Science and mathematics teachers’ core teaching conceptions and their implications for engaging in cross-curricular innovations

  • Hanne Møller Andersen Centre for Science Education, Aarhus University
  • Lars Brian Krogh Centre for Science Education, Aarhus University

Abstract

Previous studies have found core teaching conceptions (CTCs) to influence teachers’ actions, i.e. how they engage with new teaching practices (e.g. Lotter, Harwood, & Bonner, 2007). This study explores typical CTCs and their subject specific nature in a sample of teachers from physics, biology, and mathematics in Danish upper secondary school. Teachers’ CTCs were investigated through their essay responses to a set of open core questions, administered through a web-platform. Results demonstrate that teachers’ CTCs come in subject specific flavours, encompassing their purpose for teaching the subject, their conceptions of teaching and learning, and their conceptions of interdisciplinary teaching. It is argued that such differences shape teachers’ engagement with new cross-curricular innovations in the Danish context. Assessing and addressing typical and personal CTCs are found to be crucial to a successful implementation of current reform-initiatives, for teacher training, and for self-regulated professional development among teachers.
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