Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education (Honours) BEd (Hons)





First Advisor

Dr Cedric Greive




The results of this cross-sectional study involving 102 entering primary teaching candidates and 104 exiting graduating primary preservice teachers from four different teacher education institutions revealed both stability and change in the beliefs of these two groups of prospective teachers about various aspects of teaching. Beliefs that tended to remain stable related to student control (i.e. giving students greater autonomy about making decisions about managing their own behaviour); their sense of personal teaching efficacy (i.e. their ability to make a positive impact on student learning); and general teaching efficacy (i.e. the ability of teachers in general to overcome the adverse effects of the home environment and family background). Those beliefs that appeared to change as a result of the teacher education intervention included their perceptions of the teacher's role, their management efficacy and their views on teacher control. Final year preservice teachers displayed more confidence in their ability to manage students and gave more emphasis to instruction, as opposed to socialisation, than first year preservice teachers. In addition, they believed that teachers should make the decisions about managing the instructional process. There were also institutional differences, with the beliefs of preservice teachers from religious institutions giving more emphasis to socialisation as part of the teachers role but less emphasis on the teacher controlling the instructional process than their secular counterparts. With respect to strategies used to cope with problem students the responses of the two groups of preservice teachers were generally more similar than different. These strategies appeared to be based more on commonsense psychology resulting from their own personal experience as school students rather than well developed theories of discipline. Limitations of the study were discussed and suggestions were made for improvements in teacher education in light of the research findings.


Used by permission: the author.

A print copy of this thesis is held in the Avondale College Library (SC Theses 372.112 F95).

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