Examination of the Perceptions about Self-Efficacy in Environmental Education amongst Social Studies Teacher Candidates
Keywords:Environmental Education; Self-Efficacy; Environmental Education Self-Efficacy; Candidate Teacher
Self-efficacy is the belief in one's own knowledge, skills and attitudes. This belief significantly affects a person's ability to start, continue, and complete a job. The ability of teacher candidates to have the competencies required by the teaching profession, and to use these competencies effectively, to fulfill the duties and responsibilities required by their profession depends significantly on their self-efficacy. One of the self-efficacy beliefs relates to environmental education. The status of competencies in the self-efficacy of environmental education for teacher candidates' is essential: individual beliefs towards their environment, creating awareness for environmental issues; knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable to develop environmental education. In this study, it was aimed to investigate the perceptions of self-efficacy in environmental education amongst Social Studies teacher candidates according to gender, class level, taking courses with environmental content, membership in an environmental association. The research was conducted as a survey with 155 teacher candidates studying in the Social Studies Education undergraduate program during the 2019-2020 academic year. A personal data form of four dimensions (academic competence perception, responsibility perception, educational competence perception, orientation perception) and an “environmental education self-efficacy perception scale” consisting of 15 items were used as the data collection tools. Data was analyzed using SPSS 20 statistical program. In the study, nonparametric analyses of the MannWhitney-U test and the Kruskal Wallis H test were used for an unrelated sample, because descriptive statistics and data obtained from each variable-level scale did not show a normal distribution. As a result of the research, significant differences were found between the scores of Social Studies teacher candidates according to the following criteria: class level in the ‘academic competence perception dimension’, gender in the ‘responsibility perception dimension’, and status of membership in the environmental organization in the ‘educational competence perception dimension’.