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Effects of narrative refutational text, epistemological beliefs, empathy, affect, and systematic and heuristic processing on conceptual change in preservice teachers

Dissertation
Author: Clayton D. Austin
Abstract:
Preservice teachers enter teacher education programs with many strongly held beliefs that conflict with findings of educational research. In this study two interventions were compared that were designed to enable preservice teachers to recognize the conflicts between their entering beliefs and new research findings and to help them resolve these conflicts in ways that will contribute to their effectiveness as teachers. Conceptual change theorists have identified refutational text that explicitly contrasts naïve and accurate conceptions, as effective in facilitating conceptual change. The effectiveness of adding narrative elements of plot, character and setting to refutational text for effecting change in concepts of motivation in preservice teachers was investigated in this study. Weaknesses of previous conceptual change research, such as failing to investigate the personal characteristics of epistemological beliefs and verbal ability and affective and cognitive factors that could serve as resources for change were addressed. Pretreatment questionnaires on conceptions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and epistemological beliefs were given to 190 students majoring in education. Then participants were randomly assigned to read an expository refutational or narrative refutational text and complete measures of empathy, affect, cognitive processing, and conceptions of motivation. Conceptions of motivation were measured again one month later. Structural equation modeling was used to test the fit of the proposed model of conceptual change and to analyze hypotheses regarding the relationships among the intervention and individual differences and conceptual change. The revised model included a significant direct effect of narrative refutational text compared to expository refutational text on changes in conceptions of intrinsic motivation, and, indirectly via empathy, on conceptions of extrinsic motivation. Narrative refutational text was also causally related to positive and negative affect and heuristic processing, but none of the affective or cognitive factors served as a resource for conceptual change. Contrary to prediction, epistemological beliefs in simple and certain knowledge did not affect conceptual change. However, the results show that empathy may influence conceptual change when reading narrative refutational text.

5 TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES...........................................................................................................................7 LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................................8 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................11 Teacher Conceptions..............................................................................................................11 Conceptual Change.................................................................................................................13 Interventions for Conceptual Change.....................................................................................15 Expository Refutational Text..........................................................................................15 Narrative Text..................................................................................................................17 Augmented Activation.....................................................................................................24 Mediators of Conceptual Change...........................................................................................26 Affect...............................................................................................................................26 Empathy...........................................................................................................................29 Systematic and Heuristic Processing...............................................................................31 Personal Characteristics Influencing Conceptual Change...................................................... 36 Epistemological Beliefs...................................................................................................36 Verbal Ability..................................................................................................................38 Purpose of the Study...............................................................................................................39 Significance of the Study for Theory..............................................................................41 Significance of the Study for Practice.............................................................................44 2 MATERIALS AND METHODS...........................................................................................46 Research Questions.................................................................................................................46 Participants.............................................................................................................................46 Experimental Treatments ........................................................................................................47 Pretreatment Measures............................................................................................................48 Conceptual Change..........................................................................................................48 Epistemological Beliefs...................................................................................................50 Verbal Ability..................................................................................................................51 Posttreatment Measures..........................................................................................................52 Affect...............................................................................................................................52 Systematic and Heuristic Processing...............................................................................52 Empathy...........................................................................................................................54 Procedures...............................................................................................................................54 Phase 1.............................................................................................................................54

6 Phase 2.............................................................................................................................54 Phase 3.............................................................................................................................55 Analysis..................................................................................................................................55 3 RESULTS...............................................................................................................................58 Descriptive Statistics..............................................................................................................58 Manipulation Checks..............................................................................................................59 Analysis of the Correlation Matrix.........................................................................................59 Model Fit................................................................................................................................61 Suggested Model Modifications.............................................................................................62 Research Questions.................................................................................................................64 4 DISCUSSION.........................................................................................................................74 Personal Characteristics Influencing Conceptual Change...................................................... 75 Epistemological Beliefs...................................................................................................75 Verbal Ability..................................................................................................................75 Interventions for Conceptual Change.....................................................................................76 Potential Mediators of Conceptual Change............................................................................78 Weaknesses of the Study and Need for Further Research......................................................84 Conclusion..............................................................................................................................86

APPENDIX A NARRATIVE REFUTATIONAL TEXT (NRT)...................................................................89 B CODING RUBRIC FOR THOUGHT LISTINGS.................................................................91 LIST OF REFERENCES...............................................................................................................93 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................102

