WWW Site for John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor, Science Education, OISE/University of Toronto

Curriculum Vitae

Bencze, L., & Upton, L. (2006). Being your own role model for improving self-efficacy: An elementary teacher self-actualizes through drama-based science teaching. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 6(3), 207-226.

Many teachers in elementary schools lack school science self-efficacy, largely because of their inexperience with the subject. This frequently leads them to avoid teaching science or to teach it in ways that compromise the development of aspects of students’ scientific literacy. This paper describes how one teacher was able to improve her school science self-efficacy through facilitated action research. In response to becoming aware of a discrepancy between her school science practices and her fundamental educational beliefs, Lisa developed a drama-based, integrated science unit that she judged successful in helping students to achieve relevant learning goals. This experience led Lisa and her students to feel much more positive about teaching and learning in school science. Rather than learning from another, however, ‘‘Lisa, the science teacher’’ learned — to a great extent—from ‘‘Lisa, the drama-based educator.’’ This finding has implications for
science-phobic teachers and for facilitators of their action research.

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