Investigating the effect of scientist demonstrators on primary children's science self-efficacy
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Carroll, Sarah , McCauley, Veronica , & Grenon, Muriel (2018). Investigating the effect of scientist demonstrators on primary children’s science self-efficacy. Paper presented at the International Conference New perspectives in Science Education, Florence, Italy, 22-23 March.
Emergent in the literature is the need to increase levels of student engagement in science, with informal science education (ISE) playing a fundamental role. Whilst children find science to be interesting and important to society, children can view science as difficult and not ‘for them’, which can be interpreted as having low Science Self-Efficacy (SSE). SSE is the self-belief an individual has in their own abilities to perform scientific tasks successfully in a given context. There is currently limited extant SSE research focusing on primary school children. Furthermore, children’s SSE has not yet been explored in the Irish context, nor has the influence of scientists on SSE been investigated. Due to the recent rise in ISE initiatives aiming to increase children’s science aspirations, it is necessary to inform providers of informal science education of best practices regarding their influence on children’s SSE. This work describes the design and validation of a novel questionnaire developed to measure 10 to 13 years old children’s SSE beliefs and their sources in the Irish primary school context, including a measurement of perceived scientist demonstrator credibility and competence.
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