N S A N D I M P L I C A T I O N S 5.1 Introduction: The purpose of t h i s study was to determine the nature of teachers' functional paradigms in terms of how they interpret, s e l e c t , and use curriculum materials. The recent changes in the Junior secondary school science curriculum ln B r i t i s h Columbia were considered. It i s believed that one way in which teachers manifest their functional paradigms, i s through their interpretation and use of curriculum materials ln everyday teaching practices. A subsidiary purpose was to examine teachers' backgrounds and determine what aspects of their backgrounds might Influence the formation of their functional paradigms. Of p a r t i c u l a r Interest i s the nature of teachers' past educational experiences in terms of how these might shape their functional paradigms. 171 172 The following s p e c i f i c research questions were exami ned: 1. What are some of the factors which Influence the formulation of teachers' functional paradigms? 2. What i s the nature of teachers' functional paradigms? 3. a) What are the perceptions of teachers with regard to curriculum change? b) What i s the relationship between teachers' functional paradigms and their perceptions of curriculum change? c> To what extent do teachers' functional paradigms become idiosyn c r a t i c when they are faced with a curriculum change? This study focusses on shared goals, problems, exemplars, and routines, which constitute "functional paradigms", rather than the more tr a d i t i o n a l focus on differences between teachers. The term "functional paradigm" i s meant to convey the idea that the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which unite a community of p r a c t i t i o n e r s are l i k e l y to be centered on p r a c t i c a l matters: Why do teachers function in p a r t i c u l a r ways? Do teachers attach "common meanings" to p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s or e n t i t i e s ? 173 In the previous chapter, the six interviews were analyzed in terms of the following categories: 1. Teachers' backgrounds and experiences. 2. Perceptions of teaching. 3. Perceptions of subject matter. 4. Perceptions of school s e t t i n g . 5. Perceptions of students. 6. Current teaching practices, methods, and s t y l e . In the f i r s t part of Chapter 5, the r e s u l t s w i l l be discussed with respect to the research questions. The second part of the chapter w i l l summarize the findings. F i n a l l y , the implications of t h i s study, and suggestions for further research w i l l be outlined. 5.2 Factors which Influence the Formulation of Teachers' Functional Paradigms This section addresses the f i r s t research question. The following outlines some of the factors which influence the formulation of teachers' functional paradigms. One could perhaps argue that i f a functional paradigm implies a commonality, then the paradigms must have been arrived at s i m i l a r l y . The data indicate that t h i s Is c l e a r l y not the case. There seem to be some common factors which together help formulate teachers' functional paradigms. Woods (1984, p.260) refe r s to t h i s as the "conjunction of a number of coordinates". 174 Lantz and Kass (1987) postulate that there are three sets of factors which influence teachers' translation of curriculum materials into classroom p r a c t i c e . These are: elements of teachers' functional paradigms; teachers' background; and teaching s i t u a t i o n . This study takes the interpretation one step further to suggest that there i s a dynamic interplay between teachers' functional paradigms, teaching s i t u a t i o n , classroom practices, and to a certain extent, the curriculum materials. Teachers' functional paradigms both Influence and are influenced themselves by each of the other factors. The d i a l e c t i c that emerges i s something that needs to be studied In greater d e t a i l . Teachers' functional paradigms are also a function of the teachers' backgrounds. This h i s t o r i c a l r elationship l o g i c a l l y can only be in one d i r e c t i o n . However, i t i s also true that teachers' current funtional paradigms lead to decisions which become the backgrounds for the future. The Lantz and Kass model depicted ln Figure 1 can be extended to incorporate these findings. This i s i l l u s t r a t e d in Figure 2 later in t h i s chapter. 5.2.1 Teachers' Backgrounds and Experiences Within t h i s category, there appears to be a number of elements which predominate in each teacher's background and experience. 175 1. There were several reasons expressed for why the p a r t i c i p a n t s chose teaching as a career: o work with young people (either teaching d i r e c t l y , or coaching). o one of several career options, o had always wanted to be a teacher, o s a t i s f y family pressures (socio-economic), o influence of others (teachers...) o provide a service to others. No one expressed the often heard view that they couldn't do anything else. There was a lot of overlap, in that Betty, Sam, and Ron f e l t that the opportunity to be involved in sports influenced their decision, and Betty, Sam, Dave, and possibly Leona f e l t that the chance to work with young people drew them to teaching. Sam, Leona, Ron, and Dave also chose teaching because i t was one of several options open to them (the reasons for their f i n a l decisions, however, varied). Betty and Pete had always wanted to be teachers. Family pressures of various kinds were s i g n i f i c a n t with Leona, Ron, and possibly Dave and Sam. The influence of other teachers had an impact on Betty, Leona, and possibly Sam. Sam believes that he i s providing some sort of service for others. 2. A l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s have university degrees. A l l except Betty have degrees in t h e i r prime subject area plus a year of teacher t r a i n i n g . Betty has a Bachelors degree in Education. Pete has an M.Sc. in h i s prime subject area. In 176 general, type of university degree does not seem to be of any consequence. Sam and Dave are early entrants to teaching. Ron and Leona are neither early nor late entrants to the profession. Betty and Pete can be considered to be late entrants to teaching. This does not seem to be a factor in t h i s study. 3. A l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s were Influenced to a greater or lesser degree by their previous teachers. Some r e c a l l high school teachers, and others r e c a l l university teachers. There i s a great deal of commonality In the terminology used to describe why these teachers had an impact. The descriptions of these teachers f e l l into two groups: t r a d i t i o n a l ; and progressive (as outlined previously). Both Ron and Dave, and to a certain extent, Betty described the teachers who stand out in their minds as being t r a d i t i o n a l ( " s t r i c t l y a .lecturer; work...be quiet...work; t r a d i t i o n a l ln s t y l e ; lecture-lab approach; notes..."). Based on the descriptions used by the other pa r t i c i p a n t s , one can c l a s s i f y the teachers who they r e c o l l e c t as being progressive ("not just notes; use of d i f f e r e n t methods; used a combination of theoretical and p r a c t i c a l approaches; hands-on, going places, observing things...") 177 However, there are certain over-riding q u a l i t i e s which were not r e s t r i c t e d to the t r a d i t i o n a l or progressive teacher concept. The par t i c i p a n t s used s u r p r i s i n g l y s i m i l a r descriptors of the teachers who stood out in a p o s i t i v e l i g h t . The following summarizes these q u a l i t i e s . In some cases, they are paraphrased: Betty ...they were fun; enjoyable; interesting; good; the labs were enjoyable; structured; demanding; expected a l o t . Sam...personable; humorous; involved in school a c t i v i t i e s ; very enthusiastic; discussed things with you; c i r c u l a t e d around the cl a s s ; e f f e c t i v e communicators; good at question and answer; entertaining. Leona...personal 1ty; someone you could l i s t e n to; humorous; used lots of examples; could relate to them; more to o f f e r ; personable; taught about prejudice (positive values); enjoyable. Pete...1nterestIng; lots of experimentation without lab books. Ron...exclting; dramatic; knew a l o t ; had l i v e d a l o t ; did e x c i t i n g things. Dave... smooth; e f f o r t l e s s ; very good; humorous; e f f i c i e n t ; happiness; happiness about what he i s doing; 178 t a l k s about i t ; explains i t ; enjoying i t ; enthusiasm; straight forward; anticipatory; prepared; we 11-organized. Participants also used si m i l a r phrases to describe those negative q u a l i t i e s of certain teachers whom they recol 1ect: ...monotone voice; poor communicators; could not answer questions c l e a r l y ; were "above" the students...boring, out of touch; didn't apply to the real worId... 4. In terms of teaching as a lifetime career, Pete, Ron, and Dave are firmly committed to the profession. They do not seem to have ambitions beyond being a classroom teacher. Both Sam and Leona indicated that they would not l i k e to teach ln the high school forever. Leona would consider a completely d i f f e r e n t career i f the opportunity arose. Sam would consider teaching at a college or un i v e r s i t y . Betty i s committed to teaching. However, family pressures may result in her taking leave, perhaps for an Indefinite period. Career position seems to have a mitigating influence on teachers' Interpretations of curriculum. Teachers who are at an early stage ln their career, seem to have a more open mind to new c u r r i c u l a . It i s perceived that beginning teachers interpret curriculum in a more f l e x i b l e manner. In the same sense, i t i s 179 perceived that the functional paradigms of "apprentice" teachers are more f l u i d as compared to those of well-established, experienced teachers. This category w i l l be considered in more det a i l in a subsequent section. In summary. past experiences can be considered to be a major determinant of a personal paradigm. But each individual's experiences are d i f f e r e n t , and these l i v e d experiences contribute to the emerging paradigms in dif f e r e n t manners. Within the "past experience" strand, there seems to be a myriad of lesser elements. Family history, f i n a n c i a l considerations, social status, age, gender, marital status, p o l i t i c a l background...to name a few. Each contributes in some way to the formulation, development, and maintenance of the functional paradigms. Similar personal factors were Identified in Sikes, Measor and Woods (1985). The influence of schooling, both high school and at university are s i g n i f i c a n t components of paradigm development. Certain teachers from each individual's past have also played a r o l e . The teacher t r a i n i n g year i t s e l f did not appear to be I n f l u e n t i a l . However, the practicum experiences played a large part In the establishment of teacher's I n i t i a l models for teaching. 180 A subsidiary purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between teachers' past educational experiences and their current teaching practices. It was perhaps the most inter e s t i n g aspect of the study. It appears that previous teachers had a marked ef f e c t on the formation of teachers' functional paradigms. The descriptions of teachers who come to mind occasionally (presumably because they Impressed the Individual in some way) bear a s t r i k i n g resemblance to the descriptions of the teachers own teaching practices. These findings seem to support the work of Lantz and Kass (1987), Ball (1982), Spector (1984a), Klein (1980, p.5), and Lortle (1975). Another relationship that seems to emerge Is that the par t i c i p a n t s ' concept of what constitutes a "good" teacher also has Its basis In their espoused theories of action. 5.2.2 Current Teaching Practices It i s appropriate at t h i s point to examine the espoused practices of the partic i p a n t s taking part in the study. The relationship between classroom practices and teachers' functional paradigms w i l l be examined further. Once teachers' functional paradigms have been established, they do not remain s t a t i c . Instead, they are molded, shaped, refined, and perfected by everyday 181 experiences. Therefore, current teaching practices are helping to further develop the e x i s t i n g paradigms of the teachers. This seems to support the work of Roehler et a l . (1988). For the most part, i t appears from the data, that once established, these paradigms are r e l a t i v e l y stable. The four more experienced teachers considered ln the study had each formulated their own teaching routines. They a l l have ways of dealing with the standard day to day problems that crop up during their teaching. These patterns, tricks-of-the-trade, exemplars, and models are developed in i s o l a t i o n — personally, but i t i s evident that much of the paradigm evolution i s analogous. That i s the paradigms, while developing Independently, emerge with many common elements. The nature of these elements w i l l be discussed ln the following section. 1. The p a r t i c i p a n t s held common views on their perceptions of what constitutes a " t r a d i t i o n a l " teacher (see part 4.2.1). Sam describes a t r a d i t i o n a l i s t as follows: "Just the sit-down type, do the work, and go over the problems and that". S i m i l a r l y , Leona f e e l s that a t r a d i t i o n a l teacher i s one who has "structure, sets guidelines with f l e x i b i l i t y ( i n each) case by case s i t u a t i o n . So that when you walk ln you know what the expectations are". Her description of a progressive teacher, i s one who u t i l i z e s "group learning s i t u a t i o n s 182 instead of, you know, c l a s s . More with the peer tutoring, group learning...teaching science in a problem-solving fashion more than just labs supplementing the written". 2. In describing their own teaching, the p a r t i c i p a n t s f e l l into two groups: t r a d i t i o n a l ( i n the sense outlined in an e a r l i e r section), and progressive. This, of course, i s not intended to imply that one way i s better or worse than any other way of teaching. In fact, Ron aptly pointed out the effectiveness of d i f f e r i n g s t y l e s when commenting on the use of the Madeline Hunter teaching strategies. He said, "I don't think you can say that t h i s Is the only good way. Somebody might do everything seemingly wrong and yet their kids may be learning a lot because their personality (style) i s such that that works for them". Tradltional Betty i s a t r a d i t i o n a l teacher. The following statement seems to support such a view: In the grade 8's one of the things that I emphasize i s lab technique. In grade 10, I try to teach them something about lab equipment. I think that's important because once we get everything solved in that area then we'll be okay, for senior courses and doing proper lab techn1 que...what science Is a l l about, observing, and things l i k e that. Sam would l i k e to be more progressive in h i s teaching. However, based on h i s description of h i s own 183 teaching, one would generally c l a s s i f y Sam as a t r a d i t i o n a l teacher. The following t y p i f i e s Sam's teaching s t y l e : I prefer the overhead for just straight notes...I usually have them prepared...I put them on the overhead...walk around the classroom to make sure that people are on-task, and then i t also gives me time to take a quick attendance in that f i r s t few minutes or sometime during the c l a s s , i t frees up a few minutes and then I can explain i t once I see everyone's done. The blackboard, I l i k e to use when we're going over problems, l i k e follow them along, write i t b i g so that everyone can see because I knew that there were kids that had problems with eyesight in my c l a s s . So step-by-step problem solving I use the blackboard, sometimes overhead because my arm gets sore I go to the overhead. On a number of occasions I use s l i d e presentations because I have a s l i d e set that I use for Earth Science and Astronomy. Films and videos...this d i s t r i c t I found very limited in the material for chemistry, but for Science 10 there was lots of s t u f f and the same for Science 8. I used a lot of them! Sam also l i k e s to inject a l i t t l e humour Into h i s classes, h i s comments Implied that humour, enthusiasm, and personality are aspects of a "progressive" teacher. Ron i s also a very t r a d i t i o n a l teacher, he supplements h i s lectures with l o t s of labs. "I'm very lab oriented". Ron t r i e s to stimulate interest by doing more intere s t i n g labs. The following description t y p i f i e s Dave's approach to teaching. Again, i t i s a t r a d i t i o n a l method which Dave has found to be successful for him over the years: Okay, st a r t i f o f f . Get them s e t t l e d . Attendance and a l l that, any special announcements, and then I s t a r t the lesson. Let's suppose that i t ' s going to be a demo. So then...you review the ideas that you're going to be t a l k i n g about. You run the demo with continuous conversation about what they should 184 be looking for, what do they see, what does t h i s mean, that sort of thing. And then at the end, we'd have to wrap i t up so that everybody knew what they saw so that we're a l l t a l k i n g about It from the same point of view. Iron out any problems that ar i s e in the demonstration. And then go through and relate t h i s to the idea that you're t r y i n g to get across, where t h i s demonstration t i e s i n . And then I would give them some kind of assignment. Proaresslve Leona uses a variety of teaching approaches. Her teaching can be c l a s s i f i e d as nontraditional. Although Leona i s concerned with common tasks such as note writing and classroom behaviour, she also describes a number of alternate strategies: ...supplemental reading resources. I teach them how to do notes. Right, so I give them three or four d i f f e r e n t chapters and we go through the thing and do vhow to take notes', we do labs, we do the use of equipment, we do q u a l i t a t i v e and quantitative essays, then descriptions about things, worksheets, group work, posters, model building. A l l those kind of things. Leona described one p a r t i c u l a r project using video cameras — c e r t a i n l y not a t r a d i t i o n a l teaching method: When we were allowed to tape them o f f . . . (the a i r ) I found them (videos) a lot more informative than the stuff we can get now...and i t ' s r e a l l y hard to get NFB films to arr i v e on the scheduled day and then the equipment to be in here. Kids are not interested ln videos as much as they were because they get to see t.v. a l o t . So they do a comparison, i f you're not entertaining then I'm (the kids are) not going to l i s t e n . . . I would rather them make a video on their own than watch one. My Biology 11 kids do that with l i f e cycles. They made up videos t h i s year. Pete can perhaps be c l a s s i f i e d as a nontraditional teacher. He describes such a c t i v i t i e s as word-games, 185 debates, and various forms of group work. Pete says that h i s teaching does not involve the treaditional lecture method. The following describes one of h i s typical lessons: I try to do more one-on-one with the students, i f I can...I usually tend to introduce a subject with Just a small talk about what It's about and then we do a few notes. Then I bring up problems in the way of labs as a way of determining what Is going on. Using question and answer type things aft e r that, and look at the lab a l i t t l e b i t more. Pete does a lot of labs, especially with the senior classes. Both Betty and Ron also l i k e to do a lot of labs. Other factors that currently impact on teachers' functional paradigms, but which were not studied in great de t a i l in t h i s study Include the school-based Influence of students, administration and other teachers, the influence of family, and external influences such as community held b e l i e f s , p o l i t i c s , and r e l i g i o n . 