Preservice teachers' objectives and their experience of practical work
This study explores third-year preservice physics teachersâ (n=32) views concerning the objectives of practical work at school and university. Content analysis of their essays about practical work revealed not only the objectives of the practical work undertaken but also how they had experienced teaching as school and university students. The objectives most commonly referred to were related to the connections between theory and practice, motivation, understanding phenomena, learning how to observe, and learning how to report. In contrast, some objectives were recognized only rarely, which is an important issue for discussion as a future challenge. Preservice teachersâ positive experiences of practical work resulted from the successful implementation of practical work. According to our findings, practical work can in many cases be regarded as successful, especially when the participants understand the objectives of the teaching. In contrast, negative experiences reflected failures or difficulties in implementation. We conclude by suggesting that preservice teachers should be offered opportunities to reflect on their previous experiences and to see and experience in practice the advantages of practical work.