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What predicts student teacher self-efficacy?


This descriptive survey study investigated student teachers' sources of self-efficacy. Using simultaneous regression regression, in psychology: see defense mechanism.

In statistics, a process for determining a line or curve that best represents the general trend of a data set.
, we predicted student teachers' sense of efficacy using their relationship with mentors, amount of field experiences, and teaching support. The regression equation Regression equation

An equation that describes the average relationship between a dependent variable and a set of explanatory variables.
 accounted for 27% of the variance The discrepancy between what a party to a lawsuit alleges will be proved in pleadings and what the party actually proves at trial.

In Zoning law, an official permit to use property in a manner that departs from the way in which other property in the same locality
 in efficacy scores. Highly efficacious ef·fi·ca·cious  
Producing or capable of producing a desired effect. See Synonyms at effective.

[From Latin effic
 student teachers in this sample tended to have less teaching experience, but a more positive relationship with their mentors and more teaching support.


A growing number of educational researchers are interested in relationships between teacher efficacy and other educational variables. For example, teachers' efficacy judgments have been correlated cor·re·late  
v. cor·re·lat·ed, cor·re·lat·ing, cor·re·lates
1. To put or bring into causal, complementary, parallel, or reciprocal relation.

 with decreased burnout Burnout

Depletion of a tax shelter's benefits. In the context of mortgage backed securities it refers to the percentage of the pool that has prepaid their mortgage.
 (Brouwers & Tomic, 2000), increased job satisfaction (Caprara, Barbaranelli, Borgogni, & Steca, 2003), and commitment to teaching (Coladarci, 1992). Ross (1998) reviewed 88 teacher efficacy studies and suggested that teachers with higher levels of efficacy are more likely to (1) learn and use new approaches and strategies for teaching, (2) use management techniques that enhance student autonomy and diminish student control, (3) provide special assistance to low achieving students, (4) build students' self-perceptions of their academic skills, (5) set attainable goals, and (6) persist in Verb 1. persist in - do something repeatedly and showing no intention to stop; "We continued our research into the cause of the illness"; "The landlord persists in asking us to move"
 the face of student failure. Teacher efficacy also has been correlated with student achievement (Ashton & Webb, 1986), student sense of efficacy (Anderson, Greene, & Loewen, 1988) and student motivation (Midgley, Feldlaufer, & Eccles, 1989).

Sources of Efficacy Beliefs

The development of teacher efficacy beliefs among prospective teachers has generated a great deal of research interest because once established, these beliefs appear to be resistant to change. Even with this research activity, however, little is known about the sources of higher efficacy. Woolfolk Hoy Hoy, island, 13 mi (21 km) long and 6 mi (9.7 km) wide, off N Scotland, second largest of the Orkney Islands. It is located at the southwestern side of the Scapa Flow anchorage.  and Burke-Spero (2005) suggested that mastery experiences during student teaching and the first years of teaching influence the development of teacher efficacy. Field experiences give student teachers opportunities to evaluate their capabilities. Observations of other teachers might serve as "vicarious vicarious /vi·car·i·ous/ (vi-kar´e-us)
1. acting in the place of another or of something else.

2. occurring at an abnormal site.

 experience," which is another effective tool for promoting a sense of efficacy. In addition, Bandura ban`dur´a   

n. 1. A traditional Ukrainian stringed musical instrument shaped like a lute, having many strings.
 (1997) pointed out the importance of feedback and support from environment in the cultivation cultivation, tilling or manipulation of the soil, done primarily to eliminate weeds that compete with crops for water and nutrients. Cultivation may be used in crusted soils to increase soil aeration and infiltration of water; it may also be used to move soil to or  of efficacy. In their longitudinal lon·gi·tu·di·nal
Running in the direction of the long axis of the body or any of its parts.
 case study, Mulholland and Wallace (2001) found that successful mastery experiences and verbal persuasions were the primary sources of information for building teacher's efficacy. During both the preservice and inservice teaching years, previous experience with an instructional activity, knowing students' characteristics, preference for manageable activities, and support from supervisors in early years of teaching helped teachers experience mastery.

Teaching Experience and Efficacy

Student teaching is generally considered the most beneficial component of preparation by prospective and practicing teachers and teacher educators (Borko & Mayfield, 1995; Guyton & McIntyre, 1990). In practice, the cooperating teacher plays the most vital role in supervision and is perceived as the most significant person in the student teacher's experiences (Booth, 1993); often student teachers move closer to the attitudes and behaviors of their cooperating teachers (Zeichner, 1980).