5.3 The Nature of Teachers' Functional Paradigms This section outines some of the findings with regard to the second research question. There are two dimensions that are examined in t r y i n g to explicate the nature of teachers' functional paradigms. The f i r s t describes the r e l a t i o n s h i p s across the categories. The second focusses on 186 the nature of teachers'' functional paradigms In r e l a t i o n to the i r career positions. With regard to the data, t h i s p a r t i c u l a r research question i s r e a l l y asking: Is there a commonality of goals, b e l i e f s , problems, exemplars, and routines which constitute "functional paradigms" among the science teachers, who constitute a small segment of the s t a f f at Mountainview Secondary? 5.3.1 Consistencies Across Categories The purpose of t h i s section i s to show consistencies or inconsistencies in the perceptions of the p a r t i c i p a n t s across the categories used to define the teachers' functional paradigms. The elements of each teacher's functional paradigms should emerge from such an analysis. The intent i s to explain how teachers interpret and use curriculum materials in terms of their own perceptions. The following points summarize each teacher with respect to their perceptions of teaching; subject matter; school s e t t i n g ; and students <ln that order): 187 Apprentice teachers; <1) Bettv: Betty subscribes to a view of that e f f e c t i v e teaching involves understanding students and using a variety of teaching methods dependent on students' a b i l i t i e s . However, she perceives that most teaching involves the lecture method with varied teaching s t y l e s <in terms of personality and presentation). She f e e l s that there are common problems encountered in teaching. For example, Betty recognizes "relevancy" as an important component in teaching, but believes that a common problem i s in tryin g to get t h i s across. Betty indicates that ln order to become a teacher, one must already be personable, and enjoy helping people who are having d i f f i c u l t i e s . Betty f e e l s that the Junior science course includes the "basics" which are delineated in a s t r i c t sense by the curriculum guide. She has to supplement the course in areas where the textbook does not supply s u f f i c i e n t background information. In keeping with t h i s , Betty believes that the curriculum should only be revised to r e f l e c t advances in s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. These b e l i e f s are consistent with the foregoing perceptions of teaching. Betty values a comprehensive knowledge of science. 188 Betty views the school s e t t i n g in terms of her a b i l i t y to do lab work. Even though Betty l i k e s to stress t h i s a c t i v i t y , her working conditions are such that she finds that she must c u r t a i l t h i s endeavor because of a concern for lab safety. In planning her teaching, Betty considers i t important to determine the needs of the students. Closely intertwined with t h i s focus i s Betty's concern for students who are having d i f f i c u l t i e s . She w i l l t a i l o r her lessons to s u i t the a b i l i t i e s of her students. Betty i s less concerned with focussing on s e l e c t i n g materials and teaching according to the interests of the children. This supports the contention above that Betty favors providing students with a strong knowledge base in the science d i s c i p l i n e s . <2> Sam: Sam believes that teaching can be e f f e c t i v e when students are motivated. He suggests two ways in which t h i s can be done: by bringing in things of Interest that may go beyond the curriculum; and by being involved in a c t i v i t i e s that extend beyond the required curriculum. Sam sees motivation as a common d i f f i c u l t y for teachers. His solution to t h i s problem i s to have a sense of humour and an enthusiasm for the topic at hand. Sam indicates that teaching involves using a variety of teaching strategies. 189 He views teaching using a d i f f e r e n t s t y l e as important. Sam f e e l s that in order to become a teacher, one must f i r s t be a good communicator. Sam believes that the junior science course does not have enough s c i e n t i f i c reading material. He includes other issues in science which may not be in the prescribed curriculum — for example, a unit on "Women in Science". He considers the course to be lab-oriented, and he chooses the labs which he f e e l s belong in h i s course. In keeping with t h i s f l e x i b l e interpretation of the course materials, Sam views the curriculum i t s e l f as a guideline which does not have to be followed r e l i g i o u s l y . This also agrees with h i s opinion of curriculum policy r e v i s i o n . Sam indicates that revis i o n should be on-going, with periodic major changes according to the "grass-roots" wishes of the teachers in the f i e l d . Sam's perceptions of the school s e t t i n g were largely i n t e r n a l l y focussed. A l l beginning teachers are evaluated in t h e i r f i r s t year at Mountainview Secondary. Sam was also under a lot of pressure from the administration to perform well according to their wishes. Sam focusses h i s teaching primarily on students' interests — even to the point of entertaining students. This i s consistent with the e a r l i e r comment regarding Sam's perception of successful teaching. 190 Post-apprentice teachers; <3) Leona; In her teaching, Leona stresses both e f f i c i e n c y and to a certain extent, academic r i g o r . For example, she describes marking students' work, and using that as a basis for next day's lesson. In addition, Leona mentions the need to be 110% prepared, and she supplements most of her courses with additional learning material — in fact she does not use the prescribed textbook. However, Leona also f e e l s that motivation i s an essential ingredient to good teaching. She mentions teachers who are good at motivating students, and she also uses a variety of teaching strategies which generate enthusiasm. Leona sees classroom management as a common problem among teachers. Leona contends that the content of the recently revised Junior science curriculum has not changed a great deal, although perhaps teaching s t y l e s have. She believes that the curriculum i s "Just" a guideline, a l b e i t an i n f l e x i b l e guide. Curriculum policy should be less p r e s c r i p i v e . It should be revised following more direct input at the classroom l e v e l . She supports the notion of a core curriculum plus options which she can choose. The new course emphasizes labs and their i s i n s u f f i c i e n t reading material to s u i t her perception of the subject matter. The 191 new course lacks organization and continuity, which i s in keeping with the e f f i c i e n c y which Leona values. Community and school expectations are Important considerations for Leona. She finds that the necessity of preparing students for future p r o v i n c i a l l y examinable courses i s a pressure on her teaching. The disruptive p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i s an external influence, and time pressures seem to be an internal influence on Leona's teaching. This i s supportive of her need for e f f i c i e n c y in her Job. In considering the students, Leona focusses her attention on their needs and a b i l i t i e s . She sees the need to be f l e x i b l e in teaching and s e l e c t i n g materials for students according to the composition of the c l a s s . Leona has a perception that students must be made to understand, and t h i s can be accompllshed by varying teaching methods and s t y l e s . <4> Pete; Pete subscribes to the philosophy that e f f e c t i v e teaching Involves motivating students. He does t h i s by using a variety of teaching strategies beyond a t r a d i t i o n a l lecture-lab approach. He also emphasizes labs, and problem-solving a c t i v i t i e s . Pete f e e l s that there are si m i l a r problems faced by al1 teachers, including himself, 192 In terms of cla s s control, communication, and organization of a lesson. He also indicates that teachers use the same kinds of teaching methods. They Just vary the way that they present the material. Pete believes that there must be evidence of some basic s k i l l s such as group management, and communication in order to become a teacher. Pete does not think the Junior science course should focus on theory as much as i t does. He f e e l s that besides providing some basic knowledge, science should also be presented as a part of l i f e — he perceives a d e f i n i t e link between science and society. Pete finds that the new course focusses on knowledge (too much so), whereas he says the old course emphasized discovery learning. He does not see much difference in subject matter, but f e e l s that the new course has a new focus on "attitudes". He thinks that the present course materials are poorly organized, but they provide s u f f i c i e n t back-up. His comments here are consistent with the foregoing perceptions of teaching. He encourages students to bring things in that are t o p i c a l . Pete values science as a part of the World — and so prefers to treat the science curriculum with some f l e x i b i l i t y . In commenting on when c u r r i c u l a should be revised, Pete indicates that i t should only be changed to r e f l e c t necessary changes. For example, when the subject matter i s no longer appropriate. Again, t h i s i s in keeping 193 with Pete's e a r l i e r feelings with regard to h i s perceptions of teaching. Pete considers community and school administration expectations in terms of performance on government exams influence h i s teaching. He indicates that he must adjust h i s teaching for senior classes because of these pressures. Another external force which he perceives to have an adverse effected on h i s teaching i s the current p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n . Pete f e e l s that both these external influences r e s t r i c t h i s a b i l i t i e s to be e f f e c t i v e according to h i s perceptions. Pete focusses h i s teaching on students' interests in that he tends to select materials which he perceives w i l l be of interest to the students. Pete also considers students' a b i l i t i e s . For example, he groups the students according to a b i l i t i e s . Both these factors seem to be motivational teaching approaches, and they coincide with Pete's perceptions of high school science. Experienced teachers; (5) Ron: Ron perceives student Inspiration as the essential component in teaching. Ron believes that e f f e c t i v e teaching involves hard work, an outgoing personality, and the 194 teacher must l i k e children. He f e e l s that t h i s can be accomplished by doing e x c i t i n g labs. Ron states that he i s very lab oriented. He follows a lecture-lab teaching method. He l i k e s labs that motivate students, and he mentioned two labs using preserved f i s h , and a demo lab using the Van de Graaf e l e c t r o s t a t i c generator. However, most of the labs that he described in the Interview are t y p i c a l l y rote. Ron assumes that people must have an outgoing personality In order to teach; although, he Is also of the opinion that most teaching techniques can be taught (and learned). Ron does not see much difference between the old and new junior science curriculum in terms of content. He perceives the curriculum i t s e l f as a document to be followed c l o s e l y . In h i s mind, classroom Instruction must follow the curriculum inexorably. Although i t was not stated d i r e c t l y , Ron sees the new course in terms of an emphasis on content. He would prefer a lab emphasis, and fe e l s that the current labs in the course are mostly boring! Ron states that the curriculum should be revised on a continual basis, with constant input from classroom teachers. Periodic major rewrites should occur as the material from the f i e l d accumulates. Curriculum r e v i s i o n seems to be textbook driven in Ron's mind. He finds that the course i s well organized in terms of a hier a r c h i c a l knowledge of science. In both h i s perceptions of teaching 195 and subject matter, there seems to be an underlying value for basic s c i e n t i f i c concepts — an i n c l i n a t i o n towards pure science. Ron perceives that there i s an expectation in terms of what he teaches the students in h i s care. He f e e l s that he has a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and obligation to ensure that h i s students know a l l the learning objectives for the courses that he teaches. To t h i s end, he sel e c t s materials and resources which w i l l enable h i s students to achieve t h i s goal . Ron values students' Interests, a b i l i t i e s , and needs. He t r i e s to relate h i s science and P.E instruction to the human, because that i s what students are interested i n . He thinks i t would be a good Idea to provide i n d i v i d u a l i z e d instruction and self-paced instructional packages for students who have learning d i f f i c u l t i e s — although he has not followed through with t h i s , i t shows a concern for students' a b i l i t i e s . He also addresses the perceived needs of students by s t r i v i n g to provide them with the necessary science knowledge as determined by the curriculum. <6> Dave; Aside from having a "love of children", Dave perceives successful teaching in terms of timing and organization. He believes that good teachers must be 196 patient, hardworking, and clever. Dave finds that there are some common problems for teachers, such as generating respect, and motivating students — making them get down to work. However, he f e e l s that there i s a wide variation in teaching methods and approach. Dave follows a set teaching pattern that has been refined over the years. He teaches using what he c a l l s an empirical method, where he continually adjusts the course material u n t i l he finds an approach that works best for him. Dave considers timing to be important. He also l i k e s to stress the fundamentals. As a prerequisite for teaching, individuals must f i r s t l i k e working with other people, and they must be clever (capable, resourceful, and responsible). Dave finds that although the content of the new junior science course has not changed that much, he believes the course emphasis has changed to one st r e s s i n g lab a c t i v i t i e s . He does not feel that the theory i s explained as well as before. He believes that the course i s broken up into too many modules which are unorganized. He also finds that the topics are Incomplete. Dave subscribes to a f a i r l y rigorous interpretation of the curriculum guide. He believes h i s primary focus should be on science theory. However, he also values applied science. For example, Dave contends that curriculum policy should be revised not just to r e f l e c t popularized science issues; but also to r e f l e c t changes in s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. 197 Dave considers external influences such as curriculum change to be a constraint on h i s teaching. This i s mostly because i t i s disruptive to a well-established teaching routine. The lack of equipment support also has a negative impact on h i s teaching, in that Dave may not be able to carry out certain labs i f he does not have the necessary supplies and equipment. In h i s perception of students, Dave does not seem to focus on any one element. He values higher education, and so he provides the educational opportunities which w i l l enable students to achieve t h i s goal. He i s , in t h i s case, focussing on students' needs. Elsewhere during the interview, Dave describes how students' a b i l i t i e s influence the nature of the curriculum materials that he chooses. He Indicates that the students are the ones who make the course fun or Just a "pain ln the neck". Although Dave believes that students' Interests are important, t h i s element does not seem to be valued as highly as students' needs and a b i l i t i e s . Dave f e e l s that the new senior Chemistry textbook does not include topics of interest that would provide a more rounded chemical education. However, he chooses not to supplement the course with extra materials that might provide t h i s added int e r e s t . The interviews showed that there i s a variety of constraints on teachers. However, the over-riding factor 198 was the need for more time. Whether teachers were t a l k i n g about curriculum implementation, preparation, marking, provincial exams, paperwork, or classroom administrivia, s u f f i c i e n t time to get the Job done was a common theme. It seems that these factors have a tremendous influence on how a teacher functions. Therefore, constraints on teaching must also be considered as major influences on paradigm development. This seems to be in keeping with Shymansky and Kyle (1988). In their analysis, they found that inadequate funds, supplies, f a c i l i t i e s , and time were the reasons for teachers teaching in certain ways. The high school curriculum, es p e c i a l l y the subject-area curriculum appears to Impact on teachers' functional paradigms. Again, each innovation a f f e c t s each teacher d i f f e r e n t l y . The par t i c i p a n t s had a common perception of curriculum, although some said that r e v i s i o n should be on-going, whilst others sa i d i t should only occur as needed. In describing t h e i r own teaching s t y l e , and thei r ideas of what constitutes a "good" teacher, the par t i c i p a n t s again used s i m i l a r phrases. The terminology used clo s e l y resembles the descriptors used to form a p r o f i l e of an "outstanding science teacher" in a study conducted by Searles and Kudekl (1987). 