Skip to main content

How Are Preservice Science Teachers Developing Their Theory of Action To Motivate Science Students and It’s Implication on The Future for Motivating ADF Training Systems Officers to Learn During Their Initial Employment Training?


Previous research has documented the decline in motivation for learning science among students worldwide. Motivation in science learning is important, given the increasing necessity for scientific literacy to bolster advancements in capability within Defence. The purpose of this article is to examine how pre-service teachers’ Theory of Action about motivating students to learn is developing. A case study was conducted with three secondary science pre-service teachers within Australia. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather data and the Theory of Action is used as a framework to analyse the data. The findings highlight that pre-service teachers developed their theory of action via external factors. These findings are critical as they are relevant to Initial Teacher Education and potentially to how Training Systems Officers’ (TSO) Theory of Action about motivation can be shaped during their Initial Employment Training. As such, this research contributes to the body of knowledge in the aforementioned areas.


Scientific literacy is defined as the ability to use scientific knowledge to understand the world around us and participate in decisions that may affect it (Udu, 2018). Some of the most basic scientific literacies include the ability of individuals to engage in scientific material and scientific discourse, reading and writing in a scientific manner. We cannot expect members of society to possess a certain level of scientific literacy if there is no solid science education program to teach them key scientific literacies in the first place. It is therefore important to have good science education programs so that students can learn various science competencies and possibly pursue science and science-related careers since the major purpose of science education is to increase the flow of specialist scientists, technologists and engineers (Tare, 2011)

The Theory of Action was conceived by Argyris and Schön (1974) as a broad concept consisting of two main elements: espoused theory and theory-in-use. Jones (2009) suggested an individual’s espoused theory “…encompasses the worldview and values upon which people believe their behaviour to be based” (p. 177). Jones (2009) indicated that a person’s theories-in-use is a theory that underpins action and determines behaviour. Jones (2009) stated, “Theory-in-use is the set of values suggested by action or the maps people use to take action” (p.177).

According to a report by the Office of the Chief Scientist (2016), in Australia in 2011, there were approximately 2.3 million people with STEM qualifications. Of those, 245,812 persons who held some qualification in only science from certificate to the doctorate level. Considering that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2018) found that Australia has a population of about 25.4 million, the low number of people with science qualifications seems daunting. It would appear that there are not enough persons with science qualifications in the country to help provide directions and manage the country’s resources. This brief overview by the Office of the Chief Scientist (2016), helps paint a picture that shows the need to further understand the nature of science education in Australia in the context of theory of action. 

Griffith Jean-Baptiste (2022) has described the motivation as “…not only the spark that ignites learning, but it also serves as the driver to and sustainment of successful learning” (p 1).  Other academics have echoed that motivation is an important aspect of learning and is commonly defined as the driving force to stimulate, guide and maintain students’ behaviours in order to achieve the desired conduct (Santrock, 2018, Ilgaz & Eskici, 2019). Students who are motivated to learn take classroom tasks seriously, finding them meaningful and worthwhile, and seek the intended benefit from them. Students’ motivation to learn science has been shown to decrease during adolescence and has been a subject of much concern among researchers and educationalists (Fortus & Touitou, 2021; Palmer, 2007). Additionally, there has been a severe decline in students’ motivation for learning science and science-related subjects (De Silva et al., 2018). This decline is resulting in fewer students electing to pursue science subjects in senior years. This is important since Vedder‐Weiss and Fortus claim that “…the decline in students’ motivation for science learning might not be inevitable but rather connected to the way science is taught at schools” (p. 200). Teachers therefore, play a vital role in motivating students to pursue science and science-related courses. As such, in order to motivate students to develop an enjoyment of and long-term interest in science, teachers first of all have to be scientifically literate and possess a comprehensive understanding of science concepts (UNESCO, 2015).

