Using Active-Learning Strategies to Increase Pre-Service Teachers’ Efficacy in a Service-Learning Course

Larry Paul Nelson, Mary Lynn Crow, Kathleen Tice


Improving pre-service teachers’ ability to recognize work-related problems and apply effective strategies and solutions to fundamental challenges in the field is at the crux of an effective college preparation. Although there is evidence that service-learning experiences within a teacher education course can have powerful effects on student learning, what is being done during the lecture portion of a course to improve the impact of service-learning practices goes largely unexamined. This study investigated whether a contextually developed set of active-learning strategies in the lecture part of a service-learning course improved pre-service teachers’ efficacy. Findings showed significant improvement within personal teaching efficacy constructs as a result of experiencing the active-learning sequence. Academic tracking of students showed that those pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in physical education teacher education benefitted significantly more from the active-learning experience than those pursuing a Bachelor of Science in athletic training. This article describes how the active-learning sequence emerged as a preferred method of instruction by instructors and students, and how these strategies were useful in problematizing teaching situations and engaging students with course content.



service-learning, teacher efficacy, active-learning, physical education teacher education

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