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ABSTRACT

Recent efforts to design science methods course frameworks that scaffold preservice teachers in organizing inquiry instructional sequences show promise, yet preservice teachers do not always use these frameworks when they teach in school field placements. This article uses a Discourses lens to explore how two preservice elementary teachers’ sense of obligation shaped their use of an instructional model in their science planning and teaching. The preservice teachers’ course assignments, planned and enacted instructional sequences, and stimulated recall interviews were analyzed to characterize how their sense of obligations as students in a university science methods course and as student teachers in their school field-placement classrooms enabled and constrained their use of the instructional model. Findings show that the preservice teachers encountered multiple Discourses across communities. These Discourses shaped the obligations that preservice teachers were expected to fulfill. The preservice teachers used the instructional model when it supported them in meeting their obligations to others. These findings have implications for situating teacher orientations in Discourses, understanding the role of mentor teachers in supporting preservice teachers in using instructional models, and framing the function of preservice teachers’ subject-matter knowledge for using instructional models.