Supporting the Development of Science Pre-service Teachers’ Creativity and Critical Thinking in Secondary Science Initial Teacher Education

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(c) The Author/s 2023
Creative and critical thinking (C&CT) capabilities are essential qualities of future ready scientific literate citizens. As teacher educators, developing C&CT in science pre-service teachers (PSTs) requires supporting PSTs’ development of C&CT, in addition to supporting their understanding and capacity to teach for development of C&CT in their future school science students. In this study, four secondary science educators critically reflected on the development of our professional knowledge and practice for supporting secondary science PSTs’ understanding of, and capacity to teach, C&CT as future teachers of science. Meeting transcripts, reflective journaling and curriculum documents were inductively analysed for key themes, utilising an iterative approach with multiple cycles of review. Findings showed that integrating C&CT in explicit ways in our teaching and assessment tasks was not as straight-forward as initially imagined. Three themes were identified, showing how our thinking evolved, namely (1) becoming sensitised to C&CT in our science ITE practice; (2) developing a shared language and understanding for science education; and (3) illuminating the conditions for teaching C&CT. A recurring feature in all themes was the value of tensions for sensitising us to specific aspects of C&CT and its teaching. We offer recommendations for others seeking to develop science PSTs’ C&CT.
CAUL read and publish agreement 2023
Creativity, Critical Thinking, Science Education, Pre-Service Teachers, Teacher Educators
Research in Science Education, 2023