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Mind over matter

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Title:
Mind over matter contributing factors to self-efficacy in Montessori teachers
Portion of title:
Contributing factors to self-efficacy in Montessori teachers
Creator:
Bhatia, Punum
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
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1 electronic fiole. : ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Self-efficacy ( lcsh )
Montessori method of education ( lcsh )
Teachers -- Psychology ( lcsh )
Montessori method of education ( fast )
Self-efficacy ( fast )
Teachers -- Psychology ( fast )
Genre:
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Review:
Interpreting Albert Bandura's term "self-efficacy" as the individual's belief in his own abilities to succeed in spite of the given circumstances, this study seeks to identify the influences which lead to self-efficacy in Montessori teachers. In order to evaluate perceptions of self-efficacy, 35 pre-service teachers in the United States were surveyed prior to beginning their Montessori teaching and again during the internship stage of their training. As Bandura asserted that self-efficacy stems from four possible sources: mastery experience; vicarious experience; verbal or social persuasion; and physiological state (1997), the same subjects were given an additional questionnaire to determine which factors most affected their efficacy. Multiple regression was then used to examine the relationship between those factors and the teachers' self-reported efficacy. Following this data collection, four teachers from the high self-efficacy group and four teachers from the low self-efficacy group were interviewed to reveal detailed qualitative information regarding the influences on their classroom efficacy. The research indicates that Montessori teachers with high levels of self-efficacy have strong mastery experiences that support their attitudes and desired professional goals. The quantitative results also show that an emotional state associated with past experiences is the second best contributor to self-efficacy. Considering that self-efficacy may be most malleable during the early stages of learning, the results of this study serve to enhance the teacher-training experience though the analysis of early obstacles.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Colorado Denver. Educational leadership and innovation
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographic references.
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Punum Bhatia.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
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860844383 ( OCLC )
ocn860844383

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Full Text
MIND OVER MATTER:
CONTRIBETTING FACTORS TO SELF-EFFICACY IN MONTESSORI
TEACHERS
by
PUNUM BHATIA
B.A., University of Calcutta, 1978
B.Ed., University of Calcutta, 1982
M.A., University of Jadavpur, 1981
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Innovation
2012


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by
Punum Bhatia
has been approved for the
Educational Studies and Research Program
by
Alan Davis, Chair
Donna Wittmer
Joanna Dunlap
Ellen Hall
10/24/12


Bhatia, Punum (PhD., Educational Leadership and Innovation)
Mind over matter: Contributing factors to self-efficacy in Montessori teachers.
Thesis directed by Professor Alan Davis.
ABSTRACT
Interpreting Albert Banduras term self-efficacy as the individuals belief in his
own abilities to succeed in spite of the given circumstances, this study seeks to identify
the influences which lead to self-efficacy in Montessori teachers. In order to evaluate
perceptions of self-efficacy, 35 pre-service teachers in the United States were surveyed
prior to beginning their Montessori teaching and again during the internship stage of their
training. As Bandura asserted that self-efficacy stems from four possible sources: mastery
experience; vicarious experience; verbal or social persuasion; and physiological state
(1997), the same subjects were given an additional questionnaire to determine which
factors most affected their efficacy. Multiple regression was then used to examine the
relationship between those factors and the teachers self-reported efficacy. Following this
data collection, four teachers from the high self-efficacy group and four teachers from the
low self-efficacy group were interviewed to reveal detailed qualitative information
regarding the influences on their classroom efficacy. The research indicates that
Montessori teachers with high levels of self-efficacy have strong mastery experiences
that support their attitudes and desired professional goals. The quantitative results also
show that an emotional state associated with past experiences is the second best
contributor to self-efficacy. Considering that self-efficacy may be most malleable during
iii


the early stages of learning, the results of this study serve to enhance the teacher-training
experience though the analysis of early obstacles.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Alan Davis
IV


DEDICATION
In honor of teachers, who awaken childrens curiosity and instill a lifelong
love of learning.
v