199 The evidence from the data seems to support the contention that many of the elements making up an individual's functional paradigms are shared by other teachers within the segment of the population. However, the overlap between individual's functional paradigms i s not c l e a r l y defined. There are c e r t a i n l y s i m i l a r i t i e s among the p a r t i c i p a n t s , in terms of t h e i r stated b e l i e f s about teaching, problems in teaching, exemplars or ways of doing things, and d a i l y routines or patterns of behaviour. Yet, the c o n s t e l l a t i o n of elements making up one person's functional paradigms does not exactly mirror other teachers functional paradigms. It i s as i f one i s viewing the night sky from two d i f f e r e n t locations on Earth. The myriads of stars may be the same. However, the ultimate patterns that they form in the night sky may appear d i f f e r e n t l y . This concept i s summarized in Figure 3 later on in the chapter. 5.3.2 Teachers' Functional Paradigms and Career Posj tlon The purpose of t h i s section i s to determine i f there i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p between teachers' functional paradigms, and their career positions. 200 Apprentice teachers Betty believes that teaching Involves presenting a comprehensive knowledge of science. She sees variations of the lecture method as the most e f f e c t i v e approach. Betty adheres to the topics prescribed by the curriculum guide. Betty stresses lab work. In s e l e c t i n g curriculum materials for her courses, she looks for resources which can add to the textbook in terms of more detailed Information. Betty focusses her attention on her perceived needs of the students. She adjusts her lessons to s u i t the a b i l i t i e s of the students. Sam, on the other hand, values motivation. He does not see a need to follow the curriculum guide in t o t a l i t y . Rather, he supplements h i s courses with materials which he sees as being of interest to the students. He believes that a variety of teaching strategies must be used in order to be an e f f e c t i v e teacher. The differences observed here can perhaps be att r i b u t e d to the fact that Betty has been Involved In teaching as a substitute for a number of years. Whereas Sam i s fresh out of u n i v e r s i t y . 201 Post apprentice teachers Leona values organizational e f f i c i e n c y . She supplements her courses with materials designed to f a c i l i t a t e 1 earning...and to a l l e v i a t e her marking load. Leona also believes that teaching involves presenting a comprehensive knowledge of science. The course materials that she s e l e c t s are generally limited to the curriculum guide, although Leona would prefer more f l e x i b i l i t y . Leona sel e c t s her course materials to r e f l e c t students' needs and a b i 1 i t i e s . Pete values motivation. He teaches using a variety of teaching approaches. Pete i s f l e x i b l e in h i s interpretation of the curriculum. He s e l e c t s learning materials which emphasize the link between science and society. Pete focusses h i s use of currlculun materials ln terms of students' interests and a b i l i t i e s . In t h i s experience category, the teachers seem to be quite d i f f e r e n t . Evidence presented ln an e a r l i e r section indicates that both are r e l a t i v e l y progressive teachers. However, the two post-apprentice teachers do not seem to have a great deal ln common with respect to their interpretation of curriculum. This d i s p a r i t y i l l u s t r a t e s the Important difference between the categories and sub-categories that describe teachers' functional 202 paradigms, and the elements of those categories. Clearly, the two post-apprentice teachers share some common categories; however, the ways in which they interpret curriculum through their teaching, and even the r e l a t i v e s t a b i l i t y of the i r ideas about teaching d i f f e r . Experienced teachers Ron values pure science and motivational teaching. He stimulates students by doing interesting labs. He adheres s t r i c t l y to the curriculum, and so he sel e c t s learning materials which r e f l e c t t h i s p o s i t i o n . Ron also believes that he has an obligation to provide a c t i v i t i e s which w i l l ensure that students have a complete knowledge of the Intended curriculum. Even though he has t h i s seemingly r e s t r i c t i v e philosophy, Ron considers the needs, a b i l i t i e s , and interests of students when s e l e c t i n g resources. Dave values organizational e f f i c i e n c y in h i s teaching. He considers timing to be important. He has a f a i r l y s t r i c t interpretation of the curriculum, and so sel e c t s materials for the students accordingly. Dave's teaching focusses f i r s t l y on science theory. Dave does not do many labs. He chooses a c t i v i t i e s which enable him to get across what i t i s students need to know. Students' needs 203 and a b i l i t i e s seem to be of primary concern when se l e c t i n g a c t i v i t i e s or resources. Although the findings are tentative, i t seems that teachers do become less f l e x i b l e as their career progresses. Beginning teachers have not yet had a chance to f u l l y develop their teaching routines, and exemplars. Their functional paradigms are s t i l l r e l a t i v e l y f l u i d . These teachers are more e a s i l y influenced by their peers, administration, curriculum changes, students, and the school s e t t i n g . These "apprentice" teachers are also influenced by their own teaching practices. Their patterns of teaching evolve as they try d i f f e r e n t methods, and as they experience d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n s . Experienced teachers seem to be much more "set ln th e i r ways". They have established routines that have been molded over the years. These ways of teaching have been refined through experience. One aspect of the teacher's career which was not a focus of t h i s study, but which should be followed up, i s the notion of " c r i t i c a l Incidents" ln the l i f e history of teachers. Measor states that "there are c r i t i c a l incidents which are the key events in the individual's l i f e , and around which pivotal decisions revolve. These events provoke the individual into s e l e c t i n g p a r t i c u l a r kinds of actions, they in turn lead them in p a r t i c u l a r d i r e c t i o n s , 204 and they end up having Implications for identity" ( i n Ball and Goodson, 1985, p.61). Perhaps career position plays a much more s i g n i f i c a n t role in the development and maintenance of teachers' functional paradigms than was previously surmised. If t h i s i s the case, then many aspects of the individual's personal l i f e come to bear. Diamond (1988, p.133) refer s to the stages of teacher development through a career as preconjectural, dogmatic, decision-making, inventive, and emancipatory. Teachers do not necessarily progress through these stages at the same rate. For t h i s reason, i t i s possible to locate teachers at di f f e r e n t stages irrespective of their age or teaching experience. This i s perhaps the reason why there are some inconsistencies between teachers at each experience l e v e l . Again, t h i s i s an area that needs to be looked at in more detai1. 5.4 Teachers' F u n c t i o n a l Paradigms and C u r r i c u l u m Change This section considers the relationship between teachers' functional paradigms and curriculum change. The following questions were considered in t h i s study: a) What are the perceptions of teachers with regard to curriculum change? b) What i s the relationship between teachers' functional paradigms and their perceptions of curriculum change? 205 c) To what extent do teachers' functional paradigms become idiosyn c r a t i c when they are faced with a curriculum change? The f i n a l three research questions are considered together. The par t i c i p a n t ' s notions of curriculum ranged from the textbook as curriculum, to an outline or set of guidelines. There were c o n f l i c t i n g opinions on when curriculum should be revised. Some thought that courses should be revised only as needed, whereas others f e l t that revis i o n should be on-going. S i m i l a r l y , the reasons for a curriculum change evoked a number of di f f e r e n t responses. For example, some believed change i s necessary when textbooks become outdated due to advances in science. One believed that the foregoing would be the least l i k e l y reason for change. Others thought that the curriculum should be revised only when s u f f i c i e n t material or comments had been received by a central curriculum committee. These curriculum committees should be regionally representative, broadly based, and composed of "reputable" teachers. Most par t i c i p a n t s consider curriculum to be p r o v i n c i a l l y mandated, but there should be more f l e x i b i l i t y at the local level i e . less core, more options? reduced emphasis on content. A common thread within the group of teachers who had taught for more than one year was that curriculum changes have r e a l l y amounted to nothing anyway, with very l i t t l e change in content. The parti c i p a n t s had si m i l a r descriptions of the new Junior science course i . e . lacking 206 InformatIon...1abs are uninteresting, without substance, disorganized, or misplaced... Evidently, there are common meanings regarding the curriculum and i t s concomitant textbooks. Most did not distinguish c l e a r l y between the two. Curriculum i s viewed d i f f e r e n t l y by each of the pa r t i c i p a n t s depending on their own functional paradigms. In terms of their perceptions of the subject matter, some perceive science as a d i s t i n c t body of knowledge that must be inculcated. Their teaching focusses on topics which are r e s t r i c t e d to the curriculum guide. They tend to add materials where they feel the prescribed textbook i s weak in s c i e n t i f i c information. Others view science in terms of i t s connections with everyday problems in society. These teachers include extra materials which emphasize the p r a c t i c a l i t y of science, and i t s relationship with technology and society. With regard to the teachers'* perceptions of teaching, some individuals ln t h i s study value motivation. They design their teaching so that i t includes materials, demos, and labs which excite the students about science. These teachers also tend to base their teaching on students' in t e r e s t s . However, there i s some overlap in t h i s sub-category. Other teachers believe In a more academic pursuit of knowledge. Their teaching r e f l e c t s t h i s , in that 207 they u t i l i z e additional materials which enhance s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. There i s a great deal of consistency between individual's perceptions of the subject matter, and their perceptions of teaching. This consistency i s less marked with respect to the other two categories within teachers' functional paradigms. Teachers' perceptions of students influenced t h e i r decisions with regard to their teaching approach. Some selected materials in order to r e f l e c t the perceived needs of the students. Others adjusted their teaching according to the a b i l i t i e s or interests of the students. There were both external and Internal environmental factors which influenced the teachers' perceptions of the s e t t i n g in t h i s study. The teachers altered their teaching to match these perceptions. For example, labs were c u r t a i l e d due to the safety element Involved with large c l a s s s i z e s . Some labs were not done because they were boring, misplaced in the curriculum, or lack of equipment. The nature of the timetable (semestered) coupled with expectations for a good showing on provincial exams may also have r e s t r i c t e d lab work. In t h i s regard, there was i n s u f f i c i e n t time to do labs and cover the course material. The extent to which teachers' functional paradigms become Idiosyncratic when faced with a curriculum change was d i f f i c u l t to address in the study. There i s some 208 indication from the more experienced teachers that they would f i r s t try their own t r i e d and true methods to implement the change p r i o r to any change in their established routines. Concern was expressed over the lack of accountability in terms of f i d e l i t y to the curriculum. A comparable finding was reported by Crocker (1979). S i m i l a r l y , feelings were expressed that curriculum tends to be generated top-down, and implemented without the benefits of time, money, or consultation with teachers. The more experienced teachers also intimated that most curriculum changes were e s s e n t i a l l y cosmetic, and the change amounted to nothing more than a reorganization of the subject matter. One of the emerging problems in t h i s study was that only three of the teachers experienced the change-over from the old to the new junior science curriculum. Furthermore, i t became apparent that for most part i c i p a n t s , the contemplated change amounted to l i t t l e more than a restructuring of the subject matter. Ron did b r i e f l y mention the e f f e c t i v e schools movement which might be considered as requiring a more radical s h i f t In methodology. If teachers do resort to their own routines, exemplars, and methods as a way of solving problems when faced with a new curriculum, one must r e a l i z e that those i n t e r n a l i z e d patterns of operation are not wholly peculiar 209 to each teacher. It has been shown in t h i s study, and elsewhere that there i s a certain degree of commonality among teachers' functional paradigms both in terms of common categories and sub-categories, and in terms of the elements within each category. However, t h i s seems to be very limited. It appears that there are d i f f e r e n t emphases for each category with each i n d i v i d u a l . Not a l l teachers even within the same segment share a l l of the same elements, and even i f there i s some commonality, they do not seem to share the same elements to the same degree. This concept i s summarized in Figure 3 In the next section. 5.5 Summary of Research Findings This study used recent changes in science c u r r i c u l a In B r i t i s h Columbia as a backdrop in which to consider the nature of teachers' functional paradigms. Six science teachers in a r e l a t i v e l y closed s e t t i n g were interviewed. The interviews were conducted using a predefined schedule of questions. In the analysis of the data, categories s i m i l a r to those used by Lantz and Kass (1987) were described. A number of sub-categories were also i d e n t i f i e d . Table V that follows l i s t s these sub-categories. 210 TABLE V Sub-categories of Teachers' Functional Paradigms 1. Teachers' perceptions of teaching: o perceptions of e f f e c t i v e teaching, o perceptions of teaching problems and routines, o perceptions of teaching methodology and s t y l e , o perceptions of teacher development. 2. Teachers' perceptions of the subject matter: o percepions of curriculum materials. o perceptions of curriculum p o l i c y . o perceptions of curriculum policy r e v i s i o n . 3. Teachers' perceptions of the school s e t t i n g : o perceptions of the internal school environment, o perceptions of the external school environment. 4. Teachers' perceptions of the students: o perceptions of students' needs. o perceptions of students' a b i l i t i e s . o perceptions of students' interests. Within each of the sub-categories, elements in the functional paradigms of the science teachers emerged. These elements varied between teachers. There were some shared elements. However, the teachers in t h i s study did not a l l share the same elements. They interpret and use curriculum materials in di f f e r e n t ways. Some believe the curriculum to be merely a set of suggested guidelines. They supplement the i r courses with other topics that stress applied 211 science, inquiry science, and technological science. Other teachers in the study maintain a strong link between the prescribed curriculum and their own teaching practices. In th e i r teaching, some teachers value motivation. They do a lot of labs, they try to incorporate c r i t i c a l thinking, problem solving, and other varied approaches into their teaching. They focus their teaching on students' interests. Others prefer e f f i c i e n c y and organization. They are concerned with how the course i s organized. They adjust th e i r teaching according to students' a b i l i t i e s , and they are more conscious of the expectations of others. However, the previous descriptions do not separate the teachers in the study into i d e n t i f i a b l e groups. In fact, i t appears that certain elements of one category may be s i m i l a r with two teachers. But, the elements within another category may not be the same for those same two teachers. As was discussed in section 5.2, the findings suggest that the model i l l u s t r a t e d in Figure 1 proposed by Lantz and Kass (1987) needs to be broadened to account for the two-way relationship that seems to exist between the various categories and teachers' functional paradigms. This concept i s more eas i l y explained in a diagram. Figure 2, which follows, i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s notion of the d i a l e c t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p that e x i s t s between the categories, and teachers' functional paradigms. 