McLain, Matt, Drew McLain, Dawne Irving-Bell, & David Wooff (2021, April). Preservice teachers’ perspectives on modelling and explaining in STEM subjects: A Q methodology study. Techne serien––Forskning i slöjdpedagogik och slöjdvetenskap [Techne Series––Research in Handicraft Pedagogy and Handicraft Science], 28(2), 367-374. (Access:

Abstract: Teacher modelling and explaining are important pedagogical approaches in practical subjects, including those categorised as science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM). Building on a framework developed from research on ‘the demonstration’ with teachers and teacher educators of design and technology (D&T), this study explores preservice teachers’ views across a range of secondary school subjects. This study is a snapshot of the evolving perspectives of the participants, early in their studies as students during initial teacher education (ITE). It uses Q methodology to investigate the subjective values of preservice teachers towards teacher modelling and explaining. Q methodology compares and analyses the responses of participants to a set of statements representing a range of possible views on a given subject. The sample is purposive, comprised of students enrolled on postgraduate ITE programmes with a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in England. The findings suggest that preservice teachers of STEM subjects strongly identified with one of two architypes––teacher-expert or teacher-facilitator. The paper concludes that preservice teachers of STEM should be made aware of these powerful architypes, when planning, teaching and evaluating lessons. The findings also suggest the possibility of collaborative training with preservice teachers across the STEM disciplines, using the statements from this study as a tool for dialogue. Future research could explore similarities and differences between practical/creative and humanities subjects.

Matt N McLain <> is in the School of Education, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.