Attitudes of pre-service teachers towards taking risks

Mart Ottenheim

Abstract

When asked for an explanation of why certain activities in primary education are not done like real life learning, such as the subject ‘science and technology’, or story telling, teachers tend to point to external factors. Too little time, money, or assistance, is often cited. In contrast, this paper aims to explore an internal factor as a possible explanation for the lack of innovation in primary schools in the Netherlands; namely, the attitude toward taking risks. This includes two kinds of risks: the ones that that the teacher takes, and those he allows students to take in a school situation.  A questionnaire was formulated to assess the amount of risk-taking that student teachers thought they took and how much risk-taking they would allow their pupils.  A link to actual behaviour in the classroom was sought, but not found. Student teachers tended to take more risks in familiar situations, compared to novel situations. Pupils were allowed to take more social and intellectual risks than physical risks. The questionnaire can be used for further research to investigate the cause of innovation failures in school situations.

Keywords

Risk, attitude, education, science

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References

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Categories: 2015, Articles - JETEN, Science & Technology

Tags: , , ,

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