212 FIGURE 2 An i l l u s t r a t i o n showing the ma.lor factors which Influence the formation, development. and maintenance of teachers' functional paradigms I I I CURRICULUM POLICY I I I I CURRICULUM MATERIALS I 1 * 1 TEACHERS' BACKGROUND I AND EXPERIENCE! TEACHERS' FUNCTIONAL I PARADIGMS CURRENT TEACHING SITUATION CURRENT CLASSROOM PRACTICE 213 It i s apparent from the findings described in section 5.2, that there are a number of factors which influence teachers' functional paradigms. It seems that current classroom practices, which involve the selection of topics, learning materials, teaching methods and approaches, are largely influenced by teachers' perceptions of high school science, teaching, students, and the school s e t t i n g . However, i t also appears that conversely, current classroom practices have an impact on teachers' functional paradigms. S i m i l a r l y , there i s probably a dynamic relationship between other categories, such as curriculum materials, current teaching s i t u a t i o n , and teachers' functional paradigms. For example, teachers' b e l i e f s about teaching and the subject matter w i l l influence t h e i r interpretation of curriculum materials. The study i d e n t i f i e d both t r a d i t i o n a l i s t teachers and progressive teachers. These two orientations develop because of d i f f e r i n g c o n s t ellations of b e l i e f s , values, routines and exemplars. They view curriculum d i f f e r e n t l y , and they treat curriculum materials d i f f e r e n t l y . Another factor, that i s influenced by, and Influences teachers' functional paradigms i s the current teaching s i t u a t i o n . For example, the data indicate that the nature of the teaching assignment, the type of courses to be taught (mainstream science or science with technological and societal connections; junior or senior science...), the work load (class s i z e ; marking and preparation; modified science...), and other factors such as 2 1 4 provincial exams, timetable (semester or nonsemester), prep, time, and a v a i l a b i l i t y of resources, a l l d i r e c t l y Influence the teacher's selection of curriculum materials, topics, and teaching approach. It has been shown in t h i s study that there are many differences that exist among the p a r t i c i p a n t s . There are apparent differences in university t r a i n i n g , family backgrounds, gender, age, teaching experience, age of entry into the profession, reasons for entering the profession, career ambitions, commitment to teaching, and teaching methodology (t r a d i t i o n a l / p r o g r e s s i v e ) . These differences have been described throughout the study. The various factors described influence teachers' functional paradigms to greater or lesser extents. Therefore, i t seems that even though common categories can be Identified within the functional paradigms of a segment of teachers, the degree of Influence of each category, and sub-category varies between teachers. Figure 3, which follows, i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s concept. In the schematic, the d i f f e r e n t strands represent the various categories which as a group, represent the c o n s t e l l a t i o n of b e l i e f s , values, problems, and exemplars which compose an individual's functional paradigms. The length of each strand s i g n i f i e s the notion that the various factors have d i f f e r i n g Impacts on the teacher. 215 FIGURE 3 An I l l u s t r a t i o n depicting the relationship between various influencing factors and teachers' f u n c t i o n a l paradigms o-o-\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ 0 0 / 0 I I I / / / / TEACHERS' L FUNCTIONAL L_ PARADIGMS L I /* f f * ^ -0 \ / \ / I I 0 \ \ \ \ \ 0 NOTEt Each strand represents the elements within a di f f e r e n t category. The degree of influence i s depicted by the length of the strand. 216 Many of the foregoing categories described In t h i s study are consistent with the findings of Lortie (1975). However, there are s i m i l a r i t i e s even within these groups. Each category i s not necessarily universal to the entire group. One cannot typify each Individual, but as a group, one can identify common categories. This seems to support the work of Lantz and Kass (1987). For example, there i s a commonality of language and terms used to describe past teachers who have influenced the pa r t i c i p a n t s . S i m i l a r l y , when the par t i c i p a n t s were asked to describe what they thought were commonalities within the organization, they used many of the same words. Bucher and Strauss (1976) say that "segments of an organization have a core of professional a c t i v i t y " . It i s t h i s concept that seems to be defined by the data at hand. There i s a core of common categories within t h i s p a r t i c u l a r segment (the teachers in the science department at Mountainvlew Secondary Schoool). Accepting that there are teachers' functional paradigms at the personal l e v e l , then one can v i s u a l i z e certain degrees of commonality at the various segmental levels (Olson's sub-culture l e v e l s ) , and perhaps some commonality at the organizational level (Olson's culture level) of the profession. Figure 4, which follows, i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s concept. 217 F I G U R E 4 An I l l u s t r a t i o n showing the possible emergence of a commonality of teachers' functional paradigms within the hierarchy of groupings within the profession 'C r e f e r s to the commonality among teachers' functional paradigms at the segmental and organizational l e v e l s . 218 The degree of commonality at each stratum i s determined by the intersection of teachers' functional paradigms. This i s also depicted in Figure 4. The model outlined in the previous figure, uses the Lantz and Kass' model as a basis upon which to extend the idea. It i s Important to understand that t h i s commonality includes the categories and sub-categories outlined in t h i s study. This can also be extended to include the elements of these categories within teachers' functional paradigms. In other words, the way that individuals teach, s e l e c t , interpret, u t i l i z e curriculum materials, and respond to teaching constraints. However, the extension of these elements to the organizational level should be considered to be tenuous. 5.6 Implications of the Study This research has possibly shed some light on the gap between the mandated and translated curriculum by ex p l i c a t i n g the nature of teachers' functional paradigms. The findings of t h i s study may provide p r a c t i c a l knowledge for those interested in some form of organizational change whose impact i s at the classroom l e v e l . One possible outcome may be to suggest to curriculum developers some alternate approaches to designing new c u r r i c u l a for the worker in the classroom. 219 The study may also provide an insight into why teachers and classrooms function as they do. For example, i s a teacher most l i k e l y to teach using an e c l e c t i c model of teaching which has i t s roots predominantly in the teacher's own experiences as a student? Another possible outcome may be to propose s i g n i f i c a n t changes to the teacher t r a i n i n g programs that currently exist in B r i t i s h Co1umb i a. The study suggests that there Is a relationship between teachers' functional paradigms and career p o s i t i o n . This i s of value to curriculum developers. They must consider the career stage of teachers when contemplating an innovative change in curriculum. 5.7 Suggestions for Further Research A s i m i l a r study should be conducted to determine the nature of the functional paradigms of those involved in major curriculum development a c t i v i t i e s . From my own experiences on curriculum committees and other Ministry of Education i n i t i a t e d projects, i t becomes apparent that the individual teachers who apply for and are selected for these a c t i v i t i e s also share a common set of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . The degree to which t h i s group of teachers' shared functional paradigms coincide with those of p r a c t i c i n g classroom teachers (who are not involved in 220 curriculum development) may account for some of the recent d i f f i c u l t i e s that have been experienced in curriculum implementation. The nature of the functional paradigms of teachers at teacher t r a i n i n g i n s t i t u t e s should also be investigated. S i m i l a r l y , the Influence of school, students, and colleagues on teachers' functional paradigms needs investigation. This study has focussed on the espoused theories of science teachers. Another study should be c a r r i e d out to determine the teacher's theories-in-use. In their summary of research ln science education, Shymansky and Kyle (1988) warn that without such p a r a l l e l studies of what i s taking place in classrooms, "serious misconceptions about the state of science teaching"...may result (p.259). A study could be conducted to compare the degree of s i m i l a r i t y between teachers' descriptions of their previous teachers, and the i r own teaching. Another study could be conducted to f i n d the relationship between teachers' understanding of what constitutes a "good" teacher, and their own teaching. This study did not examine pre-apprentice teachers ( s t i l l in teacher t r a i n i n g i n s t i t u t e s ) , nor did i t investigate the pre-retirement or r e t i r e d sub-groups. Such a study should be conducted. Comparative studies should 221 also be conducted in other schools, and in other d i s c i p l l n e s . There i s a need for further work to determine the relationship between teachers' functional paradigms, career p o s i t i o n , and c r i t i c a l incidents within teachers' l i f e h i s t o r i e s . 5.8 Concluding Remarks This study has focussed on the nature of teachers' functional paradigms. The r e s u l t s seem to Indicate f i r s t l y that there are common categories and sub-categories that can be used to describe teachers. These common categories have enabled the researcher to analyze the data to determine what factors Influence the development of teachers' functional paradigms. There appears to be a number of main categories contributing to the formation, development, and maintenance of teachers' functional paradigms. Within each category, there are a number of lesser elements. These factors seem to coincide with those of Lantz and Kass (1987). They include: 1. past educational experiences (previous teachers..). 2. background in general (family history,...) 3. practicum experiences. 4. past and present teaching experiences. 5. curriculum materials. 6. constraints on teaching. 7. school, students, and other workers in the school. 222 There seems to be a "core" of common categories among teachers. The intersection of the elements within these factors composes the functional paradigms of teachers in general. Although the paradigms are functional in an active sense, they are r e l a t i v e l y stable within the "culture", and over the long term. It i s t h i s s t a b i l i t y that must be considered i f innovators in education ever contemplate a change which would require a s h i f t in teachers'' functional paradigms. This commonality of b e l i e f s , routines, problems, and exemplars i s probably greater among teachers within the same small segment of the organization than within the entire profession (Figure 4). Evidently, teachers s e l e c t , interpret, and u t i l i z e learning materials in di f f e r e n t ways dependent on the nature of their personal functional paradigms. A number of d i f f e r i n g elements in teachers' functional paradigms have been i d e n t i f i e d . These elements determine how teachers teach In terms of their use of curriculum materials. Curriculum change agents must consider the functional paradigms of individuals and determine how common these paradigms are before attempting a major pedagogical change. This study has shown that i f these factors are not considered, then the curriculum change that i s contemplated w i l l be reduced to a mere change in content. The teachers w i l l u t i l i z e the curriculum materials according to their 223 own functional paradigms. The i n e r t i a against curriculum change i s most d i f f i c u l t to overcome with more experienced teachers, and more e a s i l y overcome with beginning teachers. 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A P P E N D I X A SAMPLE SCHEDULE OF INTERVIEW QUESTIONS USED IN MAIN STUDY INTERVIEW SCHEDULE Preamble Science teachers in B r i t i s h Columbia have experienced a number of curriculum changes over the last few years. These include revisions to the Senior Biology and Chemistry courses, Junior Science and the addition of a new course c a l l e d Science and Technology 11. Some researchers suggest that in order to eff e c t a curriculum change, there must be some compatibilty between teachers' b e l i e f systems and the nature of the curriculum innovation. One aspect of t h i s study w i l l be to investigate how teachers deal with new c u r r i c u l a , and in p a r t i c u l a r , why teachers deal with new c u r r i c u l a in certain ways — What are the influences which may have shaped an individual's b e l i e f systems such that they govern how a curriculum change i s implemented? Of p a r t i c u l a r Interest, i s the degree of commonality that may exist among teachers in terms of the i r b e l i e f systems, routines, patterns and problems in the context of a curriculum innovation. In 233 234 other words, what interpretations and meanings do individual teachers attach to a new si t u a t i o n — in t h i s case, a curriculum change? And to what extent are these thoughts, Judgements and decisions common to a group of teachers? The purpose of t h i s study i s to determine the nature of teachers' functional paradigms in terms of how they interpret curriculum change. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the following questions shall be examined: 1. What are some of the factors which influence the formulation of teachers' functional paradigms? 2. What i s the nature of teachers' functional paradigms? 3. a) What are the perceptions of teachers with regard to curriculum change? b) What i s the relat i o n s h i p between teachers' functional paradigms and their perceptions of curriculum change? c) To what extent do teachers' functional paradigms become idiosyn c r a t i c when they are faced with a curriculum change? A subsidiary purpose i s to examine teachers' backgrounds and determine what aspects of the i r backgrounds might influence the formation of their functional paradigms. In p a r t i c u l a r , I am interested in investigating the nature of teachers' past experiences in terms of how they might shape th e i r functional paradigms in the context of a curriculum innovation. 235 QUESTIONS TO BE USED AS A GUIDELINE FOR THE INTERVIEWER. TEACHER CODE: DATE: PART A BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE 1. What were the influences on you that made you become a teacher? Why did you become a teacher? 2. a) How long have you taught ( i n general, science)? b) Have you taught other subjects beside science? Exp l a i n . 3. a) Describe your academic background. b) Have you taken any courses in Science Education? When? Comment. c) Do you have any other t r a i n i n g or experience that has helped prepare you to teach science? Explain. d) How would you describe your science related background? ("Practical" or "Theoretical"?) Explain. e) How would you describe the science courses that you r e c a l l taking in university? ("Traditional" or "NontradltIonal" science-type courses?) Explain. f) What influence, i f any, did your academic university t r a i n i n g have on your teaching practices? Explain. g) What influence, i f any, did your Science Education/Education t r a i n i n g have on your teaching practices? Explain. 4. a) Please describe the university professor(s) that you thought was the best (most admired?). b) Why was he/she so great? c) Did you enjoy his/her classes? Why? d) How would you describe his/her teaching approach? e) Can you describe the classroom s e t t i n g in t h i s case? 5. Which year at university do you think about the most? Why? 6. a) Describe the general kinds of in-service that you have p a r t i c i p a t e d in with respect to science teaching. b) How has the in-service influenced your teaching? Comment. 7. What were your favourite courses during your high school years? Why? 8 . a) When you think of a l l the teachers that you had during your early school years (elem./sec.) who do you think of? Why? b) Why was he/she so great? c) Did you enjoy his/her classes? Why? d) How would you describe his/her teaching approach? e) How would you describe the classroom s e t t i n g in th i s case? ( t r a d i t i o n a l , open, shared, groupings, lab oriented, . . . ) . P A R T B TEACHER VIEWS AND OPINIONS 1. How did you know "how" to teach? 2. Why do you teach science the way that you do? 237 3. In your opinion, to what extent do you think the b e l i e f s , goals, problems, teaching practices and routines of teachers are common to a l l teachers? Cor are they idiosyncratic?) 4. What was the major Influence on your teaching style? 5. What should curriculum developers consider when they are developing new c u r r i c u l a ? 6. What factors influence your teaching s t y l e in terms of the school environment, students, and s t a f f ? 7. How do you view your teaching as a career in the context of your outside school l i f e ? 8. What did you want to be when you grew up? 9. Some people have said that teaching i s a " c a l l i n g " . Others have said that you have to be born with the a b i l i t y to teach. Please comment on these notions. FART,C CURRICULUM PERCEPTIONS. EMPHASES AND MEANINGS 1. Under what circumstances should a curriculum be revised? Comment. 