Science teachers' pedagogical beliefs and teaching practices in private nursing schools of Karachi

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Professional Development Centre, Karachi


The purpose of the study was to understand the pedagogical beliefs of science teachers in professional nursing education. The study also sought to understand their personal, professional beliefs and how these beliefs influenced their practices. Demographic questionnaires, along with life history interviews and classroom observations were used as key methods for data collection; life-history is used as a methodological lens for in-depth exploration of participants’ lives.

Demographic data collected from 26 private, Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC) registered schools of nursing revealed that 71% of the science teachers were subject specialists with a masters’ degree in science, while the rest are doctors, engineers, pharmacists, and nurses.

Based on demographic findings three subject specialists, two female and one male were selected as participants. Three life- history interviews and three classroom observations were conducted for each participant. An analysis of interviews and classroom observation data revealed that the participants entered the professional teaching context with pedagogical beliefs that developed in two contexts, their own schooling and the out of school contexts. Both of these contexts influenced their pedagogical beliefs. All the participants were nurtured differently, went to different academic institutions, were exposed to different professional development opportunities, and worked in different contexts (academic and professional institutions). Their biographies revealed that these differences shaped their experiences, perceptions, and reasons according to the ways they lived their lives, and conceptualized and practiced teaching in professional schools.

The findings suggest a strong relationship between the science teachers’ experiences of teaching in professional nursing education and their developing pedagogies. The dynamic nature of their teaching and learning beliefs were affected by their personal, social, cultural, historical, and contextual influences. Participants’ understanding of the nature of science (NOS) was found to be one of the major influences in the pedagogical development and pedagogical beliefs. Cognitive dissonance was observed in their beliefs about the NOS and their reported and enacted teaching practices. The reported and the enacted beliefs of the participants imply that conceptually they are still holding a positivist view and hence positivist stance, but pedagogically they seemed inclined towards the constructivist views and positions.

It was interesting to find similarities between cases that were from different contexts, yet to find differences in their professional practices when they belonged to the same profession and had similar academic backgrounds.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library