ERG SES H 02, Learning and Education
Beliefs people have about their capabilities are known to influence how people behave (Bandura, 1986;1997). In educational psychology, self-efficacy is one of the most influential belief which acts on people’s choices, courses of action, effort expenditure, and persistence (Schunk & Pajares, 2005, 2009). Such an influential belief, self-efficacy, is defined as the capability judgment that people make when they are required to perform a certain action (Badnura, 1997). Simply put, self-efficacy is the answer to the question “Can I do this?”. Self-efficacy has been the scope of research in educational psychology both from students’ and teachers’ perspective. It is evident that self-efficacy has positive relationships with student success (Pajares, 1996, Schunk, 2012), learning strategies, and student engagement (Schunk & Mullen, 2012). On the other hand, teachers with high self-efficacy perform innovative teaching strategies, conduct humanitarian classroom management, and provide more learning oriented environment which helps students’ increased academic achievement. Moreover, preservice teachers’ have been the scope of self-efficacy research recently. Although research on preservice teacher self-efficacy is abundant, studies assessing the change in preservice teacher self-efficacy during teacher preparation courses is limited in number. In one of these recent studies, Menon and Sadler (2016) investigated how a science content course influenced preservice elementary teachers’ science teaching efficacy beliefs. They collected data from fifty one preservice teachers via Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument, semi structured interviews, and classroom observations. They found that elementary preservice teachers had statistically significant gains in teaching efficacy beliefs. Additionally, their qualitative analysis supported quantitative findings. Preservice teachers stated positive shifts in their science teacher self-images. In another study conducted in Turkey, Eymur and Çetin (2017) investigated the change of efficacy and outcome expectancy beliefs of fourty seven freshmen elementary preservice teachers in an argument driven inquiry laboratory course. They utilised a non-equivalent control group design as part of a quasi- experimental design. Their results indicated that while pre-test scores suggested no difference, post test scores had a significant mean difference in both in self-efficacy and outcome expectancy beliefs.
Literature on preservice teacher self-efficacy presents numerous research. However, studies focused on the change in efficacy beliefs of preservice teachers in inquiry-based laboratory are limited in number. Our purpose in this study is to address this gap and observe the change in junior preservice science teachers’ efficacy beliefs during a two-semester long inquiry-based laboratory course. The question guiding us throughout this research is as follows:
How do junior preservice science teachers’ teaching efficacy beliefs change during a two-semester long inquiry-based laboratory course?
Participants of this study are fifty four junior preservice science teachers. A mixed method design is espoused in this study. Therefore, both quantitative and qualitative data are being collected. Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) is used for measuring pre-service science teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs quantitavely. The instrument was developed by Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk-Hoy (2001) as a 9 point Likert type scale ranging from “1 = nothing” to “9 = a great deal”. TSES includes three dimensions which are efficacy for classroom management, efficacy for instructional strategies and efficacy for student engagement. Qualitative data are being collected via semi-structured interviews and laboratory observations. For the analysis of quantitative data, repeated measures ANOVA will be used to be able to detect whether any difference in preservice science teachers’ science teaching efficacy beliefs. For the qualitative data, codes and themes will be generated through open coding. Two independent researchers will read and code each transcript and they will come together to compare their codes with each other and with the literature. The process will continue until they will reach an agreement.
It is expected that the result of the study will be consistent with the previous studies. For every dimension of Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (efficacy for classroom management, efficacy for instructional strategies and efficacy for student engagement) a positive change is expected. Since inquiry-based laboratory course have the potential to enable preservice science teachers to experience classroom management in laboratory, observing how various teaching strategies are utilised and how unmotivated students are engaged in the learning task, an increase in teaching efficacy beliefs of preservice teachers would be reasonable. We believe that this study has the potential to offer a lot for teacher preparation programs and faculty of science education departments. Results of this study may provide evidences for the change in self-efficacy beliefs of pre-service teachers while reflecting and thinking on from teacher’ perspective in inquiry-based laboratory courses. Moreover, faculty may benefit from our findings in terms of developing preservice science teachers' teaching efficacy beliefs.
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W.H. Freeman. Eymur, G., & Çetin, P. S. (2017). Argümantasyon tabanlı sorgulayıcı araştırma yönteminin öğretmen adaylarının fen öğretimi öz yeterlik inancına etkisi. Erzincan Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 19(3), 36-50. Menon, D., & Sadler, T. D. (2016). Preservice elementary teachers’ science self-efficacy beliefs and science content knowledge. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 27(6), 649-673. Pajares, F. (1996). Self-efficacy beliefs in academic settings. Review of Educational Research, 66, 543-578. Schunk, D. H. (2012). Learning theories: An educational perspective. Boston: Pearson. Schunk, D. H., & Mullen, C. A. (2012). Self-efficacy as an engaged learner. In S. L. Christenson, A. L. Reschly, & C. Wylie (Eds.), Handbook of research on student engagement (pp. 219–236). New York, NY: Springer. Schunk, D. H., & Pajares, F. (2005). Competence beliefs in academic functioning. In A. J. Elliot & C. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 85–104). New York: Guilford Press. Schunk, D. H., & Pajares, F. (2009). Self-efficacy theory. In K. R. Wentzel & A. Wigfield (Eds.), Handbook of motivation at school (pp. 35–53). New York: Routledge. Tschannen-Moran, M., & Hoy, A. W. (2001). Teacher efficacy: capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(7), 783–805.
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