Belief System as a Nest of Belief

Fourth Conceptualization

The fourth conceptualization of the belief systems considered the nature of beliefs to be interdependent and intertwined and thus the metaphor of nest is used in an appropriate manner. The beliefs of elementary teachers and organized them as foundational or dualistic beliefs. The foundational beliefs are similar to the core beliefs and are well developed within the cognition of the teachers. On the other hand, the dualistic beliefs are those views that are conflicting in nature and can be developed or changed over the period of time.

The three groups of dualistic beliefs include:

  1. Ways in which children learn science
  2. Role of students in science instruction
  3. Role of teachers in science instruction

About The Teachers

The teachers were found to be holding one of the two sets or nests of beliefs. The individual beliefs within each nest support each other and are intertwined such that they are compatible with each other and are intrinsically linked. Thus, the beliefs in each nest complement each other and at the same time, there is the contradiction between the corresponding beliefs into nests. It is possible for a teacher to hold such disparate beliefs as the beliefs are never examined against one another. The beliefs in “nest A” represent the beliefs that are impinged to the classroom practice by the teacher and are thus termed as enacted beliefs. These beliefs are well developed. On the other hand, the beliefs in nest B are those beliefs that the teacher strives for in order to adopt the vision of practice. These beliefs are less well developed and are termed as espoused beliefs. Hence, it can be concluded that the belief system as the nest of beliefs identifies useful details about the structure of teachers’ belief.

System

The system reveals information on the nature of the beliefs that are interrelated but are conflicting i.e. dualistic beliefs. Such dualist beliefs also act as the dichotomous assumptions as the pairs of opposing beliefs exist and take two different end positions on the continuum. Some weaknesses in the coherence system include the inability of the system to explain the interruption of key factors such as context and experience that is caused by the ways in which teachers integrate beliefs from the expert systems. When assessed from the socio-cultural perspective, there must be an accounting of the external factors on the teachers’ appropriation of the beliefs of experts. The belief system is unable to shed light on the relative emphases and priorities given by the teachers to the particular beliefs.

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