Teacher Efficacy Discourses About Education Research Proposal

  • Length: 20 pages
  • Subject: Teaching
  • Type: Research Proposal
  • Paper: #26733368

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

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The study also found that the promotion of personal teaching efficacy was most evident in schools when other teachers and administrators set goals that were high but achievable, the school climate was organized and serious, and when academic excellence was highly regarded (Hoy & Wolfolk,1993). In addition, teacher efficacy had a great deal to do with the perception that principals could influence their superiors. That is the influence of administrators led to greater efficacy of teachers. These findings are consistent with previous research (Hoy & Wolfolk,1993).

According to Goddard et al. (2004) collective efficacy is also an important aspect of teaching efficacy as it pertains to student achievement. The authors assert that The connections between collective efficacy beliefs and student outcomes depend in part on the reciprocal relationships among these collective efficacy beliefs, teachers' personal sense of efficacy, teachers' professional practice, and teacher's influence over instructionally relevant school decisions (Goddard et al., 2004) ."

The authors also points out that collective efficacy is not limited to education as it pertains to positive outcomes. The researchers explain that collective efficacy is important in other organizations including businesses. In fact the authors point out that the positive outcomes that are realized from collective efficacy in other domains only serve to reiterate the need for collective efficacy in the realm of education (Goddard et al., 2004) .

From the standpoint of the education environment, the author asserts that collective efficacy focuses on the idea that teachers cannot only possess self-efficacy but also certain opinions about the capacity of the school to meet the needs of the students. The authors point out that the group reference opinion within organizations is described as the perceived collective efficacy (Goddard et al., 2004). As it pertains to organizations the perceived collective efficacy is the opinions of members of the organization as it pertains to the performance abilities of the entire unit. In the context of the school environment collective efficacy is defined as the "judgment of teachers in a school that the faculty as a whole can organize and execute the courses of action required to have a positive effect on students (Goddard et al., 2004)."

The authors further posit that the concept of collective efficacy is so important because research has suggested that it is essential to succeeding as it pertains to group goals. As it pertains specifically to education the research has found a substantive correlation between perceived collective efficacy and the differences in student achievement among various schools (Bandura, 1993; Goddard, 2001; Goddard et al., 2000; Goddard et al., 2004). In fact, Bandura found that the effect of perceived collective efficacy on student achievement was greater than the correlation between SES and student achievement (Goddard et al., 2004). Goddard also discovered that, even after controlling for race/ethnicity, gender, prior achievement, and SES, perceived collective efficacy had a more substantial impact on student achievement than did race or SES (Goddard et al., 2004). In addition, teachers held varying beliefs concerning the collective ability of schools and teacher perceptions had a definite impact upon the achievement of students (Goddard et al., 2004).

The authors also explain that in addition to the positive relationship between perceived collective efficacy and student achievement, perceived collective efficacy also assist in the process of any type of goal attainment. Researchers have found that a greater sense of collective efficacy in city neighborhoods results in lower levels of violence within the neighborhood. Also,

Neighborhoods in which residents reported a strong sense of collective efficacy were also ones in which citizens felt an expectation for action that predisposed them to intervene to decrease violent activity. Such social sanctions serve as deterrents to those who might otherwise violate group expectations. In addition,

Little and Madigan (1997) have shown that perceived collective efficacy is a strong positive predictor of work group effectiveness. They observe that a group's sense of collective efficacy has "a mediating, or facilitating effect on team

performance (Goddard et al., 2004)."

The authors go on to state that the reason why perceived collective efficacy is so influential is that it represents the expectations for actions. These expectations are diffused via collective efficacy perceptions (Sampson, Morenoff, & Earls, 2000; Goddard et al., 2004). Sampson et al. (2000) also asserted that collective efficacy perceptions are essential as it pertains to the manner in which groups operate because they illuminate the manner in which the abilities of the organization are out to use to reach a stated goal (Goddard et al., 2004). In some cases the perceived collective efficacy has an affect upon the persistence associated with the pursuing of goals within an organization (Goddard et al., 2004). With these things understood, collective efficacy can be viewed as a powerful way of describing the standards and behavioral influences associate with the culture of an organization (Goddard et al., 2004). This type of understanding concerning collective efficacy is essential to understanding the impact that the culture of a school has on teachers an the manner in which this influence shapes student achievement (Goddard et al., 2004).

Finally, the author explains that as teachers and administrators attempt to improve the level of academic achievement amongst students, schools must investigate the power that the have to develop an environment that is conducive to learning. The connection between group outcomes and perceived collective efficacy can be explained by the resiliency with which the efficacious pursue given goals (Goddard et al., 2004). Similarly, to self-efficacy beliefs, collective efficacy is correlated to tasks, degree of effort, persistence, communal thoughts, stress levels, and achievement amongst group members. In the same way that personal teachers efficacy is partially responsible for influence of teachers on student achievement, from an organizational standpoint, a faculty's sense of collective efficacy provides insight into the varying effects that school cultures has on both teachers and students (Goddard et al., 2004).

Because this is the case it is apparent that some school environment positively influence teachers while others have a negative impact on teachers. For instance, some teachers work in schools where the academic standards and goals are low and as such they have poor perception of collective efficacy (Goddard et al., 2004). On the other hand there are teachers who work in schools that have high standards and where there is confidence associated with the collective abilities of the schools faculty (Goddard et al., 2004). The beliefs concerning collective efficacy within the educational environment can affect teacher performance and student learning (Goddard et al., 2004).

Teacher efficacy is basically a theory involving teachers opinions about their competence. How teachers feel about their performance as educators is important and can serve as a predictor for the overall health of an organization. The greater the amount of teacher efficacy that exist in the school environment, the more likely the school is to be a healthy organization. In addition the research suggest that collective efficacy is also an emerging area of interest that provides important understanding of the impact of the school environment in motivating teachers and students. When teachers and administrators have high levels of perceived collective efficacy group goals and achievements are more likely to be realized.

How teacher efficacy impacts learning/student achievement

Teacher efficacy can have a profound impact upon the achievement of students. When teachers do not feel adequate as instructors students are less likely to excel. On the other hand if teachers do feel that they are adequate as teachers, their confidence spills over into their classrooms and student achievement is the result. There have been several studies conducted involving the impact of teacher efficacy on student achievement.

According to Ross (1992) explains that prior research the efficacy of teachers can influence the development of innovative programs and student achievement. For instance, McLaughlin and Marsh (1978) used a single questionnaire item for each of two dimensions of teacher efficacy, Rand 1 (general teaching efficacy) and Rand 2 (personal teaching efficacy. The questionnaire found "an extended causal chain-from teacher efficacy to teacher behavior to student efficacy to student behavior to student achievement." In addition, Ashton and Webb (1986) used identical measures and discovered that finding that Rand 1 was associated to student math scores and that Rand 2 was correlated to language performance. In both instances measures were associated with the instructional tendencies of teachers. That is correlations could be made to the creation of a positive emotional climate in the classroom and the avoidance of seatwork (Ross 1992).

Smylie (1988) asserts that there are three measurement tools that can be used to determine personal teacher efficacy that have a positive correlation to implementation of an interactive teaching program. In addition Stein and Wang (1988) measures of teacher efficacy involved having teachers appraise how well they felt they could put into operation each of the 22 elements contained in a mainstreaming program (Ross, 1992). The research concluded that scores were positively correlated to the implementation. Additionally, in their study Anderson, Greene, and…

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