• Science Museums, Centers and Professional Development: Teachers Self Reflection on Improving Their Practice

      Ogbomo, Queen O. (2010-07-20)
      The purpose of this qualitative case study research was to ascertain the significance of the professional development programs workshops organized by a science museum and a science center in two Midwestern cities. The research investigated the effect the workshops had on the instructional practice of the participating elementary science teachers. More specifically, this study was guided by the following research question: How do the professional development programs at museums help teachers change the way they teach and consider science in their classroom? The core of this study consists of case studies of six elementary school teachers who were identified as a result of their participation in the museum and science center workshops and an instructor from the museum and another instructor from the science center. Teachers‟ selfefficacy regarding the teaching of science was sought through a Likert-style survey and triangulated with classroom observations and interviews of individual teachers. The findings of this study revealed two overarching themes: one, that the workshops were beneficial and two, that it did not improve instructional practice. The following are the factors identified as reasons for the workshops being beneficial: 1) the opportunity to build their content knowledge, 2) opportunity to experience and discuss the materials: 3) opportunity to collaborate with colleagues: 4) workshop materials and resources are linked to state goals: and 5) that they promote teacher confidence. The teachers who thought the workshops did not improve their instructional practice gave the following reasons: 1) they already had a strong background in science: 2) there was no follow-up activity: 3) the loss of a full day of teaching: and 4) the time constraint to implement what was learned. Though this study utilized a small sample of teachers, those involved in this study felt they acquired knowledge that would be either beneficial to them or to their students and they particularly enjoyed the inquiry-based activities that were conducted in either the museum or the science center workshops.
    • The effects of supportive interventions on first-year teacher efficacy.

      Johnson, Li-Yen K. (2012-05-09)
      Purpose of study:The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of supportive interventions on first-year teacher efficacy.Two Rand Studies(1976 & 1977)and a study by Kilgore and Kozisek(1989)provided the theoretical framework for this investigation.Procedures:One hundred and fourty-four first-year teachers in the Indianapolis Public Schools received a questionnaire to participate in this study.Ninety-five teachers responded to the questionnaire.The response rate for the teacher questionnaires was 66%.The questionnaire was divided into five parts.The first part measured teacher efficacy.This was determined by answers given to questions regarding the confidence level of first-year teachers in areas such as classroom discipline,instruction,assessment,and public relations.The second part measured teacher support from peeople other than the mentor.This was a measure of school climate.The third part measured instructional guidance.Instructional guidance was defined as the feedback given to teachers on their performance.The fourth part was a measure of principal support.Teachers rated how often each of fifteen behaviors was associated with principals.The fifteen behaviors included discussion on district and school policies,classroom observation,invitations to school gatherings,suggestions on assessment,assistance with teaching strategies,demonstration of lessons,assistance with administrative paperwork,encouragement to attend professional development activities,and assistance with classroom management.The fifth part was a measure of mentor support.Teachers again rated how often each of same fifteen behaviors was associated with mentoring.Demongraphic data were collected,analysed and reported.Descriptive data were tabulated and analyzed to determine whether mentor support,teacher support,principal support,and instructional guidance had an effect on first-year teacher efficacy.Findings:Four hypotheses were tested in this research project.Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics,Pearson correlation,and regression analysis.The building Environment or climate(support),instructional guidance,and principal support had an effect on teacher efficacy.There were significant relationships found between efficacy and suppport,instructional guidance,and principal support.However,there was not a significant relationship found between efficacy and mentoring.This information suggests that mentoring support cannot increase first-year teacher efficacy and teacher efficacy is related to the building climate(teacher support),instructional guidance,and principal support.Furthermore,aditional item correlation analysis reveals that a sense of accomplishment,job satisfaction,and sufficient materials do significantly impact first-year teacher efficacy.The results of this study should be of interest to both district and school level administrators.Since teacher efficacy is related to teacher retention and student achievement,district and school level administrators should make every effort to create a professional environment that values collegiality and positive school climate.
    • The relationship of attitude,social influence and self-efficacy to diabetes type II outcomes.

      Keefer-Ward, Autumn L (2012-05-09)
      The purpose of this study was to investigate the Attitude-Social Influence-Self Efficacy model and its relationship to Type II diabetes outcomes.One hundred-twelve adults ages 55-75 with Type II diabetes were recruited from a physician's office in West Central Indiana.Participants completed instruments that assessed (a)attitude,(b)social influence of the physician,(c)diabetes-specific self-efficacy and (d)diabetes-specific quality of life.A measurement of metabolic control was also obtained.Multiple regressions were performed using (a)quality of life,and (b)metabolic control as criterion varibales.Only one subscale of the self-efficacy variable scale,managing the Psychosocial Aspects of Diabetes,was found to be significant in predicting quality of life.None of the predictor variables were significant in predicting metabolic control.The author offers several explanations for the paucity of significant results.