ERIC Number: EJ1163250
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Early Childhood Educators' Self-Efficacy in Science, Math, and Literacy Instruction and Science Practice in the Classroom
Gerde, Hope K.; Pierce, Steven J.; Lee, Kyungsook; Van Egeren, Laurie A.
Early Education and Development, v29 n1 p70-90 2018
Research Findings: Quality early science education is important for addressing the low science achievement, compared to international peers, of elementary students in the United States. Teachers' beliefs about their skills in a content area, that is, their content self-efficacy is important because it has implications for teaching practice and child outcomes. However, little is known about how teachers' self-efficacy for literacy, math and science compare and how domain-specific self-efficacy relates to teachers' practice in the area of science. Analysis of survey and observation data from 67 Head Start classrooms across eight programs indicated that domain-specific self-efficacy was highest for literacy, significantly lower for science, and lowest for math. Classrooms varied, but in general, engaged in literacy far more than science, contained a modest amount of science materials, and their instructional support of science was low. Importantly, self-efficacy for science, but not literacy or math, related to teachers frequency of engaging children in science instruction. Teachers' education and experience did not predict self-efficacy for science. Practice or Policy: To enhance the science opportunities provided in early childhood classrooms, pre-service and in-service education programs should provide teachers with content and practices for science rather than focusing exclusively on literacy.
Descriptors: Early Childhood Education, Preschool Teachers, Self Efficacy, Science Instruction, Mathematics Instruction, Literacy Education, Science Education, Preschool Education, Teacher Surveys, Instructional Materials, Predictor Variables, Teacher Education, Longitudinal Studies, Data Analysis, Statistical Analysis, Markov Processes, Monte Carlo Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL1119327