Parents are becoming more enthusiastic about having their children start their education as early as possible. This demand from families has been echoed in the field of educational entrepreneurship, leading the private sector to found many institutions that enroll students as early as the preschool years in Oman. However, the development of what is taught and how it is practiced in subject domains in these early childhood settings are ambivalent. The current trend in education in early years suggests a holistic perspective and to consider the individual learner as the whole child, in turn, mandates a broad and wide-ranging educational programs and curricula to meet the needs of young children. Thereby, art education takes place to contribute to the development of “whole child“ and flourishes the young children’s numerous skills from creativity to imagination and improves their capacity from fine motor skills to cognitive, language, and aesthetic development. However, there has been scarcity of research about the dimensions of teaching arts in early childhood education (ECE) in Oman. Therefore it is critical to investigate about the aspects of teaching arts in ECE in different phases of teaching. One of the most important of these aspects is ECE Teachers‘ self-efficacy beliefs. These beliefs determine the level of teachers‘ engagement with different subjects such as arts in the classroom because it relates to the beliefs they hold about their own perceived ability in undertaking certain teaching tasks. A significant component of these tasks is the “classroom management“ as it extends to the wide variety of skills, techniques, and disposioons that teachers employ to keep students organized, orderly, focused, attentive, on task, in the classroom in order to ensure that lessons run smoothly and productive. As yet, there is no empirical research on the self-efficacy beliefs of ECE teachers in Oman pertaining to teaching arts, and none about their self-efficacy for classroom management. Studying the self efficacy levels of the practicing teachers in classroom management for art subjects such as music, dance, drama, media and visual arts would provide an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon and propose suggestions for improvement of arts education in early years. Thus, the current research is essential as it fills a critical gap in the existing literature. The results are shared, implications are provided for different stakeholders including teachers, administrators, and policy-makers, and directions future research.
The main research questions of the present study are: (1) What are the perceived levels of ECE teachers‘ self-efficacy for arts education? (2) What is the relationship between the participants’ backgrounds such as their educational level, age, years of teaching experience, types of previous and current teaching experience according to grade levels, number of art subjects they studied, and previous experience related to different types of art and their perceived efficacy for classroom management in teaching arts. The adapted version of the Teachers’ Self-Efficacy Scale (TSES) in both English and Arabic, along with the background survey were deployed to collect the data from 175 schools in Muscat area. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the results by using SPSS. Hypothesis-1: Early childhood teachers in Oman generally possess high self-efficacy for classroom management in arts education. Hypothesis-2 : In the teaching of Arts subjects there are differences in self-efficacy in classroom management between early childhood teachers at different educational levels age, years of teaching experience, types of previous and current teaching experience according to grade levels, number of art subjects they studied, and previous experience related to different types of art. The research study was conducted in Muscat area of Oman. The participants were recruited from 175 early childhood education centers, and schools. A questionnaire, “teachers’ sense of efficacy scale” (TSES), consisted of 24 likert-type items was deployed as a measurement. The instrument was originally developed by Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy in 2001 and adapted by Garvis in 2009. The scale has already gone through the back-translation processes by the authors in order to use it in Omani context. The scale was also piloted with 100 participants in order to assure the validity of adapted version. The actual study procedures were started by distributing the adapted version of the TSES along with the background survey which consisted the questions to understand the participant teachers‘educational level, age, years of teaching experience, types of previous and current teaching experience according to grade levels, number of art subjects they studied, and previous experience related to different types of art. Of the 750 distributed surveys, 331 (44.1%) were completed and returned to the authors. After eliminating the spoiled surveys, 292 completed surveys were considered for further analysis. 180 participants used the Arabic Version of the Survey and 112 participants used the English version of the same survey.
The overall reliability of the scale was found to be very solid. The Chronbach’s alpha for the subscales including were found to be strong. The descriptive statistics results suggested that the participant teachers had moderately high self-efficacy for classroom management in teaching arts. This study’s data provides evidence that having a graduate degree in primary education or a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education are associated with higher levels of self-efficacy in Classroom Management among early childhood teachers than is the case for such teachers who do not have a comparably occupation-specific degree. Also, This study’s data provides evidence that self-efficacy in Classroom Management is significantly higher among early childhood teachers who had studied one or more art subjects during college than among those who had studied no art subjects during college. However, this study’s data provides no definitive evidence that there is a relationship between age, years of teaching experience, type of prior teaching experience, grade level currently being taught, direct experience with the arts and self-efficacy in Classroom Management in the teaching of Arts among early childhood teachers.
Garvis, S. (2009). Improving the teaching of the arts: Pre-service teacher self-efficacy towards arts education. US-China Education Review, 6(12), 23-28 Tschannen-Moran, M. & Woolfolk Hoy, A. W. (2001). Teacher efficacy: Capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(7), 783-805.
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Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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