Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 445-464, June 2014.
The present study focuses on the improvement of pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy for teaching science by including science courses within the teacher training program.
Participants included 292 pre-service primary teachers, a cross-sectional sample from two different universities in the Netherlands across the four different years of study in the training program.
The authors conclude that the science teaching self-efficacy of pre-service teachers, in particular, improved during years 1 and 2, and not during years 3 and 4.
Higher levels of self-rated subject-matter knowledge and science teaching experience in primary schools both contributed to higher levels of personal self-efficacy for science teaching.
Differences at the university level in courses taken during the first year between science content courses and science methods courses also influenced the pre-service teachers’ development of science teaching self-efficacy.
After their first year, the pre-service teachers from the university with science content courses had significantly higher self-efficacy than pre-service teachers from the university that offered science methods courses.
After the second year of teacher training, however, this difference in self-efficacy was no longer present.