Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Developing the Educational Belief Scale: The Validity and Reliability Study

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Developing the Educational Belief Scale: The Validity and Reliability Study

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aim of this study is to develop a valid and reliable scale that can be used in determining educational beliefs of teachers and prospective teachers. After studies such as scale expert views and the evaluation of intelligibility, the measure is administered to a sample consisting of 154 teachers and 305 prospective teachers with a total number of 459 participants. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses are applied in order to determine the construct validity of the scale. According to the exploratory factor analysis results, the scale consists of five factors including: Perennialism, Essentialism, Progressivism, Reconstructionalism, and Existentionalism with a total of 40 five-Likert type items. Item factor loadings in the related scale range from 0.42 to 0.74, corrected item-total correlations between 0.22 and 0.90, and reliability coefficients between 0.70 and 0.91. Also, the five-factor construct of the scale is confirmed by exploratory factor analysis. The research findings have showed that the Educational Belief Scale is a valid and reliable scale that can be used in determining educational beliefs of teachers and prospective teachers.

Key Words

Educational Belief, Educational Philosophy, Teacher, Prospective Teacher.

Culture is defined as shared values and beliefs. Beliefs are cultural elements that play important roles in social and organizational life since they are considered to be a cultural element in all studies on culture and organizational culture (Hoy & Miskel, 2001). Beliefs are cognitions one gets in his relationship with the environment (Trompenaars, 1993), and consist of the individual's past and present knowledge of reality (Sabuncuoglu & Tüz, 2001). According to Crutchfield (1970), beliefs are constant organizations, and a belief is the total of meanings something defines and an individual's entire knowledge of an object (cited in Atay, 2003). Beliefs are stronger than the effects of experiences and far more effective than real experiences in building human behavior (Bandura, 1977). Beliefs affect people's manners and people live according to their beliefs (Bandura, 1977; Enochs & Riggs, 1990; Hoy & Miskel, 2001). For this reason, beliefs establish the cognitive or intellectual side of manners (Arkonaç, 2001; Kagitçibasi, 2006). Therefore, determining teachers' and prospective teachers' educational beliefs is quite necessary and important for understanding and defining the related group's behavior. According to Enochs and Riggs (1990), studying teachers' beliefs has vital importance in terms of understanding teacher behavior.

It is stated in the related literature that educational beliefs are formed based on educational philosophy (Livingston, McClain & DeSpain, 1995; Pajares, 1992; Rideout, 2006; Silvernail, 1992a, 1992b). The supplementary function of educational philosophy is to arrange and compose the educational beliefs obtained by evaluation and analysis of many possibilities (Brauner & Burns, 1982). In this sense, it can be said that the basic determinant of individuals' educational beliefs is their educational philosophies. Accordingly, it was preferred in this study to configure and determine educational beliefs based on educational philosophies. Philosophy helps individuals be interested in their personal beliefs and values, understand the reason for existence, and who they are, and to some extent, where to go (Demirel, 2002). Philosophy is the production of people's efforts of curiosity, learning, thinking, questioning, and understanding (Aydin, 2000). Although there have not been certain and fully acknowledged definitions of philosophy, it can be defined as a bonding process based on establishing reality and a dynamic total of the productions obtained at the end of this process (Demirel, 2002).

Educational philosophy, on the other hand, can be defined as a discipline or a total of systematic ideas and conceptions that orients education, shapes goals, and leads education applications (Fidan & Erden, 1998). …

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