Science Teachers' Attitudes towards Computational Modeling in the Context of an Inquiry-Based Learning Module.
ABSTRACT: This study focuses on science teachers' first encounter with computational modeling in professional development workshops. It examines the factors shaping the teachers' self-efficacy and attitudes towards integrating computational modeling within inquiry-based learning modules for 9th grade physics. The learning modules introduce phenomena, the analysis of measurement data, and offer a method for coordinating the experimental findings with a theory-based computational model. Teachers' attitudes and self-efficacy were studied using survey questions and workshop activity transcripts. As expected, prior experience in physics teaching was related to teachers' self-efficacy in teaching physics in 9th grade. Also, teachers' prior experience with programming was strongly related to their self-efficacy regarding the programming component of model construction. Surprisingly, the short interaction with computational modeling increased the group's self-efficacy, and the average rating of understanding and enjoyment was similar among teachers with and without prior programming experience. Qualitative data provides additional insights into teachers' predispositions towards the integration of computational modeling into the physics teaching.
Project description:Physics is fundamental to secure future needs for scientific and technological competence (Angell et al., 2004), but many countries experience a drop in students' performances in international assessments (Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development [OECD], 2018), as well as in rates of enrolment in undergraduate programs in scientific disciplines (STEM). Socio-constructivist theories have produced a reforming movement in several educational systems, in particular in the area of sciences, but teacher often consider them an idealistic view of education and do not consider themselves metacognitively competent enough to foster thinking in the classroom. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of different teaching methods on high-school students' conceptual knowledge of physics, after the effect of science-related beliefs and critical thinking skills was controlled. We adopted a mixed-method with sequential design, in which quantitative and qualitative data flow are inter-mixed. In specific, we interviewed four high school physics teachers to identify teaching approaches (qualitative approach) and compared them in terms of efficacy on students' performances (quantitative approach). Four teachers and 77 10th grade students participated. Teachers were interviewed during the school years and asked questions about their teaching experience, their teaching approach (Kang and Wallace, 2005) and their epistemic beliefs (Tsai, 2002). Students performances in Science-related beliefs (Conley et al., 2004), critical thinking (Cornell Critical Thinking Test Level X, Millman et al., 2005), and conceptual knowledge in physics (The Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation, Ramlo, 2002) were evaluated twice, at the beginning and at the end of the school year. The independent-sample t-tests on pre-test variables did not reveal any statistically significant difference between groups. Results from the complex samples GLM revealed statistically significant differences on post-test scores in conceptual knowledge in physics, after the effect of covariates was controlled. Overall, the study contributes to our understanding on current teaching practices in school, and their effect on students' conceptual understanding of physics concepts.
Project description:Acquiring specific training in disability seems to be a key aspect for achieving school inclusion. Teachers who receive such prior training would be more prepared to address diversity in the classroom, which could be related to their perception of self-efficacy. The aim of this study was to validate the Spanish version of the Self-Efficacy Scale for Physical Education Teacher Education Majors toward Children with Disabilities (SE-PETE-D). Two hundred and eighteen in-service physical education teachers participated in this study, with a M age = 38.06 years and M teaching? experience = 11.72 years. To obtain the three subscales resulting from intellectual, physical, and visual disabilities, several exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted. The results supported three independent models made up of three factors (intellectual, physical, and visual disabilities). The structure of the models was invariant with respect to gender, the educational stage in which the teaching was taking place, previous teaching experience, previous training, and previous experience in adapted or inclusive physical activity and sports. The subscales presented high reliability values for Cronbach's alpha, and Omega's index ?0.81. This study provides evidence of the validity and reliability of an instrument to measure the perceived self-efficacy of physical education teachers to include students with disabilities in their classes and is the first study to be applied with in-service teachers. In addition, some methodological and conceptual limitations of the original scale are identified, opening new lines of work in relation to training situations to assess the perception of self-efficacy or the type of disability.
