Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Science Education

Major Professor

Dana L. Zeidler, Ph.D.


Equity, Diversity, Multicultural, Teacher education, Science teaching efficacy


The National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996) and Science for all Americans (AAAS, 1989) explicitly state that all students regardless of their age, cultural or ethnic backgrounds, gender, abilities, aspirations, or interest in science should have access to equitable educational resources in science. These equitable resources also include access to efficacious teachers of all students. However, the Standards fail to explicate what practices, if any, lead to the development of these teachers. The primary purpose of this study was to identify teacher education practices that positively influenced preservice elementary teachers' self-efficacy beliefs about equitable science teaching and learning. More specifically, this research study explored the effects of community-based service-learning on the self-efficacy and pedagogical beliefs of preservice elementary teachers regarding equitable science teaching and learning.This study utilized a mixed-methods research design. Data were collected from 67 participants registered in three elementary science methods courses. One of the science methods courses had an embedded service-learning component. Semi-structured interviews and questionnaires were used to analyze teacher beliefs, attitudes, and sources of self-efficacy. A quasi-experimental design was used to quantitatively measure changes in science teacher efficacy beliefs in regard to equitable science teaching and learning. Changes in participants' scores were analyzed using two 3 x 2 Factorial Repeated-Measures ANOVAs. The results of this study support the value of preservice teachers engaging in community-based service-learning experiences as a way to improve their self-efficacy beliefs and pedagogical beliefs regarding equitable science teaching and learning.