Exploring Science Teaching Efficacy of Early Childhood

Exploring Science Teaching Efficacy of Early
Childhood Majors in a Mixed-Reality Virtual
Nazan Bautista
Miami University
Presented at the first TLE TeachLivE ™ Conference in Orlando, FL, May 2013
• Preservice and inservice teachers have low self-efficacy in teaching
science (Bleicher & Lindgren, 2005; Schiver & Czerniak, 1999)
• Causes: Teachers’ lack of understanding of science concepts (Bleicher &
Lindgren, 2005; Schibeci & Hickey, 2000; Trundle, Atwood, & Christopher, 2002) and of exposure to
good science teaching and learning (Jarrett, 1999).
• Teachers with high self-efficacy tend to implement more innovative,
reform-based, and student centered instructional strategies (Czerniak and
Lumpe 1996, Woolfolk Hoy and Davis 2006), set higher goals and expectations for
students (Woolfolk Hoy and Davis 2006), are more persistent with struggling
students, and are more committed to the profession (Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk
Hoy, and Hoy 1998).
• Teacher self-efficacy is a strong predictor of students’ academic
achievement (Saklofske, Michayluk, and Randhawa, 1988) and students learn more
from teachers with high self-efficacy (Ashton and Webb, 1986).
Self Efficacy Beliefs
Theoretical Framework: Bandura’s (1977) social cognitive theory of behavior and
Sources of Self-Efficacy:
1. Enactive Mastery Experiences
2. Vicarious Experiences
• Affective actual modeling
• Symbolic Modeling
• Self-modeling
• Cognitive self-modeling
• Cognitive content mastery
• Cognitive pedagogical mastery
• Simulated modeling
3. Verbal Persuasion
4. Emotional Arousal
(Bandura, 1997; Palmer, 2006)
Theoretical Framework
EDT 317.E Teaching Science in Early Childhood (3credits)
Offering: Taught in both fall & spring
Number of students: 40 – 70 per semester
Course Design & Goal: Backward Design (Wiggins and McTighe, 1998) and to
increase the self-efficacy beliefs (Bautista, 2011)
Field Experience: 2 weeks
• Problem: Lack of science teaching opportunities
• Consequence: Lack of interest in science and teaching science,
negative attitude toward science / science teaching / science methods
Teach LivE ™ Lab
Exploration 1: Spring 2012
Session 1: Teaching about basic needs of plants – traditional or review
Session 2: Teaching about basic needs of plants – inquiry-based, guiding
the instruction with students’ responses.
A preparation guide (PCK) was provided by the instructor.
Session 3: Teaching about what produces sound – inquiry-based, by
using manipulatives (rulers, rubber bands, tuning forks).
A preparation guide (PCK) was provided by the instructor.
Behavior Level: 2 (0-5 , mild/moderate misbehavior -> distraction,
fidgeting, inattention, mild resistance at low frequency)
Exploration 1: Spring 2012
• How does practicing with TeachLivE™ Lab impact
preservice early childhood teachers’ perceived selfefficacy beliefs in the context of science?
• What type of sources of efficacy does the TeachLivE™
Lab experience provide?
Research Questions
Participants: 62 / 64 ECE majors, Spring 2012
Mixed Methods:
• STEBI-B (Enochs & Riggs, 1990) – as pre- and post-tests
• Journal entries (n=372, 62 students * 6 journals)
-after each TLE session (3),
-during 2-week field experience,
• Videotaped sessions (n=186, 62 students * 3 sessions)
• Two-tailed t-test analyses were conducted to see if there was any difference
in the PSTE and STOE scores.
• Cronbach’s α coefficients were computed to determine the internal
consistency of the STEBI-B. Reliability coefficients for the two scales were
found to be .85 (good) and .65 (acceptable) for PSTE and STOE,
• Inductive thematic analysis was conducted to analyze the journal entries (n=
372). The author generated codes in the light of the participants’ responses
and organized themes that respond to the two aforementioned research
questions of the study.
• Themes and codes generated from the inductive analyses of the journal
entries will be used to analyze the video-taped sessions.
Data Analysis
Table 1. Means and standard deviations (SD) for two dimensions of science
teaching efficacy beliefs and paired t-test results.
** Significant at the 0.01 level
Quantitative: STEBI-B
Theme 1: Science teaching requires strong understanding of
science concepts and one needs to be well-prepared to teach
and clearly explain a concept to students before going into a
classroom. (n= 45)
“After the first TLE, I realized that I didn’t know very much about
science…It hit me that I am going to have to know a lot more about
science than I currently know.” David
“…I also learned that it is very important to know the material before
teaching it. Before each TLE experience, I had to sit down and review
the material. I think I did much better on the TLE practices when I did
extra research on the topic. I was more confident while teaching the
material when I was fully prepared.” Betsy
“Know your stuff!”