2. Has the new curriculum influenced your teaching in any way? 3. Can you comment on the t r a n s i t i o n between the Junior science and senior science program? 4. How useful i s a curriculum guide to your teaching? 5. Who should decide curriculum policy? ( p r o v i n c i a l , d i s t r i c t , school, department, individual) 238 a) Do you feel any pressure to "cover" the course? Exp l a i n . b) Do you feel any pressure to spend more time on any one topic? Explain. c) Which topics do you prefer to teach? Why? What influence, i f any, have the provincial exams had on your classroom teaching? Explain. PART D TEACHING PRACTICES. METHODS. AND STYLE What aspects of Junior Science (at each grade level) do you emphasize the most during your teaching. Why? How would you characterize the kind of classroom s i t u a t i o n in which you teach? Comment. Could you describe a typical science lesson, or the type of lesson that you use most often (grouping, materials, teaching approach, questioning techniques...) a) To what extent do you have students manipulate lab apparatus? b) Do you perform teacher demonstrations of labs? c) Do you have any preference for one form of teaching strategy over another? d) What problems, If any, do you have ln organising your classroom for a lab? a) Do your students enjoy doing labs? Do you? b) Do you prefer to lecture, give notes on the board, give notes on the overhead projector, hand out notes, or do you use a combination of the preceding? Comment. 239 c) Do your students enjoy doing projects, debates, oral reports...? d) Do you ever have students role-play, do simulations, play games, do case studies, b u i l d models, make posters or mobiles...? e) Do your students ever go on f i e l d t r i p s ? f) Do you ever have guest speakers or resource people come into your classroom? g) Do you have any plants/animals in your classroom? 6. How would you characterise your teaching st y l e ? ( t r a d i t i o n a l / nontraditional) 7. Have your teaching methods/style changed since the new Junior science course was implemented? [not for beginning teachers] 8. If you were given a l l the resources, space, f a c i l i t i e s , equipment and time necessary to Implement a new Junior science course, how would you teach the course? (types of a c t i v i t i e s , classroom organization...) 9. Do you prefer students to work i n d i v i d u a l l y , or In groups? Why? 10. Do you use computers with your science students? Do you use a computer for your personal/school work? 240 PART E PERCEPTIONS OF TEACHING 1. In general, do you believe that students are interested in science or disinterested? Why? 2. Should a l l students take science, or do you think that science should r e a l l y be for those students who are capable of learning science? 3. How do you adjust your teaching of science for slow learners? Comment. 4. a) Do you see any s i m i l a r i t i e s or differences between the new Junior/Senior (Chemistry, Biology) Science curriculum and the previous curriculum? Explain. b) Is there any p a r t i c u l a r emphasis with the new curriculum that you perceive to be the same or dif f e r e n t from the previous curriculum? Explain. 5. If X had been d i f f e r e n t , what would your feelings be towards the new curriculum/teaching in general? 6. In your opinion, what are the q u a l i t i e s of a good teacher? 7. Do you f i n d that there are certain school-based influences on how you teach? Explain. Thank you. Closing comments. APPENDIX B SAMPLE TRANSCRIPT OF PILOT STUDY INTERVIEWS INTERVIEW #1 INTERVIEW #1 ~ SUBJECT IS SCIENCE DEPARTMENT HEAD AT A GRADE 8 TO 10 JUNIOR SECONDARY IN A SMALL NORTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA CITY (pop. 12000). (unedited for grammar or s t y l e ) SC: Some of the f i r s t questions I am going to look at are <to do with) academic background and experience. They w i l l be very general questions as opposed to s p e c i f i c yes and no kinds of questions. Number one, what were the influences on you that made you chose teaching I t s e l f ? In other words, why did you become a teacher? 1: Well, my family, a lot of them were in teaching. I feel that i t ' s a r e a l l y worthwhile job, an Important job. SC: Your family, parental or your . . .? 1: My mother, my s i s t e r , my wife, and her family. SC: Do you have teachers in the family? 1: Yes, they were a l l teachers. Not a l l , no, but they were. I think i t ' s Just a r e a l l y worthwhile job and my wife also thought so. SC: Has anyone in p a r t i c u l a r Influenced you in becoming a teacher, either d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y ? 1: No, I don't think so. No. SC: So when you were going throught school, I guess university mainly, had you in mind that you wanted to become a teacher at that time? 1: No. SC: At what point did you? 1: After a year of grad studies. SC: Chemistry? 241 242 1: Chemistry, yes. SC: You chose teaching as an option for a job or a career goal from that point? 1: Well, not as a job, I mean I guess as a job, but not r e a l l y because I just couldn't see being a chemist, I suppose. SC: In terms of your academic background at university, how would you describe that background? 1: It was chemistry. SC: Would you describe i t as a very p r a c t i c a l sort of t r a i n i n g or more th e o r e t i c a l , or . . .? 1: I found getting into education was r e a l l y a . . .,1 thought i t r e a l l y was ex c i t i n g . I think a lot of people f i n d the f i f t h year program, which was what I took, as being not very good. But I r e a l l y l i k e d i t because I've been in . . . , I took honours chemistry and then grad studies, and I f e l t that I was ready for a change, and i t was r e a l l y almost s t i f l i n g . SC: The academic portion? 1: Yes. SC: And then when you got Into the f i f t h year i t was a b i t more . . . 1: Yes, I f e l t I could see myself doing science instead of . . ., but l i k e I r e a l l y f e l t quite remote from sc i ence. SC: You were at UBC for your f i f t h year? 1: Yes. SC: Was there any p a r t i c u l a r aspect of your teacher t r a i n i n g or academic t r a i n i n g that stands out in the way that you teach? Has i t had an influence on your teaching? 1: Probably. I think that JY <UBC prof) did. SC: Yes, I know J. 1: He was my seminar advisor and also I've known him for a long time now. He's a good f r i e n d . 243 SC: I did my practice teaching with FY (JY's son), and he was on the biology committee with me, and RW (UBC prof) too, people l i k e that, • • . good influences. 1: I mean I remember of others too that I thought were . . . SC: Apart from JY . . . What was It about JY perhaps that you feel was . . . 1: I li k e d h i s enthusiasm. SC: His teaching s t y l e , how would you c l a s s i f y that? 1: Well, I think he's Influenced me a lot as far as teaching s t y l e too. I l i k e h i s depth of knowledge more than anything. SC: What are you doing right now in your teaching? 1: We're doing respiration of grade 9. SC: I just f i n i s h e d that. They l i k e that, the human body s t u f f . 1: I lik e i t too. SC: Do you run a modified program? 1: Yes, I have grade 8 modified. I taught 9's last year, modified. SC: You've been out here for quite a while? 1: Well, I have and I haven't. My wife and I Just moved back not last September, not August, but a year before. We went to for a few years. I guess I started teaching here in '72 so . . . SC: Is t h i s your f i r s t assignment here? 1: Yes. Well, since coming back. SC: How do you l i k e (place)? 244 1: Well, I do. I think there are many very nice things about i t . I think as a place to teach I prefer here. I much prefer here. I think i t ' s a very beautiful place. SC: For the experiences? 1: Good experiences. But I didn't enjoy teaching the same as here. SC: It's funny, in t h i s area quite a few teachers have been and gone from that area. 1: I found i t too closed and too . . ., i f you f i t in there i t ' s a great place. I never f e l t r e a l l y that I f i t , and I do here more. I think there are more people Interested in these sorts of things. SC: I t ' s a b i t l i k e the (place) ln terms of Insular sort of approach. Maybe we can move onto your views and opinions about teachers. Here's a r e a l l y general sort of question. How did you know how to teach? 1: I don't know i f I do yet. I think a lot of the times i t ' s just something that comes naturally, but I'm not sure that i t does. But I'm not sure that there's any one s t y l e that works either. I feel that I'm able to relate well to some kids and not so well to other kids. I'm r e a l l y not sure what makes a difference. SC: Do you f i n d that the teachers at t h i s school are very s i m i l a r in the i r teaching approaches? 1: I don't know. I r e a l l y have very l i t t l e experience over here because I'm concerned about my day to day s t u f f , and I don't get a chance to see . . . SC: Do you f i n d the time constraints are kind of a d i f f i c u l t y in keeping going in teaching science? 1: Oh yes. I think everybody does. SC: Yes, I think i t ' s much the same. How about funding? If you had more funding here would that elev late the problems? 245 1: Well, I think when you talk about funding our yearly budgets are f i n e . I t ' s more in the f a c i l i t i e s , l i k e you notice how our science rooms are. Those are major expend!tures. SC: Being s p l i t apart that's one problem, plus actually maintaining the labs. I think that could be a real d i f f i c u l t y . 1: I think that money could be spent to make things more convenient i s what I'm t r y i n g to say. But as far as the . . . do we have not beakers and s t u f f l i k e that . . . SC: You feel that's s u f f i c i e n t ? 1: Yes. SC: You don't have a science technician or a science aide, do you? 1: No. SC: You mentioned something just b r i e f l y a minute ago related to that. Some people say that teaching i s perhaps a c a l l i n g , and others have said that you are born with the a b i l i t y to teach. How do you feel about those sort of comments? Do you have any idea i f i t ' s a c a l l i n g or were you born to be able to teach whereas some people just . . .? 1: Well, I think It's c e r t a i n l y . . . You know you have to have a lot of commitment to i t . I think you have to have a b e l i e f in kids and a desire to help kids. I don't know i f you're born with an a b i l i t y to teach, I'm not sure. I think you can learn to teach. I think i f you're Interested you can probably teach, i f you're Interested and w i l l i n g to put in the work. If you're not, then probably you can't. I think we a l l make mistakes in our way of teaching and I don't think that probably everybody has their share of things that are their strengths and t h e i r weaknesses. I think that's probably less important than the commitment. SC: You mentioned JY as being an Influence on, or someone that you r e c a l l . How would you describe your teaching s t y l e for teaching science? 2 4 6 1: Well, I think in some ways i t ' s l i k e some of the things he does. I don't know i f I'm as good at i t as him. In some ways I f e e l , I think maybe less certain about a lot of my views than I think he i s . In some ways I f i n d that hard to deal with. I think i f you're pretty convinced about things you can Ignore those and get on with other things. SC: Do you f i n d the "whiz-bang" approach to teaching, i t ' s hard to maintain day afte r day afte r day? 1: Yes. I don't know i f I'd quite say I'm "wiz-bang" but I l i k e doing things that I think are inter e s t i n g . It i s hard to maintain, so I don't everyday. SC: Yes, r i g h t . It comes back to that task. 1: But I ce r t a i n l y think that you have to have an enthusiasm for what you're doing. I hope I've got that. SC: When curriculum developers are developing curriculum, what should they take into account then, when they're thinking of yourself in the classroom? 1: I don't know. You see, I had something to do with the grade 9 s t u f f , so I don't know. I mean I know what I did. I t r i e d to think of things that I thought were r e a l l y interesting, that made sense, and that f i t together, that had some continuity to i t . SC: Maybe we'll look at the Science 9. What aspects of that, was that the chemistry unit that you developed? 1: Yes, chapter one. The stars . . . SC: Yes, the stars and the . . . When you developed that, was i t from your own experiences that you developed i t ? 1: Yes i t was. In some ways I think that's r e a l l y good, in some ways I'm not so sure. There are lo t s of things that I l i k e about that s e r i e s , and I think given the... I don't know too much about the p o l i t i c s behind i t and I'm sure there's some p o l i t i c s behind i t a l l . I know very l i t t l e about that. The people I worked with at Wiley and the other people who were writ i n g on i t , I thought were doing the best they could given the constraints. 247 SC: They were constrained by their time and the funding available for the text, and so on. 1: I f e l t that I was wri t i n g very much in a vacuum often. A lot would go out to reviewers, but then we never sat down often as a group, never as a group of people, l i k e say two or three chemistry teachers w r i t i n g a section, or something l i k e that. It was sort of my ideas and whether that s u i t s everybody, I'm not sure. Yet, there wasn't the money put aside, and we were writ i n g with no certainty of r o y a l t i e s at a l l . There's a lot of time and e f f o r t that goes in and we've got no guarantee of any monetary return. To me, i t would have been a much better idea to say, you know i f we want a r e a l l y good program for B.C. to hir e some people for a year. SC: This was done during . . . You wrote i t during your teaching time as well? 1: Yes, although I did take a year off partly through, because I f e l t I needed a break and to f i n i s h i t up. It was done very much on a part-time basis and I was the only one, as a matter of fact, that took a year o f f . I mean here we are ta l k i n g about a program that must have cost several m i l l i o n d o l l a r s . SC: A b i g investment. 1: Yes, and yet the people who were doing i t were doing i t in their spare time, and I f i n d that you know . . . The same with curriculum committees. I'm sure you've been on one. They're the same. Here you're making m i l l i o n buck decisions. SC: Yes. How much of an Influence do you think the Curriculum Guide has on what happens in the classroom? 248 1: Well, you see, i f you look at the Curriculum Guide, I mean I didn't, but a lot of people did. They think the thing i s incredibly poor as far as what i t says. It says we think there should be some discussion of th i s topic, but i t doesn't say how or what. It di r e c t s the thing, I guess, in a very overall way. But i f the textbook i s written to match the Curriculum Guide, which i s how i t ' s supposed to be, then I think that the textbook r e a l l y has defined the . . . i t ' s pinned i t down. The Curriculum Guide might say, okay t h i s i s what i t ' s supposed to be, but the textbook has pinned i t down. SC: So that the curriculum just becomes a policy item. The textbook r e a l l y drives the course, i : Yes. SC: It's i n t e r e s t i n g when they remove the Publications Branch where the wards w i l l actually stay with the textbooks that we've got are eventually . . . 1: Throw them out maybe? SC: I think so, yes. I think they're going to go that far and p r i v l t l z e i t . I don't know how much control we'll have over i t though. 1: The d i s t r i c t s have m i l l i o n s of d o l l a r s Invested in t h i s . SC: Yes, I'm tr y i n g to get backup copies i f they've already committed to a program and a l l of a sudden i t dries up, the supply dries up. 1: I can see real . . . For a l l the thoughts, I mean like Science Probe s e r i e s isn't perfect there's some parts I l i k e . I happen to r e a l l y l i k e the grade 9 book. I think i t ' s e a s i l y the best. SC: Well, t h i s i s the f i r s t time I'm teaching Just t h i s . I've done the chemistry and I've just started the space science. I thought maybe we'd get some clear nights. 1: It would be r e a l l y Interesting to know what you think a f t e r . 249 SC: Yes. Well, the chemistry was f i n e . I l i k e d that. The reason I liked i t was because there were a lot of questions and I think that was lacking in the grade 8. 1: I f i n d that a b i t in grade 8 too. I think t h i s year given the problems, that the people did a pretty good job. SC: I'm writing the correspondence course for that Bi 12. It's a vacuum too and time pressures and the money's not there, I mean i f they want a good job. They're going to be using i t for small schools too, so i t s not just correspondence. It's a shame, you know, you have visions at the s t a r t . I imagine you probably had a vis i o n of what great job you can do and I don't know i f i t ' s f r u s t r a t i n g . 1: Well, I'm r e a l l y glad I worked on i t . I'm sure you feel the same way about what you're doing. As a teacher i t ' s a r e a l l y b e n e f i c i a l thing. I'm r e a l l y concerned about the d i r e c t i o n i t ' s going. The role of education r e a l l y bothers me quite a lot because I think that we could be In real danger. One person's using one text and the next Is...Pretty soon everybody, nobody knows what course they're t a l k i n g about. In some ways I don't r e a l l y think It matters as long as we give kids a f e e l i n g of enthusiasm for what they're doing and everything. It does matter in a point. You know, i f we say that the curriculum's not important then I think we're doing ourselves a d i s s e r v i c e . SC: Just back on the enthusiasm. Do you recal1 from your high school years any p a r t i c u l a r teachers that stand out? 1: Yes I do, a number of them ac t u a l l y . I t ' s funny that one of the teachers that I remember quite well, and one of my friends who . . . There's a pretty s i m i l a r t r a i n i n g to me, in fact very s i m i l a r , we thought t h i s guy was r e a l l y boring and I r e a l l y liked the guy. I don't know whether he was boring or not boring, but I think as a person he was a good person. SC: Was he a science teacher? 