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Abstract


Being a Teacher: Elementary Teachers’ (mis)Conceptions and (ill-structured) Beliefs about Teaching
The purpose of this study is to investigate experienced elementary teachers’ beliefs and conceptions about teaching and to explore their ill structured beliefs and misconceptions in the context of student-centered education perspective. 151 experienced elementary teachers in Turkey participated in the study. The participants produced 81 metaphors from parents up to multi charger for the concept of a teacher. The results of the study showed that some of the same metaphors were used for different perspectives by different participants. In addition, majority of the participant (57,6 %) believed that their metaphors represented student-centered perspective. On the other hand, the results of descriptive analysis showed that of the 151 elementary teachers, 119 (78.8%) had teacher-centered beliefs, 8 (5.3%) had student-centered beliefs while 24 (15.9%) elementary teachers had mixed beliefs.. The result of the content analyses indicated that some of the elementary teachers did not have any clear conceptions about student-centered teaching. These teachers described their metaphors as student-centered or mixed perspectives in terms of codependent relationships between students and teacher, instead of psychological and philosophical foundations of education. In addition, it was observed that the most popular misconceptions and ill structured beliefs were related to “guide”, “active learning” and “students’ need, interest and differences”. Discussions of the findings and recommendations for further research are presented.

Keywords
Teaching metaphors; teachers’ beliefs; student- centered perspectives; teacher-centered perspectives


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