However, researchers have cautioned that student teaching can have negative as well as positive influences. Poorly chosen placements result in feelings of inadequacy, low teacher efficacy, and an unfavorable attitude toward teaching (Fallin & Royse, 2000; Feiman-Nemser, 1983); whereas extensive well-planned field experiences can help prospective teachers develop confidence, self-esteem and an enhanced awareness of the profession (Thomson, Beacham, & Misulis, 1992). Results are mixed on the relationship between teaching experience and teacher efficacy. For example, in a case study of science teaching, efficacy increased with experience as the teacher grew better able to manage the students' behaviors and inquiry activities. But three quantitative studies found very little correlation between experience and teaching efficacy (Cantrell, Yound, & Moore, 2003; Plourde, 2002; Soodak & Podell, 1996), while other quantitative studies have found that teacher efficacy decreased with time teaching (Ghaith & Yaghi, 1997). In contrast, Woolfolk Hoy and Burke-Spero (2005) found that efficacy increased during teacher preparation and student teaching, but decreased during the first year of teaching. With experience, teachers may grow to believe that student learning is due to factors beyond their control (Ghaith & Yaghi, 1997).

Labone (2004) noted much research on teachers' sense of efficacy lacks a consideration of context. Consistent with social cognitive theory Social Cognitive Theory utilized both in Psychology and Communications posits that portions of an individual's knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others within the context of social interactions, experiences, and outside media influences.  and the teacher efficacy model proposed by Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk Hoy, and Hoy (1998), social and environmental contexts playa playa
 or pan or flat or dry lake

Flat-bottomed depression that is periodically covered by water. Playas occur in interior desert basins and adjacent to coasts in arid and semiarid regions.
 major role in the teacher's analysis of the teaching task. Declines in efficacy with the first year of teaching have been attributed, in part, to the withdrawal of the social support provided by the university when practice teaching ends and real teaching begins (Cantrell et al., 2003; Woolfolk Hoy & Burke-Spero, 2005). With respect to the influence of cooperating teachers on preservice teachers, Li and Zhang (2000) found that preservice teachers who perceived their cooperating teachers' to be highly efficacious had significantly higher general teaching efficacy than their counterparts. In this study, we use the term "mentor Mentor, in Greek mythology
Mentor (mĕn`tər, –tôr'), in Greek mythology, friend of Odysseus and tutor of Telemachus.
" rather than "cooperating teacher." This longitudinal study longitudinal study

a chronological study in epidemiology which attempts to establish a relationship between an antecedent cause and a subsequent effect. See also cohort study.
 examines the importance of social context in the formation of efficacy judgments as proposed by the Tschannen-Moran et al. model. Specifically, we investigated the question:</p> <pre>

How well do teaching experiences, the relationship with mentors, the student teachers' perceptions of their mentor, and perceived

teaching support predict the efficacy beliefs of student teachers? </pre> <p>Method

This study used a descriptive survey research design. Efficacy beliefs of preservice teachers and sources of those beliefs were examined through a survey instrument administered at the end of student teaching. Participants were 59 female and 11 male student teachers enrolled in the Master of Education (M.Ed.) program in a large mid-western university. Majors were: 36 in foreign and second language education, 17 in special education, 11 in family and consumer science education, and 6 in social studies. All students enter the program with an undergraduate degree “First degree” redirects here. For the BBC television series, see First Degree.

An undergraduate degree (sometimes called a first degree or simply a degree
 and complete the M.Ed. program in tire quarters. Students are in the school setting for much of the time and are assigned as·sign  
tr.v. as·signed, as·sign·ing, as·signs
1. To set apart for a particular purpose; designate: assigned a day for the inspection.

 to a mentor teacher. The program requires at least 10 weeks of full time student teaching. In addition to the demographic items, the questionnaire included four sections:

Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES-short form) (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). The TSES TSES Tactical Signals Exploitation System  includes 12 items on a 7-point scale yielding three subscales: Efficacy for Classroom Management, Efficacy for Instructional Strategies, and Efficacy for Student Engagement. Based on the recommendations of Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy for preservice teachers, we used the total score (alpha = .88). See "" for the items.

Relationship with Mentor. Fifteen student teacher/mentor relationship characteristics derived from mentoring research (Jonson, 2002; Podsen & Denmark, 2000; Rowley, 1999) were put in the form of statements (e. g., "Share her/his own struggles and frustrations and how she/he overcame them" and "Express her/his ideas and policies simply and directly") and rated using a 5-point scale, with higher scores indicating positive and trusting relationship with mentor. The alpha reliability = .95.

