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Proximate sources of collective teacher efficacy

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Purpose ? Recent scholarship has augmented Bandura's theory underlying efficacy formation by pointing to more proximate sources of efficacy information involved in forming collective teacher efficacy. These proximate sources of efficacy information theoretically shape a teacher's perception of the teaching context, operationalizing the difficulty of the teaching task that faces the school and the faculty's collective competence to be successful under specific conditions. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of three contextual variables: socioeconomic status, school level, and school structure on teacher perceptions of collective efficacy. Design/methodology/approach ? School level data were collected from a cross-section of 79 schools in a Midwestern state. Data were analyzed at the school level using hierarchical multiple regression to determine the incremental variance in collective teacher efficacy beliefs attributed to contextual variables after accounting for the effect of prior academic performance. Findings ? Results support the premise that contextual variables do add power to explanations of collective teacher efficacy over and above the effects of prior academic performance. Further, of the three contextual variables school structure independently accounted for the most variability in perceptions of collective teacher efficacy. Research limitations/implications ? A sample of 79 schools was considered small to accurately test a hypothesized model of collective teacher efficacy formation using structural equation modeling. That approach would have had the advantage of permitting the researchers to identify the relationships among the predictor variables and between the predictors and the criterion. Additionally, there was a concern of possible aggregation bias associated with aggregating collective teacher efficacy scores to the school level. Despite these limitations, the findings hold theoretical and practical implications in that they defend the theoretical importance of contextual factors as efficacy sources. Furthermore, formalized and centralized conditions conducive to promoting perceptions of collective efficacy in teachers are identified. Originality/value ? Extant collective efficacy studies have generally not operationalized Bandura's efficacy sources to include the effects of current context. This study does.
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Keywords: Schools; Teachers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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