Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Bruce Gutknecht

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Eggen

Third Advisor

Dr. Linda Foley


Education researchers suggest that, since belief systems influence practicing teachers' behavior, it is important for teachers to examine their educational beliefs to determine whether those beliefs are consistent with current knowledge about teaching and learning.

If the same relationship between beliefs and practices of inservice teachers holds true for preservice teachers, since beliefs are extremely resistant to change, reflection upon educational beliefs should be cultivated during the preservice stage of teacher development. To discover whether such a parallel exists, 12 preservice teachers, during their internships, were selected for study. First, they responded to a series of vignettes to ascertain beliefs about five instructional strategies. Second, a content analysis of the the interns' lesson plans was conducted to determine their instructional practices. Finally, 7 of the 12 interns were interviewed to explore consistencies and discrepancies.

The study's results indicate that the findings of research studies documenting a connection between educational beliefs and instructional practices of inservice teachers also hold true with regard to preservice teachers.

The study suggests that teacher education programs embrace and operationalize the proposition that encouraging reflective thought in teacher candidates is critical to enhancing their professional preparation.

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