Shaping birth through kindergarten preservice teachers' self-efficacy towards teaching science
Pendergast, Evelaine Grace
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The purpose of this study aimed to describe how experiences in an innovative science course with connected service learning influenced preservice birth through kindergarten teachers’ efficacy towards teaching science and how the reported influences aligned with Bandura’s four major sources of self-efficacy. The research questions that guided this study, grounded in Bandura’s social cognitive theory specifically his concept of self-efficacy, were: (a) How do preservice birth to kindergarten teachers perceive their experiences in a science course with connected service learning influence their self-efficacy towards science teaching, and (b) How do these reported influences align with Bandura’s (1997) four sources of information of self-efficacy? This qualitative descriptive case study used an interpretive research approach. Birth to kindergarten preservice teachers’ reported experiences within the science-related course and connected service learning included elements of all four sources of self-efficacy as proposed by Bandura (1997). All four sources of efficacy information were reported as salient to some degree. In addition to sources proposed by Bandura (1997), self-reflection, simulated modeling, science content and science pedagogical knowledge were also reported as valuable sources for enhancing preservice teachers’ self-efficacy towards teaching science.