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ERIC Number: ED546730
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 151
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-9843-4
The Relation between Middle School Science Teachers' Science Content Preparation, Professional Development, and Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Their Attitudes and Beliefs towards Inquiry-Based Instruction
Cwik, Lawrence C.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Aurora University
This study is a quantitative investigation of the relation of middle school science teachers' attitudes and beliefs about inquiry-based instruction to their accumulated amounts of science content preparation, content and pedagogical professional development, and their pedagogical content knowledge. Numerous researchers have found that even though the national science teaching standards suggest that science be taught by inquiry, the majority of science teachers do not use inquiry-based pedagogies in their classrooms. Research studies have identified numerous factors that hinder and support the implementation of inquiry-based instruction. This study utilized a representative sample of 230 middle school science teachers from across the State of Illinois. The participants completed an electronic survey consisting of 83 statements regarding their attitudes and beliefs about inquiry-based instruction (IBI), the amounts of their coursework and professional development activities related to science content, the amount of courses and hours of professional development related to inquiry pedagogy, and level of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Correlational and multiple regression analyses were performed. The study revealed a positive, statistically significant correlation between the middle school teachers' attitudes and beliefs towards IBI and their level of science content knowledge. Multiple regression analysis of the five independent variables in this study indicated that Science Content Professional Development (SCPD) was the best predictor, was statistically significant, and made the highest unique contribution to explaining variance of the dependent variable. Analyses of an additional correlation between the four subscales of the attitudes and beliefs towards IBI scale and the five independent variables indicated that those variables that had a positive, significant correlation with the entire attitudes and beliefs towards IBI scale were displaying no significant correlation with the "How People Learn About Science" subscale. The results of the analyses were then discussed in light of the existing research and possible reasons for the results were hypothesized. This study's possible implications for practitioners, specifically the findings of this study's relation to the 2011 National Research Council "Science Framework" and the forthcoming "Common Core Science Standards," were examined. This study concluded with discussion of its limitations, a summary of the results, and recommendations for additional areas of investigation of the subject matter. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois