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The research-practice gap in teacher education. beliefs, evidence and practice of university-based teacher educators
The research-practice gap in teacher education. beliefs, evidence and practice of university-based teacher educators
Evidence-based teaching is an important aspect of teacher educators’ professionalization, which refers to teaching practices based on robust evidence retrieved from quality research studies. Research on evidence-based practices in medicine has shown that knowledge, beliefs and attitudes play a pivotal role in the acceleration of implementation of Evidence-based practices. In education, this topic has received little attention within the literature despite the high demand by European educational reforms for the use of research evidence into teaching practice. Because teacher educators play a crucial role in the classroom ecology of teacher education, a consistent use of Evidence-based teaching practices in this field is especially important and may accelerate a more rapid shift toward evidence-based teaching practices at large. The present thesis contributes to research and literature with two studies. The first study focuses on the development of a valid and reliable instrument to measure teacher educators’ practical knowledge, self-efficacy beliefs and attitudes toward evidence-based teaching strategies and provides empirical evidence, which support the heterogeneity of the group of teacher educators. The second study sheds light on the relationship between teacher educators’ research experience, practical knowledge, self-efficacy beliefs and the frequency of evidence-based teaching implementation and describes the challenges teacher educators face concerning evidence-based teaching. Given the lack of studies in teacher education and based on existing instruments from the medical field the first study focused on the development of the evidence-based teaching scale (EBTS). Teacher educators (N = 243) from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the United Kingdom completed the EBTS scale. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and a Parallel Analysis (PA) were conducted to reduce the number of items on the scale and to test a three-factor structure for the newly developed instrument. Cronbach’s alpha was > .80 for each sub-scale. The results of the first study provide evidence to support the psychometric structure of the EBTS in teacher education and, in particular, in a heterogeneous sample of teacher educators. Significant differences were also identified between highly research experienced teacher educators and the less research-involved teacher educators. The findings emphasize the need for further professional development tailored to diverse teacher educator groups. For the second study of this thesis, a set of mediation analysis were run to identify the role of self-efficacy beliefs and practical knowledge in the interplay among teacher educators research experience and frequency of research evidence implementation. Self-efficacy seemed to be a stronger predictor of how frequently one uses evidence-based practices in comparison to practical knowledge. Moreover, the study identified potential challenges, reported from teacher educators, which might undermine evidence implementation in university teaching. Implications about the role of self-efficacy beliefs in teacher educators’ professional learning and development along with future steps that are necessary to increase the implementation of Evidence-based teaching practices in teacher education will be discussed as part of study 2 and in the general introduction of this thesis.
evidence-based teaching, teacher educators, teacher professional development, personal domain variables, belief systems
Georgiou, Despoina
2020
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Georgiou, Despoina (2020): The research-practice gap in teacher education: beliefs, evidence and practice of university-based teacher educators. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
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Abstract

Evidence-based teaching is an important aspect of teacher educators’ professionalization, which refers to teaching practices based on robust evidence retrieved from quality research studies. Research on evidence-based practices in medicine has shown that knowledge, beliefs and attitudes play a pivotal role in the acceleration of implementation of Evidence-based practices. In education, this topic has received little attention within the literature despite the high demand by European educational reforms for the use of research evidence into teaching practice. Because teacher educators play a crucial role in the classroom ecology of teacher education, a consistent use of Evidence-based teaching practices in this field is especially important and may accelerate a more rapid shift toward evidence-based teaching practices at large. The present thesis contributes to research and literature with two studies. The first study focuses on the development of a valid and reliable instrument to measure teacher educators’ practical knowledge, self-efficacy beliefs and attitudes toward evidence-based teaching strategies and provides empirical evidence, which support the heterogeneity of the group of teacher educators. The second study sheds light on the relationship between teacher educators’ research experience, practical knowledge, self-efficacy beliefs and the frequency of evidence-based teaching implementation and describes the challenges teacher educators face concerning evidence-based teaching. Given the lack of studies in teacher education and based on existing instruments from the medical field the first study focused on the development of the evidence-based teaching scale (EBTS). Teacher educators (N = 243) from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the United Kingdom completed the EBTS scale. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and a Parallel Analysis (PA) were conducted to reduce the number of items on the scale and to test a three-factor structure for the newly developed instrument. Cronbach’s alpha was > .80 for each sub-scale. The results of the first study provide evidence to support the psychometric structure of the EBTS in teacher education and, in particular, in a heterogeneous sample of teacher educators. Significant differences were also identified between highly research experienced teacher educators and the less research-involved teacher educators. The findings emphasize the need for further professional development tailored to diverse teacher educator groups. For the second study of this thesis, a set of mediation analysis were run to identify the role of self-efficacy beliefs and practical knowledge in the interplay among teacher educators research experience and frequency of research evidence implementation. Self-efficacy seemed to be a stronger predictor of how frequently one uses evidence-based practices in comparison to practical knowledge. Moreover, the study identified potential challenges, reported from teacher educators, which might undermine evidence implementation in university teaching. Implications about the role of self-efficacy beliefs in teacher educators’ professional learning and development along with future steps that are necessary to increase the implementation of Evidence-based teaching practices in teacher education will be discussed as part of study 2 and in the general introduction of this thesis.