Student-teachers’ self-efficacy for instructing self-regulated learning in the classroom

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Published: 
February 2020

Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, 46:1, 120-123

(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study aims to investigate the self-efficacy beliefs student teachers held for implementing self-regulated learning (SRL) in the classroom.

Research design
128 fourth-year student–teachers involved in one-semester’s practice teaching in the Bachelor of Education in the English language education programme of a teacher training university in China participated in this study.
Data were obtained from two individually completed self-report survey instruments, i.e. Teacher Self-Efficacy Scale to Implement Self-Regulated Learning (TSES-SRL) (De Smul et al. 2018), and Self-Efficacy for Self-Regulated Learning Scale (SESRLS) (Bandura 2006).
The 21 items in TSES-SRL concern principles of direct and indirect instruction of SRL as well as features of a high-self-regulated learning environment as described by Perry, Hutchinson, and Thauberger (2007).
For either survey instrument, responses were made on a 6-point Likert scale ranging from not well at all to very well.

Findings and implications
The four factors that emerged from the student-teachers’ responses in this study appeared to be both similar and different to the four factors identified by De Smul et al. (2018). Consequently, the four factors that emerged in this study are:
Factor 1 Self-efficacy for implementing SRL through providing tasks, content and support and building in evaluation (7 items);
Factor 2 Self-efficacy for implementing SRL through direct instruction (4 items);
Factor 3 Self-efficacy for implementing SRL through providing choices (5 items);
Factor 4 Self-efficacy for training pupils to become self-regulated learners (5 items)
The mean scores of these four factors suggest that student-teachers generally appeared to be moderately competent in implementing SRL in the classroom. The student-teachers obtained the lowest mean score on Self-efficacy for implementing SRL through direct instruction, suggesting that some student-teachers could be unsure about direct instruction of SRL strategies in the classroom.
There are three possible interpretations of this result.
First, instruction of SRL requires fostering student-centred and constructivist classroom practices whereas English subject teaching in schools experienced by these student-teachers had usually been rather teacher-centred and didactic. Under such circumstances, these student-teachers were not likely to develop teaching practices that promote SRL in the classroom.
Second, because of limited target language proficiency, some student-teachers themselves might lack confidence to conduct communication activities in English or deal with students’ unforeseen needs.
This could have a negative impact on the quality of student-teachers’ interactions with pupils in class, which is important for fostering pupils’ metacognitive, intrinsically motivated, and strategic learning behaviours in class.
Third, because of lack of direct instruction of effective SRL strategies in the university teacher education course, the student-teachers in this study might be ill-prepared or insufficiently attuned to provide opportunities for their pupils to experience SRL in the classroom through tailored curricular activities.
For example, the student-teachers might not even be able to distinguish implicit instruction from explicit instruction of SRL strategies. Consequently, they might not know-how to encourage self-regulation in traditional classroom settings using reflective practice. In conclusion, the generally low self-efficacy in integrating SRL in their classrooms could be the major barrier to student-teachers’ actual SRL implementation.
It is therefore imperative for school-based mentors to scaffold student-teachers in SRL principles and strategies while they engage in practice teaching in schools.
The second questionnaire used in this study is Self-Efficacy for Self-Regulated Learning Scale (SESRLS).
The factor mean score shows that the student-teachers themselves also appeared to be marginally moderately competent in self-regulating their own university studies.
All aspects of self-efficacy for instructing SRL are moderately or strongly significantly positively correlated with student-teachers’ self-efficacy for SRL in the teacher training programme, suggesting that student-teachers who were more capable of self-regulating their learning were likely later to become more adept at promoting SRL in the classroom during the practicum.
In other words, if student-teachers are not confident in self-regulating their own learning, it will be difficult for them to foster an awareness and application of SRL in classrooms.
This further highlights the pressing need for teacher education programmes to provide student-teachers with opportunities and requirements for developing both an intellectual understanding of SRL and to demonstrate skills in the teaching of SRL.

References
Bandura, A. 2006. “Guide for Constructing Self-efficacy Scales.” In Adolescence and Education, edited by F. Pajares and T. Urdan, Self-efficacy and adolescence, 307–337. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
De Smul, M., S. Heirweg, H. Van Keer, G. Devos, and S. Vandevelde. 2018. “How Competent Do Teachers Feel Instructing Self-regulated Learning Strategies? Development and Validation of the Teacher Self-efficacy Scale to Implement Self-regulated Learning.” Teaching and Teacher Education 71: 214–225.
Perry, N. E., L. Hutchinson, and C. Thauberger. 2007. “Mentoring Student Teachers to Design and Implement Literacy Tasks that Support Self-regulated Learning and Writing.” Reading and Writing Quarterly 23: 27–50. 

Updated: Dec. 28, 2020
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