Origins of, and changes in preservice teachers' science teaching self efficacy

Watters, James J. & Ginns, Ian S. (1995) Origins of, and changes in preservice teachers' science teaching self efficacy. In Annual Meeting of National Association for Research in Science Teaching, April 22-25, 1995, San Francisco CA. (Unpublished)


This paper reports on a part of a study of factors that contribute to science anxiety and science teaching self efficacy among preservice primary and early childhood teachers. It draws upon our experiences over four years with preservice primary and early childhood teachers at an Australian University. Primary teachers are responsible for the inclusion of science instruction in years 1-7 while the early childhood teachers should provide science experiences for children in child care, kindergarten, preschool and the early years of primary school. Science anxiety presumably develops through negative and limited experiences and impacts on people's interests and beliefs about science and, for preservice teachers, their confidence to teach science. Preservice training of teachers is an opportunity to provide positive experiences that may enhance student teachers' beliefs that they may become effective science teachers. Thus, the experiences and beliefs of primary and early childhood preservice teachers were explored in an ethnographic research tradition. In all 366 students from four cohorts were studied. Two of these cohorts were undertaking a content oriented Science Foundations course that focused on matter and energy concepts. A third cohort undertook a Science Curriculum course that concentrated on science teaching methods and the fourth cohort represented a smaller group of post-baccalaureate students who completed a combined content-methods course. Students' self efficacy, attitudes to science, perceptions of their University learning environment were measured at the commencement and conclusion of the semester of study and selected students were interviewed at various stages of the one semester course. The salient outcomes revealed that personal science teaching self efficacy was associated with negative high school experiences and could be improved in situations where individual students experienced support and an appropriate learning environment. Outcome expectancy also could be improved through experiences in which students successfully implemented teaching programs to children. Analysis of qualitative data revealed interesting contrasts between students. A series of assertions about the causative factors that may influence the development of students' sense of self efficacy were derived from an analysis of the data.

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ID Code: 1761
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Self, efficacy, science teaching self efficacy, preservice teacher education, science education, elementary schools, primary teachers, science methods, STEBI, motivation, HERN
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1995 (please comsult author)
Deposited On: 01 Jul 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 04:55

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