Assessing the epistemological and pedagogical beliefs among pre-service teachers in Singapore
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In response to the challenges posed by a knowledge-based economy, Singapore has initiated a range of reforms. These reforms are essentially geared towards constructivist-oriented teaching in an ICT supported environment. Reforms in this direction usually necessitate a change in beliefs. However, studies on teachers' epistemological and pedagogical beliefs are rare in Singapore. As such, we attempted to provide an overview of the epistemological and pedagogical beliefs of Singapore pre-service teachers based on the survey data we obtained from the 2005 cohort of pre-service teachers (N = 877). The results indicate that Singaporean pre-service teachers do hold compatible epistemological and pedagogical beliefs that underlie many of the reform initiatives. However, the findings contradict with studies that reported Singapore classroom practice as predominantly teacher-centred. Contextual factors such as time constraint and an over emphasis of examination results could be the reasons why pre-service teachers teach in a manner that is consistent to their beliefs. An alternative interpretation of the contradicting results would be that there are other forms of beliefs such as teacher efficacy that may be more important in determining classroom practices. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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