An important component of science reform is the teaching of science as inquiry. Many barriers toward teaching science as inquiry have been documented but the list is incomplete. This study utilized a non-experimental correlational design to examine middle school science teachers’ background and the relationships this has with teacher efficacy toward teaching science as inquiry and teachers’ attitudes and beliefs on classroom control. Because science inquiry activities involve greater classroom control skills by the instructor as opposed to teacher-centered instruction, the relationship between teacher efficacy toward teaching science as inquiry and teachers’ attitudes and beliefs on classroom control were important features in framing the research questions for this study.
Packets containing a teacher background survey, the Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI) instrument and the Attitudes and Beliefs on Classroom Control – Revised (ABCC-R) instrument were mailed to 303 science teachers representing all schools in Montana that offer 7th and 8th grade science. There were 132 completed and returned packets for a response rate of 43.6%. Thirteen teacher background independent variables were used for between group comparisons and regression analyses with the TSI and instruction management (IM) and people management (PM) subscales of the ABCC-R which served as dependent variables. A Pearson product moment correlational analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between TSI scores and the scores of the two subscales of the ABCC-R instrument.
The statistically significant findings resulting from the inferential statistical analyses indicated that teachers with master’s degrees, teachers with science majors, teachers with inquiry professional development experience, and teachers with experience working with a scientist or in a research environment scored significantly higher on the TSI instrument than teachers with bachelor’s degrees, teachers without a science major, teachers with no inquiry professional development experience, and teachers who had no research experience, respectively. Teachers with science research experience who had less than five hours of preparation per week were found to be significantly less controlling than teachers without science research experience who had more than five hours of preparation time per week. No statistical significance was found with regards to teachers’ self-efficacy towards teaching science as inquiry and their attitudes and beliefs on classroom control. A statistically significant positive correlation between the IM and PM scores was observed.
|Advisor:||Blank, Lisa M.|
|Commitee:||Atkins, Trent L., Cobbs, Georgia, McCaw, William P., Stolle, Darrell W.|
|School:||University of Montana|
|Department:||Curriculum & Instruction|
|School Location:||United States -- Montana|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Secondary education, Science education, Curriculum development|
|Keywords:||Classroom control, Inquiry, Science, Self-efficacy|
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