Yilmaz-Tuzun and Topcu - IJSE 2008

Relationships among Preservice Science Teachers' Epistemological Beliefs, Epistemological World Views, and Self-efficacy Beliefs

Ozgul Yilmaz-Tuzun (a); Mustafa Sami Topcu (b)

(a) Middle East Technical University, Turkey
(b) Yuzuncu Yil Universitesi, Turkey

DOI: 10.1080/09500690601185113
International Journal of Science Education, Volume 30, Issue 1 January 2008 , pages 65 - 85
First Published on: 23 May 2007

This study discusses preservice elementary science teachers' (PSTs) epistemological beliefs and the relationships among their epistemological beliefs, epistemological world views, and self-efficacy beliefs. Four hundred and twenty-nine PSTs who were enrolled in five large universities completed the Schommer Epistemological Questionnaire (SEQ), the Epistemological World Views Scale, andthe Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument. Factor analysis results revealed four factors for the SEQ. These factors were Innate Ability, Simple Knowledge, Certain Knowledge, and Omniscient authority. Multiple regression analysis suggests that for "Innate Ability" factor scores, three of the predictor variables - self-efficacy, outcome expectancy, and world view - contributed significantly to the model. For "Simple Knowledge," only one predictor variable - epistemological world view - contributed significantly to the model. For "Certain Knowledge" factor scores, only one predictor variable - outcome expectancy - contributed significantly to the model. None of the predictor variables significantly contributed to the "Omniscient Authority" factor scores. Results revealed that in Turkish culture, PSTs' epistemological beliefs support the multidimensional theory. In addition, while PSTs developed more sophisticated beliefs in some of the SEQ dimensions, they had less sophisticated beliefs in other dimensions. Also PSTs indicated that, when they want to teach science with student-centered methods, they believed that they would be successful only if their students memorize the scientific concepts and facts.