Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Eric Brewe

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mido Chang

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Dennis Wiedman

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

George O'Brien

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs, Instructional Coaching, Science Education, Preservice Teachers, Science Education Reform, Science Teacher Professional Development, Inservice Teachers

Date of Defense

3-18-2015

Abstract

The overall purpose of this collected papers dissertation was to examine the utility of a cognitive apprenticeship-based instructional coaching (CAIC) model for improving the science teaching efficacy beliefs (STEB) of preservice and inservice elementary teachers. Many of these teachers perceive science as a difficult subject and feel inadequately prepared to teach it. However, teacher efficacy beliefs have been noted as the strongest indicator of teacher quality, the variable most highly correlated with student achievement outcomes. The literature is scarce on strong, evidence-based theoretical models for improving STEB.

This dissertation is comprised of two studies. STUDY #1 was a sequential explanatory mixed-methods study investigating the impact of a reformed CAIC elementary science methods course on the STEB of 26 preservice teachers. Data were collected using the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI-B) and from six post-course interviews. A statistically significant increase in STEB was observed in the quantitative strand. The qualitative data suggested that the preservice teachers perceived all of the CAIC methods as influential, but the significance of each method depended on their unique needs and abilities.

STUDY #2 was a participatory action research case study exploring the utility of a CAIC professional development program for improving the STEB of five Bahamian inservice teachers and their competency in implementing an inquiry-based curriculum. Data were collected from pre- and post-interviews and two focus group interviews. Overall, the inservice teachers perceived the intervention as highly effective. The scaffolding and coaching were the CAIC methods portrayed as most influential in developing their STEB, highlighting the importance of interpersonal relationship aspects in successful instructional coaching programs. The teachers also described the CAIC approach as integral in supporting their learning to implement the new inquiry-based curriculum.

The overall findings hold important implications for science education reform, including its potential to influence how preservice teacher training and inservice teacher professional development in science are perceived and implemented. Additionally, given the noteworthy results obtained over the relatively short durations, CAIC interventions may also provide an effective means of achieving improvements in preservice and inservice teachers’ STEB more expeditiously than traditional approaches.

Identifier

FI15032165

 

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