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School-based approaches to pre-service primary science teacher education resulting in gains in confidence

Version 2 2024-06-03, 23:58
Version 1 2015-09-07, 12:18
conference contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 23:58 authored by Linda HobbsLinda Hobbs, ES Herbert
The quality of science education has been the focus of a number of research projects nationally and internationally, including concerns about primary teachers’ lack of science knowledge and confidence to teach science. In addition, the effectiveness of traditional approaches to teacher education have been questioned. The Science Teacher Partnerships with Schools (STEPS) responds to these concerns by investigating the effectiveness of school-based approaches to pre-service primary science teacher education. It considers established, innovative and successful practices at five universities to develop and promote a framework supporting school-based approaches to pre-service teacher education. An analysis of the five models was conducted in 2013 involving interviews with teacher educators, pre-service teachers, and school principals and teachers. Pre-service teachers at these universities also engaged in pre- and post- online surveys generating data on their expectations and experiences associated with these experiences. This paper reports on the analysis of the survey data, which shows that there are statistically significant gains in pre-service teachers’ responses to several items relating to their confidence to teach science. Analysis of the data also shows interesting differences between universities noted in different confidence items. The school based experience was shown to provide these pre-service teachers with an authentic engagement with the teaching of science while being supported by their university tutors. While raising confidence at university does not automatically translate to confident early career teachers, the gains in confidence are an important step in assisting prospective teachers to approach the teaching of science more positively than they might otherwise. Implications for teacher education and the role that university-school partnerships can play in preparing confident teachers of science will be discussed.





North Sydney, New South Wales

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Publication classification

E Conference publication, E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2014, Australian Teacher Education Association

Title of proceedings

ATEA 2014 : Proceedings of Australia Teacher Education Association Annual Conference


Australia Teacher Education Association Annual Conference


Australia Teacher Education Association

Place of publication

North Sydney, N.S.W.


Teacher Education : An Audit. Building a Platform for Future Engagement

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