Student-oriented Teaching: Measuring Self-efficacy in Relation to Teaching Goals and Professional Development




Kilday, Jessica

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The overall purpose of this research was to examine teacher self-efficacy and how it relates to teachers’ motivational beliefs in the context of a professional development program for social studies. Specifically, the study investigates: (1) the relationship between teachers’ student-oriented teaching self-efficacy (SE-SOT) and their selfefficacy for motivation and engagement, (2) the predictive validity of teachers’ studentoriented teaching self-efficacy to their goal orientations, and (3) differences in teacher self-efficacy associated with the completion of a Teaching American History professional development cohort. From a sample of 144 in-service social studies teachers ranging in years of experience and grade-level, scales measuring teachers’ self-efficacy and achievement goals for teaching were used to examine patterns within the data. Principal axis factor analysis procedures revealed only one underlying construct for teachers’ selfefficacy for student-oriented teaching, which was significantly related to existing teacher self-efficacy measures and predicted teachers’ mastery, relational, and work-avoidance teaching goals. There were no significant mean differences related to completion of professional development between two groups of teachers, but teachers with more experience reported significantly higher levels of student-oriented teaching self-efficacy. Additionally, teachers at mid-career were more varied in their levels of SE-SOT, with greater variance reported among teachers who had not completed the professional development. The results affirm the need to persist in the development of teacher selfefficacy research more specifically among career teachers. Limitations and educational implications are also discussed.



Teacher self-efficacy, Professional development, Motivation, Achievement goals