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Teacher Candidates' Epistemic Beliefs and Their Conceptions of Teaching: A Pathway to Accepting Educational Responsibility

Mon, April 12, 2:50 to 4:20pm EDT (2:50 to 4:20pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Caribbean and African Studies in Education Paper and Symposium Sessions


This study explores the nature of Nigerian teacher candidates' (TC) epistemic beliefs and their developing conceptions of teaching, as described in an epistemic beliefs scale response (N=1009) and free-text comments (N = 532). It uses a convergent parallel mixed-methods approach involving exploratory factor analysis and multi-case comparison. The results indicate that it is possible to characterize TCs' epistemic beliefs within the notion that knowledge is certain rather than evolving and experts as the repertoire of knowledge. But, the acquisition of knowledge is gradual and requires effort. TCs largely portrayed teaching as a non-problematic transfer of knowledge from the expert to the novice and conceived teaching as a teacher-centered activity. Implications for international research and teacher education are discussed.