7 LIST OF TABLES Table Page

2-1 Descriptive statistics for nomi nal variables.......................................................................56 3-1 Means and standard deviations for pre- and posttreatme nt measures by treatment condition............................................................................................................................69 3-2 Polychoric correlations for pre- and posttreatme nt measures for ERT condition.............70 3-3 Polychoric correlations for pre- and posttreatme nt measures for NRT condition.............71 3-4 Total, direct, and indirect effects in the revised model......................................................72

8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page

1-1 Proposed model of conceptual change...............................................................................45 3-1 Revised exploratory model of change of conceptions of motivation. ...............................73

9 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy EFFECTS OF NARRATIVE REFUTATIONAL TEXT, EPISTEMOLOGICAL BELIEFS, EMPATHY, AFFECT, AND SYSTEMATIC AND HEURISTIC PROCESSING ON CONCEPTUAL CHANGE IN PRESERVICE TEACHERS By Clayton D. Austin August 2008 Chair: Patricia T. Ashton Major: Educational Psychology Preservice teachers enter teacher education programs with many strongly held beliefs that conflict with findings of educational research. In this study two interventions were compared that were designed to enable preservice teachers to recognize the conflicts between their entering beliefs and new research findings and to help them resolve these conflicts in ways that will contribute to their effectiveness as teachers. Conceptual change theorists have identified refutational text that explicitly contrasts naïve and accurate conceptions, as effective in facilitating conceptual change. The effectiveness of adding narrative elements of plot, character and setting to refutational text for effecting change in concepts of motivation in preservice teachers was investigated in this study. Weaknesses of previous conceptual change research, such as failing to investigate the personal characteristics of epistemological beliefs and verbal ability and affective and cognitive factors that could serve as resources for change were addressed. Pretreatment questionnaires on conceptions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and epistemological beliefs were given to 190 students majoring in education. Then participants were randomly assigned to read an expository refutational or narrative refutational text and complete measures of empathy, affect, cognitive processing, and conceptions of motivation. Conceptions

10 of motivation were measured again one month later. Structural equation modeling was used to test the fit of the proposed model of conceptual change and to analyze hypotheses regarding the relationships among the intervention and individual differences and conceptual change. The revised model included a significant direct effect of narrative refutational text compared to expository refutational text on changes in conceptions of intrinsic motivation, and, indirectly via empathy, on conceptions of extrinsic motivation. Narrative refutational text was also causally related to positive and negative affect and heuristic processing, but none of the affective or cognitive factors served as a resource for conceptual change. Contrary to prediction, epistemological beliefs in simple and certain knowledge did not affect conceptual change. However, the results show that empathy may influence conceptual change when reading narrative refutational text.

11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Preservice teachers enter teacher education programs with many conceptions of teaching and learning that conflict with findings of educational research (Holt-Reynolds, 1992; Woolfolk Hoy & Murphy, 2001). Research in a variety of disciplines, including social and developmental psychology as well as education, has shown that many of these concepts are very resistant to change (Chinn & Brewer, 1993; Wideen, Mayer-Smith, & Moon, 1998). Research is needed to enable preservice teachers to recognize the conflicts between their entering conceptions and new research findings and to help them resolve these conflicts in ways that will contribute to their effectiveness as teachers. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation study was three-fold: first, to compare two interventions designed to foster conceptual change in preservice teachers, second, to explore pre-existing personal characteristics, specifically verbal ability and epistemological beliefs, that may influence their conceptual change, and third, to identify cognitive and affective processes that account for conceptual change. Teacher Conceptions As noted by Torff and Sternberg (2001), “Far from being blank slates with little knowledge about education, prospective teachers' prior beliefs, expectations, and knowledge influence what they come to understand, value, and use from courses in teacher education” (p. 21). Prospective teachers come to their teacher education courses with prior conceptions about teaching and learning. Some of these conceptions may have their origins in common human experience, as described by evolutionary or cognitive-developmental psychologists, or in a more specific cultural basis as described by anthropologists or cultural psychologists (Torff & Sternberg, 2001). Yet other conceptions may have their origins in prospective teachers’ unique experiences as students (Lortie, 1975). Although these prior conceptions can be useful frameworks for

