Factors affecting student achievement in science : a study of teacher beliefs

Hayes, Jonathan (2010) Factors affecting student achievement in science : a study of teacher beliefs. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study employed a mixed methods and mixed model research design to explore secondary science teachers' beliefs. Specifically, this study focused on factors that secondary science teachers believe affect student achievement in science, and the extent to which teacher beliefs transfer to teacher practice. This study is significant because the outcomes may inform professional development and policy decisions at the school, district, and provincial level. -- Results from self-reporting data of 82 secondary science teachers indicate that teacher beliefs in each of the fourteen topics surveyed (Classroom Management, Learning Styles, Inclusion, Equity, Science-Technology-Society (STS), Formative Assessment, Summative Assessment, Constructivism, Thematic Approach, Hands-On/Minds-On Activities, The Nature of Science, Science Subject Matter, Electronic Learning and Cooperative Learning) are positive for most Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) secondary science teachers. Furthermore, secondary science teachers reported having strong beliefs in their ability to affect student learning (self-efficacy beliefs). However, it is apparent from the survey and interview data that teachers believe there are other influential factors that are preventing some students from learning despite the teachers' best efforts and ability. -- Regarding implementation, this study indicates that beliefs and the enactment of beliefs in classroom practice are positively correlated. The data also shows that at least seventy percent of teachers reported that they implement practices consistent with all but two topics - The Nature of Science and Electronic Learning - at least once a week. -- The findings of this study are discussed in the context of the P.E.I, secondary science setting. Limitations and implications of this study are also addressed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8734
Item ID: 8734
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 102-106).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2010
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Academic achievement; High school teaching; Science teachers--Attitudes; Science--Study and teaching (Secondary); Self-efficacy

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