The Effects of Laboratory-based and Field-based Practicum Experience on Pre-service Teachers' Self-Efficacy

Apr. 01, 2009

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 25, Issue 3, April 2009, Pages 437-443

A well defined line of research has been conducted on the role of self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977) in teaching and learning environments.

The goal of this study was to explore the effect of Laboratory-Based (LB) and Field-Based (FB) practicum experience on pre-service teachers' efficacy levels within one Physical Education Teacher Education program.

59 undergraduate students participated in the program. The participants were placed into two groups, LB design (n = 31) and FB design (n = 28).
A quasi-experimental design with two levels of treatment and no control group was implemented.

Both groups were administered a version of the Teacher Efficacy Scale (TES) adapted for physical education teachers at four stages of their preservice program:
(1) at or near entry;
(2) at the start of their methods course sequence;
(3) at the end of the methods course sequence, just prior to student teaching; and
(4) at program completion. Results from a Repeated Measures ANOVA indicated significant differences between groups on one facet of teacher efficacy at Stages 2 and 3.

Those differences are attributed to the differing levels of authentic teaching practice between groups, and the challenges posed to each group of preservice teachers prior to student teaching. By the end of student teaching, both groups' efficacy levels were essentially equal, perhaps due to the similarly high level of authenticity across all subjects in that key experience.
The study also highlights the importance of on-going, appropriate and authentic challenges in eventually establishing strong and stable efficacy levels among preservice teachers

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84, 191–215.

Updated: Mar. 31, 2009