Science teaching efficacy beliefs of 5th and 8th grade science teachers

Susan Melony Hanson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine which, if any, variables had a significant relationship to personal science teaching efficacy beliefs and outcome expectancies. The independent variables tested were number of undergraduate science methods courses taken, level of teacher education, number of years as a classroom teacher, number of years as a science teacher, teacher beliefs regarding instructional strategies in science, and teacher beliefs regarding student engagement in the science classroom. Through surveys completed by 5 th and 8th grade science teachers, the researcher analyzed data via multiple regressions to determine significance. Results of the data analysis showed the greatest significance was between personal science teaching efficacy beliefs and number of years as a classroom teacher, and teacher beliefs regarding instructional strategies in science and outcome expectancy and student engagement in the science classroom. Implications for current practice include a need for improved teacher education programs for pre-service science teachers, collaboration between universities and public school districts, improved methods for teacher retention in the science classroom, and the use of hands-on and minds-on instruction in the science classroom.