12 effective practice, unfortunately preservice teachers have many conceptions regarding teaching and learning that conflict with research findings (Holt-Reynolds, 1992; Woolfolk Hoy & Murphy, 2001). For example, one conception of learning that has received significant attention from researchers is characterized as the transmission model of learning (Sternberg & Torff, 2001). In the transmission model, the student’s mind is “conceived as a vessel to be filled with knowledge that only teachers and texts can provide” (Torff, 1999, p. 200). However, most teacher educators maintain that the transmission model does not adequately capture the complexity of learning, because knowledge is not merely imparted to students, it is actively constructed by students (Torff, 1999; Woolfolk Hoy, 1996). The transmission model of learning is very resistant to correction (Torff, 1999) and even when conceptions are correct, actions may not be. For example, Strauss (2001) described how even professors who do not endorse the transmission model still teach their classes as if they do. In addition to these misconceptions about teaching and learning, many prospective teachers’ conceptions about motivation conflict with contemporary theoretical perspectives. Patrick and Pintrich (2001) claimed that among prospective and novice teachers the most common conception about motivation is that it is a stable trait-like characteristic of students (see Calderhead, 1996; Holt-Reynolds, 1992); however, contemporary researchers characterize motivation as the “ongoing dynamic process of interactions between the student and the context, rather than as an object that students either have or do not have” (p. 129). A related conception contrary to research but commonly held by prospective teachers is that only positive feedback will increase motivation (Pajares & Bengston, 1995; Pajares & Graham, 1998).

13 Research on extrinsic and intrinsic motivation has led to findings that conflict with many preservice teachers’ conceptions of motivation. Extrinsic motivation refers to motivation for a task that originates from outside the individual, typically in the forms of reinforcers such as rewards and punishments. In contrast, intrinsic motivation refers to motivation for a task that originates from within the learner, such as a desire to achieve mastery. Intrinsic motivation for a learning task has been associated with deeper understanding and increased creativity (see Deci & Ryan, 1980, 1985, 1991). The finding that extrinsic rewards can decrease intrinsic motivation for a learning task initiated a significant debate (see Ryan & Deci, 2000, for summary). However, according to Lepper and Henderlong (2000), over 100 studies performed over three decades has resulted in a consensus among researchers that initial intrinsic motivation for a learning task will likely be diminished when students expect to receive a tangible arbitrary reward (e.g., stickers, prizes) for completion of the task. Two intervention studies (Kutza, 2000; Salisbury-Glennon & Stevens, 1999) have focused on fostering change in preservice teachers’ conceptions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. In these studies a text was used to refute the conception that extrinsic or reinforcement motivation is the only or best motivation for learning and explain the concept of intrinsic motivation and its positive effects on learning. I investigated the effect of adding narrative structures to the expository refutational text used in these studies. Conceptual Change Researchers investigating changing teachers’ prior conceptions to be more consistent with research have looked to the literature on conceptual change as a theoretical framework (e.g., Gill, 2003; Patrick & Pintrich, 2001; Salisbury-Glennon & Stevens, 1999). Important models of conceptual change have emerged from research in developmental and social psychology and

14 science education (Vosniadou, 1999). Piaget (1975) explained how individuals confronted with a new concept either assimilate it into existing mental schemes or restructure their schemes to accommodate the new concept. This accommodation has been the focus of conceptual change research in science education, a domain that often requires learners to change naïve concepts or theories in favor of scientific ones. Posner, Strike, Hewson, and Gertzog (1982) posited four conditions for conceptual change: (a) dissatisfaction with existing concepts, (b) intelligibility of new concepts, (c) plausibility of new concepts, and (d) fruitfulness of new concepts. Posner et al. (1982) described the relationship between existing and new concepts, but others criticized their model for its narrow conception of conceptual change. Pintrich, Marx, and Boyle (1993), for example, criticized the model as overly “cold” and stressing cognition while ignoring the influence of affect and motivation. Caravita and Hallden (1994) criticized a foundational metaphor of conceptual change models, that of the student as scientist. They claimed students learn more inductively, are more concerned with outcome than method, and have more egocentric peer relations than scientists. Mayer (2002) claimed researchers of conceptual change have yet to identify mechanisms of change or methodologies to effect change. In response to these criticisms, researchers have looked to social psychological theories on attitude change, particularly Festinger’s (1957) cognitive dissonance theory, and more recent processing models (for reviews, see Dole & Sinatra, 1998; Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). As a result, researchers of conceptual change (e.g., Limόn & Mason, 2002; Sinatra & Pintrich, 2003) have begun to identify the complex interplay of knowledge, affect, and motivation that contributes to the process of change in knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes during learning. From this important new scholarship, I identified key questions: What types of interventions effect the greatest and longest lasting conceptual change? What learner

