Turkish Pre Service Teachers Beliefs About the Importance of Teaching Chemistry

The purpose of this study was to describe Turkish pre-service chemistry teachers’ beliefs about the importance of teaching chemistry in high schools. For this purpose, 45 pre-service chemistry teachers were administered a questionnaire involving open-ended questions which asked what the importance of teaching chemistry is, and why we teach chemistry in high schools. Based on the written responses, 12 pre-service teachers were chosen to be interviewed to obtain more elaborated information about their beliefs. Data analysis revealed that most of the pre-service teachers expressed that chemistry should be taught in order to explain daily life events. However, a very small number of them believed that teaching chemistry was important in terms of developing generic skills like critical thinking, and of creating curiosity and interest. This study suggests that chemistry should be taught both in high schools and universities in a way which emphasizes the importance of developing scientific skills.