1: Yes. SC: And h i s teaching s t y l e , how would you categorize that? 250 1: It's funny, I don't remember very much from my high school days as far as the fact c l a s s s t u f f , I mean that's one of the good things a c t u a l l y , when I think about i t . Maybe we could do less. SC: Maybe we don't need fact that much. 1: Probably not. But I think we do in a sense. With the day to day stu f f I think kids forget. Certainly we do. SC: Your teaching s t y l e , I can see you use the chalkboard. Do you use other tools? Do you use the media, you've got the t.v. there, the overhead projector? 1: Yes. SC: How about access to computers in t h i s school? 1: I've used them a couple times t h i s year. I gain to feel that we've got to be very careful with the use of those things. I don't know i f you've seen science tool k i t Just as a...Have you seen that? I'm r e a l l y excited about that. SC: We Just bought i t . It' s amazing. That's where a lot of the science software w i l l be going so you can't copy the programs without having a l l the p r o f i l e s . 1: What I l i k e about i t i s that to me i t ' s a...I don't know about other aspects of the program, but what I lik e about i t i s that to me that's r e a l l y a science use of computers. I'm not r e a l l y excited about... I think i t ' s r e a l l y neat to use them as a word processer, but I'm not going to bother teaching kids in science I've got enough else to do. Same with a number of other uses of computers l i k e data bases and a l l those things. I think s c i e n t i s t s use those but to me, you know, i f I've got to be a computer teacher too then the heck with i t . As far as using computers l i k e the Science Tool Kit thing, I'm r e a l l y excited about making use of that for some kinds of things because I think that as r e a l l y using i t as a science instrument rather than Just a g l o r i f i e d typewriter or . . . SC: Yes, maybe a b i t more than . . . Some of the programs are pretty wrote . . . You see some instructions and you feed back some answers from the information, that sort of thing. 251 1: Yes. SC: How about the Junior science group? What sort of s i m i l a r i t i e s or differences do you see between the newer curriculum and the previous curriculum? 1: I see a l o t . When I started in '72 . . . I've taught long enough now to begin to see how i t gets developed. The o r i g i n a l s t u f f when I started, I don't know how long you've been teaching, but developing science concepts . . . SC: Yes, 1978 to 88, s t a r t i n g when the worksheets got publlshed. 1: Those were a response to the B.C. Science Teacher's Association, a desire to have more labs in the courses. When I started teaching, I remember f e e l i n g that there were far too many labs. I mean, I made a mistake ln teaching far too many labs, having far too many labs and far too l i t t l e reading and s t u f f . The reading books that went along with the course were r e a l l y not matched to the course, they were'nt that great. Then they always had t h i s other book you had to refer to. I think there were a lot of d i f f i c u l t i e s with that. SC: Are there any s i m i l a r i t i e s then . . .? 1: I think there are a l o t . I think they cover a lot of the same s t u f f . In some ways not as much, in some way more, and in some ways many di f f e r e n t topics that weren't in the . . . The ori g i n a l ones were more sort of straight forward, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy. They didn't have ecology and they didn't have other things. SC: Do you see the approach as being . . . How would you categorize i t ? 1: I l i k e the present ones as a good blend of the experiments and the reading. I think there has to be some time between experiments. SC: Lab, lab, lab. 1: Yes, kids can't keep up with i t and i f you want them to write about i t , they can just get lost in i t . I think too many kids do get lo s t . SC: How i s your marking work similar? 252 1: Now or . . . ? SC: Yes. 1: It's r e a l l y DW, you've got to talk to him. He and I started the same year, actually we had the same two rooms except I was there and he was here. We were talk i n g the other day about i t . I said to him, do you remember when we started out. We had no spare, neither of us, none of the science teachers did. The year before the science department made t h i s decision that they would have no spares. That way we'd get smaller classes, and smaller classes was 28 kids. I taught a physics section in junior high, DW taught the geology section, there was a guy who taught the biology section, and another guy taught the chemistry section. Then we switched kids a quarter of the year, kids, not rooms or anything. We ran through about 900 kids a year, each of us. It was r e a l l y something. SC: I t ' s a large amount at the end. Thlngs've changed. 1: Yes. So I think they're a lot better. SC: You have spares now? 1: Yes, we have six spares in eight periods. SC: What are your courses then? 1: I have two Science 8 modified, Science 8, Vocational Science, two Science 9, and Science 10. I think i t ' s a f a i r l y heavy load. SC: Four or f i v e preps. 253 1: Yes. I only have about six kids in my Vocational Science. It's been up to about twelve or more, but i t can be quite a hassle. It has a teacher aide in there too because one of the kids r e a l l y has some problems, but i t ' s a whole separate course. So there's some way of w r i t i n g something every night. There's no text. SC: No. You modified? Do you Just modify the regular curriculum? No expectations? 1: That's what I do. I change my expectations, I pick and choose the questions, I pick and choose what I expect them to do. I f i n d i t works a l l r i g h t . We're hoping to spend a b i t of time as a department on the modified course t h i s year. Myself, I'm not uncomfortable with that approach because I think we've got to be careful not to water i t down too much, and yet make i t the kids that have reading d i f f i c u l t i e s combined as wel1. SC: When should a curriculum be revised? 1: Good question. It seems to me that there's sort of a r e a l i z a t i o n shomehow by concensus on t h i s that there's a need. I don't know. I've been out of teaching junior science for quite a while because I was teaching elementary for a while, then I was teaching senior high and so I haven't . . . It's too bad. Doug might be somebody that's got more continuity to i t . But I know when I taught the Extending Developing Science Concepts back in '72, '73, that i t was beginning to be f e l t that there was a need, for the reasons that I was saying. Too many labs. It was sort of at ,the area of discovery science, with these b i t s and pieces in front and you're supposed to discover al1 these . . . SC: Yes, l i k e the light bulb. 1: Yes. I think that was r e a l i z e d . Some people s t i l l think i t ' s great, but I think i t was r e a l i z e d to be a b i t of a mistake, to that degree anyway. SC: Sometimes we have these blocked tangents. Do you see us coming back into the d i s c i p l i n a r y approach to teaching science? 254 1: Well, you know, Science Probe was supposed to be and integrated approach. I'm not sure that i t i s . In fa c t , the grade 9 book isn't at a l l . I never had that impression, that I was writing an integrated book. I think as teachers, we should try and integrate things. I'm not against that in the least because I think that, you know, my background's chemistry and yet I feel that r e a l l y any physical science i s r e a l l y comfortable. I know myself, I'm much more interested. It surprised me a l i t t l e b i t . You must f i n d that the same. SC: When you go in more . . . 1: Yes, when I r e a l l y s t a r t thinking about i t . Like I'm not a b i o l o g i s t and I ' l l never be a b i o l o g i s t . It's not that I'm not interested in biology, i t ' s just that to me physical science i s r e a l l y what I can go on to, and yet I feel that I could go either way. With a chemistry background I f i n d that I understand astronomy much better, physics much better. I think kids should be encouraged to see things that way to. SC: How do you see the kids changing over the years in terms of the course's changed? 1: How are they d i f f e r e n t you mean? SC: Yes. They're the same? 1: I think so. SC: They adapt well to the new curriculum? 1: Yes. SC: Have you seen the new chemistry course? 1: Yes, I have. Quite a lot of d e t a i l . I l i k e It w e l l . I have a couple of friends that were on the committee. I l i k e what they've done. They said that they wanted 25% of the time on experiments. I r e a l l y agree with that. I think that's very, very important. I think there's a real move to getting away from experiments and I'm t o t a l l y against that. 255 SC: I f i n d that. You don't have the provincial exams, do you? But, I guess, with your colleagues in the other schools, you hear that i s often the pressure covering the course. 1: I have a former student who was t e l l i n g me last summer, t h i s guy was a doctor but I found him here, he was t e l l i n g me that i t wasn't u n t i l he got to grad studies that he again worked with chemicals. When I had had him he'd done some neat things with chemicals, he r e a l l y enjoyed that. I f i n d that r e a l l y upsetting. I know that was true in my experience. I f i n d that while I gained a lot from UBC, and I don't want to sound l i k e I'm r e a l l y c r i t i c a l , I think the lab program was pretty bad, except for one guy. My fr i e n d that I keep mentioning, he's a teacher also, he and I both went through honours chem and we both went into organic chemistry because of one lab instructor. We f e l t we were getting a lot from t h i s person. SC: Do you know Dave at Mountainview Secondary? 1: No, no I don't. SC: He went through organic chem together at SFU, in the early '70's, mid '70's. Somewhere around there. How would you categorize teachers in terms i f goals, problems, philosophies? Would you say there i s some commonali ty? 1: I don't know. I think there's a lot of r e a l l y thoughtful teachers and probably some that aren't. I would hope that teachers are r e a l l y concerned about kids and where they're going. But I think they're Just as g u i l t y of being misguided in our views as everybody else. I don't think we have the answers, necessari1y. SC: Do you think there are certain routines or t r i c k s that teachers use in being a teacher, whether you're a science teacher or not? 1: Oh, probably. What kinds of things? SC: Well, what i s i t about that teacher that makes them a teacher? 1: I suppose the way they organize their classes. I think i t helps to be pretty organized, which I'm not to. 256 SC: In terms of your planning? 1: Yes, I think that helps a l o t . I don't know. I was just wondering in t h i s school. I don't know i f there's a lot of common things. SC: There's a f a i r turnover i t seems, from year to year in th i s school. 1: I would've said that there i s but I also feel that there's quite a lot of disagreement. I think i t ' s almost l i k e there are two counts or three counts of teachers and their expectations. I think as you get older, at least as I get older, I see more what I think are better d i r e c t i o n . I'm more careful how I use my energy. SC: Time management and what your p r i o r i t i e s are. How does teaching f i t in your l i f e ? 1: I think i t takes up a b i g proportion. I mean, you say about common things amongst teachers and I'm sure they're are and yet I'm not sure. Some teachers, I f e e l , I can s i t down and discuss with them and t h e y ' l l share. I can say, you know what I mean and they do know what I mean. Where other people I ' l l say, do you know what I mean and they think not. That's what I mean when I say I don't r e a l l y know whether I can pin i t down and say well, there are common things amongst teachers. SC: Have you been t a l k i n g to PF? Has he c a l l e d you about the Science Fair? 1: Yes, we got a notice about i t . SC: Are you going to send a group up, do you think? 1: Well, you see, we're sort of busy involved with our own one. I r e a l l y am glad to see what he's doing except that I feel more than busy enough with the one here. 257 SC: We had to change our dates In order to f i t h i s . In fact, we've got six weeks, b a s i c a l l y , to get a project together to get ready for going out there. Spring break cuts right l n . We have to be ready before spring break in order for the regionals. I t ' s nice to see i t happening up here. 1: Yes. This i s the 23rd annual one here. SC: Really? Great. 1: So I'd hate to see that go. SC: Yes. Sometimes It's more important to have . Do you run i t in a l l the schools, k through . . .? 1: Yes. I won't give i t as a . . . I'm not sure that I want to give i t as an assigned thing, so the number of entries I'm going to get . . . See, I run the Science Club at school and we're making some things. I hope that I ' l l get a few entries of kids on t h e i r own, that are interested in something. But I might only get four or f i v e entries with that. But that's okay. But the elementary schools, they enter a lot of s t u f f . SC: We've had i t , '84 was our last one. We're just t r y i n g to get i t going again. Kids aren't used to i t . It's a new thing and they're being asked to do i t . We're asking them to do i t as a project for their t h i r d term. They have to think. We're requiring them that i t not be a project but be an experiment of some kind. A b i t more e x c i t i n g . 1: It's hard to get something l i k e that established. SC: It takes a lot of energy from teachers too, time, and so on, just organizing i t a l l . I think the Science Club i s pretty valuable. 1: I do too. The other thing that worries me a l i t t l e b i t , I mean I r e a l l y support what you're doing. You see kids in band and they're in basketball and they're in t h i s and that. The ones that are going to do a r e a l l y good job, they're in so many things already. SC: Yes, that's true. It's a time commitment. 258 1: But we tr y . Our Science F a i r , I think, i s actually more consuming. We get a lot of the younger kids e s p e c i a l l y . It's good for them. SC: Well, thank you very much. 1: It's nice t a l k i n g with you. SC: It's too bad we don't talk more often, the teachers in the region. I think we've probably got common problems anyway. This i s the f i r s t time I've r e a l i z e d you're spread out in two wing l i k e we are. 1: I t ' s Just a b i g school. It used to be senior high. This i s the new part. The old part's down there. I think that second f l o o r was put on a f t e r . SC: Now I know why i t ' s d i f f i c u l t for us to get the Board to move and the Ministry to move on i t . We're probably not the only school, then, that's s p l i t between two wings. We've Just got a science aide back t h i s time since the f i r s t round of cuts. It ' s sure making a difference. 1: We're hoping to in our contract. I think the Science Safety Guide . . ., have you heard anything about that? SC: No. I saw a draft version that did a few years ago. 1: I've got an '83 copy. SC: Yes, i t ' s probably a si m i l a r one. 1: There's one that's a l i t t l e more recent but I heard that . . . I was at that Chemistry Summer In s t i t u t e . There, they were t a l k i n g about having a Safety Guide come i n . It was the end of '87, early '88. You haven't heard anything about that? SC: No. I heard there was money coming in for the new courses and that i t ' s gone. I don't know i f you know MH or DW (curriculum coordinators), they're under sim i l a r pressures, time pressures and so on. 1: I would hate to be on the Ministry of Education right now. There's just so many things that are going on. 259 SC: They're jumping, hopping. I mean, the Science Tech 11 course was put together in a very short time. I think i t could have been a good course. 1: And i t ' s not? SC: Well, at least from my experience in at Mountainview, we see the kids have to take a grade 11 Science. Which one do they take i f they don't r e a l l y want to take science? They'll take the Science Tech. So, i t ' s the type of kids who get in there. So the course i s not r e a l l y designed for those students. We need an ultimate Science Tech. for those students, a science course. 1: What about t h i s new Family L i f e program? SC: Oh, a l l kinds of changes. Family L i f e i s impacting on our regular programs. I heard you ta l k i n g and I think i t ' s the same thing here. In our group, i t ' s Science 10 for the grade 10's, so they lose a block of time for the Family L i f e . English, I think the grade 12's 1 ose. 1: What we've t r i e d to do i s ease Science 10 into the biology part there, so i t overlaps. We've t r i e d to say well, we'll teach the biology part and that w i l l cover so many of those lessons in Family L i f e . I know I feel r e a l l y strongly about that program. It r e a l l y bothers me a lot because i t ' s sort of . . . It's not that I'm against the content. But I don't r e a l l y think a l l the kids need to know a l l the things that are in that program. If kids want to know, we have people in the school who are able to help them or give them advice or do whatever's necessary to help them. SC: You f i n d the p o l i t i c s of curriculum, that's the influence there. I t ' s not a cry from teachers to have the course. 260 1: Well, that may have been for a long time and they've been ignored. Here i s t h i s AIDS business comes up. It's r e a l l y interesting. I went to the public health nurse to get some pamphlets because I want my kids to do a project on related topics. So I picked up samples to show kids what was available there. In one of them i t says, and t h i s i s almost a dir e c t quote, i t says that i f you're in one of the low r i s k groups for getting AIDS that your chances of getting AIDS are v i r t u a l l y n i l . You know, t h i s i s the j u s t i f i c a t i o n . That's what the pamphlet says. SC: The AIDS business i s bothering me in teaching. I don't know i f you saw the c i r c u l a r that came out . . . 1: About not using blood samples? SC: Yes. Those are pretty e x c i t i n g labs. I l i k e doing them. Blood testing, urine analysis, scraping the mouth s a l i v a . That's one of the . . . 