Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Learning

Committee Director

Brandon Butler

Committee Member

Helen Crompton

Committee Member

Jamie Colwell

Committee Member

Yonghee Suh


As beliefs and dispositions form the foundation of practice, the situations in which teachers develop belief is an important factor in their development (Roth, 1999). One aspect shaping the beliefs of teacher candidates is their experience with education. Lortie (2002) refers to this as the problem of “apprenticeship of observation”, the learning that occurs from watching teachers in the 12 or more years spent in school as a student. School experiences greatly affect the preconceptions teacher candidates have about teaching and learning. Richardson and Placier (2001) state most preservice teacher beliefs consist of unexamined assumptions. These views tend to focus on the affective quality of teachers they experienced, favorite teaching styles, and what certain children do. Teacher candidates tend not to think about the social contexts, subject matter, or pedagogy involved. Thus, preconceptions left unexplored are difficult to change later.

This qualitative case study investigates how a new iteration of an educational technology class influences the preconceptions, beliefs, and dispositions of five secondary social studies teacher candidates’ implementation of Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge framework (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). The suitability of this class as a space to challenge teacher candidate preconceptions is discussed. Through interview, survey data, class observations, and student produced artefacts, issues of teacher candidate preconceptions, belief, and disposition toward their future teaching are examined. How aspects of the class influenced participants’ developing understanding of TPACK as well as challenging their beliefs about teaching social studies are discussed. Implications for teacher educators regarding teacher candidate belief, the learning of meaningful educational technology integration, and programmatic issues concerning appropriate course placement also arise because of this study.