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I am very grateful to many people who have supported me throughout the process
of completing my doctoral program and dissertation. This project would not have been
possible without the help and support of my dissertation committee. Thank you Dr. Alan
Davis for sugarcoating my bombardment of questions by telling me I was simply doing
my duty and to the rest of my committee members, Dr. Donna Wittmer, Dr. Joanna
Dunlap and Dr. Ellen Hall for taking my vague ideas and shaping them into a coherent
paper. Dr. William Goodwin, your wisdom, dedication to learning and wit are sorely
missed. Special thanks also go out to my parents and my children, who did not let me
give up and who regaled me with their own tales of all-nighters. Finally, I would like to
acknowledge the Montessori communityfrom Calcutta to Coloradowho has
continuously inspired me for the past thirty years.
vi


PHOTOGRAPHS
I wish to acknowledge the following organization for the photographs used in this
document: Montessori Casa International, Denver CO. for the photographs used in
Figures 1, 2 and 3.
Vll


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION..................................................1
Purpose of the Research ......................................1
Montessori Pedagogy...........................................3
The Prepared Environment.................................3
The Prepared Adult.......................................8
Conceptual Framework..........................................12
Overview of the Study.........................................18
Definition of variables..................................19
Introduction to the Chapters..................................21
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE......................................23
Introduction..................................................23
Social Cognitive Theory and Self-Efficacy.....................23
Historical Overview of Self-Efficacy......................26
What is Self-Efficacy.....................................29
Sources of Teacher Self-Efficacy..........................29
History and Measurement of Teacher Self-Efficacy..............34
Self-Efficacy and Student Achievement.........................43
Teacher Preparation and Induction............................. 48
viii


Maria Montessori and her Legacy...................................53
The Prepared Adult................................................55
Preparation of the Montessori Teacher..........................57
A Practitioners Perspective..................................... 59
Conclusion........................................................61
3. MLTI 101)01.OGY.................................................62
Introduction....................................................62
Research Questions..............................................63
Research Design.................................................64
Quantitative Phase..............................................66
Settings and Participants....................................66
Measures........................................................69
Procedures...................................................74
Analysis.....................................................79
Qualitative Phase...............................................79
Setting and Participants.....................................79
Data Collection..............................................81
Analysis..................................................... 82
Forming Data into Tables.....................................83
Coding.......................................................84
Sorting Data Tables and Finding Patterns.....................87
ix


Comparisons and Assertions
90
Cross Method Analysis........................................91
4. RESULTS.....................................................92
Introduction.................................................92
Quantitative Results.........................................93
Research Question 1......................................93
Model Summary............................................93
Research Question 3......................................95
Qualitative Results.............................................96
Constant Comparative Analysis............................98
Primary Findings.........................................100
Finding 1...........................................99
Finding 2..........................................102
Finding 3..........................................104
Finding 4..........................................107
Finding 5..........................................109
Qualitative and Quantitative Results............................113
5. DISCUSSION.....................................................114
Introduction.......................................................114
Interpretation of Findings.........................................115
x


Acquiring Knowledge of Montessori Philosophy and
Methodology.............................................121
Classroom Experience and Familiarity with the Materials.122
Mentor Support..........................................125
Implications of the Findings..................................126
Limitations of the Study..................................... 130
Direction for Future Research.................................133
Conclusion....................................................135
APPENDICES
A. LETTER TO SCHOOLS...................................139
B. CONSENT APPROVAL FORM...............................143
C. LETTER WITH SURVEY..................................147
D. TSES SURVEY........................................150
E. PERCEPTION OF PARTICIPATION 1......................153
F. PERCEPTION OF PARTICIPATION II.....................156
G. INTERVIEW PROTOCOL.................................159
BIBLIOGRAPHY..................................................162
xi


LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE
1.1 A Prepared Environment...............................................4
(Photo credit Punum Bhatia)
1.2 Carefully prepared shelf.............................................5
(Photo credit Punum Bhatia)
1. 3 Children concentrating on their work in a Montessori
classroom............................................................6
(Photo credit Punum Bhatia)
1.4 Flow of activity......................................................7
1.5 Conceptual framework of the study....................................17
1.6 Variables and how they are measured..................................20
3.7 Explanatory design for self-efficacy study...........................65
5.5 Reconstructed conceptual framework..................................116
xii


