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ERIC Number: ED526676
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 109
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-1343-0
Epistemological Beliefs and Teacher Efficacy
Fernandez, Griffin W.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Virginia
The purpose of this study was to determine if the strength of teachers' epistemological beliefs predicted variance in teachers' sense of efficacy. Specifically, the study sought to determine the extent to which beliefs in Certain Knowledge and Omniscient Authority accounted for variability in general teaching efficacy, over and above that explained by gender and teaching experience. The design of this study was descriptive and correlational. Survey methodology was used to collect the data in order to answer the research questions. Data were collected using a 22-item instrument consisting of two demographic items, gender and years of teaching experience, 13 items comprising two of the five subscales on the 32-item Epistemic Beliefs Inventory developed by Schraw, Dunkle and Bendixen (1995), and seven items constituting the General Teaching Efficacy subscale of 16-item Teacher Efficacy Scale developed by Gibson and Dembo (1984). The population studied consisted of all 477 teachers in a medium-sized school district in the Mid-Atlantic region. The district had 15 K-12 schools serving approximately 5,000 students, 51% of which were economically disadvantaged. One hundred seven of the 477 teachers responded to the survey which resulted in a response rate of 22.4%. The results of the study found that epistemological beliefs did not account for statistically significant variability in teacher efficacy (significance levels were .455 for Certain Knowledge and .072 for Omniscient Authority). However, there may be practical significance for the finding that strong beliefs in Omniscient Authority accounted for 3.4% of the variance in general teaching efficacy, above and beyond that explained by gender and teaching experience. For example, if professional development designed to alter beliefs in Omniscient Authority resulted in higher general teacher efficacy, levels of student achievement may increase. Recommendations for further research include: replicate this study using a different definition of teacher efficacy that takes into account a range of outcome expectancies, like teaching behaviors and student behaviors related to democratic teaching; replicate this study with a larger, more representative sample of teachers; replicate this study with a population that includes more novice teachers, as well as teachers from a range of urban, suburban, and rural districts with diverse student populations; and replicate this study using a different methodology for measuring epistemological beliefs. Specifically, explore the use of more valid and reliable instruments that measure epistemological beliefs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A