1: I did that t h i s year. I thought afterwards maybe I shouldn't have. SC: I got the c i r c u l a r almost days afte r I'd Just done i t . I don't know i f the r i s k i s that great. 1: I can't see that i t Is. I r e a l l y can't. I can maybe see the blood type because of the s t u f f you use. SC: It's a dir e c t . . . I guess the s a l i v a technique... 1: The serum of the blood type. END OF THE FIRST INTERVIEW — CLOSING COMMENTS. APPENDIX C SAMPLE TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEWS FROM THE MAIN STUDY INTERVIEW #7 — PETE INTERVIEW #7 — SUBJECT IS A SCIENCE TEACHER AT A GRADE 8 TO 12 SECONDARY SCHOOL (Mountainview Secondary) IN A SMALL NORTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA CITY (pop. 12000). FOR THE PURPOSES OF CONFIDENTIALITY, THIS TEACHER IS REFERRED TO AS 'PETE' IN THE TEXT OF THIS STUDY. SC: What were the influences on you that made you choose teaching? In other words, why did you become a teacher? 7: I suppose there was a number of reasons. F i r s t of a l l , i t was the s i t u a t i o n at the time, sort of demanded that I change what I had planned to do. I had planned to go into university teaching. Get my Ph.D. and get into a university and do research. However, NASA was shutting down about that time, their f i r s t b i g shutdown. They were laying off a lot of physics types and the job market was r e a l l y crowded. So, I s t i l l intended to teach so I went into high school teaching instead. SC: And when was that about? 7: Somewhere around '74, '75. SC: Where did you take your university training? 7: Waterloo for my masters and my bachelors I got at UVIC. SC: And your teacher training? 7: At UVIC. SC: Is there anyone that you can recal1 that has influenced you as a teacher, either d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y ? 7: Possibly one of my grade 11 teachers in chemistry. 261 262 SC: Can you d e s c r i b e that teacher? 7: He was a p r i e s t at a c a t h o l i c high school I went t o . He was an i n t e r e s t i n g guy. He d i d a l o t with experimentation, so we d i d a l o t of experiments in h i s c l a s s and you l e a r n e d that way. SC: Did you f i n d that h i s t e a c h i n g approach to teach s c i e n c e i s a s i m i l a r approach that you perhaps l i k e to use? 7: I don't remember, but probably yes. SC: That was one teacher, which other teachers stand out in your mind from high school perhaps? 7: I remember my p h y s i c s teacher. He was t e r r i b l e . He d i d n ' t know a t h i n g about p h y s i c s , not a t h i n g . And so, f o r the l a s t p a r t of P h y s i c s 11, l i k e we only d i d h a l f the year of P h y s i c s 11 and I can't remember what we d i d then, but I know the l a s t h a l f of the year we spent d e v e l o p i n g a movie f o r the s c h o o l . SC: Wasn't r e a l l y p h y s i c s ? 7: No. SC: How would you d e s c r i b e your s c i e n c e r e l a t e d background? Is i t p r a c t i c a l or t h e o r e t i c a l ? 7: Mostly t h e o r e t i c a l . Although I guess you c o n s i d e r i t , in my masters, when I d i d my t h e s i s , a l o t of that was p r a c t i c a l . SC: How would you d e s c r i b e the s c i e n c e courses that you r e c a l l t a k i n g i n u n i v e r s i t y ? Would you say they were t r a d i t i o n a l s c i e n c e type courses or non-tradit1ona1? 7: I would say mostly t r a d i t i o n a l . SC: Can you e x p l a i n in terms of . . .? 7: W e l l , l e c t u r e , l e c t u r e method with l a b s . There was o n l y , there was one lab o r i e n t e d course where you got to do, b a s i c a l l y , what you wanted in terms of l a b s . That was a f o u r t h year honours course in p h y s i c s . But other than t h a t , e v e r y t h i n g was very t r a d i t i o n a l . SC: What i n f l u e n c e , i f any, d i d your academic t r a i n i n g at u n i v e r s i t y have on your t e a c h i n g p r a c t i c e s ? Is there any i n f l u e n c e . . .? 263 7: I don't think there's very much. Like I don't lecture very much and so I don't r e a l l y follow their methods. SC: Can you r e c a l l any p a r t i c u l a r university professor that you thought was a good professor as a teacher? 7: My f i r s t year physics teacher. Like I was going in for chemistry. I was very interested in chemistry. SC: And yet the physics teacher explained . . . 7: But the physics teacher, well, I got bored with the chemistry. Chemistry was very boring as far as I was concerned. The physics teacher was very good. SC: Why did you admire that person? 7: It was probably the way he introduced the concepts or something. I can't remember now, exactly. He was Just interesting. SC: How d i d he approach the course? How did he present the course? 7: It was b a s i c a l l y a lecture approach. SC: Did he use blackboard, did he talk, did he use . . .? 7: He talked a l o t . SC: And b a s i c a l l y , you had to take notes from h i s discussions? 7: Yes, but i t was a f a i r l y small class so you got to interact quite a b i t . SC: So there was some interaction in terms of how he taught. How about in the labs, was there a lab that went with the course? 7: Yes, there was. He wasn't involved with the labs. The labs were separate, l i k e most university courses are. SC: Why i s i t then, that he was such an influence? 7: It was Just h i s presentation. Possibly i t was the subject matter i t s e l f . I f i n d some of i t r e a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g . 264 SC: Which year at university do you think about most i f you were to r e f l e c t back? 7: Most interesting? SC: Yes. 7: I think when I did my masters degree was most interesting. There was one-on-one contact with the professor and with students that were doing graduate degrees and research type things. I think i t was just exce11ent. SC: What, t h i s i s kind of a l i t t l e away from what we're ta l k i n g about, what kind of in-service t r a i n i n g do you see that you have taken, would influence your teaching, the professional development or any other sort of in-service that you've taken? 7: The only thing that r e a l l y influenced me a lot in my teaching was going on a summer course in geology. It was sponsored by Shell Canada. It was a very hands-on thing. We got to deal a lot with, just looking at materials and going places and things l i k e that. So once again, i t was sort of a hands-on. SC: P r a c t i c a l , more p r a c t i c a l . Did you f i n d that you were able to use some of that experience in the classroom when you got back? 7: You can to some degree. Like I try to keep a lot of rocks around. I try to get people interested in doing projects with rocks. SC: Can you, Just for the record, Just t e l l us what your teaching world i s right now, what sort of teaching experience you've got? 7: Okay. Well t h i s year, I've got one Physics 12, I had three Physics 11, one Earth Science 11, one Science & Tech 11, and one Science 9. SC: And you've taught for ten years? 7: This i s my eleventh year. SC: And Mountainview Secondary Is the only place that you've taught? 7: Yes i t i s . 265 SC: Now, how i s i t that you knew how to teach? How d i d you know that you could teach? 7: Well, probably the f i r s t practicum I did. I think I knew then that I could get up in front of a c l a s s and show them something and maybe they could learn some-thing. SC: Why do you teach science the way that you do? In other words, you seem, from what your answers have been, you seem to l i k e p r a c t i c a l , hands-on, that sort of teaching approach rather than the direct lecture. 7: Well, i f you teach with more hands-on things, I think you can get to see more of the students a lot more of the time. So i f they're having troubles and i f they're w i l l i n g to, i f they're interested in the subject, then they're w i l l i n g to ask questions i f they're having problems in a p a r t i c u l a r area. SC: Here's a l i t t l e question. I t ' s perhaps a d i f f i c u l t one but i t ' s related to what I'm t r y i n g to f i n d out with a l l the teachers. In your opinion, to what extent do you think the b e l i e f s , goals, problems, teaching practices, teaching routines, strategies, and so on, are common to a l l teachers, or are they kind of individual? 7: Well, I think a l l teachers use the same sorts, b a s i c a l l y , of the d i f f e r e n t methods. They just use them in d i f f e r e n t amounts and possibly several d i f f e r e n t ways. SC: So you would say, perhaps, an art teacher uses certain t r i c k s of the trade that perhaps a science teacher might use? Do you see that as similar? 7: Yes, I think they'd be s i m i l a r . SC: Do you see any d i s s i m i l a r things between teachers and so on? 7: Not r e a l l y . I don't think so. SC: If I were to compare, I was just comparing subject areas, but i f I were to compare levels of teaching, grades 1 to 12, do you see that there are s i m i l a r i t i e s there and d i s s i m i l a r things? 266 7: There's s i m i l a r i t y of course. I mean, a course with younger children you can't keep them doing one thing for very long so you have to switch an awful lot of the time. But you know, you give them hands-on things to do, you talk to them, you get them to do things, you do things. SC: How do you view your teaching as a career ln the context of your outside school l i f e ? In other words, how much of teaching i s a part of your outside l i f e ? 7: I consider my l i f e as a whole, so what you do in one af f e c t s the other. SC: Does teaching have a big Influence on what you do after school? 7: In terms of marking and preparation, yes. SC: What did you want to be when you grew up? When you were l i t t l e what did you want to be? 7: Very smal1? SC: Yes. 7: I don't even know. I can't remember. SC: And as you were going through un i v e r s i t y , you said you were interested in pursuing a career in . . . 7: In research in university and teaching u n i v e r s i t y . SC: Do you have any family members that are teachers? 7: My aunt was. SC: Have you had any influences from your family in terms of getting into teaching or any other career direction? 7: I don't think so. SC: So i t was l e f t f a i r l y well open to you? 7: Yes. SC: Were they supportive of you being a teacher? 7: Oh yes. I don't think i t would have mattered what I chose. They would have been supportive. 267 SC: Can you t e l l me a l i t t l e b i t more about your personal history? In other words, where you grew up, that sort of thing? 7: I grew up in Prince George. My father was born there and most of a l l the family was born there. Well, I stayed there up u n t i l I went to university, the University of V i c t o r i a . SC: So you took elementary school, was that a private school as wel1? 7: Yes. Well, I went to public school for the f i r s t three years. I was raised, I grew up at the airport in Prince George f i r s t of a l l . They used to have families on the a i r p o r t . My father was a lab technician, so we were up there for, well, I was up there in public school up u n t i l grade 3. Then I was bused to Prince George to a private school up u n t i l the end of high school. Well, except that we moved into Prince George when I was in grade 8 . SC: What courses in high school did you f i n d as being most interesting, most exciting? 7: Well, I mentioned before the Chemistry 11 course. I remember an e l e c t r i c i t y course and math courses, I found interesting. SC: And again can we go back onto the high school and elementary school teachers. Do you ever think of any p a r t i c u l a r high school or elementary school teacher that might stand out? 7: Just the one that I mentioned or the couple that I mentioned. SC: Their classroom, how would you describe their classroom setting? Was i t t r a d i t i o n a l , was i t open-ended, how did they conduct the lesson? 7: The classes were very small at the private school, they were r e a l l y small. So there was a lot of one-on-one interaction. SC: Were they s p l i t classes? Did you have sort of . . .? 7: No, they were single grade level classes. 268 SC: How were the labs conducted? Were they with a discovery kind of learning or a more directed approach? 7: Well, chemistry labs, I can't r e a l l y remember whether we were t o l d beforehand what you were doing or what-ever. I can't remember. SC: Did you work out of a lab book? 7: Not that I remember, no. SC: Now, in terms of curriculum. I'm going to ask you a couple of questions about curriculum. Do you see any s i m i l a r i t i e s or differences between the new junior science curriculum and the old curriculum? 7: Well, there's s i m i l a r i t i e s . SC: Can you t e l l me what's similar? 7: I think that ln terms of subject matter, i t ' s very s i m i l a r . A lot of the others, l i k e Biology 10, for Instance, I don't think there's very much difference in the subject matter i t s e l f . SC: How about differences, do you see . . .? 7: Of course the textbooks are s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t . There's a l i t t l e b i t more emphasis on knowledge, in the textbook I t s e l f , whereas the old textbooks were completely discovery learning. SC: Do you see any p a r t i c u l a r emphasis in the new curriculum that i s the same as the old curriculum? 7: What do you mean by emphasis? SC: Well, you mentioned discovery learning and I guess the other half of my question i s do you see any differences between the old and the new in terms of what i t i s emphasizing in the new curriculum that i s not emphasized In the old? 269 7: Well, I think the old Just emphasized that or just t r i e d to emphasize that. I think the new curriculum t r i e s to emphasize more, i t ' s more well-rounded, I guess you could c a l l i t , a l i t t l e b i t anyway. Like you do knowledge, attitudes, supposedly attitude's in there although whether or not i s the question. I think the attitude has to come with an intere s t i n g subject matter. Somehow once you get to university subject matter . . . SC: Do you think that's achievable with a curriculum? 7: With some of i t , yes, with some of i t , no. Like I don't p a r t i c u l a r l y l i k e the way they're s t i l l dealing with that, courses and things in the grade 9 l e v e l . SC: Why? You think i t should be moved up? 7: No. It has to be changed somehow. I don't l i k e the way i t ' s been going. SC: How do you see those attitudes being gained by students? How can you make a course such that they w i l l pick up some of the attitudes? 7: I don't think i t ' s only the course. I mean, you can design a course for anything. I think i t ' s the whole si t u a t i o n that has to come into account when you're t r y i n g to change attitudes. SC.- Such as? 7: Such as the attitude in the school, the attitude in the province, everyone's atti t u d e . I think the main attitude towards schools at the present time has been down. You know, squash the schools in a lot of cases. So I don't think we can, i t ' s hard to foster a po s i t i v e attitude when you get into that s i t u a t i o n . SC: How much influence does the teacher have in fos t e r i n g that p o s i t i v e attitude towards science? 7: A f a i r b i t , I think. But then i t ' s very hard for the teacher to go into a school with a p o s i t i v e attitude when he or she i s being stepped upon. 270 SC: If we were to remove the outside perimeters, a l l of a sudden you now have al1 the requirements that you would need for your, for teaching Science 9, for instance. How would you improve the learning and the posi t i v e attitudes of students towards science? What i s i t about a teacher that he's able to, that they are able to do that? 7: I think you have to generate some interest somehow. The way I try to do i t i s , in some cases, give them problems to solve. So that they have to try to discover the answer themselves. That i s very d i f f i c u l t for a lot of them. A lot of them can't do i t . For those that can, I think i t increases their interest in science. SC: Under what circumstances should a curiculum be rev i sed? 7: Well, i t ' s hard to measure. It depends what the curriculum i s intending to achieve or solve. SC: Say the junior science curriculum, when do you think that should be revised, how often, for what reasons? 7: I don't think i t should be Just every so often. I mean, there has to be reasons behind i t . SC: What kind of reasons? 7: If the subject matter isn't appropriate. Like I don't r e a l l y think the Forces section in Science 9 i s appropriate. I don't l i k e i t . I think i t somehow should be changed into something else. SC: Where should that change come from or be i n i t i a t e d ? 7: I think the concerns have to be, f i r s t l y , expressed to some body, but I don't know what that body should be. But I think there should be some body that's Involved, where the concerns are expressed to and i f there are enough concerns about a p a r t i c u l a r thing, I think that i t should be at least looked at. SC: Do you f i n d the curriculum guide to be useful for your teaching? 271 7: I think, at least the Science 9 curriculum guide isn't l a i d out a l l that well. I think the way i t has question, answer, question, answer, question, answer, a l l the way through i t , I think that i s very poorly l a i d out and i t could be condensed a l o t . Maybe a whole section with the question, answer business and then another section that as you go through the labs or whatever, hints or whatever, in that part, rather than having everything combined in one group. SC: Can you t e l l me a l i t t l e b i t about your teaching? What aspects of junior science, grade 9 for instance, do you emphasize most during your teaching? 7: I hate to say t h i s , but i t ' s the biology section in Science 9. SC: Interesting. Why? 7: I think the n u t r i t i o n and the parts of the body, the bodily systems are very Important for at least eight, nine, and ten to know about because they might not get that later on. SC: Do you see any difference at the other grade levels, in terms of your emphasis? 7: In grade 10 there's a d e f i n i t e difference. I haven't taught grade 8 for a long time so . . . But grade 10 I tend to emphasize the physics a l i t t l e b i t more. SC: Did you emphasize the same sort of things on the old curriculum as you do now? 7: In grade 10, yes. In grade 9, no. I think the grade 9 has changed a f a i r b i t in the biology section. SC: How would you characterize the kind of classroom s i t u a t i o n in which you teach? 