Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Relationship among Self-Efficacy, Critical Thinking and Professional Success of Iranian Efl Teachers

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Relationship among Self-Efficacy, Critical Thinking and Professional Success of Iranian Efl Teachers

Article excerpt

Introduction

As a key factor in successful adjustment and self-development, one's belief in self-efficacy is of paramount importance (Moafian & Ghanizadeh, 2011). Indeed, this can affect ''cognitive, motivational, affective and decisional processes, and cause individuals to think positively and hopefully or negatively and cynically, in self-enhancing or self-debilitating manners'' (ibid, p. 120). Self-efficacy (SE) beliefs can also influence the way barriers and changes in the environment are perceived; those with high sense of efficacy keep on trying and show resistance in case of hardships (Bandura, 2005).

Regarding teachers, this efficacy is reflected in the judgment of the teachers in their ability to bring about changes in the engagement level of the students and leading them to desired outcomes (Bandura, 1977) such as achievement (Ross, 1992), students' self-efficacy (Anderson et al., 1988), and motivation (Midgley et al.1989). From another point of view, Allinder (1994) sees higher levels of planning observed in such teachers. Efficacy beliefs also make teachers more risk taker to experience new methods to fulfill the requirements of the classroom (Stein & Wang, 1988). Ashton and Webb (1986) also contend that efficacious teachers are less critical when their students make errors. From another point of view, teachers' SE has been strongly connected to their pedagogical success (Ghanizadeh & Moafian, 2011). Among the factors which correlate with self-efficacy, critical thinking seems a strong option (Moafian & Manafzadeh, 2011). Recently, the relationship between each of the aforementioned constructs (Self Efficacy and Critical Thinking) has been established (Birjandi & Bagherkazemi, 2010; Wong, 2005).

Although research on the three constructs (CT, SE, and Success) has contributed greatly to the literature; however, they have never been studied jointly in a single study. Thus, the present research makes an attempt to fill this gap and investigate the impact of the constructs of self-efficacy and critical thinking on the teachers' success. On the other hand, such factors and their relationships have not been investigated about the teachers dealing with teaching English in separate single study.

The main purpose of this study was investigating the relationship among self-efficacy, critical thinking and professional success of EFL teachers in the Iranian context. A minor purpose of the study, however, was investigating the impact of self-efficacy and critical thinking on the professional success of Iranian EFL teachers. In this regard the significant point to consider was to see if these two variables could predict EFL teachers' professional success. Among the self-perceived challenges that nonnative English speaking teachers face are the lack of teacher confidence, biased attitudes of students and other teachers because of their nonnative status, as well as English language needs (Samimy & Brutt-Griffler, 1999).Teachers' sense of efficacy can potentially influence both the kind of environment that they create as well as the various instructional practices introduced in the classroom (Bandura, 1997). Furthermore, teachers with a high sense of self-efficacy are confident that even the most difficult students can be reached if they exert extra effort; teachers with lower self-efficacy, on the other hand, feel asense of helplessness when it comes to dealing with difficult and unmotivated students (Gibson & Dembo, 1984). The literature widely documents the pervasive influence of self-efficacy beliefs and corroborates social cognitive theory that places these beliefs at the roots of human agency (Bandura, 2001).

Some of the ELT studies have sought to yield a broader conception of teacher success than one which only accords significance to professional qualities as language proficiency and managing skills. In an attempt to keep in line with developments in psychology and cognitive science, this upsurge in language education research has investigated the impact of language teachers' various cognitive, affective and personality characteristics on their teaching practices and professional success. …

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