Early childhood teachers’ science teaching intentions and behaviours: an application of the theory of planned behaviour

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2016
Özcan, Gökcen
The purpose of the present study was to examine the factors influencing early childhood teachers' intentions and behaviours regarding science teaching in the light of Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). In addition to the original TPB constructs (i. e. behavioural beliefs, normative beliefs, control beliefs, attitude toward behaviour, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control, behavioural intention, and behaviour), four variables (i.e. personal norms, self-efficacy beliefs, science content knowledge, and epistemological beliefs) were added into the TPB model in this study. Data were collected from 893 early childhood teachers working in public pre-schools in Turkey. Early Childhood Teachers' Science Teaching Intention and Behaviour Questionnaire was prepared in accordance with the TPB and previous science education literature. A model was developed to describe the relationships among study variables and tested in a complex correlational technique, Partial Least Square - Structural Equation Modelling (PLS- SEM). Results indicated that early childhood teachers’ science teaching intentions were significantly related to their attitude, subjective and personal norms, perceived behavioural control, and self-efficacy beliefs. In addition, teachers' science teaching intentions and their self-efficacy beliefs were significantly associated with the frequency of science instruction in the classroom. Attitude towards science teaching was the strongest predictor of teachers' science teaching intentions and perceived behavioural control over science teaching was the weakest predictor of teachers' science teaching intentions. Moreover, science content knowledge of teachers did not directly predict teachers’ intention, and epistemological beliefs did not provide any contribution to the model. Overall, the model explained 41.2 % of variance in intention to teach science, and 13.5 % of the variance in self-report science teaching behaviour. The findings implied that an extended model of the TPB was beneficial to investigate teachers' science teaching intentions and behaviours.

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Citation Formats
G. Özcan, “Early childhood teachers’ science teaching intentions and behaviours: an application of the theory of planned behaviour,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2016.