Prospective chemistry teachers’ perceptions of their profession: the state of the art in Slovenia and Finland

Vesna Ferk Savec, Bernarda Urankar, Maija Katariina Aksela, Iztok Devetak

Abstract


The main purpose of this paper is to present Slovenian and Finnish prospective chemistry teachers’ perceptions of their future profession, espe­cially with regard to their understanding of the role of the triple nature of chemical concepts (macro, submicro and symbolic) and their representations in chemistry learning. A total of 19 prospective teachers (10 Slovenian, 9 Finnish) at master’s level in chemical education participated in the research. The pros­pective teachers’ opinions were gathered using an electronic questionnaire comprising six open-ended questions. The study revealed many parallels between Slovenian and Finnish prospective chemistry teachers’ perceptions of their future profession and their understanding of the role of the triple nature of chemical concepts, especially particle representations, in chemistry learning. The majority of the prospective teachers from both countries believe that per­sonal characteristics are the most important attribute of a successful chemistry teacher. Thus, they highly value teachers’ enthusiasm for teaching and the use of contemporary teaching approaches in chemistry. The prospective teachers displayed an adequate understanding of the role of the triple nature of chemical concepts (i.e., particle representations) in the planning and implementation of a specific chemistry lesson.


Keywords


attributes of a chemistry teacher; chemistry teacher profession; triple nature of chemical concepts; particle representations.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2298/JSC161221083S

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