15 characteristics play a role in conceptual change? What cognitive and affective processes are used in conceptual change? Then I proposed and tested a model based on these questions. Specifically, I investigated narrative refutational text as a potentially effective and long lasting intervention, verbal ability and epistemological beliefs as important learner characteristics, and the influence of learners’ empathy, affect, and systematic and heuristic processing in conceptual change. Interventions for Conceptual Change Given that conceptual change is an important goal of teacher education programs, it is important to identify the kinds of instructional interventions that can be used to effect conceptual change. Guzzetti, Snyder, Glass, and Gamas (1993) conducted a meta-analysis of the interventions used in reading and science education to induce conceptual change. Examples of interventions in their meta-analysis include discussion, demonstration, Socratic questioning, concept mapping, summarizing, activating background knowledge, and reading expository, refutational, and narrative texts. Interventions that made use of some kind of text were more effective and longer-lasting than those that did not (effect size = .49), provided the text was refutational or used with a strategy to induce cognitive conflict. Expository Refutational Text Plain expository text, typically used in school textbooks, simply explains concepts. Expository refutational text, in contrast, explains a widely accepted concept and then refutes it by describing a new and conflicting concept. On the basis of their meta-analysis, Guzzetti et al. (1993) concluded that expository refutational text is one of the most effective approaches researchers have used to achieve conceptual change. In eight studies, expository refutational text had a greater effect on conceptual change than a typical expository nonrefutational text (average

16 effect size = .24). Guzzetti (2000) reported that conceptual change effected from expository refutational text lasted a month or more, which is longer than other methods studied to date. Expository refutational text has been more effective than plain expository text in inducing conceptual change in preservice teachers. Salisbury-Glennon and Stevens (1999) investigated the use of expository refutational text in changing prospective teachers’ conceptions of motivation. Participants read either a plain expository text that simply described intrinsic motivation or an expository refutational text that criticized extrinsic motivation and then described intrinsic motivation. After reading one of the texts, participants responded to 20 brief classroom scenarios that endorsed either an intrinsic or extrinsic view of motivation. Participants who read the expository refutational text demonstrated more evidence of conceptual change than those who read the plain expository text on an immediate posttest (effect size = .71) and a posttest delayed 1 week (effect size = .54). In her dissertation study, Kutza (2000) used the same text as Salisbury-Glennon and Stevens (1999) but analyzed the 20 scenarios as two 10-item intrinsic and extrinsic subscales to look for more precise and specific evidence of change. Furthermore, she used the texts in conjunction with a contextual variable of reward structure. Kutza found that expository refutational text facilitated conceptual change only with regard to the rejection of an extrinsic theory and only when paired with an external controlling reward structure. This result was observed on the immediate and delayed posttest. Gill, Ashton, and Algina (2004) contrasted expository refutational and plain expository text in a study of prospective teachers’ epistemological beliefs about mathematics, described as either constructivist or proceduralist. Those who hold constructivist beliefs endorse teaching for deep understanding using authentic problems (Hiebert et al., 1996). In contrast, those who hold

17 proceduralist beliefs endorse using rote drill and practice. Both texts described the more research-based constructivist epistemological beliefs, but the expository refutational text also refuted the proceduralist beliefs. After reading one of the two texts, participants completed outcome measures designed to assess explicit and implicit epistemological beliefs of mathematics. Explicit beliefs were measured by two subscales of the Cognitively Guided Instruction Belief Survey developed by Peterson, Fennema, Carpenter, and Loef (1989). Implicit beliefs were measured by participants’ responses to eight short scenarios the first author constructed to represent either constructivist or proceduralist teaching practices in mathematics. The expository refutational text was superior to the plain expository text in changing explicit and implicit beliefs. Narrative Text Although expository refutational and plain expository text were used in the research described above, some researchers have suggested that narrative text may have a stronger positive effect on learning than either expository refutational text or plain expository text (Lipson, 1986; Maria & Johnson, 1990; Valencia & Stallman, 1988). A narrative text is a “symbolic presentation of a sequence of events connected by subject matter and related by time” (Scholes, 1981, p. 205). It may or may not involve human agents and intentions; for example, the description of the formation of a tropical storm would be narrative without human agents. However, a story is a type of narrative that consists of “events, characters, and settings arranged in a temporal sequence implying both causality and significance” (Carter, 1993, p. 6) and “encourages the projection of human values” (Scholes, 1981, p. 206). From this perspective I investigated the use of stories, not merely narrative texts, in conceptual change; however, conceptual change researchers have used the terms narrative text and narrative structures in describing stories and their characteristics (Alvermann, Hynd, & Qian, 1995; Guzzetti et al.,

