What experiences influence the teaching beliefs of future geoscience professors?

Friday 1:45pm Weeks Geo: 140
Oral Presentation


LeeAnna Chapman, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
David McConnell, North Carolina State University
Today's graduate students and post-docs will become tomorrow's future professors. The pedagogical beliefs of instructors impact how they structure their courses and whether they choose to use research-validated teaching methods that have been shown to improve student learning. How can we promote the development of reformed teaching beliefs among these future professors?

This research follows a broad population of geoscience graduate students and post-docs over a two year period to evaluate changes in teaching beliefs and to determine the significance of experiences such as participation in professional development, experience as a teaching assistant, or progression further into their graduate program. The Beliefs about Reformed Teaching and Learning (BARSTL) survey was administered in to 609 geoscience PhD students and post-docs from various institutions across the US in year one. In year two, the BARSTL was re-administered to 308 of prior participants (51% of original population). The BARSTL is a 32-item Likert-type questionnaire designed to determine how aligned an instructor's pedagogical beliefs are to reformed-based teaching of science. To further investigate the pedagogical beliefs of this population, ten percent of the initial population (n=60) were interviewed during year one using the Teacher Belief Interview (TBI), a semi-structured interview with coding maps designed to capture the epistemological beliefs of teachers. A subset of this population was re-interviewed in year two.

We will compare BARSTL and TBI scores between year one and year two to access if any change in teaching beliefs has occurred. We will present the findings of our study including experiences that influenced a shift toward more reformed pedagogy to suggest how we can best prepare our graduate students and post-docs for success in future careers.