Training Systems Officers (TSOs) are somewhat analogous to pre-service teachers (PSTs) although their roles are different. Truscott (personal communication, January 19, 2023) is of the view that TSOs differ from their education counterparts in that TSOs primarily engage in governance and management within specific ADF roles whereas PSTs are directly engaged in instruction and the instructional process. Truscott (personal communication, January 19, 2023) continued to assert that the common thread between the aforementioned vocations stem from the fact that in the TSO context, managing education capabilities in a respective service, remains an integral part of the daily routine, as is the case for teachers joining the vocation. Both TSOs and PSTs undertake vital initial training that sets them apart from other vocations. For instance, TSOs undertake Initial Employment Training (IET) while PSTs would undertake Initial Teacher Education (ITE). It is therefore expected that there would be educators to instruct the TSOs and PSTs during their respective IETs and ITEs. In both initial training, both TSOs and PSTs are taught about education pedagogies, education theory including the use of taxonomies for lesson planning, and assessment practices. Citing this major similarity between the two vocations, the purpose of this article is to examine how pre-service teachers’ Theory of Action is developing in the Australian education context and to describe the implication for the future of motivating ADF Training Systems Officers to learn during their IET.

Theoretical Framework

This article draws on the Theory of Action and motivation theory. The concept Theory of Action was coined by Argyris and Schön (1974) who indicated that it was made up of; espoused theory and theory-in-use with congruence/incongruence to be explored between the two theories. Kerr and Todd (2009) define Theory of Action as “Master programs, governing variables, values, theories, beliefs, concepts, rules, policies, practices, norms, or skills that underlie our actions.” (p.4).

Theory of Action

There have been various studies in which educational researchers have made a case for highlighting the importance of teachers’ perceptions/beliefs as being an important element in the teaching/learning process. Previous studies have shown that Theory of Action only focused on education in general and not specifically on science education at the lower secondary level. One such example of this was found in the Australian Journal of Teacher Education where Kheirzadeh and Sistani (2018) concentrated their research to discover whether there was any relationship between English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers’ reflectivity and students’ language achievement. They conducted their research by observing and surveying eighty-three EFL teachers at nine institutions in Iran. What they concluded was that teacher reflectivity or implicit theories about their EFL teaching might actually influence student achievement. In the context of the aforementioned study, we can see that the Theory of Action was important since in the EFL teachers’ reflections, they would have espoused their beliefs on how their EFL teaching could enhance their students’ performance.

Espoused Theory

Argyris and Schön (1974) purport that teachers hold micro theories/beliefs that they espouse about how they will design and carry out their teaching. Argyris and Schön’s espoused theories can also be understood as being synonymous to an individual’s beliefs, perceptions and values which they hold about a certain phenomenon (Pajares, 1992). Although Dewey (1938) polarised the concept of beliefs/perceptions into “traditional” and “progressive”, Argyris and Schön (1974) believed that there should be a multifaceted approach to understanding what one espouses/beliefs/perceives about a situation and why a person will espouse the way they do about that situation. In this publication, the alternate terms beliefs and perceptions will be referenced throughout to mean espoused theory. Richardson (2003) states that pre-service teachers bring deep tacit beliefs about the nature of teaching, learning and schooling in general. Those tacit beliefs, also viewed as espoused theories can actually become enacted into workable theories when the pre-service teachers become in-service teachers (Ferguson &Lunn Brownlee, 2018).


Argyris and Schön (1974) define the concept theory-in-use as one element of the Theory of Action model that focuses on the behaviours of people and one’s theory-in-use is normally inferred; thus, it is generally unknown to themselves. Theory-in-use comprises of two main components; (a) governing variables, which are defined as values that holders attempt to satisfy; and (b) behavioural strategies, which are behaviours that individuals use to satisfy as many governing variables as possible (Argyris & Schön, 1974). With regard to the governing variables, Argyris (1977) asserts that individuals generally have four major governing variables;

  1. To define the purpose of a situation
  2. To win and not to lose
  3. To suppress feelings
  4. To emphasise intellectual aspects of everyday life (p.119)

As it pertains to this research, a teacher’s decision to use a particular strategy to enhance student motivation in science can be as a result of those four major governing variables and they may use various behavioural tactics to do so. Argyris & Schön (1974) posit that in order for anyone to satisfy those governing variables, they are to use behavioural strategies such as;

  1. Advocating a position and unilaterally controlling others to win that position
  2. Unilaterally controlling tasks to be done
  3. Unilaterally deciding how much people are told/deceived about what is being held and distorted.

