Changing the Science Teaching Beliefs of Pre-service Teachers

Tuesday 3:45pm REC Center Large Ice Overlook Room
Oral Presentation Part of Geoscience Education Research II


Katherine Ryker, University of South Carolina-Columbia
The science teaching beliefs of pre-service teachers play a profound role in impacting the way in which science content is taught (Bleicher, 2010; Joseph 2010). In this study, we examine the way in which pre-service elementary teachers' (n=203) science teaching efficacy beliefs change over the course over the course of a semester while taking an Earth Science course designed for future teachers (Fall 2014, Spring 2015), and to what these teachers attribute the changes. We use the Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument (STEBI; Enoch and Riggs, 1990), as well as qualitative surveys that allowed participants to explain perceived changes in science teaching efficacy. We also examined weekly lab submissions and overall course performance to compare participants content knowledge. Participants in this study have all had at least one other college-level Chemistry or Physics course and intend to teach K-7 grade. Factors which participants attribute to impacting their science teaching efficacy include lab experiences which directly translate to their future classrooms,positive experiences with college instructors, and multiple opportunities to practice content, especially when laden with misconceptions. While future teachers acknowledge misconceptions as an important reason to emphasize inquiry-based learning, their own work remains plagued by several pertinent misconceptions about how science works (e.g. Tekkaya et al, 2004).