LIST OF TABLES
TABLE
3.1 Rotated component matrix.............................................75
3.2 Second factor analysis results.......................................77
3.3 Internal consistency reliability of PIP scale........................78
3.4 Mean scores..........................................................80
3.5 Interview statements on self-efficacy................................84
3.6 Sample statements and codes assigned.................................85
3.7 Coding...............................................................87
3.8 High-low efficacy comparison.........................................88
3.9 Responses added......................................................89
4.10 Coefficients.........................................................94
4.11 TSES results.........................................................95
4.12 Cohens d............................................................96
4.13 Transcript of interview..............................................97
xiii


4.14 Codes used
99


STYLE NOTE
This thesis includes quotations in which the pronouns he or it are used as a generic
reference to the child. This represents the direct translations of grammatical gender as
used in a language other than English.
In order to avoid wordiness, the teacher has been referred to as she throughout this text.
This is by no means intended to be a discriminatory decision, but merely reflects the
demographics of teacher training programs.
xv


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Purpose of the Research
77ie first thing required of a teacher is that he be rightly disposedfor his task
(Montessori, 1966, p.149^).
In light of the current educational reform movement, higher education programs
are focusing on the professional dispositions of teacher candidates as they review their
curriculum standards and agendas (Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995).
Researchers, practitioners, and others with a vested interest in teacher education believe
that information of subject matter and of pedagogical methods alone does not guarantee
quality teachers or quality teachingalthough these are necessary prerequisites for
effective teacher preparation (Borko & Putnam, 1996; Pajares, 1992). Teachers are now
finding it essential to reflect on teaching practices, as well as knowledge and pedagogy,
to better meet the needs of their students (Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995). Dr.
Albert Bandura, the social psychologist who devised the construct of self-efficacy,
argued that successful performance depends not only on ones knowledge and skills but,
more importantly, upon the individuals judgment in mobilizing that knowledge and skill
set (1997). Judgment, identified by Bandura as ones perceived self-efficacy, is a
cognitive process that operates in all learning situations and acts as a mediator between
learning and action.
1


As Albert Bandura assumed, the task of creating learning environments
conducive to development of cognitive competencies rests heavily on the talents and self-
efficacy of teachers (Bandura, 1997, p. 240). Perceived self-efficacy, as defined by
Bandura, is the belief that an individual has the ability to carry out certain actions that
result in a desired outcome (1997). A teachers sense of efficacy is consistently
recognized as an important attribute of effective teaching and has been positively
correlated to teacher and student outcomes (Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk Hoy, 1998).
This theory is supported by research that shows self-efficacy beliefs are strong
predictors of behavior (Woolfolk Hoy, 2004, p.4). How efficacious a person believes
him or her to be influences the choice of activities, amount of effort spent, and the
persistence put forth to complete the tasks when confronted with obstacles. Furthermore,
teacher efficacy accounts for how competent a teacher feels in his ability to affect the
performance of all students, no matter how unmotivated or difficult (Tschannen-Moran,
Woolfolk Hoy, 1998). Much remains to be learned about self-efficacy, however, and how
it develops in teachers. Unfortunately, simply identifying high and low-efficacy teachers
will not provide information on increasing levels of efficacy. Instead, a deep
understanding of the influences on teacher self-efficacy is needed. Schools of education
and teacher preparation programs in particular need to be aware of the factors associated
with increased levels of self-efficacy in order to produce the most capable, innovative,
and dedicated teachers possible.
2