In the context of education, theories-in-use are often described as the enactment of any espoused theories held by the teacher. In this publication, the theories which teachers espouse about student motivation in science will be investigated to uncover how they are developing those theories. Whitney (2023) asserted that in the defence context, it may be challenging to the first two aforementioned behavioural strategies to be implemented although there is an attempt to do so via governance and policy frameworks and manuals. Moreover, Whitney (2023) posits that in the training systems/ education space within defence due to the “…influence from the more empowered groups within the organisation; i.e. operators, that impact on the development of teacher/TSO theories in use.” Further research by Whitney (2023) highlights that “we tend to acquiesce to those more empowered” and continues to purport that “TSOs have little empowerment either through not being seen, not being heard, and not having a strong bond within the TSO clan/tribe.” Therefore, it is imperative that educators attempt to use various teaching /learning strategies; based on their governing variables enact their respective curriculum and be the guide learners in whatever context they may be (King, 1993).

Literature Review

Since the focus of the study is on how secondary science pre-service teachers are developing their beliefs and strategies for motivating lower secondary school science students, it was deemed necessary to explore the literature for information, not only on where pre-service teachers’ beliefs may originate but on its philosophical underpinnings. Furthermore, considering that teachers’ beliefs about science have been actively researched and promoted for decades by science education literature as a factor that can help their science instruction, it was also found necessary to discuss the theoretical basis for this stance, as well as arguments from the research literature either refuting or supporting it.

Origin and conceptualisation of beliefs.

Many education researchers have attributed the rise in the focus on teachers’ beliefs and cognition on the expansion of research paradigms which occurred in the late 20th century (Alexander & Dochy, 1995, Fang, 1996). By the 1980s, Ravich (1990) claims that the U.S. education system had a series of negative reports, which pushed educators and researchers to begin investigating the possible influences of teachers’ beliefs on learning and pedagogical strategies used in the classroom. Education researchers continued to attribute that the focus on teachers’ beliefs and shift in social psychology in the late 20th century was due to a shift from an affective to a cognitive orientation (Richardson, 1996). This shift to the cognitive orientation brought to light the importance of a teacher’s cognition in the teaching process (Griffith Jean-Baptiste 2023).

An individual’s belief is defined as a set of psychologically based understandings, premises and propositions that an individual has about the world that he/she feels to be true (Richardson, 1996). Humans are born with their senses that they use to assimilate and accommodate data from the environment about phenomena, from which they are able to adapt information received into their cognitive schema so that they understand the world (Griffith Jean-Baptiste, 2023). This definition illustrates that one’s belief is of paramount importance to one’s cognitive and social development.

The development of teachers’ beliefs

There have been various researchers who have investigated how teachers’ beliefs about the teaching-learning process develop. Those researchers have examined the evolution of teacher beliefs in a variety of ways, taking into consideration factors such as teachers’ personal experiences from their own schooling and instruction, as well as cultural influences (Richardson, 1996). An important reason cited in literature for the attention given to the development of teachers’ beliefs is because teachers’ beliefs about the teaching-learning process may determine their own theory-in-use in the classroom. Researchers have, however, provided different interpretations of how those factors have influenced the development of teachers’ beliefs about the teaching-learning process.

Yilmaz and Sahin (2011) postulated that teachers’ beliefs have been affected by their teachers and thus makes them teach accordingly. Yilmaz continues to suggest that in the early years of teaching, a teacher’s epistemological beliefs about teaching are critical and determines how he/she conceptualises the teaching-learning process. The views of Cain (2009) are similar to Yilmaz (2011) in that pre-service teachers’ overall beliefs about the teaching and learning process can be traced back to their episodic memories of the manner in which they were taught/schooled themselves. Samuel and Ogunkola (2015) continue to assert that, “Teachers’” beliefs may be strongly influenced by images of behaviours of “favourite teachers” (p 15).

Teachers’ beliefs originate from a myriad of sources that are based on their personal and vicarious experiences. Pre-service teachers’ epistemological beliefs are important since they determine what they believe are the correct pedagogical practices that should be employed in the class during teaching. It should be mentioned that there is abundant research indicating that pre-service as well as in-service teachers’ pedagogical beliefs have a strong influence on their classroom practice (Tondeur et. al., 2017). As such, Pajares (1992) concluded that it is vital that initial teacher education providers take into consideration the initial beliefs of pre-service teachers throughout their programs.

Students’ motivation to learn science

Over the past decade, students’ motivation to learn science has attracted much attention among science education researchers. For instance, Vedder-Weiss and Fortus (2011), using the motivation construct, achievement goal theory, examined whether or not adolescents’ declining motivation to learn science in democratic and traditional schools in Israel was inevitable and found that motivation for learning science was not inevitable in either of the school systems studied. The researchers even suggested that the non-motivation of adolescents to learn science in democratic schools was due to the school culture rather than home influences.


