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Title: Teaching science outside the classroom : the role of teachers' beliefs and teacher efficacy during a two-year professional development programme
Author: Glackin, Melissa
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Teaching outside is an important pedagogical strategy, however it is rare to find a secondary science teacher who uses the technique more than occasionally. This thesis explores the role that science teachers’ beliefs and teacher efficacy have on their pedagogical practice outside the classroom. Furthermore, in the context of a two-year outdoor science professional development programme underpinned by a social constructivist pedagogical framework, the study investigates professional development strategies influential on teachers’ beliefs and teacher efficacy and eventual pedagogical practice. The study’s methodology was situated within a qualitative interpretative/social constructive paradigm. The thesis includes six case studies of participants who completed the outdoor professional development programme and who implemented outdoor science activities into their teaching. Data (including teacher interviews, lesson observations and session evaluations) informing the case studies were collected throughout the programme. Analytical frameworks were developed from the research literature for science teachers’ beliefs and teacher efficacy. Teachers’ beliefs and teacher efficacy appeared to be influential on outdoor pedagogical practice. For example, teachers’ more general beliefs concerning how children learn influenced more specific beliefs relating to teaching and learning science outside with both types of beliefs influencing the teachers’ pedagogical decision-making outside. Furthermore, teachers’ beliefs and teacher efficacy relating to managing student learning outside appeared to influence pedagogical practice. Finally, in terms of professional development strategies, in-school factors (such as teaching activities outside and working with a colleague), alongside programme session strategies (such as tutor-led simulated modelling) appeared to be important factors facilitating change. Teachers’ beliefs and teacher efficacy appeared to influence the effectiveness of specific professional development strategies on pedagogical practice. The findings of this thesis suggest that science teachers’ beliefs and teacher efficacy influence pedagogical practice outside. Furthermore, particular professional development programme strategies are more influential on teachers’ practice when particular beliefs or levels of teacher efficacy are identified.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available