The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a summer science camp teaching experience on preservice elementary teachers’ science teaching efficacy, science content knowledge, and understanding of the nature of science. Master’s degree students enrolled in the elementary Fairfax Partnership Schools (FPS, n = 21) cohort served as the treatment group, while those enrolled in the Loudoun Partnership Schools (LPS, n = 15) and Professional Development Schools (PDS, n = 24) cohorts at George Mason University served as the control groups. The treatment group planned for and taught a two-week inquiry- and problem-based summer science camp as part of their science methods course, while the control groups did not. The Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI), a science content assessment, a personal data questionnaire, and a modified version of the Views of Nature of Science Questionnaire (VNOS-C) were administered to the participants at the beginning and end of their science methods course. Analyses revealed significant increases for the FPS group in general science teaching efficacy, personal science teaching efficacy, science teaching outcome expectancy, general science knowledge, biology content knowledge, chemistry content knowledge, and understanding of NOS; the LPS group in general science teaching efficacy, personal science teaching efficacy, chemistry content knowledge, and understanding of NOS; and, the PDS group in general science teaching efficacy, personal science teaching efficacy, and chemistry content knowledge. Additionally, the FPS group had significantly higher general science teaching efficacy than both control groups, personal science teaching efficacy than the PDS group, and understanding of NOS than the LPS group. Overall, the findings indicate that course length is not as important for developing preservice teachers’ teaching efficacy and understanding of content as having connected, authentic field-based teaching experiences that are based on best-practices research and coupled with methodological instruction.
|School:||George Mason University|
|School Location:||United States -- Virginia|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/07, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Elementary education, Teacher education, Science education|
|Keywords:||Content knowledge, Nature of science, Preservice elementary teachers, Preservice teachers, Science camp, Science teaching efficacy, Summer camp, Teaching experience|
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