THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TEACHER SELF-EFFICACY AND THEIR TEACHING PRACTICES
Adapting and including student-centred strategies, methodologies and techniques that foster the competence to be learned and encourage independent learning is one of the major challenges that university teachers are faced with.
The success of these teaching activities and practices depends to a great extent on teachers’ self perception and confidence in their professional capacity to face up to the changes involved in learning-centred models (Rodríguez, 2009).
This self perception, called self-efficacy, plays a major role in how teachers select assignments and activities, shaping their efforts and perseverance when addressing certain challenges and even in their emotional response to difficult situations. Self-efficacy ultimately accounts for a cognitive construct that mediates between knowledge and action. Jointly with other variables, this determines the success of the actions themselves (Prieto, 2003).
Numerous studies point out that teachers with high self-efficacy levels are more open to new ideas, show greater willingness to try new teaching methods, design and organise their classes better, and are more enthusiastic and satisified with their teaching (Dembo and Gibson, 1985; Ashton, 1985; Allinder, 1994; Ross, 1997; Guskey, 1998; Tschannen-Moran,Woolfolk and Hoy, 2001; Bamburg, 2004).
This paper examines the results of a study in which 71 teachers and over 2000 students from the University of Deusto (Spain) and the Catholic University of Temuco (Chile) took part.
The study focuses on analysis of teachers’ beliefs concerning their teaching practices and the relationship with other variables which different authors have cited as possibly having direct effects on the perception of efficacy. These variables include years of professional experience and teacher training, among others.