Investigating Computational Thinking Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Pre-Service Elementary Teachers

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition



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Bandura defines self-efficacy beliefs as awareness of the individual’s potential and capabilities to accomplish a goal. Self-efficacy belief of teachers is a significant identifier of teachers’ performance and motivation in teaching the specific content successfully; however, K-12 science teachers’ computational thinking self-efficacy beliefs are rarely discussed. Additionally, providing professional development opportunities or modifying current science teaching methods courses play a crucial role in improving teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs. With the release of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), assessing K-12 science teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs in computational thinking is an important research gap to study. Participating pre-service elementary teachers enrolled in an undergraduate elementary science teaching methods course during spring 2018 semester in a southwestern state university to program educational robots, code visual block based programs, and solve puzzles of Zoombinis video game by following the NGSS Computational Thinking practices. We administered a computational thinking self-efficacy survey at the beginning and end of the related unit (i.e. the intervention). In this paper, we report the impact of the intervention on self-efficacy beliefs of pre-service elementary science teachers. We used SPSS Language to analyse our quantitative results. We performed dependent t-test for the two self-efficacy beliefs subscales, Personal Computational Thinking Teaching Efficacy (PCTTE) and Computational Thinking Teaching Outcome Expectancy (CTTOE), to measure if there is a significant difference in self-efficacy beliefs prior and at the end of the course training. Furthermore, based on the results of our exploratory research with pre-service elementary teachers, we proposed implications of the study for K-12 self-efficacy and computational thinking education research.


Computational thinking; Video games; Robotics; Coding; Self-efficacy beliefs; NGSS; Elementary; Science teaching methods course; Pre-service teachers; Engineering; K-12


Teacher Education and Professional Development



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