UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Preactive teaching practice of female elementary teachers Ballhorn, Barbara Jean


The purposes of this general, speculative study were to describe how teachers think about the decisions they make during preactive planning; and to describe the bases teachers use in arriving at the decisions they make. The theoretical framework of the investigation was based on three methods that teachers are thought to use when they fix belief. They were the method of authority, the method of science, and the method of practical reasoning. The study involved interviewing 20 fulltime, female, Grade 4 teachers selected from a large, metropolitan district in a Western Canadian province. The sample included teachers who held a B.Ed, degree from the University of British Columbia; possessed a permanent teaching contract or at least a three year temporary contract in the district; and had at least three years of teaching experience. The major findings and conclusions of this study were: 1. Teachers used the method of practical reasoning in basing their planning decisions when they felt confident about the knowledge level of the subject; 2. Teachers relied moderately to heavily on materials and/or programs developed by others but felt that these materials needed to be previewed and adapted to their individual teaching styles and perspectives; 3. Teacher planning behavior was influenced to a large degree by two external factors -student characteristics and availability of time and materials. The implications of these findings on formulating district program policy are significant. By holding the assumption that what teachers do is affected by what they think, these findings are interim steps that may help educators understand more about the preactive planning process. Although it is unreasonable to assume that all teachers plan the same way, measures might be taken in a general way to recommend improvements in preservice and inservice education of teachers.

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