Science Teaching Efficacy of Preservice Elementary Teachers: Examination of the Multiple Factors Reported as Influential

Kirik O. T.

RESEARCH IN SCIENCE EDUCATION, vol.43, no.6, pp.2497-2515, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11165-013-9357-y
  • Page Numbers: pp.2497-2515


This study explores the science teaching efficacy beliefs of pr-service elementary teachers and the relationship between efficacy beliefs and multiple factors such as antecedent factors (participation in extracurricular activities and number of science and science teaching methods courses taken), conceptual understanding, classroom management beliefs and science teaching attitudes. Science education majors (n = 71) and elementary education majors (n = 262) were compared with respect to these variables. Finally, the predictors of two constructs of science teaching efficacy beliefs, personal science teaching efficacy (PSTE) and science teaching outcome expectancy (STOE), were examined by multiple linear regression analysis. According to the results, participation in extracurricular activities has a significant but low correlation with science concept knowledge, science teaching attitudes, PSTE and STOE. In addition, there is a small but significant correlation between science concept knowledge and outcome expectancy, which leads the idea that preservice elementary teachers' conceptual understanding in science contributes to their science teaching self-efficacy. This study reveals a moderate correlation between science teaching attitudes and STOE and a high correlation between science teaching attitudes and PSTE. Additionally, although the correlation coefficient is low, the number of methodology courses was found to be one of the correlates of science teaching attitudes. Furthermore, students of both majors generally had positive self-efficacy beliefs on both the STOE and PSTE. Specifically, science education majors had higher science teaching self-efficacy than elementary education majors. Regression results showed that science teaching attitude is the major factor in predicting both PSTE and STOE for both groups.