Middle School Pre-Service Teachers’ Sense of Self-Efficacy in Relation to Authentic Learning Experiences
The focus of this research was to test the impact of an authentic science experience on pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy and their beliefs about their perceived outcomes with middle level students. Data show that there was a statistically significant decrease in the levels of self-efficacy towards teaching science and no significant change in their beliefs about having positive outcomes. Three institutions (a university, a local park district and a school district) formed a partnership with the mission of enhancing science learning for middle school students. The pre-service teachers examined artifacts discovered during an archeological dig of a chair factory and created inter-disciplinary units based on the artifacts during science methods courses. Pre-service teachers then taught these units to 4th graders, when they visited the park.