Female Elementary Teacher Candidates' Attitudes and Self-Efficacy for Teaching Engineering Concepts

By Stephanie Wendt, Janet Isbell, Perihan Fidan and Ciara Pittman.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 26, 2015 $US5.00

Public schools in the U.S. have been charged with increasing the number of students who excel in science and math in an attempt to steer more students to STEM careers and thus meet the demands for a highly technical and globally competitive workforce. Consequently, teacher preparation programs must change. Earlier research indicates that female teacher candidates in particular may have reservations about teaching engineering design due to stereotypes about engineers and engineering. In a critical feminist study, we explored female elementary teacher candidates’ attitudes and self-efficacy for teaching engineering concepts. We used interviews and observation to examine preconceived ideas about engineering and to explore how thinking changed after instruction, modeling, hands-on practice in their methods courses, and application in elementary classrooms. Our findings demonstrate the importance of addressing teacher candidates’ initial fears and self-doubt in order to build confidence and excitement about incorporating engineering in the elementary classroom.

Keywords: Elementary Engineering, Teacher Education, Female Teacher Self-Efficacy

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 26, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 374.966KB)).

Dr. Stephanie Wendt

Assistant Professor, College of Education, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee, USA

Dr. Janet Isbell

Assistant Professor, College of Education, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee, USA

Perihan Fidan

Graduate Student, College of Education, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee, USA

Ciara Pittman

Graduate Student, College of Education, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee, USA