Science self-efficacy beliefs of upper primary pupils in Ireland and the short-term effect of a scientist-facilitated informal education workshop
MetadataShow full item record
This item's downloads: 0 (view details)
To promote science awareness, combat science-related stereotypes and contribute towards the formation of a scientifically-literate society, many scientists facilitate Informal Science Education (ISE) activities with children. Such scientist-facilitated activities have been shown to have numerous benefits for both parties. However, little is known about the effect on children’s Science Self-Efficacy (SSE): a person’s perceived capacity to complete scientific tasks successfully. Due to the positive relationship between high SSE and science engagement, this work aimed to address this gap by investigating the short-term effect of a scientist-facilitated hands-on workshop on 6th class pupils’ SSE, to recommend best practice for ISE practitioners. To achieve this, Study 1 produced the Irish Science Self-Efficacy Children’s Questionnaire: an SSE instrument validated in the Irish primary science context. The subsequent work was framed by four research questions: 1) What are the strength and sources of 6th class pupils’ SSE? 2) What are pupils’ perceptions of scientists as social models? 3) What effect does a scientist-led workshop have on pupil’s SSE? and 4) How does gender affect pupils’ SSE? These were investigated through two mixed-methods studies with primary pupils (Study 2: N = 260, Study 3: N =156). Finding highlights include that pupils are less confident in Science compared to Mathematics and Literacy, and their SSE is strongly influenced by their perceived Mastery Experience. In addition, participation in a scientist-facilitated workshop greatly increased pupils’ perceived exposure to Verbal Persuasion from a Scientist and their SSE in workshop tasks. The SSE beliefs of both girls and boys were affected equally. Moreover, scientists make effective social models, and are perceived by children to be competent, helpful and supportive. This work made two valuable academic contributions: it opened the doors for SSE assessment in primary schools in Ireland and demonstrated how scientist-facilitated ISE workshops can contribute towards strengthening pupils’ SSE.
This item is available under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland. No item may be reproduced for commercial purposes. Please refer to the publisher's URL where this is made available, or to notes contained in the item itself. Other terms may apply.
The following license files are associated with this item: