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Abstract Title: Improving physics self-efficacy in pre-service teachers
Abstract: Most of the students who enter the Physics content course for pre-service elementary and middle school teachers at the University of Kentucky are, at least anecdotally, uncomfortable with their understanding and ability to teach physics. Consequently, one goal for this course is to improve students' self-efficacy for both of those aspects; regardless of one's ability to do physics, how could we expect her to teach it if she feels uncomfortable with the subject? In this project, we investigate students' levels of self-efficacy at the beginning and end of the course, confirming that while students enter with low self-confidence, they leave significantly more confident both in their understanding of physics and their teaching of it. Nonetheless, there is still room for improvement. By comparing two distinct sections of the course, we seek to isolate specific aspects of the course with the greatest opportunity for impact.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jon D. H. Gaffney
University of Kentucky, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Lexington, KY
and Co-Presenter(s)
Natasha Mamaril, University of Kentucky, Department of Education and Counseling Psychology
Amy L. Housley Gaffney, University of Kentucky, Department of Communication
Ellen Usher, University of Kentucky, Department of Education and Counseling Psychology