Elementary Pre-Service Science Teaching Efficacy and Attitude Toward Science: Can A College Science Course Make A Difference?

Madelon McCall

Abstract


University laboratory science courses are typically designed to prepare science majors or those who are pursuing health related careers. These courses often do not provide the experiences necessary to improve elementary preservice teacher science teaching efficacy or attitudes and beliefs toward science. This research utilized a university science content course that was designed for preservice elementary teachers. The course was designed to specifically teach science content consistent with national and state standards for K-5 science. The course was also designed to encourage elementary preservice teachers to share uncertainties concerning science and science education, while allowing them to experience the mastery of science content through discovery, inquiry, and collaborative laboratory experiences. The purpose of this design and implementation was to promote science content understanding, but also improve science teaching efficacy and attitudes toward science. Data was collected utilizing the Science Teacher Efficacy and Beliefs Instrument for preservice teachers (STEBI-B) and an end of course survey designed to encourage reflection on science teaching and attitudes toward science. The findings from this research suggest that a course specific to the science content needs of elementary preservice teachers’ can also improve confidence in teaching science and attitudes toward science as a body of knowledge.


Keywords


science education; elementary teacher education; science teacher self-efficacy; attitudes toward science

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