Project description:Teachers' self-efficacy is an important motivational construct that is positively related to a variety of outcomes for both the teachers and their students. This study addresses challenges associated with the commonly used 'Teachers' Sense of Self-Efficacy (TSES)' measure across countries and provides a synergism between substantive research on teachers' self-efficacy and the novel methodological approach of exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM). These challenges include adequately representing the conceptual overlap between the facets of self-efficacy in a measurement model (cross-loadings) and comparing means and factor structures across countries (measurement invariance). On the basis of the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2013 data set comprising 32 countries (N = 164,687), we investigate the effects of cross-loadings in the TSES measurement model on the results of measurement invariance testing and the estimation of relations to external constructs (i.e., working experience, job satisfaction). To further test the robustness of our results, we replicate the 32-countries analyses for three selected sub-groups of countries (i.e., Nordic, East and South-East Asian, and Anglo-Saxon country clusters). For each of the TALIS 2013 participating countries, we found that the factor structure of the self-efficacy measure is better represented by ESEM than by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) models that do not allow for cross-loadings. For both ESEM and CFA, only metric invariance could be achieved. Nevertheless, invariance levels beyond metric invariance are better achieved with ESEM within selected country clusters. Moreover, the existence of cross-loadings did not affect the relations between the dimensions of teachers' self-efficacy and external constructs. Overall, this study shows that a conceptual overlap between the facets of self-efficacy exists and can be well-represented by ESEM. We further argue for the cross-cultural generalizability of the corresponding measurement model.
Project description:We study the relative importance of the three dimensions of need-supportive teaching (NST) and students' self-efficacy to gain new knowledge about students' achievement in higher education. NST assumes that teachers are key to the motivation of students, providing autonomy support, structure (support of competence), and involvement (support of relatedness). In turn, self-efficacy raises students' confidence in their ability to succeed in academic tasks. Drawing on 86,000 records of teaching evaluations by students at the University of Girona (Spain), we present evidence that teachers' involvement and students' self-efficacy are the two elements most strongly and positively related to achievement. Students obtain higher marks when they believe that their teachers are dependable and available to offer resources, and when they feel capable of organizing and implementing the courses of action necessary to acquire knowledge. We also find that students' experience of autonomy support and structure are negatively (or not) correlated with achievement. Subgroup analyses also indicate that students have different needs in different knowledge areas.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Being exposed to good teachers has been shown to enhance students' knowledge and their clinical performance, but little is known about the underlying psychological mechanisms that provide the basis for being an excellent medical teacher. Self-Determination Theory (SDT) postulates that more self-regulated types of motivation are associated with higher performance. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) focuses on self-efficacy that has been shown to be positively associated with performance. To investigate the influences of different types of teaching motivation, teaching self-efficacy, and teachers' perceptions of students' skills, competencies and motivation on teaching quality.<h4>Methods</h4>Before the winter semester 2014, physicians involved in bedside teaching in internal medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf completed a questionnaire with sociodemographic items and instruments measuring different dimensions of teaching motivation as well as teaching self-efficacy. During the semester, physicians rated their perceptions of the participating students who rated the teaching quality after each lesson. We performed a random intercept mixed-effects linear regression with students' ratings of teaching quality as the dependent variable and students' general interest in a subject as covariate. We explored potential associations between teachers' dispositions and their perceptions of students' competencies in a mixed-effects random intercept logistic regression.<h4>Results</h4>94 lessons given by 55 teachers with 500 student ratings were analyzed. Neither teaching motivation nor teaching self-efficacy were directly associated with students' rating of teaching quality. Teachers' perceptions of students' competencies and students' general interest in the lesson's subject were positively associated with students' rating of teaching quality. Physicians' perceptions of their students' competencies were significantly positively predicted by their teaching self-efficacy.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Teaching quality might profit from teachers who are self-efficacious and able to detect their students' competencies. Students' general interest in a lesson's subject needs to be taken into account when they are asked to evaluate teaching quality.
Project description:Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have a large impact on undergraduate instruction but are often poorly prepared to teach. Teaching self-efficacy, an instructor's belief in his or her ability to teach specific student populations a specific subject, is an important predictor of teaching skill and student achievement. A model of sources of teaching self-efficacy is developed from the GTA literature. This model indicates that teaching experience, departmental teaching climate (including peer and supervisor relationships), and GTA professional development (PD) can act as sources of teaching self-efficacy. The model is pilot tested with 128 GTAs from nine different STEM departments at a midsized research university. Structural equation modeling reveals that K-12 teaching experience, hours and perceived quality of GTA PD, and perception of the departmental facilitating environment are significant factors that explain 32% of the variance in the teaching self-efficacy of STEM GTAs. This model highlights the important contributions of the departmental environment and GTA PD in the development of teaching self-efficacy for STEM GTAs.
