Education Doctorate

Year Approved


First Advisor

Wilson, Louise


This study used a mixed methods approach to examine the self-efficacy of pre-service elementary education teachers after completing a health education methods course compared to an interdisciplinary course such as a science, physical education, and health education. Student scores on measures of the Professional Teaching Standards in Health Education were used as the data source. Students provided a self-evaluation of strengths and weaknesses on standards and what types of curriculum and/or instruction could help improve low self-efficacy levels. A sample of elementary education students enrolled in a health education curriculum and methods course completed the Pre-Service Health Education National Self-Efficacy Scale (PHENSS) and two open-response questions. An independent-samples t-test was conducted on Scale results and thematic coding was used to evaluate responses to the open-response questions. The results suggest that enrolling in a 1-2 credit methods course vs. a 3-credit interdisciplinary made a positive difference in students' self-efficacy. Students completing a 1-2 credit health curriculum and methods course had significantly higher self-efficacy scores on four of the standards compared to students completing a 3-credit interdisciplinary course. Students completing a 1-2 credit course identified creating lesson plans, conducting and reviewing research, and reviewing the standards as significant for increasing their confidence but expressed the need for more practice and additional health content instruction. Students in the 3-credit courses identified developing and implementing lesson plans as critical but desired more health content instruction, resources, discussion, and practice.

Degree Name

Education Doctorate

Document Type

Doctoral dissertation