The effects of teacher characteristics, beliefs, relations with students, and in-service education on student science achievement
This study investigated the effects of science teacher characteristics, beliefs, relations with students, and in-service education on student science achievement by using national database NELS:88. The study also compared these effects on student science achievement by student gender and ethnicity. Forty-four items in four factors of science teachers were independent variables, student science achievement was dependent variable and SES and prior science scores were control variables. The study revealed the relations between independent variables and dependent variables. The correlation between forty-one items in four teacher factors and student science achievement were analyzed by Pearson correlation and partial correlation. A three-way ANCOVA was used to compare the differences of influences of three nominal items on the dependent variables. Correlation and ANCOVA were also used to compare of effects of teacher factors on student science achievement by student gender and ethnicity. Multiple linear regression was used to analyze collective effects of forty-four items in four teacher factors on science achievement. This study used sampling weights and design effects based on NELS:88 manual. Pearson correlation showed that the correlations between most items in teacher characteristics and student science achievement were significant, but partial correlation did not show significance for these correlations. The effects of most items in teacher beliefs on student science achievement did not reach significant level. The most items in teacher relations with students had significant correlations with student science achievement at both conditions of two control variables existing and not. Only a few items in teacher in-service education had significant correlation with student science achievement. This study supported the science researcher conclusions that some factors of science teacher characteristics were related to student science achievement. It established direct relationships between teacher beliefs and student science achievement. This study also revealed that teachers whose beliefs about self-efficacy had positive effects on student science achievement, but whose beliefs about methods did not. The relationship between teachers and students was an important factor to influence student science achievement, especially to that of male students. The results of teacher in-service education would promote science teacher educators to consider providing more effective programs and academic activities. The effects of previous science achievement and SES on student science achievement were very great in this study.