10 SES 06 C, The Role of Mentors and Institutional Factors in Teacher Education
In this paper, an extended version of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB; Ajzen, 1985) was presented as an explanatory model for early childhood teachers' science teaching intentions. The TPB assumes that the best predictor or motivator of behaviour is behavioural intention, and behavioural intention is predicted by attitude toward the behaviour, social normative perceptions of performing that behaviour and perceived control over performing that behaviour (see Ajzen, 1991, 2002). Previous studies on the TPB (e.g. Armitage & Conner, 1998; Rivis & Sheeran, 2003) provide theoretical and empirical evidence for additional variables such as past behaviour/habit, self-efficacy beliefs, moral or personal norms, self-identity, or affective beliefs in the TPB model. In guidance of that, additional predictor variables (i.e. self-efficacy beliefs, personal norms, and science content knowledge) which thought to be necessary in the context of science teaching were included in the TPB model of the present study.
Although Ajzen (1991) discussed that self-efficacy and perceived behavioural control are synonymous, many researchers stated that self-efficacy and perceived behavioural control are different in nature and so, should be evaluated separately (e.g. Dzewaltowski, Noble, & Shaw, 1990; Terry & O’Leary, 1995; White, Terry, & Hogg, 1994). In this study, self-efficacy was herewith assessed as a separate construct in order to emphasize the importance of self-efficacy beliefs on teachers' classroom actions. In addition, some researchers discussed that the subjective norms were the weakest predictor of behavioural intention in both the theory of reasoned action and theory of planned behaviour (e.g Godin & Kok, 1996); therefore, researchers highlighted the need of more normative influences on behaviour (Conner & Armitage, 1998). In this study, personal norms were used to predict early childhood teachers’ science teaching intentions since teachers may think that their choices in the classroom would influence their students. Thus, in addition to what the others think, teachers’ own views were included by means of personal norms. In addition to personal norms and self-efficacy beliefs, science content knowledge was also included in the TPB model regarding its significance on teacher' science teaching behaviour. Many researchers (e.g. Harlen, 1997; Osborne & Simon, 1996; Tilgner, 1990; Appleton & Kindt, 1999) have suggested that elementary, beginning and pre-school teachers show tendency to avoid teaching science. The reason of avoiding teaching science was summarized by Appleton (2007) as lack of science subject matter knowledge, limited science pedagogical content knowledge, low self-efficacy beliefs in science and science teaching. For that reasons, in the present study, science content knowledge of early childhood teachers was taken into account as a predictor of science teaching intention.
Based on the above issues, this paper attempted to answer the research question of ''How well can early childhood teachers' science teaching intentions be explained by their attitude toward science teaching, subjective science teaching norms, perceived behavioural control, personal science teaching norms, self-efficacy beliefs regarding science teaching, and science concept knowledge?''.
Ajzen, I. (1985). From intentions to actions: A theory of planned behavior. In J. Kuhl & J. Beckman (Eds.), Action-control: From cognition to behavior (pp. 11- 39). Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processed. 50, 179-211. Ajzen, I. (2002). Perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, locus of control, and the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 665-683. Appleton, K. (2007). Elementary science teaching. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Science Education (493-535). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. Appleton, K., & Kindt, I. (1999). Why teach primary science? Influences on beginning teachers’ practices. International Journal of Science Education, 21(2), 155–168. Conner, M., & Armitage, C. J. (1998). Extending the theory of planned behavior: A review and avenues for further research. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28, 1429-1464. Dzewaltowski, D.A., Noble, J. M. & Shaw, J. M. (1990). Physical activity participation-social cognitive theory versus the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 12, 388-405. Godin, G., & Kok, G. (1996). The theory of planned behavior: A review of its applications in health-related behaviors. American Journal of Health Promotion, 11, 87-98. Harlen, W. (1997). Primary teachers’ understanding in science and its impact in the classroom. Research in Science Education, 27, 323–337. Osborne, J. F., & Simon, S. (1996). Primary Science: Past and Future Directions. Studies in Science Education, 27, 99-147. Ringle, C. M., Wende, S., & Becker, J. (2015). SmartPLS 3. Bönningstedt: SmartPLS. Retrieved from http://www.smartpls.com Rivis, A., Sheeran, P., & Armitage, C. J. (2009). Expanding the affective and normative components of the Theory of Planned Behavior: A metaanalysis of anticipated affect and moral norms. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39(12), 2985-3019. Terry, D. J., & O'Leary, J. E. (1995). The theory of planned behavior: The effects of perceived behavioural control and self-efficacy. British Journal of Social Psychology, 34, 199-220. Tilgner, P. J. (1990). Avoiding science in the elementary school. Science Education, 74, 421–431. doi: 10.1002/sce.3730740403.
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