Self-efficacy of teacher education students: A study based on Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory

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Lively, Mary
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Dean A. Pease
Daniel J. Reschly
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Curriculum and Instruction

This study of teacher education students' self-efficacy was based on Bandura's self-efficacy theory. A critical review of the literature about self-efficacy and teachers explores its "fit" with Bandura's theoretical model. Particular attention is given to the widely used and adapted two factor teacher efficacy scale developed by Gibson and Dembow. The controversy over definitions and interpretations of the constructs is evidence of need for further study. Overall, it appears there is not a very good fit between Bandura's self-efficacy theory and its application in current education research. Differences in definitions, lack of attention to salient features of the model, and deviations in measurement scales are evidence that educational research in self-efficacy is not firmly grounded in Bandura's self-efficacy theory;Subjects were 29 teacher education students from a major midwestern university. Survey instruments were mailed to student teachers at their assigned schools at the beginning and end of student teaching. The instrument consisted of four parts: personal and professional information, performance predictions on a Teaching Skill Expectations scale, ratings of Teaching Skill Importance and Teaching Skill Preparation, and a frequently used teaching efficacy scale;Incentive to perform well was measured by importance ratings and was presumed because teaching skills were drawn from student teaching evaluation forms. Importance ratings were high and stable throughout the semester. Possession of prerequisite subskills was determined by ratings of adequacy of preparation. On the average, student teachers were moderately positive about their preparation with only one significant change from the pre-test to the post-test (an increase). These results indicate that the theoretical assumptions of sufficient incentive and possession of prerequisite subskills are partially supported;Other results of this study appear to be ambiguous. Preliminary findings indicate that self-efficacy increased according to the responses to Teaching Skill Expectation items, but not as measured by the Gibson and Dembow personal and general teaching efficacy items or constructs. In fact, general teaching efficacy decreased significantly. Although student teachers who completed the study did not appear to be substantially different from those who did not participate or those who dropped out, one must be careful in drawing conclusions from the results of this small study. Further investigation is necessary to ensure that the results were not due to sample size or self selection.

Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1994