First Advisor

William Becker

Date of Publication

Winter 3-11-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Teaching in General Science


Science Teaching




Environmental sciences teachers -- Training of, Elementary school teachers -- Training of, Environmental education -- Study and teaching (Elementary) -- Methodology, Science -- Study and teaching (Elementary) -- Methodology, Environmental sciences teachers -- Attitudes, Elementary school teachers -- Attitudes, Self-efficacy



Physical Description

1 online resource (iv, 74 pages)


Many teachers lack the confidence and knowledge to transition their classroom science lessons to an outdoor setting. Very few teacher professional development (PD) programs focus on improving teachers' self-efficacy and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) that is needed to enhance their science curriculum with outdoor lessons. This study examined an exception: The Connect2Science workshops, which provided elementary teachers the opportunity to experience nature-based science lessons. My research question for this study is: In what ways does a professional development workshop focused around the Next Generation Science Standards influence teachers': a) self-efficacy in teaching science outdoors and b) science pedagogical content knowledge? Data was collected using a retrospective pre and post survey, a reflection piece on participants’ pedagogical content knowledge and semi-structured interviews. The results showed that participants’ self-efficacy was positively affected by the Connect2Science workshops. As for pedagogical content knowledge, the results give a small insight into how participants viewed and thought about student misconceptions and how the instructional strategies presented in the workshops equipped them to better address science content in an outdoor setting.


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