ERG SES H 14, Research in Higher Education
Developing students’ science process skills is one of the main goals of science curricula used in various counties in the world (Harlen, 1999) and also in Turkey (Ministry of National Education, 2018). For effective science teaching, teachers’ expertise in science process skills is quite important (Ango, 2002). Teachers are expected to encourage their students to develop science process skills and to use these skills in their daily lives (Martin, 2012). In that respects, teacher education programs should provide pre-service teachers with guidance to enhance these skills (Ango, 2002). Primary school teacher education programs in Turkey include courses such as science and technology laboratory applications and science and technology teaching in which pre-service teachers learn about science process skills and how to teach them (Council of Higher Education, 2007). Considering the emphasis given to science process skills in both national science curriculum (grades 3-8) and primary school teacher education programs, in an effort to facilitate implementation of science process skills in primary school science classes, this study focused on possible factors of pre-service primary school teachers’ intention of addressing science process skills in science teaching. To this end, theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991) was employed as a theoretical framework. Accordingly, as a first step, this study attempted to develop and validate an “Intention of Addressing Science Process Skills Questionnaire” for investigating possible factors related to pre-service primary school teachers’ intention of employing science process skills in science teaching from perspective of theory of planned behavior.
According to the theory of planned behavior, as summarized by Ajzen (2013), a person’s actionis shaped by three types of beliefs which are beliefs of the possible behavioral outcomes (i.e., behavioral beliefs), beliefs related to others’ normative anticipations (i.e., normative beliefs), and beliefs of the existence of facilitating or hindering factors for behavior (i.e., control beliefs). These beliefs, that is, behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs, and control beliefs, form a positive or negative attitude toward the behavior, social pressure that a person perceives with respect to carrying out an action or subjective norm,and perceived behavioral control, respectively. These constructs (i.e., attitude toward the behavior, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control) combine to generate a behavioral intention.
The sample of this study will comprise pre-service primary school teachers from various public universities of Turkey. The universities will be specified based on convenience and from the specified universities, volunteer junior and senior pre-service primary school teachers will be participants of the study. The reason of working with juniors and seniors is that they are expected to have taken aforementioned courses related to science process skills. Data will be collected during 2017-2018 spring semester by administering a questionnaire, which will be developed for the current study based on the guidance of the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991). The questionnaire will contain items measuring direct measures of intention, attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control as well as items measuring behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs, and control beliefs. Items related to direct measures will be constructed by drawing on sample items provided for construction of questionnaire from the framework of theory of planned behavior (see Fishbein & Ajzen, 2010) and items used by previous research in the theory of planned behavior literature. On the other hand, items regarding beliefs will be constructed by drawing on behavioral outcomes, normative referents, and control factors, which were identified as a result of a pilot study (Akyol & Tas, 2018). The pilot study was done by administering open-ended questions, which were prepared according to the guideline suggested by Fishbein and Ajzen (2010). Following administration of the open-ended questions, participants were interviewed individually to clarify their responses to the questions. The appropriateness of the items will be discussed by the authors until reaching a consensus and the initial questionnaire will be formed. Then, the formed questionnaire will be administered to two pre-service primary school teachers to get their opinions about items’ clarity. Based on the two participants’ opinions, the questionnaire will be revised and the revised questionnaire will be piloted with junior and senior pre-service primary school teachers from various public universities of Turkey. Data analysis will be done through factor analysis and reliability analyses in order to examine validity and reliability of scores on the questionnaire. More specifically, the hypothesized factor structure of the questionnaire, which is based on the theory of planned behavior, will be tested through confirmatory factor analysis and internal consistency of scores on the factors will be estimated by Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficients.
Findings of confirmatory factor analysis will be examined in terms of evidence for the hypothesized factor structure of the questionnaire whereas Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficients will be inspected for internal consistencies of the scores on the factors. Based on the analyses results, the present study may provide with a questionnaire designed to assess possible factors of addressing science process skills when teaching science. By identifying factors of pre-service primary school teachers’ intention of employing science process skills in science teaching, the study has a potential to promote implementation of science process skills in primary school science classes.
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processed, 50, 179-211. Ajzen, I. (2013). Constructing a theory of planned behavior questionnaire. [Electronic resource]. Amherst, MA, USA: University of Massachusetts. Retrieved November 12, 2013, from http://people.umass.edu/aizen/tpb.html. Akyol, G. & Tas, Y. (2018, May). Turkish pre-service primary school teachers’ beliefs about addressing science process skills. Paper presented at the meeting of 9th International Congress on New Trends in Education (ICONTE), Antalya, Turkey. Ango, M. L. (2002). Mastery of science process skills and their effective use in the teaching of science: An educology of science education in the Nigerian context. Online Submission, 16(1), 11-30. Council of Higher Education. (2007). Faculty of education teacher education undergraduate programs [in Turkish]. Ankara, Turkey. Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (2010). Predicting and changing behavior: The reasoned action approach. New York: Psychology Press (Taylor & Francis). Harlen, W. (1999). Purposes and procedures for assessing science process skills. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 6(1), 129-144. Martin, D. J. (2012). Elementary Science Methods: A Constructivist Approach. Sixth Edition. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning: CA. Ministry of National Education (2018). Science curriculum (Primary and middle school 3rd – 8th grades) [in Turkish]. Ankara, Turkey.
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