An exploration of the sources of teaching self-efficacy among a sample of early career teachers
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 21:13 authored by Amy Van Arkkels
In comparison with more experienced teachers, early career teachers report significantly lower levels of self-efficacy. Although the early years of teaching are a critical time for developing teacher self-efficacy, little is known about the sources of early career teacher self-efficacy judgements. Early career teachers (N=40) completed an online questionnaire assessing their self-efficacy. A smaller group (n=25) completed a reflective item which recorded the sources of their self-efficacy beliefs in the context of specific lessons they planned to deliver. Semi-structured interviews with early career teachers reporting low self-efficacy (n=3) and high self-efficacy, (n=4) probed the sources of self-efficacy in relation to the day to day experiences of early-career teaching. Consistent with the literature, participants reported lower teacher self-efficacy than the mean established by Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001). The main sources of their self-efficacy were relationships with students, perceptions of student engagement, and feedback and advice received from colleagues. The role of mastery and social persuasions as sources of early career teacher self-efficacy is discussed. Implications for the positive development of early career teacher self-efficacy are discussed.