Date of Award

Spring 1994

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Michael D Andrew


As part of a study of the preservice science education of elementary school teachers, data were collected from 80 prospective elementary teachers relative to their prior experiences with science both in and out of the formal setting of school. These data were obtained largely through the preservice teachers' science autobiographies as well as through informal interviews and correspondence secured throughout the course of the study.

The study explores the relationship between preservice elementary teachers' prior experiences with science and their expressed attitudes toward science and science teaching as they begin the formal study of elementary science pedagogy. The analysis represents an effort to identify the contextual variables within the science experiences that the preservice elementary teachers shared in their science autobiographies and to determine the influence these contextual variables have had on their expressed attitudes toward science, science teaching, and their sense of efficacy in teaching science to elementary school children.