Masaryk University (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 6301-6305
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.1531
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Problem Statement:
The current education is accused of not preparing enough for life. Students consider learning content as useless for their everyday life. They very often ask “why they should learn it”. In the context of natural sciences, this is not only about the choice of learning content but also about the way in which science subjects are taught. Students are not usually able to connect knowledge from individual natural science subjects and to solve interdisciplinary problems so typical for everyday life. It could be one of important reasons of lack of interest in study of natural sciences. Faculty of Education of Masaryk University strives to address this problem in the frame of education of pre-service teachers.

Purpose of Study:
This study deals with training pre-service teachers in interdisciplinary instruction of natural science subjects. Research findings state advantages, as well as disadvantages, of interdisciplinary teaching/learning. The main objective is to describe experience with this way of training and how this preparation of future teachers influences their teaching practice.
Main research question was: How training pre-service teachers in interdisciplinary instruction of natural science subjects influences their practice?

This study is a retrospective case study giving a descriptive and explanatory analysis associated with selected teachers. Structured observation, questionnaire, structured interview, analysis of teachers’ products were also used. To determine student motivation standardized questionnaire Motivational Learning Environment (MoLE) was applied.

Findings and Results:
The main output of the research is finding that training pre-service teachers in interdisciplinary instruction of natural science subjects is important factor which has a significant impact on the way of their teaching. The interest and behaviour of teachers were strongly influenced by their experience with interdisciplinary instruction. In this study, advantages and disadvantages of interdisciplinary instruction are presented. Contribution of interdisciplinary approach for development of lifelong learning skills that are essential to student’s future education as well as their lives and future success belongs to the main advantages. Research conclusions are supported by specific examples of training pre-service teachers in interdisciplinary instruction.

Conclusions and Recommendations:
Research findings and experience show that no educational innovation will be possible and permanent without teacher education. So interdisciplinary approach needs quality training which has to start in the pre-service teacher education. It is essential for teachers to know the advantages and disadvantages of interdisciplinary instruction and to learn how to implement it properly.
Interdisciplinary instruction, teacher education, pre-service teacher training.