Keyword: professionalization of pre-service primary school teachers

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Research Article
Impact of an Experiment-Based Intervention on Pre-Service Primary School Teachers’ Experiment-Related and Science Teaching-Related Self-Concepts
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(1), e2258,
ABSTRACT: Teachers’ academic self-concept is considered an important factor influencing their professional competence. Regarding primary science education, positive science (teaching) related self-concepts might encourage teachers to plan and teach ‘minds on’ experiment-based science lessons leading to deep learning processes. However, research on pre- and in-service primary teachers’ self-concepts and influencing factors, such as previous experimental experience, is scarce. Thus, this study investigates the impact of an experiment-based intervention on pre-service primary school teachers’ experiment-related self-concept and self-concepts on planning and teaching experiment-based lessons. The evaluation followed a quasi-experimental, longitudinal (pre-post) design with an experimental group of N = 158 pre-service primary teachers and a baseline group (N = 44), not attending the course. According to the results, pre-service teachers gained little to moderate experimental experience in school and studying at university. Besides, the pre-service teachers with a science major gained significantly more experimental experience than those with other majors during their time at the university. Significant, positive correlations were found between previous experimental experiences and the self-concepts examined in this study. While self-concepts did not change in the baseline group, they increased significantly in the experimental group. One reason for this could be the perception of competence, as the findings reveal positive correlations between changes in self-concepts and perceived experimental competence during the intervention. Regarding the impact of the variable ‘course format’ on reinforcing the self-concepts, participants of the intensive block format seem to have a slight advantage compared to pre-service teachers attending the traditional, weekly course format. Furthermore, the results indicate that the course is equally beneficial for pre-service teachers with and without a science major.