The Nature of the Relationship between Teaching Concerns and Sense of Efficacy

Aug. 01, 2010

Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 33, No. 3, August 2010, 279–291.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study aimed to explore the relationship between student teachers’ sense of efficacy and their teaching concerns.

The study addressed to the following research question:
Do pre-service teachers’ efficacies in student engagement, instructional practices and classroom management relate to their teaching concerns in terms of self, task and impact? If so, how?


The participants were three hundred and thirty-nine prospective teachers enrolled in the secondary science and mathematics education departments of two universities in Turkey. One hundred and thirty-one were male, and 208 were female.
The participants in this study follow a five-year programme.

Two instruments were used to collect data:
1. ‘Teachers’ Concerns Checklist’, which developed by Borich (1992), measured the prospective teachers’ teaching concerns in terms of self, task and impact categories.

2. The other instrument was the ‘Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy’, which was developed by Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk-Hoy (2001). This instrument measured student teachers’ sense of efficacy and produced three subscale scores: ‘Efficacy in student engagement’, ‘Efficacy in instructional practices’ and ‘Efficacy in classroom management’.

Summary and discussion

The results of this study reveal that pre-service teachers in this study had moderate senses of efficacy in terms of their efficacy in student engagement, instructional strategies and classroom management.

Furthermore compared to the other year groups, fifth-year student teachers were more efficacious in terms of student engagement, instructional strategies and classroom management.
In addition, student teachers from all year groups had higher task-related teaching concerns.
Fifth-year student teachers had significantly less self-related teaching concerns than did second and third-year student teachers.

Finally, this study found that if teachers had high-impact related teaching concerns, they tended to have a lower sense of self-efficacy in terms of classroom management, instructional strategies and student engagement, and vice versa.
Similarly, prospective teachers with high task- and self-related teaching concerns tended to have lower senses of efficacy beliefs.

These findings have implications for teacher education programmes.
First, this study implies that it might be crucial to enhance prospective teachers’ sense of efficacy. In particular, this study suggests that enhancement of prospective teachers’ efficacy in student engagement would increase their sense of efficacy.

Second, guidance, support and advice given by mentors would enhance prospective teachers’ sense of efficacy.

Third, the authors suggest that prospective teachers should be taught about the application of teaching methods as well as they would be given the opportunity to practice these methods at the university courses.

Likewise, a decrease in the prospective teachers’ concerns is related to an increase in their sense of efficacy. Therefore, effective field experiences and university courses may help decrease the teaching concerns of prospective teachers.

Finally, the authors suggests that student teachers should be specifically taught in teacher education programmes how to satisfy the academic, social and emotional needs of their students and how to motivate them.

Borich, G.D. 1992. Effective teaching methods. Columbus, OH: Macmillan.

Tschannen-Moran, M., and A. Woolfolk Hoy. 2001. Teacher efficacy: Capturing an elusive concept. Teaching and Teacher Education 17: 783–805.

Updated: Dec. 04, 2012