Date of Award

2013

Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction

College

College of Education

Type of Degree

Ed.D.

Document Type

Dissertation

First Advisor

Ronald B. Childress

Second Advisor

Edna Meisel

Third Advisor

Lisa A. Heaton

Fourth Advisor

William Capehart

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of use of selected constructivist instructional practices and level of teacher efficacy in West Virginia secondary science classrooms. The study next sought to determine if a relationship existed between level of use of the constructivist practices and teacher efficacy. In addition the study sought to determine if differences existed in level of use of the selected constructivist practices and/or teacher efficacy based on selected demographic variables

The study was a mixed-methods design. First, a researcher-developed survey instrument was used to collect data regarding the level of use of constructivist instructional practices. Efficacy data were collected using an adapted (with permission) version of the Teacher Self-Efficacy Scale (TSES) by Tschannen-Moran, Hoy, and Hoy (1998). The study population consisted of secondary science teachers (middle, junior, and high school) in the state of West Virginia. The last survey question allowed educators to volunteer for a short follow-up interview to clarify the quantitative data.

Overall, West Virginia science teachers reported frequent use of the selected constructivist instructional practices. Few significant differences were found based on the selected demographic variables. West Virginia science teachers reported moderately high efficacy levels. Few significant differences were found based on selected demographic variables. A moderate but significant correlation was found between teacher efficacy level and the level of use of the selected constructivist practices. The follow-up interviews clarified concepts and revealed barriers to implementation of new practices in the science classroom.

Subject(s)

Teaching - Methodology.

Constructivism (Education)

Instructional systems -Design.