Preschool teachers' sense of teaching efficacy: Scale development and correlates

Leah Alison Whynacht, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

The current study developed a scale to measure preschool educators' sense of teaching efficacy and then used the scale to explore relationships between efficacy scores and program and teacher variables. Participants were preschool educators from eighteen states and one country outside of the US (n = 131). A 121-item scale was used in data collection. A series of Principal Component Analyses with Varimax rotation resulted in a 36-item scale with factor loadings ranging from .82 to .58 (Cronbach's alpha = .97). The scale was comprised of the following four factors: Efficacy for Working With Children With Varying Abilities and Needs, Efficacy for Child-Centered Learning, Efficacy for Working With Children With Stressful Home Situations, and Efficacy for Collaboration. The 36-item scale was used to explore relationships between preschool teacher efficacy and preschool teacher and program variables. Level of education, the number of monthly classroom volunteers, ratings for perceived usefulness of in-service trainings, ratings for perceived supportiveness of children's parents, ratings for perceived support from fellow teachers, and ratings for availability of resources were significantly correlated with teacher efficacy scores. A series of Analyses of Variance (ANOVAs) were used to examine group differences based on the following teacher and program variables: perceived support from parents, usefulness of in-service trainings, whether teachers currently worked with children with disabilities, whether a special education consultant was available, type of program in which the teacher worked, and educational attainment. A Bonferroni correction was used to control for type-one error. The ANOVAs revealed significant differences in level of efficacy based on the following: program type, perceived support from parents, whether teachers currently worked with children with disabilities, and whether a special education consultant was available for support. The study indicated a need for further investigation of preschool educators' sense of teaching efficacy using the newly developed scale with a larger sample of teachers. Future research should also consider teacher variables beyond those examined in the current study. ^

Subject Area

Education, Early Childhood|Education, Educational Psychology

Recommended Citation

Leah Alison Whynacht, "Preschool teachers' sense of teaching efficacy: Scale development and correlates" (2004). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3147806.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI3147806

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