Effects of Informal versus School-Based Field Experience on Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Self-Efficacy for Teaching Science

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Nicole Hesson
Olivia Roth


Prior to the fall semester of 2017, the elementary preservice teachers who were enrolled in a science methods course engaged in a variety of field experiences across different settings, mostly informal. Beginning in the fall semester of 2017, students enrolled in this science methods course completed their field experience in formalized classroom settings. Most students have been placed at the site of a partnership school, a K-8 building in the local urban school district where an automated greenhouse was built. At the outset, the original study aimed to compare the self-efficacy for science teaching of the elementary education preservice teachers pre- and post-greenhouse implementation. However, the construction of the greenhouse was delayed and thus accidentally created a third cohort of students in addition to pre- and post-greenhouse. This third cohort of students has been placed in a K-8 school setting, but has not had access to the greenhouse. This paper compares the first two cohorts of preservice teachers, those who completed informal field experiences and those who completed school-based field experiences without the utilization of the greenhouse.

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Research / Empirical