Preservice teacher efficacy: cross-national study.Abstract
This cross-national study assessed the relationship between two groups (i.e., US and Turkey) of matched preservice teachers regarding their perceptions of self-efficacy toward teaching students with learning disabilities and their perceptions regarding personal efficacy and general teaching efficacy, as measured by the Teacher Efficacy Scale. All possible subsets regression analyses indicated a model for each preservice teacher group pertaining per·tain
intr.v. per·tained, per·tain·ing, per·tains
1. To have reference; relate: evidence that pertains to the accident.
2. to their perceptions of self-efficacy toward teaching students with learning disabilities and their perceptions regarding personal teaching efficacy.
Research in the area of cross-national comparisons of preservice and inservice teachers' self-efficacy beliefs validates their importance as a mediating factor influencing instructional decisions (Clark & Artiles, 2000) and accommodating students with learning and behavioral problems in the context of classroom practice (Haynes, Hook, & Macaruso, 2000). Haynes et al. (2000) compared the perceptions of elementary teachers in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. (US) and Japan regarding the strengths and weaknesses of students according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. criteria used for identifying students with learning disabilities (LD) in the US. Results indicated a similar pattern across the two groups regarding teachers' perceptions of student ability in the areas of reasoning and mathematics. Significant between-group differences occurred in the areas of listening, speaking, reading/writing, and social and study skills. In another cross-national study conducted by Clark and Artiles (2000), significant differences were found in attributional responses between US (n = 97) and Guatemalan (n = 59) teachers regarding their perceptions of (a) student ability (high vs. low), (b) students' degree of expended ex·pend
tr.v. ex·pend·ed, ex·pend·ing, ex·pends
1. To lay out; spend: expending tax revenues on government operations. See Synonyms at spend.
2. effort (high vs. low), and (c) students' categorical That which is unqualified or unconditional.
A categorical imperative is a rule, command, or moral obligation that is absolutely and universally binding.
Categorical is also used to describe programs limited to or designed for certain classes of people. label (LD vs. non-LD) when presented with vignettes depicting a student as having failed a typical classroom test.
Other cross-national research assessing preservice teachers' beliefs about mathematics indicates that the context for teacher preparation (i.e., teacher education programs) can both facilitate and constrain con·strain
tr.v. con·strained, con·strain·ing, con·strains
1. To compel by physical, moral, or circumstantial force; oblige: felt constrained to object. See Synonyms at force.
2. preservice teachers' self-efficacy (Wagner, Lee, & Azgun-Koca, 1999). In a recent study undertaken by Wagner et al. (1999), preservice teachers (n = 106) from the US, Turkey, and Korea completed a questionnaire designed to measure their beliefs about teaching mathematics and about the efficacy of their teacher preparation program. The US preservice teachers' responses indicated a stronger degree of self-confidence regarding their ability to teach mathematics than did the Turkish and Korean preservice teachers. In addition, the responses of the Korean preservice teachers indicated that they were the least confident among the three groups regarding their ability to teach mathematics. Analysis of preservice teachers' responses regarding the efficacy of their teacher training programs indicated that the US preservice teachers believed their teacher education program provided adequate preparation for the teaching of mathematics. In contrast, the Turkish and Korean preservice teachers expressed reservations regarding the degree that their programs provided sufficient groundwork to teach mathematics in classrooms.
