Friday, December 13, 2013

Evaluation of Teacher Efficacy

by Dr. Michael S. Miller
Bandura (1997) presented self-efficacy as a mechanism of behavioral change and self-regulation in his social cognitive theory. Defined as “beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments” (p. 3), Bandura (1997) proposed that efficacy beliefs were powerful predictors of behavior because they were ultimately self-referent in nature and directed toward specific tasks.

The predictive power of efficacy has generally been borne out in research, especially when efficacy beliefs are measured concerning specific tasks.  It is necessary, therefore, to find the optimal level of specificity of the measure, which is in correspondence with the task and the area under evaluation.  In the same vein, Burgoyne (2010) summarizes some properties implied in measuring self-efficacy, which refers to certain tasks or activities.  They are linked to certain areas of operation and are dependent on the context in which the task is given.  It is dependent on both a criterion referring to oneself and compared to performance of others.  A person in the teaching profession is no exception.

Bandura’s teacher self-efficacy scale. Bandura developed his own teacher efficacy scale, which is a 30-item instrument with seven subscales: efficacy to influence decision making, efficacy to influence school resources, instructional efficacy, disciplinary efficacy, efficacy to enlist parental involvement, efficacy to enlist community involvement, and efficacy to create a positive school climate. Each item is measured on a 9-point scale anchored by the following: “nothing, very little, some influence, quite a bit, a great deal” (Bandura, 2001).

Teachers’ sense of efficacy scale (TSES). TSES, previously called the Ohio State Teacher Efficacy Scale, was developed in a seminar on self-efficacy in teaching and learning at the Ohio State University. The participants of the seminar searched for an instrument, which includes the types of tasks representative of frequent teaching activities. Taking the Bandura teacher efficacy scale as a base, they developed and added new items. They decided to use a 9-point scale as in the Bandura scale. The resulting instrument was investigated in different studies by Tschannen-Moran and her colleagues.

The initial study of the instrument with 52 items was administered to a sample of 224 participants (both pre-service and in-service teachers). Thirty-two of the items were selected as a result of principal-axis factoring with varimax rotation (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). In the second study, the 32-item version of TSES was investigated with a sample of 70 pre-service and 147 in-service teachers. Tschannen- Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001) used principal axis factor extraction again. The rule of an Eigen value greater than one yielded an eight-factor solution, while the scree test suggested a possible two- or three-factor solution. After examining both two- and three- factor solutions, the authors decided to go with the three-factor solution, which better represents the tasks of teaching.  Later, the instrument was reduced to 18 items by removing redundant items and items with low factor loadings. The factor analysis with varimax rotation produced three factors accounting for 51% of the variance. These factors were called as efficacy for student engagement (eight items with an alpha reliability of .82), efficacy for instructional strategies (seven items with an alpha reliability of .81), and efficacy for classroom management (three items with an alpha reliability of .72). A further analysis, using collapsing samples from study 1 and study 2, generated one strong factor with factor loadings ranging from .74 to .84. Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001) argued that TSES could be used for assessment of either three domains of efficacy or one generalized efficacy factor.

Bond and Fox (2001) evaluated an 18-item instrument while expressing their concerns about a third factor with only three items. They collected data from 183 in- service teachers, and subjected the data to confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).  The CFA approach is different from Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001) approach, which used exploratory factor analysis. Their findings supported the factorial validity of TSES but for only “efficacy for student engagement” and “efficacy for instructional strategies” factors. Roberts and Henson (2001) argued that the items of third factor should be removed from the instrument for its further use. In addition, they rejected the one- dimensional model suggested by Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001).

On the other hand, Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001) argued that classroom management is a crucial factor for teaching and disagree with the elimination of this factor. They developed new items concerning classroom management by taking Emmer’s teacher efficacy for classroom management scale into consideration. The resultant instrument included 36 items. Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001) employed principal-axis factoring with varimax rotation with a sample of 410 pre-service and in-service teachers. A four-factor solution was suggested by using eigenvalues greater than one, whereas three factors were suggested by the scree test. The three-factor solution was consistent with the findings of study 2. Later and as a final step, Tschannen- Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001) selected items with higher loadings and developed 12- and 24-item instruments. Analyses of both forms indicated that the TSES, either long or short version, could be accepted as a reliable and valid instrument for assessing the teacher efficacy construct. Both versions supported the three factor model with high subscale reliabilities (ranging from .87 to .91 for the longer version and .81 to .86 for the shorter version).

An integrated model of teacher’s sense of efficacy.  Based on their review of research on teacher efficacy, Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk Hoy, and Hoy (1998) proposed a theoretical model, which attempts to present a comprehensive picture of teacher efficacy by considering the history of advances in teacher efficacy research and suggesting new sources of information.

The primary factor affecting teacher efficacy is believed to be the interpretation of four sources of information proposed by Bandura (1997): verbal persuasion, vicarious experiences, physiological arousal, and mastery experience. However, as consistent with our previous knowledge, efficacy perceptions are accepted as task and context-specific; i.e., teachers show varying levels of sense of efficacy in particular situations or for teaching different subjects. Accordingly, this model considers not only the perceived competence to perform specific behaviors but also the teaching task and its context (concepts are related but not the same as previously identified teacher efficacy dimensions, personal teaching efficacy and general teaching efficacy, respectively). Read Other Section

Dr. Michael Miller is a professor specializing in learning strategies for success for online students, organizational behavior, and educational leadership. Michael has a Bachelor of Science in Education, Master of Science in Instructional Design and Development, an Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership (K-12), and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Higher Education). His background includes elementary school teaching and administration, mentoring/training new teachers, curriculum development, online course design, and higher education administration. Currently, Michael is conducting research related to teacher preparation, online collaborative learning tools and processes, and effective online teaching practices through student engagement, stimulating intellectual development, and building rapport.  Dr. Miller can be reached at

Bandura, A. (2001). Guide for constructing self-efficacy scales (Revised). Retrieved from
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company.
Bond, T. G., & Fox, C. M. (2001). Applying the Rasch model: Fundamental measurement in the human sciences. Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Burgoyne, J. (2010). Towards the learning company. Management Education & Development, 20(1), 1-8.
Roberts, J. K., & Henson, R. K. (2001). A confirmatory factor analysis of a new measure of teacher efficacy: Ohio State Teacher Efficacy Scale. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Seattle.
Tschannen-Moran, M., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2001). Teacher efficacy: Capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17, 783-805.
Tschannen-Moran, M., Woolfolk Hoy, A., & Hoy, W. K. (1998). Teacher efficacy: Its meaning and measure. Review of Educational Research, 68(2), 202-248.

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