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ERIC Number: EJ1016866
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1306-3065
Beliefs of Science Educators Who Teach Pesticide Risk to Farmworkers
LePrevost, Catherine E.; Blanchard, Margaret R.; Cope, W. Gregory
International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, v8 n4 p587-609 2013
Informal science educators play a key role in promoting science literacy, safety, and health by teaching pesticide toxicology to the large, at-risk Latino farmworker population in the United States (US). To understand the experiences of informal science educators and the nature of farmworker education, we must have knowledge of farmworker educators' beliefs, yet little is known about these beliefs and how beliefs about teaching, pesticide risk, and self-efficacy might influence teaching environments and practices and potentially inform the field of informal science education. In this exploratory, descriptive case study, we used questionnaires and interviews to investigate the teaching, pesticide risk, and self-efficacy beliefs of 19 farmworker educators in one southeastern US state, identifying salient personal, behavioral, and environmental factors that influence beliefs using Bandura's (1986) model of reciprocal determinism. We found that two distinct groups of farmworker educators emerged based on work affiliation. Health care and advocacy educators typically had more learner-focused beliefs, greater concern about pesticide risks, and lower self-efficacy. In contrast, state agency and Cooperative Extension/university educators expressed more teacher-focused beliefs, less cautious pesticide risk beliefs, and higher self-efficacy. Three factors emerged as important influences on these informal educators' beliefs: quantity of lessons provided, shared language with learners, and experience with handling pesticides. Study implications include recommendations for future work in informal science education research to explore the role of educators' authentic experiences with science, the significance of educators' institutional affiliations, and the prevalence of low self-efficacy among educators.
International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication. Abant Izzet Baysal University, Faculty of Education, 14280 Golkoy-Bolu, Turkey. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A