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2014;23:641-657. doi: 10.1007/s10956-014-9491-y.

Development of a short-form measure of science and technology self-efficacy using Rasch analysis.

Richard L Lamb, David Vallett, Leonard Annetta

UIID-EM: 46 Bookshelf ID: 2014-10643-001 DOI: 10.1007/s10956-014-9491-y

Abstract

Despite an increased focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in U.S. schools, today’s students often struggle to maintain adequate performance in these fields compared with students in other countries (Cheek in Thinking constructively about science, technology, and society education. State University of New York, Albany, 1992; Enyedy and Goldberg 2004; Mandinach and Lewis 2006). In addition, despite considerable pressure to promote the placement of students into STEM career fields, U.S. placement is relatively low (Sadler et al. in Sci Educ 96(3):411–427, 2012; Subotnik et al. in Identifying and developing talent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM): an agenda for research, policy and practice. International handbook, part XII, pp 1313–1326, 2009). One explanation for the decline of STEM career placement in the U.S. rests with low student affect concerning STEM concepts and related content, especially in terms of self-efficacy. Researchers define self-efficacy as the internal belief that a student can succeed in learning, and that understanding student success lies in students’ externalized actions or behaviors (Bandura in Psychol Rev 84(2):191–215, 1977). Evidence suggests that high self-efficacy in STEM can result in student selection of STEM in later educational endeavors, culminating in STEM career selection (Zeldin et al. in J Res Sci Teach 45(9):1036–1058, 2007). However, other factors such as proficiency play a role as well. The lack of appropriate measures of self-efficacy can greatly affect STEM career selection due to inadequate targeting of this affective trait and loss of opportunity for early intervention by educators. Lack of early intervention decreases selection of STEM courses and careers (Valla and Williams in J Women Minor Sci Eng 18(1), 2012; Lent et al. in J Couns Psychol 38(4), 1991). Therefore, this study developed a short-form measure of self-efficacy to help identify students in need of intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Keywords: Rasch analysis; general science; technology use; instrumentation; Engineers; Item Response Theory

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