Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Curriculum and Instruction
The purpose of this study is threefold. First, this study examined pre-service elementary teachers’ scientific literacy levels. Second, this study examined pre-service elementary teachers’ personal and subject-specific self-efficacy levels toward teaching science. Third, this study investigated the extent to which pre-service elementary teachers’ scientific literacy levels and subject-specific self-efficacy levels are related. This study involved 49 pre-service elementary teachers (4 male and 45 female) registered in two science methods courses at a mid-sized university in the Midwestern United States. Data were collected using the Test of Basic Scientific Literacy (TBSL), the Science Teaching Efﬁcacy Belief Instrument-Preservice (STEBI-B), and Beliefs About Teaching (BAT). Results show that the pre-service elementary teachers in both groups had a satisfactory level of scientific literacy. There was a significant difference in the score for personal self-efficacy and subject-specific self-efficacy among the participants in the advanced science methods course. Participants in the advanced science methods course had an existing relationship between scientific literacy and subject-specific self-efficacy in teaching science. These results have implications on teacher preparation programs and science education research. Specifically, this study provided an indication of the level of scientific literacy and self-efficacy of pre-service elementary teachers as an attempt to inform policy makers and educational researchers about how realistic they are in their perception related to the pre-service elementary teachers’ skills to achieve the goals of science curriculum.
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