This is a descriptive, exploratory, qualitative, collective case study that explores the pedagogical practices of science teachers who do not hold natural science degrees. The intent of this study is to support the creation of alternative pathways for recruiting and retaining high-quality secondary science teachers in K-12 education. The conceptual framework is based on Social Cognitive Theory & Self-Efficacy (Bandura, 1977; Bandura, 1997) and Problem-Solving & Transfer (Berg & Strough, 2011; van Merrienboer, 2013). The research questions are: What does science instruction look like in classrooms where science teachers without natural science degrees are teaching? and How do these natural science teachers without natural science degrees believe their prior experiences inform their instruction? The participants were 4 science teachers from middle and high schools in Southern California. The instruments used in this study were interviews, observations, and document analysis. The research revealed that science teachers without natural science degrees utilize techniques that make them high-quality teachers. The current qualifications for science teachers should be revisited to consider utilizing self-efficacious teachers with an interest in science and a passion for teaching students. Science teaching competency can be measured by more than natural science degree attainment.
|Advisor:||Maddox, Anthony B.|
|Commitee:||Freking, Frederick, Samkian, Artineh|
|School:||University of Southern California|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational psychology, Science education|
|Keywords:||NGSS, Next Generation Science Standards, Pedagogical content knowledge, STEM, Science pedagogy, Self-efficacy, Teacher quality|
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