Changes in perceived self-efficacy and attitude toward science and teaching science in elementary school

Betsy Ann Sullivan

Abstract

This study was developed in an effort to ascertain if a proposed biological laboratory curriculum as developed and modeled by the instructor would affect the attitudes and perceived self-efficacy towards science, science teaching and ability to learn science of pre-service elementary teachers. Self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies were incorporated as the variation. Attitudinal topics investigated were the perceived ability to learn science and to teach science. Students in one biology for non-science majors. biology laboratory class at the University of Southern Mississippi participated in this case study. The group participated in the modified laboratory section which utilized SRL activities, including reflections on in-class activities. In addition to these activities, the group worked within the state.s elementary science framework to design and implement science lessons. Password protected on-line surveys were used at the beginning and the end of the course to assess the attitudes, perceived self-efficacy and self-regulated learning level of all students. Interviews with participants were conducted as follow up to ascertain long-term impact of the curriculum. Student artifacts, researcher observations and follow up interviews were analyzed to identify any changes in student attitude towards and perceived self-efficacy in science and teaching science. Analysis identified a positive change in students. attitudes and perceived self-efficacy after participation in the modified laboratory section, indicating moderate success of the proposed curriculum based on SRL.