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Abstract

This article reports on two types of resistance by preservice science teachers: resistance to ideological change and resistance to pedagogical change. The former has to do with the feelings of disbelief, defensiveness, guilt, and shame that Anglo-European preservice teachers experience when they are asked to confront racism and other oppressive social norms in class discussions. Resistance to pedagogical change has to do with the roles that preservice teachers feel they need to play to manage conflicting messages about what they are expected to do from their cooperating teachers (cover the curriculum and maintain class control) and from their university supervisors (implement student-centered, constructivist class activities), and about what they desire to do as emerging teachers. Although these two forms of resistance are closely linked, in the literature they are extensively reported separately. This study suggests a sociotransformative constructivist orientation as a vehicle to link multicultural education and social constructivist theoretical frameworks. By using this orientation, specific pedagogical strategies for counterresistance were found effective in helping preservice teachers learn to teach for diversity and understanding. These strategies for counterresistance were primarily drawn from the qualitative analysis of a yearlong project with secondary science preservice teachers. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 35: 589–622, 1998.