Problem Statement:The constructivist reorganization of the elementary education programs in Turkey has revealed the importance of training skilled teachers who are familiar with both constructivist theory and the educational programs. In this way, teachers can adapt to their new roles, learn how to guide students, and prepare the best learning environment. Therefore, the determination of the pre-service science and technology teachers’ mental images of science teaching is assumed to provide great insight for the teacher training institutions into pre-service teachers’ perceptions of the teaching profession and of their students.
Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to determine the mental images of science teaching of the students of the Department of Science and Technology Education of Education Faculty at the University of Mersin and present the differences in their mental images in terms of certain variables.
Methods: This study is based on descriptive methods, and the universe consists of students of the Department of Science and Technology Education of Education Faculty at the University of Mersin in 2009-2010. 113 students were randomly selected for this study. The Draw-A-Science-Teacher-Test Checklist (DASTT-C) is one of the tools that can be used to measure pre-service teachers’ perceptions of teaching science. Variables such as gender and the year of study were covered in the sub-problems of the research. T-test and one way analysis of variance were carried out by using SPSS-15.
Findings and Results: As a result of this study, it was found that 13.08% of the pre-service teachers of science and technology courses had student-centered images (exploratory teaching style), 62.62% had mental images positioned between student-centered science teaching and traditional science teaching (conceptual teaching style), and 24.30% had traditional science teaching images (explicit teaching style).
Conclusions and Recommendations:In practical courses, such as school experience and teaching practice, pre-service teachers can be provided with opportunities to conduct observations and teach. Academic staff can act as a model by including student-centered activities in their courses.
Keywords: Pre-service science and technology teachers, constructivist theory, science teaching, mental images