Your Mentor asa Teacher. Based on the mentoring literature again, seven mentor teaching characteristics were put in the form of statements (e. g., Demonstrate effective classroom management practices" and "Have a through command of curriculum being taught") and rated on a 5-point scale. Higher score reflected that the student teacher consider his/her mentor as an effective teacher. The alpha reliability = .92.

Teaching Support. Participants were asked to rate six items on a 5-point scale describing the quality of support they had received from students, school community, and university supervisor. Four of the items came from the Questionnaire for Beginning Teachers and Mentors (Reiman & Edelfelt, 1991). The alpha reliability was .76.

Descriptive statistics descriptive statistics

see statistics.
 provided a sample profile and summarized variables. Second, Pearson correlation coefficients Correlation Coefficient

A measure that determines the degree to which two variable's movements are associated.

The correlation coefficient is calculated as:
 were computed between each predictor variable Noun 1. predictor variable - a variable that can be used to predict the value of another variable (as in statistical regression)
variable quantity, variable - a quantity that can assume any of a set of values
 and the preservice teachers' sense of efficacy at the end of student teaching. Third, simultaneous multiple regression Multiple regression

The estimated relationship between a dependent variable and more than one explanatory variable.
 analysis predicted the student teachers' sense of efficacy using the significant variables identified (significance level set to 0.05 for all analyses).


Student teachers' mean reported teaching experience was 503.1 hours (range = 200 to 2420 hours). Mentors' experience ranged from 2 to 35 years with a median of 15 years. The mean scores and standard deviation In statistics, the average amount a number varies from the average number in a series of numbers.

(statistics) standard deviation - (SD) A measure of the range of values in a set of numbers.
 of the remaining variables are presented in Table 1 along with the correlation coefficients between the dependent variable (TSES) and independent variables (Relationship with Mentor, Your Mentor as a Teacher, and Teaching Support). See issue website The average student teacher efficacy score was 5.65 on a 7-point scale, indicating a high sense of efficacy. Scores on "Relationship with Mentor" (average of 4.12 on a 5-point scale) indicated that student teachers believed that they had positive and trusting relationships. Perceived support from environment was also high (mean=4.10). An average score of 4.23 demonstrated that student teachers considered their mentors as skilled teachers. There were three significant correlations: student teachers who experienced positive relationships with their mentors tended to be high in perceived efficacy belief (r=.35, p < .01 ); student teachers with perceived higher levels of teaching support reported higher efficacy (r=.37, p<.01); and student teachers with more hours of field experience reported lower efficacy scores (r=-.33, p <. 01). Efficacy was not related to the student teachers' perceptions of their mentors as teachers.

The simultaneous regression analysis In statistics, a mathematical method of modeling the relationships among three or more variables. It is used to predict the value of one variable given the values of the others. For example, a model might estimate sales based on age and gender.  was performed predicting preservice teachers' sense of efficacy using relationship with mentor, teaching support, and hours of field experiences as predictors. The perception of mentor asa teacher was not included because it was not correlated with the efficacy variable but was significantly correlated with the "relationship with mentor" variable; so inclusion would have caused a multicollinearity problem. Eliminating perception of mentor as a teacher, multicollinearity was not a concern, as indicated by the Variance Inflation Factor The Variance Inflation Factor (VIF) is a method of detecting the severity of Multicollinearity. More precisely, the VIF is an index which measures how much the variance of a coefficient(square of the standard error) is increased because of collinearity.  (VIF VIF - VHDL Interface Format. Intermediate language used by the Vantage VHDL compiler. "A VHDL Compiler Based on Attribute Grammar Methodology", R. Farrow et al, SIGPLAN NOtices 24(7):120-130 (Jul 1989). ) values. Results are given in Table 2. win2005.htm The regression equation predicting efficacy was significant (F (3,63) = 7.88, p < .01) accounting for 27% of the variance in efficacy scores. All of the variables were significant predictors (p < .05). Semipartial coefficients, defined as the proportion of variance uniquely explained by the predictor variable, for "relationship with mentor," "teaching support," and "hours of field experience" were .25, .29, and -.31 respectively.


Findings from this study contribute to the identification of sources of efficacy information of student teachers. Data analysis indicated that the relationship between student teacher and mentor, the support received from environment, and the number of field experiences were significant predictors of student teachers' sense of efficacy. Higher efficacy student teachers in this sample tended to believe they had positive relationship with their mentors, received support from the environment beyond their mentor, and had less teaching experience. R2 of .27 implied a moderate effect size, likely due to small sample size.