7: What do you mean by classroom situation? SC: Your teaching approach, the sort of classroom that you have, what sort of methods you might use, what sort of materials you might use. 272 7: I usually tend to Introduce a subject with just a small talk about what i t ' s about and then we do a few notes. Then bring up problems in the way of labs as a way of determining what i s going on. Using question, answer type things after that and look at the lab a l i t t l e b i t more or whatever. SC: Do you make use of other kinds of apparatus, overhead projector, . . .? 7: I use overheads, some s l i d e s . I don't use f i l m s t r i p s very much. I don't use videotapes very much. I think that unless the videotape i s very good or the f i l m i s very good, I think they're sort of an overflow or an overload in terms of that. SC: How about the use of computers? 7: I would i f we had enough. SC: Use of the overhead, do you tend to switch back and forth between the blackboard and the overhead or do you tend to favour one over the other? 7: Well, I use the overhead for notes and some problems and I do put my problems on the board because there's more room to show the whole thing. SC: How would you characterize your teaching style? Would you say i t ' s t r a d i t i o n a l or . . .? 7: It's not a t r a d i t i o n a l lecture method or anything l i k e that. It's more of a, I try to do more one-on-one with the students, i f I can. SC: Have your teaching methods changed since the new junior science courses were implemented? 7: No, not r e a l l y . They've changed s l i g h t l y . 273 SC: In what way? 7: I probably don't tend to give quite as many notes as I used to because the old science curriculum didn't give you any back-up at al1 in terms of textbook information so I tend to not give quite as much information as I used. SC: What do you feel are the important things for students to learn from taking science? 7: I think there's some knowledge that they should learn but also that science i s a part of l i f e , that's the approach. SC: How important do you feel that the history of science of science, the c l a s s i c a l experiments and so on, are to modern day science, science Instruction as well? 7: I think bringing up a few of them and the fact that they're interested, some of them. They show how some real science i s done. SC: Do you think i t should be a part of the curriculum? 7: It would be nice to have at least part of i t in there, yes. SC: Some people have said that teaching i s a c a l l i n g . Others have said that you have to be born with the a b i l i t y to teach. Can you comment on these notions? 7: You have to be born with the a b i l i t y to run too, so . . . I mean, some people feel better with children than other people do. I think that in order to run a classroom properly you have to be able to keep control and some people aren't able to do that or get their ideas across very well. I mean, you have to have some s k i l l s , anyway, to be a teacher. SC: I'm just thinking of the notion of, not quite as bad as just taking someone from the street and placing them in front of a clas s , but when you have a person come out of university and they take a one year teacher t r a i n i n g program, why i s i t that those people are successful as teachers when many people would not be successful? What i s i t that makes a teacher successfu1? 274 7: Well, most of those people, f i r s t of a l l , want to teach. If you want to do something then eventually, i f you try hard enough you usually f i n d the way to do i t , i f you r e a l l y want to do i t . If you don't, i f you f i n d you don't l i k e i t , then you usually get out. SC: Do you f i n d that, are there any c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a good teacher, quote good teacher, that you could t e l l me about? 7: Show an interest in the kids. You usually get involved f a i r l y well with the students. If you looked at what they c a l l "master teachers," some of those have quite a f l a i r to them. They have a very inter e s t i n g personality which makes them above average or whatever. SC: What sort of pressures do you f i n d now, in terms of your teaching, at junior and senior level? 7: The senior level i s a l l these government exams, so there's always pressure there. SC: Is there a pressure to cover the course? 7: Of course. There's a big pressure to cover the course. SC: Do you have a pressure to spend more time on any one p a r t i c u l a r section than another, or any p a r t i c u l a r topic, say at the Junior level? 7: In terms of government exams, there i s a l i t t l e b i t of pressure once you get to, say grade 10. Because in physics, i f you want to cover the material in grade 12 quickly, then what they should have done i s had a very good background in e l e c t r i c i t y . That l e t s you cover a section very, very quickly in grade 12 and so you can spend more time on the juniors. SC: What other ideas or methods can be used in teaching, that you think would be appropriate to teach in science? In t h i s I'm thinking of for instance, "word playing," any of those sorts of things. 7: I've actually used those in the Science and Tech. course. For some things they work quite wel l . SC: So you've used "word playing?" 7: Yes. 275 SC: Any other kinds of d i f f e r e n t approaches? 7: Debates, but I haven't used any of those in the so-c a l l e d t r a d i t i o n a l courses l i k e physics. SC: Partly because of the time or mostly because of the time? 7: Yes. SC: How about the junior science level? 7: Actually, I haven't done that t h i s year, although I have before. SC: Any reason or Just . . .? 7: I don't know. I just didn't do i t t h i s year. I actually didn't think of that. SC: Do you l i k e students to work in d i v i d u a l l y or ln groups? 7: I l i k e group work or small group work. SC: Why? 7: Because I think the slower student can pick up a lot more from the faster student that way. SC: Do you ever use the, do you ever refer to current events that are happening with reference to science? 7: Yes, quite often. SC: How do you bring that into the class? 7: I encourage students to bring things in or I Just mention i t sometime during the c l a s s . Especially when i t ' s about a topic that we're doing. SC: How important do you think that is? Is that more important than s t i c k i n g to the curriculum or do you think i t ' s appropriate? 7: I think they, I mean, science involves the world, so I think that any way we can show that i t involves the world and that i t ' s very important to what happens to them i s more important than what's happening in the curriculum. 276 SC: Do you think, in general, that science i s interesting to most students or are more students disinterested in science? 7: I think a lot of students have some interest in science, whether i t be just looking at their blood or, unfortunately we can't do that any more but,. . . SC: Yes, a l l the AIDS problems. Should a l l students take science or do you think science should r e a l l y be for those who are capable of learning science? 7: No, everybody should take science. Certainly get something, anyhow, everybody gets something out of i t , whether they pass or not. SC: How would you describe the teaching s t y l e s of your colleagues as a whole, not i n d i v i d u a l l y , but as a whole? Are they diverse or s i m i l a r , within the science department? 7: I think they're f a i r l y diverse a c t u a l l y . I mean, everybody teaches the same sorts of things but I think that a lot of them emphasize one sty l e more than the other. SC: Can you explain a b i t more on that? 7: I know there's some that emphasize the lecture type approach in their c l a s s , that are almost wholly lecture oriented and they do very, very few labs. Whereas there are some of us who do a lot of labs. SC: Yourself, being one that does more labs perhaps . . .? 7: I think ln, e s p e c i a l l y grade 11 where you have more labs, I do, for the f i r s t part of the course I probably do, almost a lab a day, which i s a l o t . SC: Do you f i n d that there are certain school-based influences on how you teach? 7: Well, there's pressures within the school on how you teach, what you teach. SC: Such as? 7: Pressures for f i n a l exams. SC: Any other pressures that you might find? 27? 7: There's a l l t h i s equipment constraints. SC: You sa i d that you l i k e d to do labs. Do you f i n d that you're short of supplies occasionally or do you have the resource material that you need or the assistance that you would need? 7: For the physics i t ' s pretty good, most of the time. I mean, there's a few things that we don't have but i t ' s general 1y good. SC: Coming back to when we f i r s t started, I asked you about your academic t r a i n i n g . How about the science education year, the t r a i n i n g year, the teacher t r a i n i n g year, how was that an influence on your teaching practices? 7: I didn't l i k e i t . I mean, in terms of knowledge, i t was useless. SC: In terms of knowledge of teaching or . . .? 7: Yes. It didn't teach me a thing about teaching. My only thing that taught me about teaching, during that time, was the small practicums we did. SC: Your UVIC ones, they were twice or three times a year? 7: I think i t was three times, I can't remember though. One was just an observation. And then the second one was for two weeks or something and the other one was for six weeks or something. SC: Did you f i n d your practicum supervisors, have they influenced what you do at a l l ? 7: I don't know. They probably did to some degree but I don't know about p a r t i c u l a r s . SC: They weren't a great deal of impact on . . .? 7: No, I don't think so. SC: The year as a whole, you sa i d that the theoretical part of i t was pretty useless, the p r a c t i c a l part, when you were on the practicums, was quite u s e f u l . So, in a sense, your a b i l i t y to teach came right from the practicums? 7: I think so. Well, learning things about teaching came d i r e c t l y from the practicums. 278 SC: And what sort of things did you learn? 7: I don't know. L i t t l e things about c l a s s control, how to talk to the cl a s s , what to do, learn the order to do i t in, s t u f f l i k e that. SC: My interest for my thesis l i e s in exactly that. I believe that there i s what's c a l l e d a "teacher's paradigm", where there are a set of routines, b e l i e f s , and t r a d i t i o n s that are common to the body of the profession, whatever the profession, and in t h i s case i t ' s teaching. And I'm interested in what teachers sai d ln that. You're saying that you picked up from the practicum some t r i c k s , some ways of doing things. Do you think that i s common to al1 pr a c t i c a that are out there? 7: Probably, yes. They always t e l l you certain things that you should do. SC: You've had a practice teacher before? 7: Yes. SC: How did you feel that relationship worked out and what sort of things did you provide for that teacher, that new teacher? 7: I guess I sort of did the same thing that one of my practice teachers did. What he did, b a s i c a l l y did, was leave me alone for a while and then he came back and listened in on us and then gave me a few hints, went away again, and came back again. SC: What s p e c i f i c a l l y , did you pick up from your practicums, when you were out on practicum, i f you were l e f t alone with the kids? 7: When you're f i r s t l e f t alone ln a course, you sweat. Depends i f you learn or to make sure that the whole cla s s i s l i s t e n i n g , that people aren't doing something that, you know, i s inappropriate or whatever. SC: Okay, now, i f I was to take t h i s idea of commonality between teachers, what influence do you think, or i f th i s was understood as being correct, how might t h i s be of use to a person or a group of people who are planning a curriculum change in any topic area, but ln th i s case I'm tal k i n g about science? 7: How t h i s information might be useful? 279 SC: Yes. 7: You'd probably come up with some things that you couldn't do or you couldn't do right off the bat. I think there always has to be that. A teacher i s always looking for some sort of structure, at least at the very beginning, unless the students have been doing something in the last lesson that c a r r i e s over, which you don't need very much then. But you always have to have some sort of structure at the star t of a lesson. So i f you're designing something, i t always has to have something, I'm not saying there has to be a set, but there has to be something that gets everybody going. SC: Who should change curriculum? Should i t be the school l e v e l , d i s t r i c t , p r o vincial? 7: I think a lot of the curriculum i s too separate now, myself. It's too r i g i d . There's not enough room to move. Like in a lot of things, you know, there's just no room to move anywhere and in fa c t , there's too much to be done. SC: So, do you believe then that the Curriculum Committee should be a l i t t l e more f l e x i b l e in terms of the...? 7: I think they should give a f a i r l y wide range of ideas and things that could be looked at. Especially in the Junior sciences, I don't think that i t ' s necessary to, I can't think of an example, or something l i k e vitamins. I don't think they should have to, everybody should have to know what vitamin B twelve does or something l i k e that. SC: I t ' s not cr u c i a l to the . . . 7: I think they should know something about n u t r i t i o n , but I don't think i t ' s necessary to t e l l the teacher that he has to do vitamin B twelve or I mean, i t doesn't get quite that s p e c i f i c but i t gets very c1ose. SC: Okay, well I think we've sort of come to the end of my general questions and I don't see any others that I'd want to ask at t h i s point. Do you have any comments to make about teaching in general, in terms of what I've been asking? 7: SC: Not real 1y. Thank you very much. END OF INTERVIEW 7. APPENDIX p Sample Letter of Consent -- Principal CONFIDENTIAL MEMO TO: PRINCIPAL. FROM: STEVE CARDWELL. DATE: DECEMBER 18, 1987. RE: SCIENCE RESEARCH PROJECT , as you know, I am currently working on the f i n a l part of my graduate degree at UBC. This memo i s a procedure that I must follow in order to comply with the UBC rules regarding research involving human subjects (in t h i s case fellow teachers). Before I can interview teachers at Mountainview Secondary, I must have the i r permission and the permission of the pr i n c i p a l of the school. Therefore, would you please consider t h i s as a request for permission to proceed with the next phase of my thesis work. I wi11 provide you with sample questions that I w i l l be asking my colleagues -- and i f you wish, you can read my research proposal. Thank you for your assistance in th i s matter. Steve Cardwe11. 280 CONSENT FORM PERMISSION GRANTED FOR RESEARCH PROJECT SIGNATURE OF PRINCIPAL: DATE: Attachment: sample questions. APPENDIX E Sample Letter of Consent — Teacher Participants CONFIDENTIAL MEMO TO: SCIENCE DEPARTMENT. FROM: STEVE CARDWELL. DATE:. DECEMBER 18, 1987. RE: SCIENCE RESEARCH PROJECT Dear As you may be aware, I am currently working on the fi n a l part of my graduate degree at UBC. I hope to be able to complete my thesis by the end of Summer. However, in order to do t h i s , I need your p a r t i c i p a t i o n ! This memo i s a procedure that I must follow in order to comply with the UBC rules regarding research involving human subjects <in th i s case fellow teachers). Before I can interview teachers at Mountainview Secondary, I must have their consent and the permission of the pri n c i p a l of the school. 282 283 The following preamble w i l l give you an indication of what I am studying: Science teachers in B r i t i s h Columbia have experienced a number of curriculum changes over the last few years. These include revisions to the Senior Biology and Chemistry courses, Junior Science and the addition of a new course c a l l e d Science and Technology 11. Some researchers suggest that in order to eff e c t a curriculum change, there must be some compatlbllty between teachers'' b e l i e f systems and the nature of the curriculum innovation. One aspect of t h i s study w i l l be to investigate how teachers deal with new c u r r i c u l a , and in p a r t i c u l a r , why teachers deal with new c u r r i c u l a in certain ways — What are the influences which may have shaped an individual's b e l i e f systems such that they govern how a curriculum change i s implemented? Of p a r t i c u l a r interest, i s the degree of commonality that may exist among teachers in terms of their b e l i e f systems, routines, patterns and problems in the context of a curriculum innovation. In other words, what Interpretations and meanings do individual teachers attach to a new sit u a t i o n — in t h i s case, a curriculum change? And to what extent are these thoughts, judgements and decisions common to a group of teachers? One possible outcome of the study may be to suggest to curriculum developers some alternate approaches to designing new c u r r i c u l a for the worker ln the classroom! Another result could be to propose s i g n i f i c a n t changes to the teacher t r a i n i n g programmes that currently exist in B.C. I would l i k e to approach you sometime in March or Ap r i l and interview you, at your convenience, about your own educational background, and your perceptions of teaching and curriculum change. The interviews w i l l be 284 audiotaped and some notes w i l l be taken i f necessary. The interview should not take more than one to one and a half hours. Of course, you have the right to withdraw from t h i s interview at any time or to refuse to answer any p a r t i c u l a r quest ions. The interview data w i l l be kept s t r i c t l y confidential — in fact, names w i l l not be attached to the data, school or d i s t r i c t . You may l i s t e n to your own interviews. The completed thesis w i l l be available should you wish to read i t . Thank you for your assistance. Steve. CONSENT FORM YES, I WILL PARTICIPATE IN THIS STUDY. SIGNATURE: NAME: DATE: 

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