About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2647-2654
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain

PRESERVICE TEACHERS' EXPERIENCES OF PROFESSIONAL EFFICACY: IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHER TRAINING

L. Houtz1, S. Watson2

1Creighton University (UNITED STATES)
2Old Dominion University (UNITED STATES)
The concept of teachers’ sense of efficacy has gained increasing attention in the past two decades (Pajares, 1992; Bandura, 1997). Bandura (1977) described the concept of self-efficacy as an individual’s beliefs about his or her ability to successfully perform the task that produces a desired outcome. Teacher efficacy is defined as “teachers’ beliefs about their capability to impact students’ motivation and achievement” (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk-Hoy, 2001, p. 2). Research by Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli (2001) suggests that perceived efficacy rather than actual academic achievement is the key determinant of a person’s preferred choice of work-life. High teacher efficacy correlates with positive teacher attitudes and behaviors. Teachers with higher efficacy display more enthusiasm (Guskey 1984), and are more willing to try new teaching methods and technologies (Guskey 1988). Chang’s (2009) study in Taiwan verified that the construct of internal and external factors played a significant role in cyclically contributing to continuous efficacy development in beginning mathematics teachers. The high rate of attrition of teachers in the first few years is a continuing concern in the United States. As Brock and Grady (2000) report, teachers begin their career eager and enthusiastic, and the early stages of burnout are usually only vague. “Burnout is not an event, but rather a process, a chronic syndrome that becomes progressively worse.” (p. 4). Gold and Roth (1993) contend that “The pressures of the [teaching] profession manifest themselves early. They are evident in the teacher preparation process well before students become teachers in their own classrooms” (p. 2).

Beginning in 1994 and over the following eighteen years as a professor in teacher education, the preservice teachers in the science and math methods block participated in a supervised practicum in which they plan, prepare, facilitate and assess hands-on/minds-on science and mathematics lessons with children in intermediate (typically grades 4 – 7) classrooms. A minimum of 25 hours of active teaching and learning involvement must be logged, but the requirements typically require more hours, with an average of 36 hours. After elementary education teacher preparation field experiences, preservice elementary and middle level teachers reflected on their “Moments of Joy” – events or circumstances that affirmed their career choice and resulted in a sense of professional efficacy. Themes from reflective essays and online discussion forums collected over 2 decades in two settings and times are identified and compared. Results fall in three general categories – External Input, Internal Responses, and Interrelational. The greatest source of efficacy came from evidence of student learning, particularly by children who struggled. Preservice teachers also experienced joy when their students were enthusiastic or gracious about the teaching-learning interactions, and when self-esteem was fostered. Implications for teacher education are discussed, including the need to hold Moments of Joy to prevent burnout.
@InProceedings{HOUTZ2014PRE,
author = {Houtz, L. and Watson, S.},
title = {PRESERVICE TEACHERS' EXPERIENCES OF PROFESSIONAL EFFICACY: IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHER TRAINING},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {2647-2654}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Houtz AU - S. Watson
TI - PRESERVICE TEACHERS' EXPERIENCES OF PROFESSIONAL EFFICACY: IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHER TRAINING
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 2647
EP - 2654
ER -
L. Houtz, S. Watson (2014) PRESERVICE TEACHERS' EXPERIENCES OF PROFESSIONAL EFFICACY: IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHER TRAINING, ICERI2014 Proceedings, pp. 2647-2654.
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