Science Student Teachers’ Confidence Teaching and Understandi ...

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  • Title: Science Student Teachers’ Confidence Teaching and Understanding STEM-related Content at the Middle School Level
  • Author(s): Siriporn Kruatong, Nantarat Kruea-In, Kulthida Nugultham, Tussatrin Wannagatesiri
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning
  • Keywords: STEM-related Content, Middle School Science, Science Student Teachers
  • Volume: 24
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2327-7971 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-915X (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-7971/CGP/v24i03/19-32
  • Citation: Kruatong, Siriporn , Nantarat Kruea-In, Kulthida Nugultham, and Tussatrin Wannagatesiri. 2018. "Science Student Teachers’ Confidence Teaching and Understanding STEM-related Content at the Middle School Level." The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning 24 (3): 19-32. doi:10.18848/2327-7971/CGP/v24i03/19-32.
  • Extent: 14 pages

Abstract

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education has been adopted as an integrated education program to inspire students who are interested in science, to increase STEM workforce, and to encourage students to develop their twenty-first-century skills. In Thailand, there are few research studies on the preparation of science student teachers for teaching STEM and about understanding, perception, and readiness on STEM education. Therefore, this study examined forty-nine science student teachers (SSTs) on STEM education. A three-part questionnaire was designed including 1) open-ended questions for understanding STEM education, 2) rating scales of confidence on teaching STEM (Cronbach’s alpha equal to 0.884), and 3) open-ended questions regarding STEM concepts on four inventions (foldable boat, outdoor-wood lath wall, showerheads, and greenhouse solar dryer) to investigate SSTs’ understanding of STEM-related content. Three experts in the field of science, engineering, and education verified the questionnaire for accuracy of content and language. The results showed that 90 percent of SSTs had heard of STEM education, but only 8 percent could describe the concepts of STEM education adequately. SSTs had higher confidence in their knowledge of STEM and their application in real life than in teaching these subjects. They revealed lowest confidence in teaching STEM education as an interdisciplinary teaching approach. Moreover, the results also pointed out that SSTs had difficulty in grasping STEM-related content. Therefore, SSTs need to develop their understanding of STEM content, particularly scientific content, and its application to ensure their future ability to use STEM as a teaching approach in the classroom.