Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


The purpose of this study was to investigate how retrospective-test/post-test perceptions of science teaching self-efficacy differ according to personalscience expectancy and science teaching outcome expectancy among preservice elementary teachers when exposed to a science teaching methods course. Preservice elementary teacher candidates (N=69) enrolled in Spring and Fall 2007 sessions of an elementary science methods class were asked to assess their science teaching self-efficacy using the Science Teaching Expectancy Belief Instrument (STEBI-B). The survey was administered three times using pre-test, post-test and retrospective-test methodology. The 23-item instrument contains a Likert-scale with a 1 to 5 range of "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree". A higher score indicated a stronger sense science teaching self-efficacy. The dependent variable was change in self-efficacy. Scienceteaching self-efficacy comprises two subcomponents: (1) personal science teaching efficacy (PSTE); and (2) science teaching outcome expectancy(STOE). Both components were represented as subscales on the STEBI-B. The independent variables were: (1) number of postsecondary science content courses taken; (2) perceptions of prior science experiences; and (3) a science methods course. Research questions sought to investigate main effects and interaction effects of independent variables on each of the PSTE and STOE subscales. A 2X2 ANOVA was used to statistically analyze the data with a Type I error rate of 0.05 as the judgment criteria for statistical significance. The findings revealed that whether preservice elementary teachers met or exceeded thenumber of postsecondary science courses required to graduate, and their positive or negative perceptions of prior school science experiences had a statistically significant main effect on the change in PSTE but not STOE. There was no evidence to suggest significant interaction effects of number ofpostsecondary science courses taken and perception of school science experiences on the change in both PSTE and STOE. Practical significance of theresults is also discussed. The results will guide reforming teacher preparation to strengthen science teaching self-efficacy of preservice elementary teachercandidates throughout their programs of study leading out into the teaching profession. The implications of this study have bearing on current and future organization, structure, and dynamics of elementary science teacher preparation.

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