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Preparing pre-service teachers for high-quality science teaching : the development and effectiveness of an evidence-based professional development program to enhance pre-service teachers’ science teaching self-efficacy

Kroek, Monica (2016) Preparing pre-service teachers for high-quality science teaching : the development and effectiveness of an evidence-based professional development program to enhance pre-service teachers’ science teaching self-efficacy.

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Abstract:Good science education becomes more and more important in primary education, because of the growing demand for highly skilled workers in the area of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In 2020, science education must be integrated in primary schools curriculum to make children enthusiastic for science, which can lead to a higher enrollment in STEM-studies. However, many concerns have been raised about the current quality of science education in primary schools. For example, most teachers teach science in a traditional way. In this way of teaching, teachers use the ‘chalk and talk’ approach in which they are in charge of the information flow in the classroom. The teacher explains and demonstrates certain concepts and the children are expected to absorb the knowledge. This is unfortunately, because research shows that guided inquiry-based learning results in higher student achievement in science. Review of David, Petish and Smithey (2006) indicates that pre- and in-service teachers experience multiple challenges in teaching science. They have little content and pedagogical knowledge, low science teaching self-efficacy, a lack of a positive attitude towards science and experience difficulties with classroom management during science lessons. The teacher training department at Saxion University of Applied Sciences, where this study is conducted, want their students to learn to teach inquiry-based and apply the effective teaching. A major concern of the teacher educators is their students self-efficacy. According to the teacher educators many of their students lack science teaching self-efficacy. The review of Davis, Petish and Smithey (2006) underscores these concerns. Lack of science teaching self-efficacy is an important reason for avoiding inquiry based science. So while the literature indicates the importance of several teaching qualities, due to contextual and scientifically reasons, this study is focused on enhancing science teaching self-efficacy of pre-service teachers. This is why the aim of this study was to develop and test an evidence-based professional development (PD) program focused on learning effective science teaching strategies to enhance science teaching self-efficacy. In this study, the generic model for design research in education of McKenney and Reeves (2012) was used to guide the research process. In the first part of the research, the analysis and exploration phase, a knowledge base was created on the eight effective science teaching strategies and effective PD-programs. The result was an overview of characteristics of the eight science teaching strategies that have proven to have positive effects on student learning, and an overview of characteristics of effective PD-programs. The insights obtained in the first part of the study were used in the second part of this study, the design and construction phase. The overview of characteristics of the eight effective science teaching strategies was used to incorporate the strategies into a single model for science teaching. There were two reasons for choosing to incorporate the strategies into one model . First, no strategy alone is as powerful as a combined strategies approach. Second, a model for science teaching gives insight in the key points of a science lesson and how a science lesson is build up. Also, in this phase, the PD-program was constructed, based on the overview of characteristics of effective PD-programs. Three conditional features, four characteristics related to the focus and content of the program, and five processes were important to consider when developing the PD-program. The result of this phase was a evidence-based PD-program on learning science teaching strategies. In the last part of this research, the evaluation and reflection phase, the PD-program was tested and evaluated. Ten pre-service teachers in their final year at teacher training education at Saxion University of Applied Science, completed the program. The respondents were selected on the basis of homogeneous sampling and convenience sampling. Insights were obtained in the development of the pre-service teachers science teaching self-efficacy during the program and the influence of the five processes of the PD-program on their science teaching self-efficacy. Also, the extent to which the pre-service teachers learned to utilize the eight effective science teaching strategies was measured.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Saxion University of Applied Science, Deventer, Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:80 pedagogy, 81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/71426
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