Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Teacher Self-Efficacy Belief

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Teacher Self-Efficacy Belief

Article excerpt

This study presents development and validation of a new measurement instrument to explore student-teachers' self-efficacy beliefs toward teaching. We developed and administered a survey to 346 student teachers at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey in the Department of Elementary Education in the spring term of the 2003-2004 academic year. The nature of the study is descriptive. The aim is to describe what the real situation is. Standard scale development methods and factor analysis were used. The results of the study were strongly supported by the validity and reliability of the survey. Cronbach's alpha was calculated and the reliability coefficient was 0.92. For purposes of examining content validity, the opinions of experts on 5 subject matters were taken. Factor analysis was made to elicit the fundamental dimensions of the survey. As a result of the Kalse-Meyer-Olkin and Bartlett test (0.93), factor analysis was administered to the survey. A single-factor model was specified for the structure of the survey as anticipated.

Keywords: Self-efficacy belief, prospective teachers, teacher efficacy, teacher self-efficacy belief, teacher education.

Individuals' beliefs play an important role in their behaviors. The realization of our objectives is based upon our beliefs about how we can behave successfully. Individuals judge their own capabilities according to their own actions (making a decision about a certain task, making or exerting an effort to accomplish a task or while confronting difficulties). All these play an important role in understanding one's self -efficacy belief.

The concept of self-efficacy is grounded in Bandura's theoretical framework - known as social cognitive theory - which postulates that human achievement depends on interactions between one's behavior, personal factors (e.g., thoughts, beliefs), and environmental conditions (Schunk & Pajares, 2002).

Bandura (1995, p. 2) defines self-efficacy as "beliefs in one's capabilities to organize and execute die courses of action required to manage prospective situations." A sense of efficacy has four main influences: mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social persuasion, and physiological or emotional feedback (Woolfolk, 1998).

Self-efficacy is a key predictor of intentions and choice, as well as of the persistence to complete a task (Weber, Weber, Sleeper, & Schneider, 2004). Selfefficacy can be defined as a belief that has a considerable impact on our sense of responsibility.

The sense of self-efficacy not only affects expectations of success or failure, but also influences motivation through goal setting. If we have a high sense of efficacy in any given area, we tend to set higher goals, be less afraid of failure, and persist longer when we encounter difficulties. If our sense of efficacy is low, however, we may avoid a task altogether or give up easily when problems arise (Woolfolk, 1998). Individuals interpret the results of their attainments, however, just as they make judgments about the quality of the knowledge and skills they possess.

There is evidence that a high sense of self-efficacy supports motivation, even when the feeling of efficacy is unrealistically high. People who are optimistic about the future believe that they can be effective; they are more mentally and physically healthy, less depressed, have high expectations and are more motivated to achieve (Woolfolk, 1998).

Teachers' self-efficacy beliefs are very important in terms of decisions regarding classroom management, organizing courses, teaching, motivating the students for learning and communicating with the students effectively.

Teacher Self-Efficacy

Prospective motivation and performance were assumed to be significant reinforcers for teaching behaviors. Therefore, teachers with a high level of efficacy believed tiiat they could control, or at least strongly influence student achievement and motivation. …

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