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International Journal of Environmental and Science Education

Yıl 2009 , Cilt 4 , Sayı 1

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Science teachers’ beliefs and practices: issues, implications and research agenda

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University of Exeter1
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The study of teachers' beliefs forms part of the process of understanding how teachers conceptualize their work which in turn is important to the understanding of teachers' practices and their decisions in the classroom. A growing body of research argues that teachers' beliefs should be studied within a framework that is aware of the influence of culture. These studies also argue that teachers' beliefs and practices cannot be examined out of context. This shows that the relationship between teachers' beliefs and their practices is complex and context dependent. Some researchers have found consistencies between teachers' beliefs and their practices whilst others have found inconsistencies. The purpose of this paper is to present an argument about the relationship of teachers' beliefs and practices and to find out frameworks of understanding the consistency and inconsistency of this relationship. In this paper, I explore the nature of teachers' beliefs. Then, I discuss how teachers' beliefs have been formed. Also, I will argue the relationship between knowledge and beliefs. Researchers' key vision of the relationship between beliefs and knowledge was that "whether knowledge directs beliefs or beliefs leads to knowledge. I will argue that the relationship among beliefs, knowledge and practices are intertwined. Then, I present sociocultural perspectives to explain the consistency and inconsistency between teachers' beliefs and practices. I will follow these perspectives by presenting sources of forming teacher's beliefs which will lead to a discussion about potentials of changing teachers' beliefs. Key Words: Beliefs, Constructivism, Religious beliefs, Socio-cultural

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