Findings of this study provide empirical evidence for Bandura's (1997) sources of efficacy (mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social persuasion PERSUASION. The act of influencing by expostulation or request. While the persuasion is confined within those limits which leave the mind free, it may be used to induce another to make his will, or even to make it in his own favor; but if such persuasion should so far operate on the mind , physiological states Noun 1. physiological state - the condition or state of the body or bodily functions
physical condition, physiological condition

wakefulness - a periodic state during which you are conscious and aware of the world; "consciousness during wakefulness in a sane
) and the Tschannen-Moran et al. model of teacher efficacy (1998). The model suggested that support and feedback from persons in the environment could serve as social persuasion. In this study, both the supports from environment and from mentors were significant predictors of efficacy information of student teachers. Considering the consistent finding in the literature showing that efficacy falls during the first years of teaching, this finding suggests that, to protect their efficacy beliefs, social support should not be withdrawn from novice teachers. In addition, more support and feedback from mentors and university supervisors would be valuable sources of information for student teachers.

Field placements are important because they generally are the student teacher's first potential source of mastery experience. Yet we found that as student teachers gain more experience, their perceived efficacy weakens. We did not determine whether the field experiences were successful. The student teachers may have had negative experiences, which weakened weak·en  
tr. & intr.v. weak·ened, weak·en·ing, weak·ens
To make or become weak or weaker.

weaken·er n.
 their efficacy beliefs. Bandura noted that some factors might be curvilinear curvilinear

a line appearing as a curve; nonlinear.

curvilinear regression
see curvilinear regression.
 in contributing to the efficacy judgments, a possibility not tested in this study. A longitudinal study might address this question.

Another source of efficacy judgments identified by Bandura is vicarious experience. Student teachers' perceptions of the effectiveness of their mentor were gathered in this study to see if student teachers considered mentors as models. Analysis indicated that this variable was not significantly correlated with teachers' sense of efficacy. Bandura suggested that "the greater the assumed similarity Similarity is some degree of symmetry in either analogy and resemblance between two or more concepts or objects. The notion of similarity rests either on exact or approximate repetitions of patterns in the compared items. , the more persuasive are the model's successes and failures" (1997, p. 87). These student teachers might have seen their mentors as unlike them in terms of experience (mentors had 4 to 25 years) or teaching style, and thus not appropriate or powerful sources of vicarious experience.


This study did not take student teachers' initial beliefs into consideration; those beliefs often are resistant to change. Second, the study relied on self-reported data for both predictor and criterion variables, on the assumption that student teachers reflect their actual perceptions. Other measures are recommended for further studies such as observations of classroom behaviors and relationships with mentors, in-depth interviews, and the perceptions of mentors and university supervisors. Finally, this study was limited by census sampling; data were gathered from every individual in the population. Even a complete census of all known members of a population is subject to random and/or measurement error (Fowler, 2001). Therefore, findings cannot be generalized gen·er·al·ized
1. Involving an entire organ, as when an epileptic seizure involves all parts of the brain.

2. Not specifically adapted to a particular environment or function; not specialized.

 to the population of student teachers without further research and replication In database management, the ability to keep distributed databases synchronized by routinely copying the entire database or subsets of the database to other servers in the network.

There are various replication methods.


Anderson, R., Greene, M., & Loewen, P. (1988). Relationships among teachers' and students' thinking skills, sense of efficacy, and student achievement. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 34(2), 148-165.

Ashton, P.T., & Webb, R. B. (1986). Making a difference: Teachers' sense of efficacy and student achievement. New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
: Longman.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W. H. Freeman Freeman can mean:
  • An individual not tied to land under the Medieval feudal system, unlike a villein or serf
  • A person who has been awarded Freedom of the City or "Freedom of the Company" in a Livery Company
  • The Freeman
 and Company.

Booth, M. (1993). The effectiveness and role of the mentor in school: The students' view. Cambridge Journal of Education, 23, 184-197.

Borko, H., & Mayfield, V. (1995). The roles of the cooperating teacher and university in learning to teach. Teaching and Teacher Education, 11(5), 501-518.

Brouwers, A., & Tomic, W. (2000). A longitudinal study of teacher burnout and perceived self-efficacy in classroom management. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16, 239-253.

Cantrell, P., Young, S., & Moore, A. (2003). Factors affecting science teaching efficacy of preservice elementary teachers. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 14(3), 177-192.

Caprara, G. V., Barbaranelli, C., Borgogni, L., & Steca, P. (2003). Efficacy beliefs as determinants of teachers' job satisfaction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 821-832

Coladarci, T. (1992). Teachers' sense of efficacy and commitment to teaching. Journal of Experimental Education, 60(4), 323-337.

Fallin, J., & Royse, D. (2000). Student teaching: the keystone key·stone  
1. Architecture The central wedge-shaped stone of an arch that locks its parts together. Also called headstone.

