The Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale: Confirming the Factor Structure with Beginning Pre-service Teachers

Aug. 01, 2012

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 28, Issue 6, (August, 2012), p. 827-834.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study examines the fit between beginning pre-service teachers’ scores from the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) in two different samples and two plausible rival models: 1-factor and 3-factor.

The participants in the first sample were 272 undergraduate pre-service teachers (PSTs) at the beginning stage of their teacher education program in a large Midwestern research-extensive university in the United States.
The participants in the second sample were 180 undergraduate pre-service teachers who were in the beginning stage of their teacher education program in a large Mid-south comprehensive university in the United States.

The authors used Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES; Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) to measure teacher efficacy.


The findings indicated that the 1-factor model resulted in the better fit within both samples.
The findings suggest that preservice teachers who lack pedagogical knowledge and teaching experience do not differentiate between the different aspects of teaching measured by the TSES.
Based on these results, the authors recommend using the total scale score as an indicator of pre-service teachers’ efficacy beliefs for teaching e at least for those pre-service teachers who have limited teaching experience and knowledge of teaching.
They argue that efficacy beliefs are strengthened by feedback gained from personal experience, vicarious experience, social persuasion, and physiological indicators.
From these efficacy sources, individuals gain important information that influences not only the formation of their competency beliefs, but also impacts their evaluation of the tasks to be completed.

This research suggests that pre-service teachers enter their teacher education programs with an abundant amount of knowledge about schools, classrooms, and instructional practices, because they have been immersed within formal education settings for at least 13 years, thus serving as apprentices to the teaching profession.
Because of their experiences, pre-service teachers also have been able to form perceptions of their own abilities to teach.
Once in the teacher education programs, pre-service teachers experience a variety of learning opportunities.

Research to date suggests that beginning pre-service teachers do not distinguish between the various latent constructs; whereas, ending pre-service teachers do make this differentiation.
Hence, the authors suggest that attention should be paid to the types of mastery experiences that pre-service teachers receive during teacher education to see if certain types of experiences (i.e., actual teaching experience vs. field observations) affect the differentiation of the factor structure more than others.

Tschannen-Moran, M., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2001). Teacher efficacy: capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17, 783-805.

Updated: Feb. 10, 2015


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