Montessori Pedagogy
Although the dispute continues in traditional teacher-education programs as to the
relevance of dispositions in effective teaching practice, the concept is inherent to the
Montessori teaching philosophy. Dr. Maria Montessori thought the first step in the
integral resolution of the problem of education must not, therefore, be taken toward the
child, but toward the adult educator. He must change his moral attitudes. He must divest
himself of many preconceptions (1989, p. 20). Montessoris alternative approach to
pedagogy promoted the natural ability of children to focus and to sustain their attention, a
capacity that initiates a transition in the childs temperament from capricious and
disorderly to self-disciplined (1989). Montessori viewed education as a means of putting
the child in touch with the world around him/her and helping him/her to develop the
skills s/he needs to embrace it. John Chattin-McNichols found that
The Montessori program performs as well as most preschool programs in
most areas, such as school readiness and intelligence... In the development
of attentional strategies, general intelligence, achievement in academic areas,
and especially in maintaining these gains, the Montessori Method performs
better than most programs studied. (1992, p. 204)
The Montessori Method includes a personalized curriculum, close observations of
children, and no reports cards among other innovations.
The Prepared Environment
Considering the radical changes in our understanding and attitude towards
cognitive development, it is startling to find that many of these insights were already
3


introduced by Dr. Maria Montessori. At the turn of the 20th century, Montessori
discovered a revolutionary way of directing young childrens learning; in contrast to the
teacher-centered approach prevalent at the time, she realized that children learned more
effectively if adults provided them with a prepared environment (See: Illustration 1)
that gave them a sense of equality and empowerment. In the calm, ordered space of the
Montessori prepared environment, children work on activities of their own choosing
and at their own pace. They experience a blend of freedom and self-discipline in a place
specially designed to meet their developmental needs.
Figure 1.1: A prepared environment
4


Montessori classrooms are usually a large, open-feeling space, with low shelves,
different sizes of tables that comfortably seat one to four children and chairs that are
appropriately sized for the children in the classroom (Lillard, 2005, p. 18). A collection
of materials (apparatus) is displayed on the shelves, with everything carefully ordered
and in its place (See: Illustration 2). The materials entice the child because they are
placed in the centre of his/her vision, are within easy reach, and because they have a
sensory appeal, varying in color, shape, size, texture, and possibilities of manipulation.
The array of sensory contrasts, however, suggests purposeful variation rather than a
random placement of brightly colored objects.
Figure 1.2: Carefully prepared shelf
5


The apparatus helps children learn basic concepts and relationships at different
levels of abstraction by ensuring that the activities are based on physical manipulation of
objects and progress through imagery to symbolic representation. The adults in the
classroom unobtrusively demonstrate the use of the materials and then leave the child to
work with them, intervening as needed. Children are absorbed in using these objects,
selecting them from the shelves, taking them to a mat or small table, and working with
them unrestrictedly before returning them to the shelf.
Figure 1.3: Children concentrating on their work in a Montessori classroom
6


Montessori saw life in the classroom as interplay between the child, the
environment, and the teacher. E. M. Standing calls the prepared environment the third
factor in education (1957, p.265). In traditional schools the teacher attempts to impart
knowledge to the children through her resources and expects them to learn from her,
usually in a group situation. Since the learning is undertaken mainly in the abstract and
the amount of repetition is not under the students control, such a system limits how
much children learn and at what age the learning should occur. In the Montessori
classroom though, this third factor alters the dynamic between student and teacher. The
child is free to act on his own impulses and to repeat activities until he has exhausted his
interest. Instead of the power of the adults persona controlling the childs natural flow,
her energy is turned toward the environment. Standing illustrates this in the following
diagram:
Teacher
Child Environment
Figure 1.4: Flow of activity
7


The child leams mainly through the environment, while the teacher maintains the
environment and supervises the children. In this way, each child leams independently and
at his/her own pace. Standing describes the Montessori teacher as a combination of a
guardian angel with an information bureau (1957, p.318). Thus, the Montessori teacher
has a multi-faceted role, which means her initial training differs considerably from the
standard teacher preparation.
The Prepared Adult
The Montessori teacher seeks to provide an atmosphere of productive calm as
children move efficiently along in their learning, alternating between long periods of
intense concentration and brief moments of recovery/reorganization (Oppenheimer,
1999). The teacher's goal is to help and to encourage the children, allowing them to
develop self-reliance and inner discipline. Montessori believed that interrupting children
when they were engaged in purposeful activity interferes with their momentum, interest,
and inner workings of thought. "[The directress] understands and believes that the
children must be free to choose their own occupations just as they must never be
interrupted in their spontaneous activities"(2007, p. 240), wrote Montessori. Montessori
placed the preparation of the teacher and the cultivation of her attitudes and values at the
center of the process of becoming a teacher.
In Montessori teacher training, preparing the adult emotionally and spiritually is
fundamental to the education of future teachers. According to Montessori,
8


