Academic journal article Journal of Education and Learning

Self-Efficacy Levels and Gender Differentials among Teacher Trainees in Colleges of Education in Botswana

Academic journal article Journal of Education and Learning

Self-Efficacy Levels and Gender Differentials among Teacher Trainees in Colleges of Education in Botswana

Article excerpt

Abstract

Teachers with a high sense of efficacy have been found to be more passionate about teaching, ready to accept new ideas and make attempts to use new teaching methods to help students learn. Such teachers have positive teaching behaviors such as patience, commitment, enthusiasm, which in turn lead to positive student outcomes. However, research on teacher efficacy and classroom management is lacking in Botswana. The main aim of this study is to determine the extent of self-efficacy beliefs among final year students in all the teacher training colleges in Botswana, and to determine as to whether there are differences associated with gender, age and college.

A total of 598 pre-service teacher trainees completed the quantitative survey. Self-efficacy was measured using the Long Form version of the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale which comprises of 24 items divided 3-subscales of 8 items each. The self-efficacy score for each student on each subscale was measured using the average score on the 8-items that make up the scale. Analysis of variance was used to investigate if self-efficacy depended on gender, age and college.

The findings revealed that the level of self-efficacy was moderated among the trainees, averaging around 3.8 on a scale of 1 to 5. Self-efficacy increased with age for each subscale. Females outperformed males with respect to student engagement, but there were no significant gender differences with respect to instructional strategies and classroom management. There were significant differences between the five colleges with respect to each sub-scale, with one particular college having the lowest mean on all subscales, and another having the highest mean on all subscales. Interestingly the colleges that train primary had higher mean scores than those that train and secondary school teachers. However, further investigations revealed some partial confounding between age and school. The findings suggest that more efforts should be put into empowering pre-service teachers to develop self-confidence in class room management, instructional strategies and student engagement.

Keywords: teacher, pre-service, self-efficacy, TSES, college of education, Botswana, analysis of variance

1. Introduction

1.1 Overview

During the 9th National Development Plan, the government of Botswana undertook "to offer equitable lifelong education and training that is relevant and responsive to the rapid technological development and changing socio-economic environment, and that produces knowledgeable, skilled, enterprising and independent individuals" (NDP 9, 2009, p. 268). In addition, the government committed itself to improving the quality and training of teachers as part of its strategy to achieve this goal (Vision, 2016, p. 30). As a consequence, the ministry of education continues to get the lion share of the national budget each year. However, the expected improvements in student performance have not been realized as pass rates in primary and secondary examinations have stagnated. In 2014, concerns regarding failing standards were so serious that a committee of the cabinet was sent around schools to determine first hand, the possible causes. The report from these visits has not been made public. Furthermore, little research appears to have been conducted to establish the quality and training of the teachers involved and the contribution of teacher's factors in the Botswana education system including poor performances of students at primary, junior and secondary schools. This state of affairs calls for interrogations on the strategies to be put in place to respond to challenges and weakness in the education system. The question of teacher self-efficacy is core, as it entails aiming to deliver quality education; particularly in engaging students in learning, using different methods of teaching and managing unruly behaviors in the learning environments.

1.2 Teacher Self-Efficacy Belief

Teacher self-efficacy refers to a teacher's "judgment of his/her capabilities to bring about the desired outcomes of student engagement and learning, even among students who may be difficult or unmotivated" (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001, p. …

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