Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Seohkee Cho

Second Advisor

Jenny Yang

Third Advisor

Mary Ellen Freeley


The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the relationship between Black and Latino high school science students’ perceptions of instruction and science identity and to determine if this relationship is mediated by student perceptions of self-efficacy. A second goal of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between the science teacher’s years of experience and the students’ perceptions of instruction, perceptions of self-efficacy, and science identity. Study participants included 204 Black and Latino high school science students from a suburban high school and their science teachers. The Student Perception of Classroom Quality Scale was used to measure student perceptions of instruction. Student science identity was measured using an affinity index while the General Self Efficacy Scale was administered to measure students’ self-efficacy. The Teachers’ Sense of Self-Efficacy Scale measured teacher self-efficacy and the Student Centered Learning Questionnaire for Teachers, 2016 measured teacher instruction. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to determine the relationships between student perceptions of instruction, student perceptions of self-efficacy, and student science identity, as well as the mediation effect of self-efficacy. Significant relationships were found between perceptions of instruction, perceptions of self-efficacy, and science identity. Self-efficacy was found to be a significant mediator of the relationship between student perception of instruction and science identity. No significant relationships were found between teacher self-efficacy or teacher instructional method and student variables. However, a Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) revealed that students who had more experienced teachers tended to have greater perceptions of instruction, perceptions of self-efficacy and science identity. These results reinforce the importance of instructional appeal in science. In order to promote self-efficacy and therefore science identity in students of color, science instruction should include choice, be relevant to the students, and also be challenging. The results also emphasize the importance of supporting novice teachers as they develop their teaching competencies in order to help them develop instruction which students find appealing.

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