Educational beliefs development with pre- and in-service teachers using Perry's model : a cross-cultural study
Contrary to the prevailing thinking about beliefs change, Perry (1970), in his model of “Intellectual and Ethical Development”, described structural cognitive and ethical changes that take place during students’ experiences in university education. The research reported here used Johnstone’s (1998) adaptation of Perry’s (1970) scheme of “Intellectual and Ethical Development” to investigate pre- and in-service teachers’ belief change, to examine whether teachers’ beliefs are rooted in a Victorian system and whether they are facilitators or inhibitors of educational change? Using quantitative and qualitative approaches, the current study traced the development of the beliefs of cross sectional groups of pre- and in-service teachers, identified the factors and the influences that in-service teachers perceived to be of great effect on changing their belief profiles and uncovered teachers’ perceptions of what could be the leverage points of educational change. These examinations were conducted in two cultural settings: Egypt and Scotland. Findings confirmed that the beliefs of pre- and in-service teachers do change over time. These changes followed various patterns. In some groups, the change identified contradicted the change anticipated by Perry in his model. Furthermore, major contextual barriers to belief change and interpretation have been identified. Despite the collective effect of these barriers, teachers singled out current curriculum and assessment frameworks as the greatest barriers to changing beliefs and practices. Recommendations include a process of personal and systemic change as a means to achieve the paradigm shift necessary to develop the beliefs in accord with 21st century education reform; provision of specifically designed teacher education programmes and the development of professional development modules.