The Effects of Doctoral Teaching Development on Early-career STEM Scholars' College-teaching Self-efficacy

WCER Working Paper No. 2015-01 (Now Published—journal link below)

Mark R. Connolly, You-Geon Lee, and Julia Nelson Savoy

March 2015, 42 pp.

ABSTRACT: To help prepare future faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to teach undergraduates, more research universities are offering teaching development (TD) programs to doctoral students who aspire to academic careers. Using social cognitive career theory, we examine the effects of TD programs on early-career STEM scholars’ sense of self-efficacy as postsecondary teachers. In 2011, a survey questionnaire was administered to 2,156 people who in 2009 were doctoral students in STEM departments at three U.S. research universities; 1,445 responded (67%). Regression analysis revealed positive relationships between TD participation and participants’ college teaching self-efficacy and positive interaction effects for women. These findings may be used to improve the quality and quantity of TD offerings and help them gain wider acceptance.

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keywords: doctoral education; faculty development; future faculty; STEM education