Ankara Üniversitesi Eğitim Bilimleri Fakültesi Dergisi, vol.56, no.2, pp.1-33, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
To investigate how pre-service early childhood education (ECE) teachers’ self-confidence in teaching science was changed through their teaching practice course, a qualitative case study research design was used in the current study. The study involved 15 senior pre-service ECE teachers who were enrolled in a teaching practice course as part of their teacher education program. The study was created with their experiential learning opportunities in account. Participants developed five distinct science activity plans that are connected with several other disciplines and implemented their science activities in a real classroom environment for this purpose. Individual pre and post-interviews were conducted with them to investigate the change in their self-confidence in teaching science. The data analysis revealed four major themes: 1) prior knowledge and interest in science, 2) experience of teaching science in a real classroom, 3) expectation from teaching practice course, and 4) feelings when preparing activities and teaching science. The study’s findings revealed that a teaching practice course was quite helpful in enhancing preservice teachers' self-confidence in science teaching and changing their interests and feelings about science. The study's findings improved understanding of the importance of experiential learning and practicing in teacher education.