Findings from the above cross-national studies suggest that the instructional-based variables of student characteristics (i.e., LD) and content area (i.e., mathematics) differentially impact teachers' beliefs across countries and cultures. As such, these inquiries are useful in identifying cross-national patterns and may limit stereotype stereotype (stĕr`ĕətīp'), plate from which printing is done, made by casting metal in a mold, usually of paper pulp. The process was patented in 1725 by the Scottish inventor William Ged. biases associated with categorically labeling student performance. Indeed, utilizing samples representing two countries that do not share a similar referral and placement process for labeling students' performance (i.e., LD vs. Non-LD) minimizes variance in teachers' responses that are associated with label stereotypes (MacMillan, Jones, & Aloia, 1974; Semmel & Gao, 1992). However, the bulk of these studies typically have compared teacher beliefs across countries (i.e., cross-national studies) with respect to learning disabilities (e.g., Clark & Artiles, 2000; Haynes et al., 2000) or successful mathematics instruction (e.g., Wagner et al., 1999), or have compared teacher perceptions within a nation (i.e., within-national studies) in the context of standards-based instruction in mathematics (e.g., Collins & Gerber, 2001; Collins & Onwuegbuzie, 2002). To date, no formal research appears to exist involving cross-national comparison of the degree to which LD characteristics impact preservice teachers' self-efficacy beliefs regarding instruction. One exception is a study conducted by Collins and Erktin (2002). These researchers conducted a cross-national study comparing preservice teachers from the US and Turkey with respect to the extent that their beliefs and predictions regarding their instructional practice are influenced by characteristics associated with LD. Results indicated that preservice teachers (US and Turkey) expressed less confidence in their efficacy (i.e., personal efficacy) at addressing students demonstrating poor motivation and poor strategy use in the context of learning in contrast to efficient motivation/strategy use.
Additionally, preservice teachers perceived that they would have to expend ex·pend
tr.v. ex·pend·ed, ex·pend·ing, ex·pends
1. To lay out; spend: expending tax revenues on government operations. See Synonyms at spend.
2. a higher degree of instructional effort (i.e., outcome expectancy A mere hope, based upon no direct provision, promise, or trust. An expectancy is the possibility of receiving a thing, rather than having a vested interest in it.
The term has been applied to situations where an individual hopes and expects to receive something, generally ) in order for students with poor affect to reach grade level expectation in mathematics. Similarly, preservice teachers had lower expectations regarding student performance (i.e., outcome expectancy) for students demonstrating poor strategy use and poor motivation in contrast to characteristics typifying efficient motivation/strategy use in the context of learning. Findings also revealed that the Turkish sample and US sample exhibited differential response patterns with respect to perceived effectiveness of grouping strategies in response to student characteristics. Specifically, the Turkish sample recognized LD characteristics as distinct from efficient motivation/strategy characteristics in their perceptions regarding effective practice. Conversely con·verse 1
intr.v. con·versed, con·vers·ing, con·vers·es
1. To engage in a spoken exchange of thoughts, ideas, or feelings; talk. See Synonyms at speak.
2. , the US sample was consistent in their perceptions regarding effective practice across the three sets of student characteristics. All effect sizes were large (Cohen cohen
(Hebrew: “priest”) Jewish priest descended from Zadok (a descendant of Aaron), priest at the First Temple of Jerusalem. The biblical priesthood was hereditary and male. , 1988). The goal for conducting this current research was to identify aspects of preservice teacher beliefs regarding instruction of students with LD that are relatively similar and dissimilar utilizing culture (US and Turkey) as the medium. The present investigation's purpose was to assess the relationship between preservice teachers' perceptions regarding their self-efficacy toward teaching students with LD and their perceptions regarding personal efficacy and general teaching efficacy, as measured by the Teacher Efficacy Scale (TES TES Times Educational Supplement (publication)
TES The Elder Scrolls (series of computer games)
TES Thermal Emission Spectrometer
TES Teaching Every Student
TES Thermal Energy Storage ; Gibson & Dembo, 1984).
This investigation's focus on preservice teachers' efficacy beliefs in the self-regulation of behavior is based on social learning theory posited by Bandura ban`dur´a
n. 1. A traditional Ukrainian stringed musical instrument shaped like a lute, having many strings. (1977b, 1997). In the educational literature, teachers' self-efficacy beliefs have been conceptualized as a two-dimensional construct defined as outcome efficacy of teaching and personal efficacy of teaching (Bandura, 1977a; Gibson & Dembo, 1984). Outcome efficacy of teaching defines teaching as an influential factor in elevating student achievement. Teachers demonstrating high levels of outcome efficacy select challenging activities and are self-motivated to pursue their goals regardless of obstacles. In contrast, teachers with low levels of outcome efficacy perceive difficult activities as a challenge to their teaching competence. When faced with instructional challenges, these teachers reduce their levels of expended effort. Personal efficacy characterizes teachers as individuals with a high degree of confidence in their teaching abilities and placing a high value on their abilities to affect student performance (Gibson & Dembo, 1984). In contrast, teachers with low levels of personal efficacy place a low value on their abilities to affect student performance and experience helplessness helplessness,
n a perception held by a person because of which he or she feels powerless or unable to act independently. Typically associated with persons diagnosed with chronic disease. when faced with challenges.
