Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Fadde, Peter

Second Advisor

Henson, Harvey


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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