The preparation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teachers for early childhood education (ECE) has clearly become an important issue in recent years. Teacher efficacy can lead to changes in professional beliefs toward and teaching practices in STEM. In this study, we developed the STEM Teaching Self-efficacy Scale (STSS) and validated it in a sample of 225 pre-service and 193 in-service early childhood teachers in Zhejiang, China. Results indicated preliminary evidence of reliability and validity of the two factors of STSS: Pedagogy Self-efficacy and Content Self-efficacy. Items were constructed based on literature and selected through factor analysis to cover the scope of self-efficacy on the behaviors of STEM teaching and ensure the content and construct validity of the scale. Scores on the STSS subscales were positively correlated with early childhood teachers' working status, age, occupational commitment, and interest in ECE, showing evidence of its criterion validity. The STSS provides a professionally and psychologically meaningful tool for evaluating early childhood teachers' efficacy beliefs about teaching STEM, which would help obtain evidence for the optimal design of STEM teacher training programs. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
CitationYang, W., Wu, R., & Li, J. (2021). Development and validation of the STEM Teaching Self-efficacy Scale (STSS) for early childhood teachers. Current Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12144-021-02074-y
- STEM education
- Early childhood education
- Pre-service and in-service teachers
- Scale validation