A qualitative study investigating the sources of teacher efficacy beliefs

Minett, Rachel (2015) A qualitative study investigating the sources of teacher efficacy beliefs. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

A teacher’s efficacy beliefs have been found to influence their professional commitment (Coladarci, 1992; Ware and Kitsantas, 2007, 2011; Klassen et al., 2013), their job satisfaction (Caprara et al., 2006, Hoigaard et al., 2012) and how resilient they are in difficult situations (Ashton and Webb, 1986), as well as influencing student achievement and teaching performance (Armor et al., 1976; Caprara et al, 2006; Klassen and Tze, 2014). Bandura (1997) has suggested that self-efficacy beliefs are formed from four sources: enactive mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion and physiological and affective states. Considering the potential importance of developing positive teacher efficacy cognitions, there has been a lack of research investigating the sources of teacher efficacy beliefs (Henson, 2002; Klassen et al, 2011).
This study used a constructivist grounded theory method to investigate the sources of teachers’ efficacy beliefs, a method that has not been employed by other researchers in this area. The use of a social constructivist framework (Charmaz, 2006), with its focus on processes and the creation of knowledge through interaction, reflected my belief that my own experiences as a teacher may influence the interpretation of the data. In this study, 18 interviews were conducted with teachers in a secondary school in Essex.
Teachers appeared to use a variety of sources to validate their efficacy beliefs. In contrast to Bandura’s (1997) theory about the sources of self-efficacy beliefs suggesting mastery experiences as the most important, verbal persuasion in the form of lesson observation feedback appeared to be a particularly salient source for teachers in this study. The study suggests that this may be due to the increasing accountability culture in English schools. The study contributes to our understanding of how teacher efficacy beliefs are influenced by contextual factors, in particular the influence of government agendas, and suggests some implications for school leaders and areas for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Vailele Chittock
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2016 11:53
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2016 11:53
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/56883
DOI:

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