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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Teacher Efficacy Beliefs - Change and Consistency?: An Exploration of Subject Specific Teacher Efficacy Beliefs

Sally Hansen.

Self-efficacy beliefs are the beliefs in ones capability to execute the actions necessary to achieve a certain level of performance Bandura (1977, 1986, 1989). Self-efficacy differs from other conceptions of self such as self-concept, self-worth or self-esteem in that it is specific to a particular task. Thus self-efficacy is a judgement (not necessarily evaluative) about task capability. Teacher efficacy is generally accepted the extent to which the teacher believes he or she has the capacity to affect student performance. It is a self-judgement of his or her capabilities to affect desired outcomes of student engagement and learning. However, although teacher efficacy appears to be related to instructional effectiveness, research findings to date are difficult to interpret because of incongruities in construct definitions and measurement (Deemer and Mink, 1999, p.3). One point that researchers and theorists do agree on is that teacher efficacy is situation specific in terms of both the teaching context and subject taught, but defining the appropriate level of specificity has been unclear in the research to date. This paper reports on a pilot study that measured teacher efficacy beliefs within a subject specific domain. It further tested the relative consistency of efficacy beliefs of secondary English teachers in New Zealand across a range of specific curriculum-related teaching/learning tasks. English was selected as a focus because it is a domain where the curriculum parameters have rapidly extended over the last decade to include a very wide range of language experiences and understandings in oral, written and visual forms. English teachers are required to be experts in all these fields in terms of both content and pedagogy, and as educational technologies and 'new' languages emerge, these teachers are being greatly challenged. Quantitative and qualitative findings are reported and recommendations for further research examining the relationship between teacher efficacy and student outcomes is recommended.


Sally Hansen  (New Zealand)
Senior Lecturer
Arts andLanguages Department
Massey University College of Education

Sally Hansen worked as Head of English at a Maori Boys' College in New Zealand for 16 years. She currently lectures in Education and English in the Graduate Diploma for Secondary Teaching Programme at Massey University. Her areas of research include boys and literacy achievement, teacher efficacy and student achievement and the related links with teacher education. Sally is currently involved in doctoral study in the area of teacher efficacy and student achievement.

  • Teacher efficacy
  • New knowledge
  • Expanding curriculum
  • Student outcomes
  • Student efficacy

(30 min Conference Paper, English)