Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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Abstract

With renewed momentum to intentionally implement K-12 science curricula, preservice elementary teachers (PSETs) still maintain a low self-efficacy in teaching the subject. To combat this, many universities have developed teacher-focused science content courses to teach PSETs using best practices. While research shows these courses have the ability to increase PSETs’ science teaching efficacy, conflicting research exists on how these courses affect a PSETs’ outcome expectancy. As a result, the first aim of this mixed-methods study was to analyze the changes in PSETs’ Personal Science Teaching Efficacy and Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy before and after completing one of three teacher-focused science content courses. Participants (N = 35) completed the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument – Form B (STEBI-B) (Bleicher, 2004; Enochs & Riggs, 1990) at the beginning and end of the course to highlight changes in these dimensions. Findings between pre- and post-survey results include a statistically significant (α = 0.05) increase in Personal Science Teaching Efficacy and a statistically significant decrease in Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy. The second aim of this study was to elicit specific factors which PSETs believe affect their Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy. Using a phenomenological perspective, the researcher purposefully selected participants (N = 9) based on their STEBI-B survey results to participate in semi-structured interviews. The researcher transcribed interviews, coded key phases, and then took these codes to form a set of common themes pertaining to the factors influencing the participants’ Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy. Four key factors were derived from participant interviews, including the belief that PSETs’ preconceived expectations of the course were not met, the importance of learning science content, the inability to understand what Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy is, and the desire to mimic the behaviors of a classroom teacher within the teacher-focused science content course. Implications of this study include the need of instructors to reconcile the conflicting expectations and purpose of the teacher-focused science content course with PSETs and the need to maximize opportunities for PSETs to reflect on their identity as a future teacher of science.

Year of Submission

2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Science Education Program

First Advisor

Dawn Del Carlo, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original

7-2018

Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 78 pages)

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf

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