ERG SES D 06, Education and Pre-Service Teachers
Research in the area of teacher effectiveness has revealed that many teacher characteristics appear to be related to it. Teacher’s sense of efficacy is one teacher characteristic that has been significantly related student motivation (Midgley, Feldlaufer & Eccles, 1989), and achievement (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Bandura, 1993; Goddard, Hoy & Woolfolk-Hoy, 2000; Hoy, Sweetland & Smith, 2002). In addition, it is also found to be related to teaching behavior and performance (Riggs et al., 1994). Teachers with a strong sense of efficacy desire to try different materials and approaches (Cousins & Walker, 2000; Weiner, 2003), to improve their teaching (Weiner, 2003), and show greater commitment to teaching (Coladarci, 1992). A strong sense of self-efficacy helps teachers deal with a struggling student longer and become less critical of student errors (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Gibson & Dembo, 1984; Fuchs, Fuchs & Bishop, 1992). On the other hand, teachers with a low sense of self-efficacy are likely to be less willing to work with difficult students and to be less optimistic about student learning. They feel discouraged about teaching and experience lower levels of job-satisfaction (Ashton, 1984; Caprara et al., 2006; Klassen et al., 2009; Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk-Hoy, & Hoy, 1998). Therefore, in order to raise effective teachers, it is important to develop teaching self-efficacy of pre-service science teachers. In consideration of this, there is a need to investigate the factors influencing the development of teacher self-efficacy beliefs starting with pre-service years. Indeed, the development of self-efficacy beliefs among pre-service teachers has attracted a great deal of research interest, as once efficacy beliefs are established; they tend to be resistant to change (Hoy & Spero, 2005).
The other characteristic in being an effective teacher is locus of control. Locus of control as developed by Rotter (1966) based on the social-cognitive theory, is a well-known cognitive-behavioral psychological attribute refers to one’s belief in his or her abilities to control life events. Locus of control is one construct which determines teachers’ roles in classroom (Lefcourt, 1982; Spector, 1982). Studies suggests that teacher locus of control is related to motivation (Anderson, Hattie & Hamilton, 2005), self-efficacy (Anderson, Hattie & Hamilton, 2005), students’ perception of classroom (Sadowski & Woodward, 1983; Sadowski, Blackwell & Willard, 1986), teaching performance (Sadowski & Woodward, 1983; Sadowski, Blackwell & Willard, 1986), anxiety, attitude and confidence (Pigge & Marso, 1990; Smith, 1997), and classroom management styles (Bredekamp & Coppler, 1997).
As another teacher characteristic, teachers’ attitude towards science is one of the major influences on students’ attitude toward science. Thus, it is important to determine teachers’ attitude towards science. Based on this idea, this construct was examined in relation to self-efficacy (Gassert, Shroyen & Staver, 1996; Tekkaya, Cakiroglu & Ozkan 2002), teachers’ preparation and their practice (Manning, Esler, & Baird, 1982), locus of control (Haury , 1984), teachers’ understanding of science concepts (Tekkaya, Cakiroglu & Ozkan 2002), their ability to affect science learning among elementary students and their level of science knowledge (Wenner, 1993).
The aim of the present study is to examine the relationships among pre-service science teachers’ teaching self-efficacy, locus of control, attitude towards science teaching, and sex by proposing and testing a conceptual model.
Anderson, A., Hattie, J. & Hamilton, R.J. (2005). Locus of control, self-efficacy, and motivation in different schools: Is moderation the key to success? Educational Psychology, 25(5), 517. Ashton, P. T., & Webb, R. B. (1986). Making a difference: teachers’ sense of efficacy and student achievement. New York, NY: Longman. Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Educational Psychologist, 28(2), 117-148. Coladarci, T. (1992). Teachers’ sense of efficacy and commitment to teaching. Journal of Experimental Education, 60(4), 323–337. Cousins, J. B., & Walker, C. A. (2000). Predictors of educators’ valuing of systemic inquiry in schools. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation (Special Issue), 25–53. Enochs, L. G., & Riggs, I. M. (1990). Further development of an elementary science teaching efficacy belief instrument: A preservice elementary scale. School Science and Mathematics, 90(8), 695-706. Hoy, A. W. & Spero, R. B. (2005) Changes in teacher efficacy during the early years of teaching: A comparison of four measures. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(4), 343-356. Manning, P.C., Esler, W. K., & Baird, J. R. (1982). How much elementary science is really being taught? Science and Children, 19(8), 40-41. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80(1), 1-28. Sadowski, C. J., Blackwell, M. W., & Willard, J. L.(1986). Locus of control and student teacher performance. Education, 105(4), 391-393. Sadowski, C.J. & Woodward, H.R. (1983). Teacher locus of control and classroom climate: A cross-lagged correlational study. Psychology in the Schools. 20(4), 506-509. Sadowski, C.J., Taylor, R. C., Woodward, H. R., Peacher, R. K., & Martin, B. J.(1982). The reliability and validity of a Likert-type locus of control scale for teachers. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 12, 32. Smith, K. E. (1997). Student teachers’ beliefs about developmentally appropriate practice: pattern, stability, and the influence of locus of control. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 12 (2) , 221-243. Tekkaya, C., Cakiroglu, J., Ozkan, O. (2002). A case study on science teacher trainees. Education and Science, 126, 15-21. Thompson, C. L., Shrigley, R. L. (1986). What research says: Revising the science attitude scale. School Science and Mathematics, 86(4), 331-343. Tschannen-Moran, M., Woolfolk-Hoy, A., & Hoy, W. K. (1998). Teacher efficacy: Its meaning and measure. Review of Educational Research, 68(2), 202-248. Wenner, G. (1995). Science knowledge and efficacy beliefs among preservice elementary teachers: A follow-up study. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 4(4), 307- 315.
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