The purpose of this study was to (a) examine how student teachers believed they incorporated general pedagogical knowledge into lessons, (b) examine how student teachers believed they incorporated pedagogical content knowledge into lessons, and (c) examine the beliefs held by student teachers regarding those elements of their teacher education program that most directly guided their practice. Twenty student teachers, 7 teacher educators, and 8 cooperating teachers were interviewed. Data were analyzed and grouped into themes. The results indicate that the degree to which students incorporated general pedagogical knowledge into teaching was contingent on the placement setting, support of the cooperating teacher, influence of pupils, and level the student teacher was teaching. Student teachers had greater difficulty incorporating pedagogical content knowledge. The student teachers from one university all believed they were primarily influenced by one particular teacher educator. A single powerful individual may be more important in shaping preservice student beliefs than an entire program of courses and experiences.
Kim C. Graber is with the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Illinois, Freer Hall, 906 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801.