Using remote access laboratories to enhance Queensland pre-service primary teachers’ self-efficacy for teaching technologies education

PhD Thesis


Wu, Ting. 2016. Using remote access laboratories to enhance Queensland pre-service primary teachers’ self-efficacy for teaching technologies education. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

Using remote access laboratories to enhance Queensland pre-service primary teachers’ self-efficacy for teaching technologies education

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorWu, Ting
SupervisorAlbion, Peter
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages197
Year2016
Abstract

Education for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is acknowledged as a priority around the world. However, many primary teachers are inadequately prepared for teaching the Australian Curriculum: Technologies because of their limited exposure in their own schooling and teacher preparation. Remote Access Laboratories (RAL) offer hands-on and remote experiments to students and teachers in schools, especially those in remote locations. They also have potential for influencing teachers’ capacity and capability to teach the Technologies curriculum.
Bandura’s self-efficacy theory was the theoretical framework for this research, which explored the use of Remote Access Laboratories (RAL) as a vehicle to influence Queensland pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) self-efficacy to teach the Australian Curriculum: Technologies. Mixed methods were used to investigate how engagement with the Remote Access Laboratories for fun, innovation and education (RALfie) project influenced teachers’ self-efficacy for teaching the Technologies curriculum. The Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument-B (STEBI-B) used to measure pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy to teach science was modified to create the Technology Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (T-TEBI) to measure pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy to teach technologies. The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) was used to measure pre-service teachers’ emotional status. Using pre-test and post-test survey data, the research investigated changes in pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy as measured before and after engagement with RAL. Interviews, PSTs’ comments and reflections were used to investigate factors affecting their self-efficacy in greater depth.
The pre-test results of T-TEBI and PANAS (N=119) demonstrated the reliability of the instruments. Comparison of the pre-test and post-test results of T-TEBI and PANAS (N=41) showed that there was no significant difference between PSTs who engaged with the RALfie experience and PSTs who did not engage with the RALfie experience. Subsequently, the individual results for pre-test and post-test comparison were examined to identify interview participants for further analysis using qualitative data to further understand the quantitative data. The themes that emerged from the pilot study and the main study were very similar. A case study approach was used to explore the changes of self-efficacy associated with the RALfie experience for individuals.
The qualitative data from this research revealed that PSTs’ self-efficacy can be affected by their engagement with successful experience, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and emotional status in the context of working with RALfie. This study showed that hands-on events were more powerful than remote experiences. Hands-on experiments were concrete and better suited to PSTs who were at a beginning level of robotics. This study also showed that the lack of background knowledge of technology in PSTs’ schooling can cause anxiety, and technical issues occurring while using RALfie can result in frustration.

KeywordsSelf-efficacy; STEM education; Remote Access Laboratories
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390113. Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
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