How Physics Courses Can Make Highly Valued Strategies and Dispositions Visible to Physics Teacher Students

Susanne Engström 1 * , Per Norström 1
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1 KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, SWEDEN
* Corresponding Author
EUR J SCI MATH ED, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp. 396-411.
Published: 08 May 2022
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Students who aim to become physics teachers for secondary education partake in physics courses together with other physics students. The aim of this study is to understand what is valued, taken for granted, and possibly reproduced in physics teaching given for future secondary school physics teachers. This study is based on observations in classrooms, in two courses conducted over a three-year period. Field notes are thematically analyzed and themes emerge about dispositions and strategies that are valued in the teaching context. The courses’ teachers are engaged in pedagogical development and explicitly dissociate themselves from traditional physics teaching. They stress the value of student participation. Physics is described as a difficult, important, and beautiful science. To be passionate about physics is highly valued, as is a willingness to work hard and collaborate. The modern physics researcher is put forward as an ideal. Students are encouraged to plan for a future in physics research, while teaching and pre-university physics are never mentioned as career options. Course teachers distance themselves from traditional teaching methods but stick to traditional views of learning outcomes and the students’ future careers. This study shows, for example, how new teaching methods do not necessarily lead to new values. This could be seen as an implication for further research.


Engström, S., & Norström, P. (2022). How Physics Courses Can Make Highly Valued Strategies and Dispositions Visible to Physics Teacher Students. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10(4), 396-411.


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