Data for this study were collected as a component of a larger study that was conducted by Collins and Erktin (2002). To provide a cross-national perspective, two groups of matched primary and secondary preservice teachers (n = 52) representing a public university in Turkey and a similar size university located in the southeastern section of the US were surveyed. The groups were matched on their perceptions regarding effective teaching, as measured by a composite score on the TES (Gibson & Dembo, 1984). Both groups of teachers were enrolled in teacher certification programs that provide both theoretical training and field experiences. Both programs offer courses that address individual differences in the areas of child development, classroom management, behavioral interventions behavioral intervention Behavior modification, behavior 'mod', behavioral therapy, behaviorism Psychiatry The use of operant conditioning models, ie positive and negative reinforcement, to modify undesired behaviors–eg, anxiety. , and strategy training. Practicum practicum (prak´tikm),
n See internship. courses also were offered to provide students access to realistic classroom experiences.
Instruments and Procedures
Participants were administered a packet containing a cover letter that guaranteed confidentiality regarding their responses and explained the purpose and importance of their participation in the study. All preservice teachers completed the Student Teacher Assessment of Mathematics Instruction (STAMI STAMI Stenting for Acute Myocardial Infarction ) questionnaire (Collins & Gerber, 2001). The STAMI questionnaire was developed to measure quantitatively preservice teachers' levels of belief toward mathematics instruction of students with LD. The questionnaire consists of three subscales: level of teacher confidence, level of expended effort, and expectation of a student's grade level success in the context of practice. Preservice teachers were presented nine vignettes describing characteristics of hypothetical Hypothetical is an adjective, meaning of or pertaining to a hypothesis. See:
1. an expression of the change or effect produced by variation in certain factors, or of the ratio between two different quantities.
2. alphas ranged from .70 to .86 for these subscales' scores.
Preservice teachers also completed the TES (Gibson & Dembo, 1984). The TES is a quantitative measure of teachers' perceptions regarding effective teaching. This instrument consists of two scales. The first scale, representing nine items, measures personal teaching efficacy, or belief that one has the skills and abilities to induce student learning. The second scale, comprising seven items, represents a teacher's perception of general teaching efficacy, or belief that any teacher's ability to induce change is significantly limited by variables outside her/his control. Both scales contain 6-point Likert-type items. For the present research, Cronbach coefficient alphas pertaining to the respondents' scores on the personal teaching efficacy subscale were .88 (US sample) and .70 (Turkish sample), and on the general teaching efficacy subscale were .39 (US sample) and .61 (Turkish sample).
Results and Discussion
Because the focus was primarily about the relationship between preservice teachers' perceptions of their efficacy regarding the teaching of students with LD and their perceptions regarding teacher efficacy, analysis of survey responses was conducted using all possible subsets (APS) multiple regression Multiple regression
The estimated relationship between a dependent variable and more than one explanatory variable. (Thompson, 1995). This form of analysis involved a series of separate regressions that were conducted to identify the best possible combination of independent variables that predicted the dependent variables. The maximum proportion of variance explained (R2) was the criterion used to determine the inclusion of the independent variables in the model. Utilizing R2 as a criterion for developing the model differentiates APS multiple regression from the much criticized stepwise regression In statistics, stepwise regression includes regression models in which the choice of predictive variables is carried out by an automatic procedure. (Hocking Hocking may refer to:
The APS regression analyses yielded a model pertaining to the personal teaching efficacy scale (belief that one has the skills and abilities to induce student learning) for each preservice teacher group sample. For the Turkish sample, preservice teachers' perceptions regarding their levels of confidence and levels of expended effort in response to LD characteristic associated with poor strategy use were statistically significantly associated with personal teaching efficacy (R2 = .26, p < .03). Using Cohen's (1988) criteria, the proportion of variance explained reflects a large effect size. These results indicate that the Turkish preservice teachers who reported high levels of confidence as an instructional response to the LD characteristic of poor strategy use (Beta = .29) tended to have high scores on the personal efficacy scale. Furthermore, Turkish preservice teachers who reported high levels of expended effort as an instructional response to the LD characteristic associated with poor strategy use (Beta = .32) tended to have high scores on the personal efficacy scale.
