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Language Learning Essay

3172 words - 13 pages

The concept of self-efficacy was pioneered by Albert Bandura (1925–) who characterized self-efficacy as the extent to which individuals believe they can organize and execute actions necessary to bring about a desired outcome. Self-efficacy is fundamentally concerned with the execution of control rather than the outcome action produces.
In 1984, Patricia Ashton (1946–) published a groundbreaking study that fundamentally expanded the concept of efficacy to include the extent to which teachers feel confident they are capable of ...view middle of the document...

Rather than ask, “How much can you help your students think critically?” the TSES asks, “How much can you do to help your students think critically?” This minor change in wording illustrates a critical issue in teacher efficacy research: that teachers' sense of efficacy reflects the judgments they make about their capabilities given the emotional and instrumental resources they can gather in a specific context. Because teachers' judgments of their resources and strategies may vary across teaching contexts, Woolfolk Hoy argues that teachers' efficacy beliefs may not be uniform across all disciplines or even across all student populations. It is therefore important to account for context and discipline in order to accurately assess teacher efficacy.
Tshcannen-Moran and colleagues (1998) developed a model of teacher efficacy identifying the ways in which efficacy judgments result as a function of the interaction between teachers' analysis of teaching task in context and their teachers' assessment of their personal teaching capabilities as they relate to the task (see Figure 1). In addition, Bandura also identified four specific sources of efficacy beliefs: mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and arousal. Mastery experiences are direct encounters with success through engagement in a behavior that brings about a desired outcome. For example, student-teachers who facilitate laboratory experiments in which students demonstrate conceptual understanding may believe their actions led to student learning. These judgments are likely to increase their efficacy for conducting lab experiments in the future. This may be why some studies have found a connection between teacher education course-work and pre-service teacher efficacy. If student-teachers watch experienced teachers successfully facilitate laboratory experiments, they might also develop a sense of efficacy because they saw how to implement the actions necessary to bring about students' success. This would be an example of a vicarious, or observed experience leading to higher efficacy.
When student-teachers do not have opportunities to observe, their mentor teachers might remind them of the teaching skills they have developed and provide them with specific suggestions. This would be an example of verbal persuasion, which appeals to the teacher's ability to bring about success. Finally, arousal is a physiological state involving the release of hormones that signal an individual to prepare for action. Arousal can be interpreted as both pleasant and unpleasant. On the one hand, the body's natural release of hormones while teaching can help teachers feel alert or excited to take on the challenges of the lesson. On the other hand, heavy release of hormones (as in the case of extreme nervousness) can be paralyzing rather than helpful.
Calibrating and Re-Calibrating Teacher Efficacy. There is little consistency across the literature...

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