18 1993; Guzzetti, Williams, Skeels, & Wu, 1997). I have followed this convention and refer to stories as narrative texts and their characteristics (characters, settings, and cause and effect sequences) as narrative structures. Researchers have advocated the use of stories, movies, or videotaped or written case studies in teacher education programs (Putnam & Borko, 1997; Woolfolk Hoy & Murphy, 2001). The use of narrative texts and structures in teacher education programs may be warranted given that preservice teachers’ conceptions tend to be in the form of events and stories (Doyle & Carter, 1996) that are often grounded in their experiences as students (Lortie, 1975). However, researchers have also warned against the dangers of using narrative texts and structures for research or communication. Phillips (1994, 1997) warned that narratives must be demonstrated by analytical methods as true, not merely coherent or plausible, especially when they are designed to influence public policy or classroom practice. Doyle (1997) responded to the criticism of using narratives in teacher education arguing that “story offers the only possibility for ‘truth’ in the study of teaching” (p. 95). Instead of addressing epistemological questions about whether analytic or narrative text is most representative of truth, Doyle outlined how those who are interested in understanding and improving teaching, an “event and action with respect to a curriculum,” can use narratives of teaching as provisional models to capture the “floating value” of truth (p. 95). Without endorsing Doyle’s (1997) view, I believe the use of narrative refutational text in my dissertation study avoids the criticisms of Phillips (1994, 1997). Narrative refutational text consists of narrative structures that have been added to pre-existing expository refutational text that was constructed based on results of the use of analytical methods. Therefore the meaning of both narrative refutational text and expository refutational text, specifically the refutation of a

19 misconception and explaining a more accurate conception, remains open to analytical tests for truth. Thus, the narrative refutational text is quite different from other narrative texts and structures such as movies, books, or even case studies. Some researchers have investigated the use of narrative text in effecting conceptual change. Maria and Johnson (1990) noted that expository texts may present scientific conceptions in an abstract or decontextualized manner, making it difficult for students to relate the information to their pre-existing conceptions. To overcome this difficulty Maria and Johnson suggested the use of narrative texts in science classes. Gordon and Rennie (1987) had fifth graders read a short story about a boy and a lion to help them change their misconceptions that wild animals are always ferocious. However, students who read the narrative text in addition to an expository refutational text exhibited more evidence of conceptual change than students who read only the narrative text, casting doubt about the effectiveness of straight narrative in effecting conceptual change. Other researchers have blended narrative and expository structures in a single text to effect conceptual change. For example, results have been promising for soft expository text, a hybrid of narrative and expository structures. Guzzetti et al. (1993) reported that the largest effect size found in their meta-analysis was for considerate soft expository text. Considerate text exhibits global coherence, such as an overall cause-and-effect or problem-and-solution structure, and local coherence at the sentence level, such as clear references, substitutions, and connections (Armbruster, 1984). Considerate soft expository text demonstrated strong effects when compared with inconsiderate plain expository text (average effect size = -1.26, n = 4) and moderate effects compared against expository refutational considerate text (average effect size = .59, n = 4). These effect sizes were calculated from Maria and Johnson’s (1990) study in which considerate

