Browsing College of Education by Subject "Changing times."
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Perceptions of Teacher Efficacy in Changing TimesThe purposes of this study were twofold: determine how teacher perceptions change over time in their ability to create a desired effect on student learning and examine the differences between principal and teacher perceptions of teacher efficacy. Principals and teachers at 150 public schools, broken down as 50 from elementary schools with a grade configuration of pre-kindergarten through Grade 5, 50 from middle schools with a grade configuration of Grade 6 through Grade 8, and 50 from high schools with a grade configuration of Grade 9 through Grade 12 were selected to participate in the study. Each principal was sent the Teacher Efficacy Survey for principals and was asked to forward the Teacher Efficacy Survey for teachers to their teaching staffs. Of the 150 schools chosen from the population for participation in the study, 52 principals and 171 teachers responded to the survey. The principal return was 35%. The number of teachers in the sample population was undetermined due to the lack of knowledge regarding how many teachers actually received the instructions from their principals. Statistical analysis of the data included descriptive statistics comparing each of the 20 questions to the average scores of all questions for teacher and principal groups. A paired samples two-tailed t-test or an analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test the 10 null hypotheses. The level of significance for the analyses of variance was set at .05. Three of the 10 hypotheses were found to have a significant difference in perceptions of teacher efficacy among teachers in various grade level configurations, principals in various grade level configurations, and between male and female teachers. No significant differences were found among teachers with various experience levels, between the teachers and principals of each of the grade level configurations, among teachers in various school sizes, among teachers of different ages, and among schools in various geographical settings. Perceptions of teacher efficacy did differ among teachers in elementary school, teachers in middle school, and teachers in high school with teachers in elementary schools having the highest degree of teacher efficacy, teachers in middle school having the second highest degree of teacher efficacy, and teachers in high school with the lowest level of teacher efficacy among the three groups. These perceptions of teacher efficacy among principals in elementary schools, principals in middle schools, and principals in high schools also differed very similarly to those of teachers with elementary school principals having the highest degree of teacher efficacy, principals in middle school having the second highest degree of teacher efficacy, and principals in high school with the lowest level of teacher efficacy among these three groups. Along with the findings that female teachers have a higher degree of teacher efficacy than male teachers, this research supports that of others in that teacher efficacy is mostly formed during the student teaching and first year of employment for teachers. It is important that young teachers receive needed support and guidance as they form their perceptions of teacher efficacy through mastery experiences.