The social constructivist approach underpinning this study is both a research and pedagogical methodology in education as well as a philosophy (Jackson & Sorensen, 2006). As a research methodology, ‘social constructivism’, described by theorist and philosopher Immanuel Kant, is viewed as a subjective way of gathering knowledge about the world that is filtered through human consciousness (Hacking & Hacking, 1999).  In the context of this study, the formulation of espoused theories of pre-service science teachers is explored in light of the research literature which shows that pre-service teachers espouse different beliefs about the teaching-learning process based on their ontological assumptions. Moreover, as a pedagogical methodology, Prawat, and Floden (1994) assert that this methodology encourages a paradigm shift from the traditional classroom to a more complex and interactive learning space.

The choice of methodology and data collection was also dependent on the phenomenon being studied, that is; how pre-service teachers are developing their Theory of Action to motivate lower secondary science students. The theoretical aspect of this research draws from the Theory of Action motivation theory; that was based on the researchers’ assumptions of the world and their experiences. All those factors served to inform the researchers’ conceptualisations of and use of the social constructivism methodology in this research.

A case study research design was employed in this research because it allowed for examination of the identified phenomenon within a real-life context (Yin, 2008). A case study design was used in this study because it presented a detailed account of this complex yet researchable case of how secondary science pre-service teachers are developing their espoused theories and theories-in-use to motivate science students at the lower secondary school level. This case was defined by the multiple and complex contexts of understanding how pre-service teachers’ beliefs about science student motivation were developing during their professional experience placement.

This case study was conducted in the Australian context because reports from the OECD have shown that science education in Australia is of great concern with pass rates in science in international exams such as TIMSS and PISA tests, not rising in over a decade (Thomson et al, 2016). This study involved secondary science pre-service teachers completing an undergraduate or postgraduate initial teacher education degree in Secondary Science at an Australian university.  The secondary science pre-service teachers were invited to participate in this study because research into this problem points to the secondary school, particularly the lower secondary school level, as a major source of the problem where students are not motivated or interested to learn science (Office of the Chief Scientist, 2016). Three PSTs were interviewed about Theory of Action and their strategies for motivating students to learn science. Three interviews were conducted with each PST and ranged from 15 to 45 minutes.

Data analysis

A thematic approach was used to identify, code, analyse, and report significant features within the data (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The data analysis was guided by the Theory of Action about motivation. The construct, face and content validity of the instrument items were assessed by expert reviewers who also provided feedback based on pre-established guidelines for the study. The educators’ recommendations were implemented before the instrument was pilot tested. To pilot the survey instrument, three PSTs were asked to complete the survey prior to it being administered for the study. The PSTs were asked to report any difficulties encountered while completing the web-based survey. All feedback received from the pilot testers was used to modify the survey question items and thus enhanced the validity and reliability of the study.

Results and Discussion

The interview results revealed that the majority of the PSTs indicated that their Theory of Action mainly was developing from their prior learning experiences at secondary school and during their initial teacher education program.

Pre-Service Teachers’ Secondary School Experiences

The pre-service teachers’ learning experiences during their secondary schooling were found to have been the main factor influencing their Theory of Action. This is linked to their personal factors because it was an experience that they directly underwent and which was personal to them. In the first interview with Paula’s, she stated;

“My own learning [during secondary school], I guess, so there is a sense of independence and ownership.… My motivating factor was always when I was allowed to [do work] when I was given the freedom to act on any ideas that I had.”

This espoused belief by Paula suggested that when she was given independence and freedom to work in the classroom, she was better motivated to learn.

The second pre-service teacher in this phase of the study was Elsa, who also suggested that her experience as a secondary school student was a possible influencer on the reason. In her first interview, Elsa stated, “I think part of it comes from when I was at [secondary] school and probably not having a lot of real-world connections or understanding why we are learning specific things.” This statement was surprising because it would be expected that Elsa would want to teach in the way that she was taught when she was at secondary school, but instead, based on her quote, because she did not get her teachers to relate science to her life, she made it her mission to do so with science students

The third pre-service teacher, Terry, also stated that his prior secondary school experience influenced his beliefs and enactments about strategies for motivating students to learn science. Terry was quoted as saying;

“Probably just my experience with school. Being a student, I guess I quite enjoyed my time at school, but I really thrived in high energy classrooms where the teachers were not so authoritative but more created that sort of welcoming environment; a few jokes and the class would laugh, I should not be using the term relaxed environment, but that is sort of what I am trying to bring across.”

