Prospective teachers conceptions and values about learning from teaching

Christine M. Phelps, Sandy M. Spitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although researchers and educators have suggested teaching prospective teachers (PTs) to investigate and learn from their own teaching over time, little research has investigated PTs beliefs about such an approach. This qualitative study examines prospective elementary teachers conceptions and values about systematically studying and improving their own teaching. Participants (N = 6) were students at a university in the USA enrolled in a semester-long mathematics methods course designed around one model for systematically improving teaching (learning-from-teaching [LFT], also known as lesson experiments). Interview results show that the PTs had a high level of procedural knowledge about the LFT skills and reported liking and intending to use all or part of the LFT model. However, results also reveal that four of the six PTs held multiple misconceptions and all six PTs placed less value on improving teaching than on other teaching goals. PTs conceptions and values about improving teaching may limit their ability to successfully learn from their own teaching, which has implications for how teacher educators teach PTs about lesson experiment skills such as writing learning goals or examining student learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalTeachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • beliefs
  • prospective teachers
  • teacher knowledge
  • teacher preparation
  • values


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