Presentation on theme: "Help, I dont like science and I have to teach it! Sally Creel Early Childhood Ed.D. Cohort Kennesaw State University May 3, 2008."— Presentation transcript:
Help, I dont like science and I have to teach it! Sally Creel Early Childhood Ed.D. Cohort Kennesaw State University May 3, 2008
Orientation Less than 2% of elementary teachers majored in science or science education. 67% of elementary teachers had less than 6 semesters of science courses. 14% and 24% of teachers felt very well qualified to teach physical or earth science 77% felt very well qualified to teach language arts. Source: Horizon Research Group, 2002
Orientation Teachers who are weak in content background tended to have significantly lower self-efficacy than teachers with strong content background. (Enochs & Riggs, 1990) Low comfort levels towards science and/or science teaching lead to sporadic teaching of science or the omission of science instruction from the school. (Connor, 2005)
Orientation Large majority of secondary school students fail to reach proficiency in math and science. (Kuenzi, Matthews, & Magan, 2006) Lack of proficiency is causing many students to be unsuccessful on the Georgia HS Graduation Test. (Georgia DOE, 2008) Georgia is 49th in the percentage of students earning a high school diploma. Currently on 53.6 ninth grade students go on to graduate from high school in Georgia. (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2006)
Orientation Federal Government is allocating funds for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs. Georgia DOE is offering competitive Math & Science Partnership (MSP) grants aimed at improving teachers content knowledge and pedagogical skills. KSU partnered with a local metro school district and was awarded a two-year MSP grant to provide sustained professional development to 4th, 5th, & 8th grade science teachers.
Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to determine if a sustained professional development model is an effective means to improve teacher self- efficacy in science and increase the quality of elementary science instruction.
Purpose of the Study What are the effects of the Math Science Partnership professional development model on teacher self- efficacy as reported by 5th grade teachers?
Key Terms Self-Efficacy- o Peoples belief about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives. Self-efficacy beliefs determine how people feel, think, motivate themselves and behave. -Bandura, 1986
Key Terms Sustained Professional Development- o a learning opportunity offered to teachers over a prolonged period of time to upgrade the skills and knowledge of teachers to prepare students for the next century. -Loucks-Horsley, Hewson, Love, & Stiles, 1998, p. 3
Methods & Data Sources Mixed methods approach Quantitative Sources o Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI) Qualitative Sources o Institute Evaluation Forms o Focus Group
Participants 5th grade teachers in Metro school district 29 total participants - 21 Caucasian, 6 African American, 2 Hispanic 25 elementary schools, which accurately reflect the diversity of the school district. 100% Female 100% Self-identified as weak in science, but possessing the desire to improve.
Data Collection Time Line Pre-STEBI Assessment Institute Day 1 Assessment Institute Day 2 Focus Group Post-STEBI Institute Evaluation
Analysis Quantitative data were generated using descriptive statistics. – Pre- & Post-STEBI scores were compared using a paired t-test – Variables related to self-efficacy and outcome expectancy were analyzed.
Question Distribution on STEBI The STEBI is broken into two categories of questions, those designed to elicit beliefs on self-efficacy and outcome expectancy. This chart is an adaptation from work by Enochs, Smith, & Huinker, 2000.
Analysis Qualitative data analysis of unstructured text generated from transcribed: – focus group interviews – open-ended participant response to session evaluation question: Explain how this project has impacted the way you teach science?
Results STEBI scale: – Self-efficacy scale item totals were statistically significant, F(1,19)=2.207, p=0.04. – Outcome expectancy scale items were not significant, F(1,19)=.998, p=0.331
Results Highest gains and most statistically significant changes in self-efficacy were on the following questions: – I dont know what to do to turn students on to science. – I know the steps necessary to teach science concepts effectively. – Students achievement in science is directly related to their teachers effectiveness in science teaching.
Results Outcome expectancy results were not statistically significant. They actually decreased over the intervention. The lowest gains were on these two questions: – The low science achievement of some students cannot generally be blamed on their teachers. – I understand science concepts well enough to be effective in teaching elementary science.
Results Institute Evaluation: – 92% indicated positive impact on self- efficacy and confidence for themselves, peers, and students. I enjoy science more because I feel a little more confident teaching. I feel like I am a better science teacher due to this training. This has allowed me to approach my teaching of science with excitement, enthusiasm, and a better grasp of understanding the concepts.
Results Institute Evaluation: – 62% indicated that the intervention positively impacted pedagogy and classroom practices. I focused more the standard and less on just doing what Ive always done. I have increased hands on inquiry based learning significantly. I am providing my students with more opportunities to discover science concepts rather than hear me talk about science.
Results Institute Evaluation: – 52% indicated that the intervention had a positive impact on students: My students now beg for science time. My students ranked it [science] right next to PE! My students have had a blast with great hands-on activities we have conducted this year. They are actually able to verbalize what is happening during the experiment using those science terms.
Limitations Limited generalizability because self- efficacy is a domain-specific construct. Limited sample size; n=20 STEBI data from seven surveys were not included.
Discussions & Conclusions Focus of intervention, assessment for learning, had a negative impact on outcome expectancy. Self-efficacy scale was positively impacted by structure of intervention: – Banduras (1986) mastery experiences & verbal/social persuasion – Use of Conceptual Change Learning Framework
Implications for Practice High quality teachers needed to challenge students Student-centered approach to inquiry learning Opportunity to get hands dirty embedded in trainings Focus attention on self-efficacy to provide tools necessary to maintain productive emotional dynamics & optimism, even when instruction is unsuccessful
Implications for Policy Continue model in year 2 of MSP training Expand model into district professional development opportunities Ensure that professional development is offered/supported over a period of time Include design elements targeted to affect self-efficacy
Implications for Leadership Conduct additional investigations into the affect of self-efficacy on actual classroom practice. Expand model to include classroom observations. Help school leadership create opportunities for teachers to continue improving within the school.
Future Research Exploration of factors contributing to high teacher efficacy in science. Science teaching efficacy beliefs and their impact on the quality of classroom instruction. Longitudinal studies on science teachers with a high self-efficacy and the achievement of their students. Exploration of the transfer of self-efficacy from teacher to students.