Academic journal article Education

The Relationship between the Elementary Teacher Candidates' Teacher Efficacy and Their Attidutes towards the Profession of Teaching

Academic journal article Education

The Relationship between the Elementary Teacher Candidates' Teacher Efficacy and Their Attidutes towards the Profession of Teaching

Article excerpt

Introduction

The concept of self-efficacy is within self-concept in terms of meaning. Self-concept is the sum of one's self perception (Schunk, 2000: 344), the way the one's perception of his own essence. In other words, it means the positive and negative perception that one' has developed for his skills and other characteristics. In this direction, it could be stated that within the self-concept components such as self-efficacy, self-respect and self-confidence exist (Lee, 2005: 490).

Self-efficacy which evolves from self-concept consists of one's beliefs and judgment regarding the planning and arranging of the required actions when encountered with a probable situation and how well he manages and realizes these. The most important characteristic of these beliefs is that they could be improved with experiences which increase specifically (Lee, 2005: 490).

The belief of self-efficacy is based on the Social Learning Theory of Bandura (1977) also named as Social Cognitive Theory in 1986. Bandura (1989: 1175) defines self-efficacy as human beings' thoughts about their efficacy of controlling the events which affect their own lives. In other words, self-efficacy is the individual's organizing the necessary actions in order to manage probable situations and his beliefs about the skill of realizing these actions (Bandura, 1997: 2).

Individuals with a strong belief of self-efficacy do not escape from the livings they encounter and struggle, and act in a quite consistent manner in order to fulfill the action they have planned (Bandura, 1997: 2). According to Bandura, the beliefs of self-efficacy have four basic sources. These are direct experiences, indirect experiences, oral persuasion and the individual's physiological and psychological conditions. Among these four sources which are constantly in interaction with each other; direct experiences means, 'one's success in any case is the sign of the success in other cases'. Indirect experiences mean, 'the observation of other people's performances and successes, and result in the expectation of being successful in similar cases'. Oral persuasion means, 'the motivation regarding that a case could be overcome easily encourages the individual for that performance, and causes changes in the self-efficacy'. Physiological and psychological conditions mean, 'the individual's feeling physiologically and emotionally good at the time of the action increases the probability of taking action' (Bandura, 1982: 126-127; Bandura, 1994: 72-73; Bandura, 1989:1179).

The most influential source among these four sources explained above is the direct experiences as it is in learning by doing and firsthand experience processes (Bandura, 1994: 72). The self-efficacy that an individual has for a situation influences his goals, his effort to reach the goal, his patience and reactions under a negative circumstance (Askar and Umay, 2001: 1).

In the field of education, the studies conducted about self-efficacy are collected under three main titles:

1. The effects of students' self-efficacy belief on academic success, performance and motivational states

2. The relationship between choosing school and job and individuals self-efficacy belief especially in the fields of science and mathematics

3. The relationship between teachers' self-efficacy belief, the practices during the teaching process and different student products (Pajares, 1997: 1).

Self-efficacy belief, which is among the other important features, affects both the process of choosing teaching as a profession and all the variables that has been planned and applied after becoming a teacher. With another approach, teachers' practicing the necessary efficacy that the teaching profession requires is closely related to having a good education as well as their belief regarding performing these duties and responsibilities (Yilmaz, Koseoglu, Gercek and Soran, 2004). …

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