Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in School Science and Mathematics 103:7 (November 2003), pp. 319-330.


Copyright © 2003 Wiley. Used by permission.


A common maxim in the educational profession is that one teaches the way one is taught. Indications are that preservice teachers' beliefs, attitudes, and practices may be linked to previous experiences. Calderhead and Robson (1991) underscored this concern by asserting that teachers use good teachers as models for developing their own images as teachers. Others have argued that the images held by teachers are used as frames of reference for their own teaching practices. In this article, preservice teachers' perceptions of themselves as science teachers are examined. The assertion is made that a long history of stereotypical science learning experiences—in elementary school, high school, and college—powerfully impacts the way in which elementary preservice teachers understand the nature of science and come to believe science should be taught. In the current study, the images and perceptions preservice teachers bring to science methods courses (as evidenced, in drawings of themselves as science teachers at work) are identified and ways these images and perceptions may have been formed and how they can be reinforced or modified during a science methods course are discussed.