The quotes espoused by the three respondents highlight the influence this factor had on their individual theory of action. The findings of this study are similar to other researchers who agree that teachers are more likely to teach their students in the way they were taught when they were students, especially if they enjoyed their learning experiences (Meske, 1987; Pringle, 2006). One such similar study was conducted by Meske (1987), who echoed that pre-service teachers tend to teach as they were taught during their secondary schooling and not as they were taught during their ITE programs. Furthermore, Whitney (2023) states that despite the fact that most TSOs do not end up in the instructional space, “There is an apparent strong tendency within Defence to ‘know boats’ when it comes to education because there are many operators turned instructors within the system.” This further highlights the significance of this factor as influential on the development of pre-service teachers’ Theory of Action.

Pre-Service Teachers’ Initial Teacher Education Courses

Paula suggested that her time spent in courses during her ITE program influenced her theory of action. In her initial interview, Paula stated,

“A lot of things in the span of this course had specific things to motivate students. The teachers use a lot of examples. I am sure they consciously do this, but they demonstrate a lot of strategies that. I feel that gives really good ideas for how to execute strategies in the actual classroom.”

Based on Paula’s quote, it can be noted that the university lecturers purposively demonstrate how to use particular strategies that they expect the pre-service teachers to use in the classroom. Paula elaborated and gave examples of how her ITE program shaped her theory of action. Paula explained that she had “…one teacher for a psychology subject” who “…would always start [her class] with questions” and during the lesson allow the pre-service teachers to be involved in the lesson by “…a show of hands and giving credit to our prior knowledge…addressing misconceptions and she would engage us in whatever extra tutorial, and she would ask questions.”

Paula stated that at the beginning of her professional experience placement, her teaching style was like “a university presentation” that resembled “What the lecturers were presenting to us, PowerPoint.” Paula continued to explain that during the lessons, she used a lecture-type approach.

In her initial interview, Elsa stated that in one of her courses at her current university, she partook in a WebQuest that she found to be “quite motivating.” Additionally, Elsa stated, “During my education psychology class, my tutor used Kahoots” and that this was “quite motivating and it was fun.” As a result of those experiences, similarly to Paula, Elsa suggested that she would use the strategies her lecturers used in her courses to motivate students to learn science during her professional experience placement.

The factor: university ITE program experience did not appear to influence Terry’s theory of action. During Terry’s second interview, he said, “I am going to university every day, being told what I should be doing, and it does not necessarily work like that in the classroom.” Based on this quote, it was asserted that Terry realised that there was a discrepancy between what he is taught at the university and the strategies that he uses to motivate students to learn science during his placement.

While the finding concerning this factor provides an understanding of how pre-service teachers can develop their theory of action, this finding is different from that of education researchers (Griffith Jean-Baptiste 2023). Those education researchers claim that while ITE programs may help pre-service teachers enter the profession with certain beliefs about strategies to use in the classroom, it cannot produce the finished article [teacher] since there are so many other factors that may influence teachers’ beliefs and actions in the classroom environment (Hart, 2000, 2013; Rouse, 2010). This, therefore, can serve as a justification for Terry’s suggestion that there may be a practice/theory divide that exists in the ITE program.

Implications for the future of ADF Training Systems Officers’ Learning

A major implication of this study on Theory of Action in the motivation context for TSO Educators is that Training Systems Officers’ beliefs are constantly evolving and will continue to change in the future. There are currently considerable changes to how education is provided to defence students globally. For example, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, TSO IETs have been forced to consider a more blended learning platform with a heavier focus on the online (e-learning) modality. This also means that Training System Officers have had to deal with this shift in instructional modes for that pandemic period. This shift in how TSOs receive instruction during their IET and how they are expected to conduct the socially distant education practical exercises/programs has placed more significant pressure on novice TSO Educators to find strategies for motivating novice TSOs to learn the intended learning outcomes.

