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According to Bandura, self-efficacy is defined as an individual’s judgment of their capability to organize and execute the courses of action required to attain designated types of performances. It has been proposed that there is a strong relationship between Science teaching efficacy beliefs and Science teaching behaviors (Sarikaya, 2005).\ud \ud Research has shown that the self-efficacy of teachers affects the performance of their students. Female teachers in Singapore primary schools made up more than 80% of the teaching population and with many reports that teachers are shunning Science and that women possess low Science self-efficacy, one would expect that could be the case for Singapore female teachers as well. Despite this, the ‘Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study’ (TIMMS) 2007 reported that the scores of Singapore primary four students were amongst the top internationally and this was not the first time they had achieved such accolade. There was also no significant difference between the boys’ and girls’ results in the TIMMS. \ud The aim of this study is to determine the self-efficacy of Singapore female primary Science teachers relative to their male counterparts (N=80), and identify enablers and barriers faced by high and low efficacy female Science teachers. A mixed methods approach was used in this research. Analysis of the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI - A) revealed that although male teachers reported significantly higher PSTE scores relative to female teachers, an independent samples t-test showed that the difference was not significant. For the STOE, again Male teachers scored higher than females but given the very small difference between the means, the difference was not significant. It is believed that the trend is probably reflective of a phenomenon that male teachers have higher PSTE than their female counterpart but naturally the data does not support this claim. \ud \ud From the STEBI-A scores, four female teachers were selected for a semi-structured interview to explore in depth accounts of Singapore female primary teachers’ attitude towards teaching Science. Recommendations are made to raise self-efficacy of the female teachers and to optimise primary Science teaching in Singapore. \ud \ud \ud \u

Topics: Self-efficacy, Science Education, Teacher Education, Gender, Primary
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Durham e-Theses

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