How confident are primary school teachers to teach science? A comparative European study

  • XVII IOSTE SYMPOSIUM Science and Technology Education for a P IOSTE


This study aims to explore how European primary school teachers themselves apprehend their ability to teach science to 4th grade students. We have studied how teachers expressed confidence to teach science, different disciplines, topics and specific tasks in science, and explore confidence variation among European countries, male and female teachers, teachers with and without educational specialization in science and experienced and less experienced teachers. The results are based on replies from 4600 4th grade teachers` from 21 European countries in TIMSS 2011. The main results are that there are significant differences among teachers from different countries, and that the teachers generally express a lower confidence in teaching Physical Science compared to Life Science and Earth Science.  We discuss what relevance teacher professional confidence and competence may have for primary school science teaching and education of primary school teachers.

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