Courses in teacher training programmes, especially science method
courses, play a major role in the development of beliefs. Because
children’s science learning starts in preschool years, it is critical to
investigate early childhood teachers’ beliefs about scientists and
science teaching. The purpose of this study was to describe,
document, and then compare the pre-service and in-service early
childhood teachers’ beliefs about scientists and science teaching.
A causal-comparative design with unequal sample sizes was used.
The independent variables were the type of service, pre-service or
in-service. The dependent variable was the score obtained on the
‘Draw a Scientist Test’ and the ‘Draw a Science Teacher Test’. The
sample consisted of 139 pre-service and in-service early childhood
teachers. Pre-service teachers were studying in a teacher-training
programme at a major research university and in-service teachers
were working in public schools in the south part of Turkey. The
results indicate that inservice teachers held more stereotypical
images than pre-service teachers about scientists. In addition, pre-
service teachers had positive belief of scientists while in the
training programme, but in-service teachers lacked this positive
belief. A key implication of the study is that more professional
training for in-service teachers should be offered within
professional development programmes.