The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

A Structural Equation Analysis of the Casual Relationship among Internal Variables Related to Early Childhood Educators' Supportive Interaction in Science Teaching

Eun Young Yoo, Korea National Open University (Korea, Republic of)

Abstract

Science activity in early childhood education is a field in which preschoolers are interested (Koch, 2010; Martin, Jean-Sigur, & Schmidt, 2005). On the other hand, teachers' practice frequency has been indicated to be considerably low (Kim & Kim, 2006; Han, 2010). Al-weher (2012) suggested the necessity of research, which would consider comprehensively and synthetically the variables that have an influence upon early childhood educators’ intention of teaching sciences, such as constructive philosophy and science curriculum, in order to explain teachers' science class levels as well as to design a teacher education program for their science teaching practices.

This study investigated the relationship among constructivist beliefs, science concept, attitudes toward science teaching, and science teaching efficacy in order to understand their intention of early childhood educators' science teaching. The subjects of this study included 228 teachers for 3-, 4-, 5 year old children in Seoul and Kyunggi province. Woodly, Beniamin, and Woolley (2004)'s Constructivist Teaching  Beliefs (CBT), Kim (2001)'s  Science Concept Instrument for Early Childhood Educators, Riggs and Enoch (1990)'s Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument)(STEBI), Thompson and Shrigley (1986)'s Attitude toward Science Scale (revised by Cho & Kim, 1997), and Wilcox-Herzog and Ward (2004)'s Teaching Intension Scale (revised by Kim & Kim, 2008) were used. Data was analyzed using path analysis.

The research findings are as follows: First, the intention of science teaching was correlated with attitudes toward science teaching(r=.695,  p<.01), science teaching efficacy belief(r=.651,  p<.01), constructivist belief(r=.495,  p<.01) at the statistically significant level. Second, constructivist beliefs have influence, not only directly but also indirectly, mediated by the attitudes toward science teaching and science teaching efficacy on intention of the science teaching. However science concept affected directly the intention of science teaching.

Based on the research findings, future study would design a teacher education program to focus on developing early childhood educator’s constructivist beliefs and attitudes toward science teaching and then try to increase science concept and science teaching efficacy to help their intention of science teaching.

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