The content of school year memories of University student teachers in early childhood education was explored. 183 first and fourth year student teachers were asked to recall and write a small text about one or two positive/negative episodes of their entire school life, which influenced them profoundly. A mixed method approach was used and it was found that student teachers’ memories originate equivalently from their entire school life, with negative incidents dominating their memories. Older students recall more negative school life incidents and seem more sensitized to teachers’ negative behaviors, their descriptions are more sophisticated, and propose more positive alternatives.
•Explores the main thematic areas of student teachers’ early episodic memories from their past school years.
•Student teachers’ episodic memories are rich and vivid and offer a valuable material for exercising in imagination new practices and methods.
•University training has an impact in the organization of student teachers’ episodic memories
This study contributes in the (scarce) existing research concerning the episodic memories of student-teachers, concerning their past experiences as students. Our research, as bringing autobiographical memories material, contributes to our better understanding of student teachers’ attitudes, fosters ideas in shaping effective teachers’ training curricula and enables intercultural comparisons.
Alexander, P.A., P.K. Murphy and B.S. Woods, 1996. Of squalls and fathoms: Navigating the seas of educational innovation. Educational Researcher, 25(3): 31-36.
Balli, S.J., 2011. Pre-service teachers’ episodic memories of classroom management. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(2): 245-251.
Boulton, M.J., 1997. Teachers’ views on bullying: Definitions, attitudes and ability to cope. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 67(2): 223-233.
Bramald, R., F. Hardman and D. Leat, 1995. Initial teacher trainees and their views of teaching and learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 11(1): 23-31.
Braun, V. and V. Clarke, 2008. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2): 77-101.
Calderhead, J. and M. Robson, 1991. Images of teaching: Student teachers’ early conceptions of classroom practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 7(1): 1-8.
Comblain, C., A. D’Argembeau and M. Van Der Linden, 2005. Phenomenal characteristics of autobiographical memories for emotional and neutral events in older and younger adults. Experimental Aging Research: An International Journal Devoted to the Scientific Study of the Aging Process, 31(2): 173-189.
Creswell, J.W., 2003. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. 2nd Edn., California: Sage Publications.
Creswell, J.W., 2007. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. 2nd Edn., Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Goodman, J., 1988. Constructing a practical philosophy of teaching: A study of preservice teachers’ professional perspectives. Teaching & Teacher Education, 4(2): 121-137.
Guillaume, A.M. and G.L. Rudney, 1993. Student teachers’ growth towards independence: An analysis of their changing concerns. Teaching and Teacher Education, 9(1): 65-80.
He, Y. and B. Levin, 2008. Match or mismatch? How congruent are the beliefs of teacher candidates, cooperating teachers, and university-based teacher educators? Teacher Education Quarterly, 35(4): 37-55.
Heikkilä, V., S. Uusiautti and K. Määttä, 2012. Teacher students’ school memories as a part of the development of their professional identity. Journal of Studies in Education, 2(2): 215-229.
Joram, E. and A. Gabriele, 1998. Preservice teachers’ prior beliefs: Transforming obstacles into opportunities. Teaching and Teacher Education, 14(2): 175-191.
Kagan, D.M., 1992. Implications of research on teacher belief. Educational Psychologist, 27(1): 65-90.
Karavas, E. and M. Drossou, 2010. How amenable are student teacher beliefs to change? A study of EFL student teacher beliefs before and after teaching practice. In A. Psaltou-Joycey & M. Matheoudakis (Eds.), Advances in research on language acquisition and teaching: Selected papers. Thessaloniki: Greek Applied Linguistic Association. pp: 261-276.
Murphy, P., L. Delli and M. Edwards, 2004. The good teacher and good teaching: Comparing beliefs of second-grade students, preservice teachers, and inservice teachers. The Journal of Experimental Education, 72(2): 69-92.
Nespor, J., 1987. The role of beliefs in the practice of teaching. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 19: 317-328.
Nettle, E.B., 1998. Stability and change in the beliefs of student teachers during practice teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 14(2): 193-204.
Ozcan, N. and S. Sarici – Bulut, 2012. Teacher candidates’ memories on teaching and education. Oral Presentation in the 15th International Conference, Educational Reform in the 21st Century in the Balkan Countries, Bucharest, Romania.
Pajares, M.F., 1992. Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62(3): 307-333.
Saban, A., 2003. A Turkish profile of prospective elementary school teachers and their views of teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19(8): 829-846.
Skipper, C. and R. Quantz, 1987. Changes in educational attitudes of education and arts and science students during four years of college. Journal of Teacher Education, 38(3): 39-44.
Stuart, C. and D. Thurlow, 2000. Making it their own: Preservice teachers’ experiences, beliefs and classroom practices. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(2): 113-121.
Talarico, J.M., K.S. LaBar and D. Rubin, 2004. Emotional intensity predicts autobiographical memory experience. Memory & Cognition, 32(7): 1118-1132.
This study received no specific financial support.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.