This pressure on TSOs can consequently lead to more incongruence between their espoused beliefs and their theories-in-use during IET. This pressure on TSOs can also make them feel a sense of low self-efficacy in their workplace. As such, it is imperative that a certain level of congruency is achieved by TSOs before the end of their IETs. With congruency achieved, TSOs would feel efficacious in their daily tasks since they would feel a sense of relief knowing that their belief systems were in alignment with their practices at the workplace.

It is important therefore that ADF Training Systems Educators remain aware of the nuances of TSOs’ Theory of Action by understanding TSOs’ contextual backgrounds, including their belief systems. Additionally, Truscott purported:

“TSO educators need to be more proactive and keep up with more contemporary ways of conducting training. They should also be innovative in the education space to have contextual understanding of any instructional role as well as a deep knowledge of what it means to be an instructor.” (Personal communication, January 19, 2023)

Moreover, considering that pre-service science teachers generally indicated their secondary school experiences and their Initial Teacher Education helped shaped their Theory of Action, it is prudent that TSO IET educators focus on demonstrating best practices so that those TSOs, especially Junior TSOs. This is important so that fully-fledged TSOs can pass on those best practices within the education space to their training systems teams, each other, and any managerial team that they may be a part of in their current jobs and in the future.


The findings from this study are promising as they point out that their experiences at secondary school and ITE programs can help pre-service teachers develop their Theory of Action. It must be emphasised that the main message emanating from this study is a positive one: the initial teacher science educators play a supportive role by modelling strategies that can motivate students for learning and directing the pre-service science teachers. The scaffolding that ITE educators provide to pre-service teachers can make them feel more confident to explore their beliefs about strategies to motivate students to learn science. In the defence context, it is, therefore, reasonable to assume that the aforementioned statements hold true for TSOs during their IET, as educators generally tend to educate/plan education programs for their respective schools, emulate pedagogical processes, forming their beliefs about motivation in the process, all based on how they were taught in their formative years.


Dr. D Jean-Baptiste

Dr. Jean-Baptiste joined the ADF in February 2022 as a Training Systems Officer. He is currently Flying Officer and the OIC for DEOTS and FP Design. 

Dr. Davis Jean-Baptiste is a holder of Ph.D. from University of Technology, Sydney Australia, and a Master of Philosophy, (Ph. M) (Science Education) University of Newcastle, Australia; Master’s in Project Management (MPM) University for International Cooperation (UCI) Costa Rica, (Mexico Campus); Bachelor of Education (HONS) in Testing, Measurement and Evaluation from the University of the West Indies; and a diverse range of diplomas and certificates in teacher education, research, and professional training in different fields from Pharmacy to Health and Safety and Innovation.

Dr. Davis Jean-Baptiste has been nominated for the UNESCO Al Fozan International Prize for the Promotion of Young Scientist in STEM. Dr. Jean-Baptiste excellent academic qualifications, ongoing professional development, outstanding work performance, research expertise, and committed engagement at the community level have contributed to outstanding performance in a wide range of areas locally, regionally, and internationally. In the Education space, Dr Jean-Baptiste has been a secondary school science teacher, a University Course Developer, Course Reviewer/Examiner of Bachelor and Master in Project Management (PM), University Lecturer (PM), Research Supervisor (Master in Education and Master in PM). Moreover he has worked as a Project Coordinator/Manager with the UNDP and with companies within Australia.

Dr. Jean-Baptiste has received the People's Choice award from University of Technology Sydney, for his PhD thesis entitled "How are pre-service teachers developing their espoused theories and theories in use for motivating students to learn science.” He has attained many international scholarships and local scholarships for study in the Caribbean, Canada, Costa Rica, USA, and Australia. Before joining the ADF, Dr. Davis Jean-Baptiste also held the commissioned rank of Second Lieutenant from St. Lucia.


Alexander, P. A., & Dochy, F. J. (1995). Conceptions of knowledge and beliefs: A comparison across varying cultural and educational communities. American Educational Research Journal, 32(2), 413-442.

Argyris, C. & Schbn, D. A. (1974). Theory in practice: Increasing professional effectiveness. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative research in psychology, 3(2), 77-101.

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Macmillan

Fang, Z. (1996). A review of research on teacher beliefs and practices. Educational research, 38(1), 47-65

Fortus, D., & Touitou, I. (2021). Changes to students’ motivation to learn science. Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Science Education Research, 3(1), 1-14.

Ilgaz, G., & Eskici, M. (2019). Examination of Teacher Candidates’ Lifelong Learning Competence and Basic Motivation Resources as Parts of Sustainability. Sustainability, 11(1), 23.

