A cultural historical activity theory perspective to understand preservice science teachers’ reflections on and tensions during a microteaching experience

Asli Sezen-Barrie, Minh Dan Tran, Scott P. McDonald, Gregory J. Kelly

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Abstract

This study draws from cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) to analyze preservice teachers’ reflections on a microteaching activity. Microteaching activities involved preservice educators teaching middle school students from local schools. The study was conducted with 23 preservice teachers enrolled in a large university’s teacher education program. During this secondary science teaching methods course, every pair of preservice teachers engaged in 20 minute microteaching activity with 3–5 middle school students. The microteaching was videotaped, and the teachers subsequently provided voice-over reflections on a second audio track. Transcriptions of the microteaching events were analyzed through the formation of event maps showing the phases of activity and the organizational sequence of actions. Event maps were used to investigate the focus of preservice teachers’ reflections. The results showed that while learning from their microteaching, preservice teachers focused primarily on the mediating artifacts and gave least attention to the larger teaching community surrounding these activities. Use of CHAT helped to identify challenges in different elements of the microteaching activity. The study contributes to how reflective practice can be enhanced through attention to the social and cultural dimensions of the teaching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-697
Number of pages23
JournalCultural Studies of Science Education
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2014

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies

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