Project description:Online teaching transition during COVID-19 school lockdown elicited challenges for teachers and schools across the globe. The existing literature on the impact of COVID-19 in the education sector is predominantly descriptive and focused on the difficulties faced by teachers during the process of transferring into online teaching, mainly in the higher education sector. This study adopted a mixed-method design to examine online teaching self-efficacy (TSE) during COVID-19, its associated factors and moderators. A sample of 351 Chinese school teachers retrospectively reported their online TSE at the beginning and end of COVID-19 school lockdown, out of which six were followed up for an in-depth interview. TSE for online instruction did not significantly increase (??=?.014, p?>?0.05) whereas that for technology application increased significantly (??=?.231, p?<?0.01). Lack of experience in online teaching, separation of teachers from students, school administrative process and unsatisfactory student academic performance were identified as the major associated factors. A moderation effect of adaptability and teacher burnout on the change in online TSE were examined, of which passion burnout was the only significant moderator toward the change in online TSE. The study thus concluded that teachers’ online TSE for technology application increased among Chinese teachers during COVID-19 school lockdown. <h4>Supplementary Information</h4> The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10639-021-10486-3.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>According to the CanMEDS' Scholar competency, physicians are expected to facilitate the learning of colleagues, patients and other health professionals. However, most medical students are not provided with formal opportunities to gain teaching experience with objective feedback.<h4>Methods</h4>To address this, the University's Medical Education Interest Group (MEIG) created a pilot teaching program in January 2015 entitled 'MedTalks'. Four 3-hour sessions were held at the University Faculty of Medicine, where first and second year medical students taught clinically oriented topics to undergraduate university students. Each extracurricular session included three 30-minute content lectures, and a 90-minute small group session on physical examination skills. Each medical student-teacher received formal feedback from undergraduate students and from faculty educators regarding teaching style, communication abilities, and professionalism. In addition, medical student-teachers self-evaluated their own teaching experience.<h4>Results</h4>Over 50 medical students from the University participated as medical student-teachers. Based on quantitative and qualitative evaluation surveys, 100% of medical students agreed that MedTalks was a useful way to develop teaching skills and 92% gained a greater confidence in individual teaching capabilities, based largely on the opportunity to gain experience (with feedback) in teaching roles.<h4>Conclusions</h4>A program designed to give medical students multi-source teaching experience (lecture- and small group-based) and feedback on their teaching (from learners and Faculty observers, in addition to their own self-reflection) can improve medical student confidence and enthusiasm towards teaching. Future studies will clarify if medical student self-perceived enhancements in teaching ability can be corroborated by independent (Faculty, learner) observations of future teaching activity.
Project description:Science motivational beliefs are crucial for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) performance and persistence, but these beliefs typically decline during high school. We expanded the literature on adolescents' science motivational beliefs by examining: (1) changes in motivational beliefs in three specific science subjects, (2) how gender, immigrant generation status, and perceived support from key social agents predicted differences in adolescents' science motivational beliefs, and (3) these processes among Latino/as in the United States, whose underrepresentation in STEM is understudied. We used hierarchical linear modeling to estimate the changes in 104 (40% female) Latino/a high school students' physics, chemistry, and biology motivational beliefs from 9th to 11th grade. Subject-specific ability self-concept, interest, and utility were regressed on gender, immigrant generation status, and perceived science support while controlling for family income, parent education, and adolescents' school. Adolescents' utility declined from 9th to 11th grade whereas their interest remained stable for all three science subjects. Adolescents' ability self-concept increased for biology, decreased for physics, but remained stable for chemistry. Gender differences in adolescents' motivational beliefs at 9th grade only emerged for physics utility as well as physics and chemistry interest; yet, there were no gender differences in how adolescents' science motivational beliefs changed over time. Contrary to expectations, immigrant generation status was not significantly associated with adolescents' science motivational beliefs at 9th grade or in terms of how they changed over time. Adolescents who perceived higher science support generally had higher motivational beliefs in 9th grade, but did not differ on their rate of change. Our findings highlight the need to examine specific science subjects, and that typical gender differences in adolescents' motivational beliefs discussed in the literature may not generalize to all racial and ethnic groups.
Project description:Research has focused predominantly on how teachers affect students' achievement on tests despite evidence that a broad range of attitudes and behaviors are equally important to their long-term success. We find that upper-elementary teachers have large effects on self-reported measures of students' self-efficacy in math, and happiness and behavior in class. Students' attitudes and behaviors are predicted by teaching practices most proximal to these measures, including teachers' emotional support and classroom organization. However, teachers who are effective at improving test scores often are not equally effective at improving students' attitudes and behaviors. These findings lend empirical evidence to well-established theory on the multidimensional nature of teaching and the need to identify strategies for improving the full range of teachers' skills.