Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Sherry Herron

Committee Chair Department

Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Member 2

Dr.Richard Mohn

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Dr.Brian Gearity

Committee Member 4

Dr.Deborah Booth

Committee Member 4 Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Member 5

Dr.Deborah Chessin

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the teaching beliefs of GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) teachers, and to analyze their pedagogical practices. This study contributes to bridging the gap between our understanding of teachers’ beliefs of teaching science with inquiry and practicing science in class with inquiry. A descriptive research approach was used for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Data was collected from seventy-two trained GLOBE teachers across the U.S. using Qualtrics.com.

Quantitatively, the pedagogical beliefs of GLOBE teachers were measured using the Beliefs about Reformed Science Teaching and Learning (BARSTL) questionnaire. Differences between the scores of BARSTL and demographic data were analyzed using the one-way ANOVA with SPSS. Necessary follow-up analysis, including post hoc tests, were done where significance was found. Qualitatively, their teaching experiences were investigated using their responses from an open-ended questionnaire in an instrument referred to as the Teaching after Globe Training Questionnaire (TGTQ).

The BARSTL scores from this study revealed that the vast majority (93.06%) of the GLOBE teachers were inclined towards constructivist teaching beliefs. The one-way ANOVA results showed no significance for age and years of teaching experience. The regions showed the significant differences possibly because of small sample size and uneven distribution of the sample in each region. Results from the TGTQ highlighted the struggles and challenges teachers faced during classroom practices.

Sixty-one percent of the teachers had changed their teaching strategies after learning GLOBE protocols and incorporated more hands-on inquiry-based activities in their teaching. Eighty-two percent of the teachers planned to continue teaching with GLOBE activities and protocols. Almost all of the teachers believed that teaching with GLOBE had influenced their students’ learning, and they indicated that both accelerated and regular students learned better with GLOBE investigations. The results from this study revealed that GLOBE teachers believed that GLOBE training had influenced their teaching skills and improved their scientific concepts. The results also explained how some GLOBE teachers modified their classroom teaching practices and continued using GLOBE while others discontinued. Thus, we may conclude that GLOBE training positively influences teachers’ teaching beliefs and practices.

Available for download on Saturday, May 11, 2019

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