Jean-Baptiste, D., Knight, M., Griffith Jean-Baptiste L., (2022). Forget the 4Cs, Use Motivation as the Cornerstone for Successful Learning in the ADF. The Forge, Australia

Jones, A. (2009). Generic attributes as espoused theory: The importance of context. Higher Education58(2), 175-191.

Kerr, P. A., & Todd, R. J. (2009). Espoused Theories and Theories-in-Use of Information Literacy: Reflecting for Effective Practice. Paper presented at the International Association of School Librarianship.

King, A. (1993). From sage on the stage to guide on the side. College Teaching, 41(1), 30-35.

When Interviewed, Leandra Griffith (personal communication, February 2023). Confirmed
Meske, E. B. (1987). Teacher education reform and the college music educator. Music Educators Journal, 73(6), 22-26.

When Interviewed, Michael Truscott (personal communication, January 2023). Confirmed
Office of the Chief Scientist, (2016). Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Australia’s Future. Australian Government Canberra.

Palmer, D. (2007). What is the best way to motivate students in science? Teaching Science, 53(1), 38-42.

Pajares, M. F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62(3), 307-332

Prawat, R. S., & Floden, R. E. (1994). Philosophical perspectives on constructivist views of learning. Educational Psychologist, 29(1), 37-48.

Pringle, R. M. (2006). Preservice Teachers’ Exploration of Children’s Alternative Conceptions: Cornerstone for Planning to Teach Science. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 17(3), 291-307

Richardson, V. (2003). Preservice teachers’ beliefs. Teacher beliefs and classroom performance: The impact of teacher education, 6, 1-22.

Samuel, D. F., & Ogunkola, B. J. (2015). Elementary School Teachers’ Epistemological Beliefs as Predictors of Their Inquiry-Based Practices in Science Instruction. International Journal of Elementary Education, 4, 101-112.

Santrock, J. (2018). Educational Psychology (6 ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Tare, M., French, J., Frazier, B. N., Diamond, J., & Evans, E. M. (2011). Explanatory parent–child conversation predominates at an evolution exhibit. Science Education95(4), 720-744.

Tondeur, J., Van Braak, J., Ertmer, P. A., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. (2017). Understanding the relationship between teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and technology use in education: a systematic review of qualitative evidence. Educational Technology Research and Development, 65(3), 555-575.

Udu, D. A. (2018). Innovative practices in science education: A panacea for improving secondary school students’ academic achievement in science subjects in Nigeria. Global Journal of Educational Research, 17(1), 23-30.

UNESCO (2015). UNESCO Science Report Toward 2030. Paris, France. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Vedder‐Weiss, D., & Fortus, D. (2011). Adolescents’ declining motivation to learn science: Inevitable or not? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(2), 199-216.

When Interviewed, Kim Whitney (personal communication, February 2023). Confirmed

Yilmaz, H., & Sahin, S. (2011). Pre-Service Teachers' Epistemological Beliefs and Conceptions of Teaching. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36 (1), 73-88.

Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods (applied social research methods). London and Singapore: Sage.

Cite Article
(Jean-Baptiste and Whitney, 2023)
Jean-Baptiste, D. and Whitney, K. 2023. 'Theory of Action'. Available at: (Accessed: 11 April 2024).
(Jean-Baptiste & Whitney, 2023)
Jean-Baptiste, D. & Whitney, K. 2023. 'Theory of Action'. Available at: (Accessed: 11 April 2024).
D Jean-Baptiste and K Whitney, "Theory of Action", The Forge, Published: August 16, 2023, (accessed April 11, 2024).
Download a RIS file to use in your citation management tools.

Defence Mastery

Own Domain Awareness defence-poa-level1
Military Power Joint Mastery defence-poa-level4
Integrated National Power defence-poa-level5


This web site is presented by the Department of Defence for the purpose of disseminating information for the benefit of the public.

The Department of Defence reviews the information available on this web site and updates the information as required.

However, the Department of Defence does not guarantee, and accepts no legal liability whatsoever arising from or connected to, the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of any material contained on this web site or on any linked site.

The Department of Defence recommends that users exercise their own skill and care with respect to their use of this web site and that users carefully evaluate the accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance of the material on the web site for their purposes.

Related Articles

1 /4