The efficacy of the Dimensions of Attitudes toward Science (DAS) for explaining primary preservice teachers’ intention to teach science

Mills, Reece, Whiteford, Crystal, Brown, Daniel, and Tomas, Louisa (2023) The efficacy of the Dimensions of Attitudes toward Science (DAS) for explaining primary preservice teachers’ intention to teach science. International Journal of Science Education, 45 (3). pp. 165-180.

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There is a need for robust, empirically-validated conceptualisations of teachers’ attitudes towards teaching science, with a view to understand how these might explain their intention to teach science. The Dimensions of Attitudes Toward Science (DAS) theoretical framework suggests that cognitive, affective and perceived control dimensions of teachers’ professional attitudes may be related to their behavioural intention to teach science. While the DAS framework has been employed in numerous studies investigating the attitudes of preservice and inservice teachers, its efficacy remains mostly unknown. The current study employed a cross-sectional survey research design to investigate the question, to what extent does the DAS theoretical framework explain primary preservice teachers’ intention to prioritise teaching science in their future practice? Early childhood and primary preservice teachers (n=250) at an Australian university completed the DAS instrument prior to completing a science curriculum unit. Structural equation modelling revealed inadequate/poor model fit across multiple indices. Perceived relevance of science education and enjoyment teaching science were statistically significant predictors of preservice teachers’ intention to prioritise teaching science, whereas other attitudinal constructs from the framework were not significant in this research. These findings warrant further attention to theories of behaviour and behaviour change in science education research.

Item ID: 76918
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1464-5289
Keywords: professional attitudes; behavioural intention; science teaching
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2022 00:58
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390307 Teacher education and professional development of educators @ 50%
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390113 Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160102 Higher education @ 50%
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160303 Teacher and instructor development @ 50%
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