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Abstract Title: Differentiated Self-Efficacy within Physics, Science, Mathematics, and Engineering
Abstract: The self-efficacy subscale of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (Pintrich et al., 1993) was modified to differentiate between the academic and professional environments of physics classes, mathematics classes, science classes, and the student's planned profession. The modified instrument was applied to introductory physics students (N=995) at a large eastern land-grant university. Students showed significant differences between their self-efficacy toward physics classes (M=3.7, SD=0.9), other science and mathematics classes (M=4.1, SD=0.7), and their planned profession (M=4.3, SD=0.6) measured on a 5-point Likert scale. Significant differences in male and female students' self-efficacy towards physics classes were also identified; these differences were not explained by the student's actual performance in the class measured by his of her test average.  These gender differences were also not present in students' self-efficacy toward the other environments. Longitudinal analysis indicated that students' physics self-efficacy decreased slightly as they matriculated through the two-semester physics sequence.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Seth DeVore
Department of Physics and Astronomy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506
and Co-Presenter(s)
Rachel Henderson, Lynnette Michaluk, and John Stewart