For the US sample, preservice teachers' perceptions regarding their levels of confidence in response to LD characteristic of poor motivation as well as their levels of expectation of student grade level success in response to LD characteristic of poor strategy use were statistically significantly associated with personal teaching efficacy (R2 = .37, p < .01). The effect size for this model, as measured by R2, was large (Cohen, 1988). These results indicate that the US preservice teachers who reported high levels of confidence as an instructional response to the LD characteristic of poor motivation (Beta = .44) tended to have high scores on the personal efficacy scale. Furthermore, US preservice teachers who reported high levels of expectation of student grade level success (Beta = .22) tended to have high scores on the personal efficacy scale. These results are encouraging because the responses of both preservice teacher groups are consistent with the theory of self-efficacy in the context of educational literature (Bandura, 1977a; Gibson & Dembo, 1984). Specifically, efficacious ef·fi·ca·cious
Producing or capable of producing a desired effect. See Synonyms at effective.
[From Latin effic teachers are confident that they can teach difficult students, place a high value on their ability to affect student performance, and when faced with instructional challenges increase their levels of instructional effort.
Current results indicated no relationship between beliefs about instruction for students with LD and the general teaching efficacy subscale of the TES for both samples of preservice teachers. This also is encouraging because it suggests that both preservice teacher groups' responses to LD characteristics were not impacted by their beliefs that a teacher's ability to induce change is limited by variables outside his/her control. However, these results may be attributed to the low score reliabilities for both preservice teacher groups on the general teaching efficacy scale. Indeed, researchers have criticized the psychometric psy·cho·met·rics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The branch of psychology that deals with the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests for the measurement of psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and properties pertaining to the TES (Henson, in press; Witcher, Onwuegbuzie, Collins, Witcher, James, & Minor, 2005). Given that both samples of teachers were enrolled in university teacher preparation programs in their respective countries (US and Turkey) at the time of data collection, further research should assess the degree to which the responses of both preservice teacher groups are associated with their perceptions regarding the efficacy of their teacher education programs. Results of cross-national research support the relationship between preservice teachers' beliefs about teaching specific content and their beliefs concerning the efficacy of their teacher preparation program (Wagner et al., 1999). The degree that a causal relationship exists between the variables in this current study and the preservice teacher preparation programs in which both samples were enrolled is outside the scope of the present study because of the type of data collected. Replications of this study utilizing larger cross-national samples, using other academic subjects as the context for instruction, incorporating other measures of preservice teacher efficacy (e.g., perceptions of the efficacy of their teacher education programs), and asking respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. to provide a reason for each of their responses to LD characteristics (i.e., poor strategy use and poor motivation) will elucidate e·lu·ci·date
v. e·lu·ci·dat·ed, e·lu·ci·dat·ing, e·lu·ci·dates
To make clear or plain, especially by explanation; clarify.
To give an explanation that serves to clarify. the multivariate The use of multiple variables in a forecasting model. relationships among the variables of culture, beliefs, student learning characteristics, and effective teacher preparation programs.
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incremental; additional information is added at each step.
stepwise multiple regression
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An expression used to distinguish or separate other expressions in a quantity or equation. analysis need not apply here: A guidelines guidelines,
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Witcher, L. A., Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Collins, K. M. T., Witcher, A. E., James, T. L., & Minor, L. C. (2005). Preservice teachers' efficacy and their beliefs about education. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Kathleen M. T. Collins, University of Arkansas The University of Arkansas strives to be known as a "nationally competitive, student-centered research university serving Arkansas and the world." The school recently completed its "Campaign for the 21st Century," in which the university raised more than $1 billion for the school, used at Fayetteville
Kathleen M. T. Collins is an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.