Estonian teachersí beliefs on teacher efficacy and influencing factors
Merle Taimalu, Olivia ’im
University of Tartu
Abstract. The teacher efficacy concept encompasses a collection of beliefs, attitudes and emotions that basically guide the work of individuals and accounts for individual differences in teaching effectiveness. Generally, teacher efficacy is the belief of a teacher that s/he can influence studentsí achievements. The aim of this paper is to analyse Estonian teachersí efficacy beliefs and the characteristics of teachers that have an impact on teacher efficacy. In the following study, we have measured practicing and student teachersí efficacy beliefs using the Teacher Efficacy Scale developed by Gibson and Dembo. Factor analysis of responses from 193 respondents yielded two groups of correlating scales that were similar to the scale composition of teacher personal and general efficacy factors found in Gibson and Demboís study (1984). The Estonian teachersí beliefs in their personal teaching efficacy were rather positive, but their beliefs of general efficacy were less optimistic. It was revealed that teacher efficacy beliefs depend on a teacherís age, school level of teaching, level of professional preparation, speciality, subject taught, and on teaching experience.
Keywords: teacher efficacy, Teacher Efficacy Scale, school level, educational level, teach≠ing experience