20 soft expository text was more effective than inconsiderate text in producing conceptual change as measured on all immediate and delayed recognition and application tests in fifth- and seventh- grade students who were learning about seasonal change in a gifted and talented program. In contrast with the effectiveness of narrative structures in effecting conceptual change in elementary school students, researchers have not found narrative structures to be more effective than expository structures with secondary or undergraduate students. In their meta-analysis Guzzetti et al. (1993) reported that narrative refutational text was inferior to expository refutational text in producing conceptual change in high school students (average effect size = - .25). This divergence from findings in elementary grades may indicate that students outgrow the need for narrative structures (Guzzetti et al., 1993) or that these structures may distract learners from important information (Guzzetti et al., 1997). For example, Alvermann et al. (1995) investigated the effect of narrative refutational text and expository refutational text in promoting conceptual change in ninth-grade physics students’ conceptions of impetus theory and Newtonian mechanics. Expository refutational text was superior to narrative refutational text on two of the three posttests, an application task, and short-answer task. The application task required students to use a diagram to draw the path a projectile would take and explain their conclusions. The short-answer task was comprised of six items that either cued the subjects’ free recall of the text or asked them a high-order question about the concepts described in the text. There were no significant differences on a 21-item true/false posttest. The authors suggested that, by ninth grade, students may no longer read everything like a story and may find the story elements distracting from the technical material in the passage, expecting expository text to be tested one way and narrative text in another. Alvermann et al. recommended that future researchers should try to clarify whether the superiority of expository text over narrative text

21 with high-school students is due to the increase in older students’ ability to distinguish their approach to learning depending on the type of text or whether the story grammar of narratives interferes with the learning of technical material. To achieve this understanding, Alvermann et al. (1995) suggested that researchers should include methods, such as talk-alouds or self-reports. Guzzetti et al. (1997) used the narrative refutational text and expository refutational text texts devised by Alvermann et al. (1995) and a cartoon in a qualitative study of conceptual change in the physics domain. The study included three high school physics classes, a physics honors class for advanced students, a physics class for college-bound juniors and seniors, and basic physical science class for freshmen. Students were randomly assigned to the text conditions. Students were interrupted several times while reading and asked if anything they had read was surprising or new. Later, individual students were interviewed to find out how credible, easy to understand, or helpful they considered the texts. Only 11% to 25% of the class members reported using their textbook at all. Instead of using the textbook, the students in the honors and junior and senior classes preferred hands-on activities and labs, whereas the freshman students preferred studying notes and memorization. When asked how to improve the textbook, most of the students suggested making it easier to understand. Though all types of texts were viewed as credible, 53% of students in the basic classes and 80% of students in the honors classes preferred expository refutational text to plain expository text. The majority of students in each class also preferred expository refutational text to narrative refutational text or the refutational cartoon. To typify this preference, the authors included the response of a student who reported that reading the narrative refutational text was like mixing “pleasure reading with study reading” and made it hard to “put your brain into the gear of learning” (p. 711).

22 In their meta-analysis of interventions to foster conceptual change, Guzzetti et al. (1993) reported only one study that used narrative refutational text with preservice or inservice teachers. In that study, Marshall (1990) contrasted expository and narrative refutational text in changing preservice teachers’ conceptions of seasonal change. Using immediate free recall and delayed multiple-choice and application items to measure conceptual change, no significant differences due to text type were found. The paucity of research on narrative refutational text with preservice teachers reflects a need to further investigate if narrative structure in an expository refutational text might be helpful to preservice or inservice teachers. In sum, the empirical results demonstrating the benefits of narrative structures combined with expository refutational text on conceptual change differ by grade level. The evidence to date is that narrative structures may effect conceptual change with elementary students but not with secondary students or undergraduates (Guzzetti et al., 1993). However, it is important to note that in their meta-analysis Guzzetti et al. only included research using narrative structures with concepts from the natural science domain. The possibility that narrative refutational text may be more effective than expository refutational text in producing conceptual change in the social science domain, as opposed to the natural science domain, is intriguing. Concepts from natural science domains should be distinguished from those in social science domains, like teacher education, that involve familiar life experiences (Leean, 1979). Expository refutational text has been effective in the natural science domain (e.g., physics) and the social science domain (e.g., psychology). In regard to preservice teachers, expository refutational text has been effective in producing conceptual change in the social science domain, specifically with theories of motivation (Kutza, 2000; Salisbury-Glennon & Stevens, 1999) and mathematics instruction (Gill et al., 2004). Narrative

