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The Relationship of Teachers' Self-efficacy and Contexts of Teaching
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Many policy makers have developed and implemented rules, laws, and regulations that imply a good teacher can be effective independent of educational circumstance, environment, or context. The level of teacher efficacy can be a predictor of outcomes in student and achievement; however, the role of the context of teaching is not well understood with relationship to teacher efficacy. The purpose of this study was to determine if there were significant relationships among contexts of teaching and teacher efficacy. Specifically, this study explored three contextual factors of teaching (colleague support, principal support, and teaching assignment) in relation to teacher efficacy (classroom management, instructional strategies, and student engagement). The efficacy of teachers was assessed through the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scales (TSES); the context of teachers was measured using an adapted form of the First Year Teacher Survey (FYTS). Data from 178 elementary teachers working in 12 schools representing different socio-economic status were analyzed. The results indicated that the teachers included in this study had a strong sense of teacher efficacy and context of teaching. Findings indicated moderate levels of linear relationships among the three variables for context of teaching and weak levels of linear relationships between the variables of efficacy and context of teaching. Additionally, principal support and classroom management were found to be positively correlated with school setting, specifically Title I schools. As teachers face the challenges of educating in the 21st century, with an emphasis on achievement, effective instruction, and accountability, findings from this study provide insight into the relationship among teachers’ beliefs in their ability to teach and the context in which they work. Stakeholders in the educational community should recognize the importance of the contributing factors that impact teachers’ self-efficacy.