Improving Preservice Teachers Self-Efficacy through Service Learning: Lessons LearnedReport as inadecuate

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International Journal of Instruction, v6 n2 p67-86 Jul 2013

University students have been barraged with service learning opportunities both as course required and as volunteer opportunities in recent years. Currently, many universities now require students to participate in engaged learning as a graduation requirement. Situated in Bandura's theory of self-efficacy, this study examines the effects service learning has on students teaching self-efficacy when required to participate in an activity (course connected), compared to when they chose to volunteer in service learning projects. As instructors of preservice teachers it is our commitment to prepare these students to their maximum potential. Identifying best practices for teacher preparation is an overarching goal of this study. A pre/post survey examined students' self-perceptions for each service opportunity in regards to their perceived teaching self-efficacy. Results indicate that students' self-efficacy improved when service learning was connected or embedded in the context of learning and connected to a specific course. These findings indicate course connected service learning has a greater impact on preservice teachers' perceptions of their ability to be effective future classroom teachers. Therefore course connected service learning can be viewed as a best practice in preservice teaching instruction.

Descriptors: Self Efficacy, Best Practices, Service Learning, Preservice Teachers, Volunteers, Learner Engagement, Teacher Educators, Student Surveys, Context Effect, Education Majors, Pretests Posttests

International Journal of Instruction. Usak University, College of Education, Ankara Izmir Yolu, 1 Eylul Kampusu, Usak, 64200, Turkey. Tel: +90-5357355455; e-mail: iji[at]; Web site:

Author: Bernadowski, Carianne; Perry, Ronald; Del Greco, Robert


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