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The Relationship Between Science Teaching Anxiety and Science Teaching Self-Efficacy in Preservice Elementary Teachers

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This study investigated preservice elementary teachers’ emotional, cognitive, and attitudinal factors that affect their science teaching self-efficacy. We examined the (1) relationships among science teaching anxiety, science teaching self-efficacy, science interest, design thinking, and prior science experience, and (2) contribution of science teaching anxiety to science teaching self-efficacy. Low-science-teaching-anxious students reported significantly higher science teaching self-efficacy, science interest, and design thinking than their high-science-teaching-anxious peers. Science teaching anxiety and science interest explained 50% of the variance in science teaching self-efficacy. After controlling for the positive effect of science interest on preservice teachers’ science teaching self-efficacy, science teaching anxiety was the highest (negative) predictor of science teaching self-efficacy, thus revealing the critical impact of science teaching anxiety on preservice elementary teachers.