2. The central supporting element of a whole.
 experience. Music Educators Journal, 87(3), 19-22.

Feiman-Nemser, S. (1983). Learning to teach. In L. Shulman & G. Sykes (Eds.), Handbook
For the handbook about Wikipedia, see .

This article is about reference works. For the subnotebook computer, see .
"Pocket reference" redirects here.
 on teaching and policy (pp. 150-170). New York: Longman.

Fowler, F. J. (2001). Survey research methods (3rd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Ghaith, G., & Yaghi, M. (1997). Relationships among experience, teacher efficacy, and attitudes toward the implementation of instructional innovation. Teaching and Teacher Education, 13, 451-458.

Guyton, E. & McIntyre, D. J. (1990). Student teaching and school experiences. In W. Houston, M. Haberman & J. Sikula (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education (pp. 514-534). New York: MacMillan.

Jonson, K. F. (2002). Being an effective mentor: how to help beginning teachers succeed. Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks, residential city (1990 pop. 104,352), Ventura co., S Calif., in a farm area; inc. 1964. Avocados, citrus, vegetables, strawberries, and nursery products are grown. , CA: Corwin Press.

Labone, E. (2004). Teacher efficacy: Maturing the construct through research in alternative paradigms. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20, 341-359.

Li, X., & Zhang, M. (2000). Effects of early field experiences on preservice teachers' efficacy beliefs--a pilot study. (ERIC Document Reproductive re·pro·duc·tive
1. Of or relating to reproduction.

2. Tending to reproduce.


subserving or pertaining to reproduction.
 Service No. ED 444973).

Midgley, C., Feldlaufer, H., & Eccles, J. (1989). Change in teacher efficacy and student self- and task-related beliefs in mathematics during the transition to junior high school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 247-258.

Mulholland, J., & Wallace, J. (2001). Teacher induction Induction (educator)

Induction is the support and guidance provided to novice teachers and school administrators in the early stages of their careers. Induction encompasses orientation to the workplace, socialization, mentoring, and guidance through beginning teacher
 and elementary science teaching: enhancing self-efficacy. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17, 243-261.

Plourde, L. A. (2002). The influence of student teaching on preservice elementary teachers' science self-efficacy and 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
 beliefs. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 29(4), 245-253.

Podsen, I. J., & Denmark, V. M. (2000). Coaching & mentoring first-year and student teachers. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.

Reiman, A. J., & Edelfelt, R. A. (1991). Questionnaire for beginning teachers and mentor teachers. In P. E. Lester & L. E. Bishop, Handbook of tests and measurement in education and the social sciences (pp. 109-112). Lancaster, PA: Technomic.

Ross, J. A. (1998). The antecedents and consequences of teacher efficacy. In J. Bropy (Ed.), Advances in research on teaching, Vol. 7 (pp. 49-73). Greenwich, CT: JAI JAI Java Advanced Imaging
JAI Justice et Affaires Interiéures (French: Justice and Home Affairs)
JAI Journal of ASTM International
JAI Just An Idea
JAI Jazz Alliance International
JAI Joint Africa Institute

Rowley, J. B. (1999). The good mentor. Educational Leadership, 56(8), 20-22.

Soodak, L. C., & Podell, M. (1996). Teacher efficacy: toward the understanding of a multi-faceted construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 12, 401-411.

Thomson, S., Beacham, B., & Misulis, K. (1992). A university and public school collaborative approach to preparing elementary teachers. The Teacher Educator, 28(2), 46-51.

Tschannen-Moran, M., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2001). Teacher efficacy: capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17, 783-805.

Tschannen-Moran, M., Woolfolk Hoy, A., & Hoy, W. K. (1998). Teacher efficacy: Its meaning and measure. Review of Educational Research, 68(2), 202-248.

Woolfolk Hoy, A. E., & Burke-Spero, R. (2005). Changes in teacher efficacy during the early years of teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21 (4), 343-356.

Zeichner, K.M. (1980). Myths and realities: Field-based experiences in pre-service teacher education This article or section is written like an .
Please help [ rewrite this article] from a neutral point of view.
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. Journal of Teacher Education, 31(6), 45-55.

Yesim Capa Aydin, Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Anita Woolfolk Hoy, The Ohio State University Ohio State University, main campus at Columbus; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1870, opened 1873 as Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, renamed 1878. There are also campuses at Lima, Mansfield, Marion, and Newark. , OH

Capa Aydin, Ph.D., is Instructor in the Department of Educational Sciences, and Woolfolk Hoy, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Psychology and Teacher Education.
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Author:Hoy, Anita Woolfolk
Publication:Academic Exchange Quarterly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 22, 2005
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