Source: Teacher Development, Vol. 21, No. 1, 1–20, 2017
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This study explored the relationships among preservice teachers’ mathematics and science teaching efficacy beliefs, their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and their domain knowledge (DK).
The participants were 55 preservice teachers enrolled in an Elementary Education teacher preparation program with a STEM focus at a large research university in the United States.
All preservice teachers were females and seniors in the last year of their teacher preparation program.
Furthermore, the majority of preservice teachers in this study were predominantly white.
In addition, all participants had finished with their coursework in teacher preparation at the time of the study.
The authors collected data through surveys and interviews.
The first phase in the study included a survey conducted outside of participants’ classes.
In the second phase of this study, the authors conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 40 preservice teachers.
Discussion and conclusion
The findings show that relationships between preservice teachers’ efficacy beliefs, PCK and DK are complex and interconnected. It was found that participants’ PCK and efficacy beliefs correlate to a high degree and influence each other.
In addition, the results indicated that participants’ mathematics and science DK did not predict their teaching efficacy beliefs, however, their mathematics and science overall PCK score predicted participants’ efficacy beliefs, more exactly, their outcome expectancies.
Furthermore, the findings show that elementary preservice teachers’ previous efficacy beliefs are more likely to predict their future efficacy beliefs than their mastery of DK and PCK.
The authors argue that study implications can be helpful for both, the teaching practice and the research regarding elementary teacher preparation.
These results can help teacher educators, researchers, and policy makers in better comprehending elementary teachers’ specialized preparation (i.e. PCK and DK), their views about the teacher preparation program, and their mathematics and science teaching efficacy beliefs.
In addition, these findings can help policy makers think about the types of support that elementary teachers need during and after their four years of college preparation, in order to be successful in their mathematics and science teaching once they are in the profession.