23 refutational text, however, though researched with various age groups including preservice teachers, has only been researched in the natural science domain, where for high school and college students expository refutational texts were more effective in inducing change than narrative refutational texts. Narrative refutational text may be more effective than expository refutational text in the social science domain, like teacher education, because teachers’ conceptions about teaching tend to be in the form of events and stories (Doyle & Carter, 1996) that are often grounded in their experiences as students (Lortie, 1975). Like concepts in teacher education, narrative text is “concerned with the explication of human intentions in the context of action” (Bruner, 1985, p. 100). Because teachers’ conceptions, concepts in teacher education, and narrative text structures involve human agents in familiar life experiences, conceptual change in the social science domain of teacher education might be more susceptible to influence by narrative text structures. For example, Maria and Johnson’s (1990) hypothesis that realistic narrative may help students overcome tendencies to separate real-world knowledge from information learned in texts may be more plausible for social science concepts, such as theories of motivation or learning, than for natural science concepts, such as projectile motion. The narrative structures common to teacher knowledge and narrative refutational text may facilitate conceptual change. In addition to the study of refutational text, the widespread use of case studies, contrived scenarios, movie clips, and anecdotes in teacher education courses call for research on the effectiveness of narrative structures in affecting conceptual change. Therefore, a major purpose of my dissertation was to examine the question of whether narrative refutational text produces greater and longer-lasting conceptual change than expository refutational text with preservice teachers in the domain of social science, specifically on the topic of motivation.

24 Augmented Activation In a conceptual change framework, augmented activation is a brief activity designed to activate and then refute students’ prior misconceptions. In contrast, an activation activity merely activates the prior misconception without refuting it. In their meta-analysis, Guzetti et al. (1993) reported small effects on conceptual change for activation (average effect size = .08) and large effects for augmented activation (average effect size = .80). In a refutational text intervention, augmented activation may take the form of a short paragraph read immediately before the refutational text. Gregoire (2002) used augmented activation in conjunction with expository refutational text in her study of conceptual change of teaching mathematics in preservice teachers. She administered her control group an activation activity and an expository text, neither of which explicitly refuted the common misconception. As a check of the effects of augmented activation, participants reported to what degree they felt the reading challenged their own beliefs. Consistent with her hypothesis, participants who read the augmented activation and expository refutational text rated the passage as significantly more challenging to their beliefs than did those who were only exposed to the activation activity and the expository text. The use of augmented activation may be especially salient for a study contrasting expository refutational text and narrative refutational text. Qualitative and quantitative methods have produced evidence that students process expository and narrative texts differently. For example, Guzzetti et al. (1997) reported students’ complaints that reading narrative refutational text was like mixing “pleasure reading with study reading” and made it hard to “put your brain into the gear for learning” (p. 711). To increase the likelihood that participants in both the narrative and refutational text conditions in this study would adopt the goal of reading the text for the purpose of study, I included augmented activation in both conditions.

Full document contains 103 pages
Abstract: Preservice teachers enter teacher education programs with many strongly held beliefs that conflict with findings of educational research. In this study two interventions were compared that were designed to enable preservice teachers to recognize the conflicts between their entering beliefs and new research findings and to help them resolve these conflicts in ways that will contribute to their effectiveness as teachers. Conceptual change theorists have identified refutational text that explicitly contrasts naïve and accurate conceptions, as effective in facilitating conceptual change. The effectiveness of adding narrative elements of plot, character and setting to refutational text for effecting change in concepts of motivation in preservice teachers was investigated in this study. Weaknesses of previous conceptual change research, such as failing to investigate the personal characteristics of epistemological beliefs and verbal ability and affective and cognitive factors that could serve as resources for change were addressed. Pretreatment questionnaires on conceptions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and epistemological beliefs were given to 190 students majoring in education. Then participants were randomly assigned to read an expository refutational or narrative refutational text and complete measures of empathy, affect, cognitive processing, and conceptions of motivation. Conceptions of motivation were measured again one month later. Structural equation modeling was used to test the fit of the proposed model of conceptual change and to analyze hypotheses regarding the relationships among the intervention and individual differences and conceptual change. The revised model included a significant direct effect of narrative refutational text compared to expository refutational text on changes in conceptions of intrinsic motivation, and, indirectly via empathy, on conceptions of extrinsic motivation. Narrative refutational text was also causally related to positive and negative affect and heuristic processing, but none of the affective or cognitive factors served as a resource for conceptual change. Contrary to prediction, epistemological beliefs in simple and certain knowledge did not affect conceptual change. However, the results show that empathy may influence conceptual change when reading narrative refutational text.