Theme 2: Science should be taught in an engaging manner;
through inquiry-based, discovery-based lessons, and handson instruction. (n=41)
“Throughout our coursework we are told over and over again that being
an early childhood teacher isn’t about standing in front of the class and
lecturing, but I guess I never really realized it until the TeachLive made
me move to the students and interact with them constantly throughout
the lesson. This was a big revelation for me because although I had
known that, I guess I had never really put it to use during my field
experiences.” Katie
Why investigate if we already know…?
Theme 3: Science content should be taught in a way that is
relevant to students’ daily lives. (n=27)
“This experience has helped me to think about and discover how
elementary science concepts fit into the bigger picture of what students
need to know for their future. In the first two practices, the students
would explicitly ask “Why do we have to learn this?” and I struggled to
articulate my reasons. By the third practice, I feel that I presented the
information in a more effective way that made it clear to students what
our purpose was and why it was important, so there were no questions. I
learned through these experiences that by making connections between
students’ lives and science content, students will become more engaged
in their learning” Danielle
“Why do we have to learn this?”
Theme 4: TLE helped me gain confidence in teaching
science. (n=38)
“In terms of teaching science, I was able to grow and become more
comfortable with my ability to teach science. Coming into this semester,
I was very uncomfortable and nervous about teaching science.” Ashley
“…After completing this experience, I can honestly say I am 100%
more confident in my abilities to teach science and manage a classroom
effectively.” Beth
Confidence in science teaching
Theme 5: TLE helped me become more confident in
managing disruptive behaviors. (n=12)
“…One thing I took away from [TLE] was that classroom management
is such an important aspect of teaching. If you are unable to manage
your classroom, then it is impossible to get any information across to
your students…” Laura
Classroom management
Table 4. Perceived sources of self-efficacy:
Sources of efficacy
# of people
Cognitive pedagogical mastery
Affective actual modeling
Cognitive content mastery
Simulated modeling
TLE as a source of efficacy
• Using TLE for a simulation of classroom science teaching is
• TLE has the potential to make early childhood majors aware
of who they are as a teacher; how much content they know,
what their teaching styles are, how to meet with individual
students’ needs, etc.
• It is not as powerful as real teaching experiences. However,
it can support and compliment the learning that take place
during field experiences.
• It can be used to help education majors practice certain
teaching techniques, such as conducting pre-assessments,
asking open-ended questions.
• It provides a safe environment to fail and improve mistakes.
Fall 2012 & Spring 2013
• Intervention to improve Early and Middle Childhood
Education majors’ understanding and practices of inquirybased science teaching.
In progress
• Intervention to make science relevant
• Observing the change in confidence through preservice
teachers’ body language
Future Directions
Limited time per person to practice
Scheduling TLE practices
Age group the avatars represent
Practicing in front of peers
Technological issues (Skype, tracker)
Bautista, N. U. (2011). Investigating the use of vicarious and mastery
experiences in influencing early childhood education majors’ selfefficacy beliefs. Journal of Science Teacher Education. 22, 333- 349.
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY:
Enochs, L. G., & Riggs, I. M. (1990). Further development of an elementary
science teaching efficacy belief instrument: A preservice elementary scale.
School Science and Mathematics, 90, 694–706.
Martin, N. K., Yin, Z., & Baldwin, B. (1998). Construct validation of the Attitudes &
Beliefs on Classroom Control inventory. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 33,
Palmer, D. H. (2006). Sources of self-efficacy in a science methods course for
primary teacher education students. Research in Science Education, 36,
Squire, K. (2006). From content to context: Videogames as designed experience.
Educational Researcher, 35, 19–29.
Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by design. ASCD.
Field assignment 1:
Interview a child
Intended sources of selfefficacy
Mastery: Enactive,
cognitive content, and
cognitive pedagogical
Mastery: Enactive
The content of the assignments/activities
Preservice teachers interview a child to elicit his or her
understanding of a science concept, and report in the form
of a research paper.
Preservice teachers, who are given an opportunity to create
their own lesson plan or to modify the lesson plan their
Option 1
cooperating teacher provided, will teach and reflect on their
classroom practices.
Preservice teachers, who are given a lesson plan by their
Field assignment 2:
Mastery: Enactive
cooperating teachers but are not allowed to make any
changes in the plan or the activity, will teach and reflect on
their classroom practices.
Field assignment 2:
Vicarious: Cognitive self- Preservice teachers who are not able to teach or observe
science in their field placements will create an
Option 3
interdisciplinary science lesson plan in which they would
integrate one or more content areas with science. They also
reflect on their plan.
Preservice teachers watch videos of experienced teachers,
Video-Case studies
Vicarious: Symbolic
created by Annenberg Foundation, practicing science
teaching in real primary grade level classrooms.
Preservice teachers participate in several inquiry-based
Classroom inquiry activities Vicarious: Simulated
hands-on activities where the course instructor models the
effective teaching practices throughout the semester.
Inquiry- based lesson plans Vicarious: Cognitive self- Preservice teachers plan inquiry-based lesson plans and
present them to their classmates.
and presentations
Field assignment 2:

similar documents