The first essential is that the teacher should go through an inner, spiritual
preparation; cultivate certain aptitudes in the moral order. This is the most
difficult part of her training, without which all the rest is of no avail... She
must study how to purify her heart and render it burning with charity towards
the child. She must put on humility, and above all, learn how to serve.
She must learn how to appreciate and gather in all those tiny and delicate
manifestations of the opening life in the childs soul. Ability to do this can
only be attained through a genuine effort towards self-perfection. (Standing,
1957, p. 298)
Montessori was not the first advocate of pursuing self-knowledge. Carl Jung, the well-
known psychoanalyst, advised, if there is anything we wish to change in the child, we
should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in
ourselves ( 1940, p.285). J. G. Bennett echoed this advice writing, whether we have to
deal with children as parents or as teachers, our task begins with ourselves; and there is
very much more to be derived by children from what those in contact with them do to put
their own house in order than what they attempt to do to put the childs house in order
(1984, p. 82).
In her extensive writings, Montessori states that true preparation of the teaching
adult comprises three levels of meticulous knowledge. The first two are technical
familiarity with the materials (acquired through training) and scientific understanding of
the true nature of the child through study and acute observation. The responsibility to
uphold and to maintain this technical and scientific knowledge is absolutely essential.
The third phase also requires understanding, but of the inner self for the basis of this
preparation consists in going through a fundamental change of outlook (Standing, 1957,
p. 298). Montessori identified this as a spiritual or moral preparation, which requires the
recognition and removal of personal defenses built up over a lifetime. So the training of
9


the teacher, who is to aid life, is something far more than a learning of ideas. It includes
the training of character; it is a preparation of the spirit (Montessori, 2007, p.120). What
Montessori therefore asked of her teachers was that they no longer saw their role as that
of simply one that imparts superior knowledge and understanding, but rather that of
observer and catalyst between the children and the environment.
Montessori reasoned that teachers should have positive attitudes towards all
children, regardless of the behavior they display when they first arrive at school. The
teacher must have faith in the belief that the children will change for the better when they
begin to concentrate on work and not label them on the basis of initial impressions.
Montessori wrote, We insist on the fact that a teacher must prepare himself interiorly by
systematically studying himself so that he can tear out his most deeply rooted defects,
those in fact which impede his relations with children (1966, p. 149). The Montessori
teacher undergoes a different type of training from the conventional teachereven today
when education generally shows signs of having absorbed many Montessori principles.
Montessori considered an examination of her own personality as the teachers starting
point for training, reflecting on anger, impatience, favoritism, and other prejudices as a
spiritual preparation. Likewise, the teacher must foster the prepared environment; if she
is too dominant in the classroom, she can actually be an obstacle to the children. Ideally,
a teacher should regard herself as a sort of servant, ready to provide students with what
they need without imposing herself on them.
10


The best preparation for teaching, according to Maria Montessori, is a study of
ones self (2007); this can be very challenging for teachers who encounter Montessori for
the first time. During the initial interview for a teacher training program, many candidates
will gladly share their transcripts and discuss their academic successes or failures. On the
subject of self -awareness and journal writing, however, few have undergone an in-depth
study of their own values, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, and habits. While some display
excitement about this process, others show a lack of self-assurance and even discomfort
at the idea. Montessori insisted,
that a teacher must prepare himself interiorly by systematically studying
himself so that he can tear out his most deeply rooted defects, those in fact
which impede his relations with children. In order to discover these
subconscious failings we have need of a special kind of instruction. We
must see ourselves as another sees us. We must be willing to accept guidance
if we wish to become effective teachers. (Montessori, 1966, p. 149)
As a result, the cohort of Montessori teachers usually falls into two categories: those who
have mastered the materials, but who continue to struggle in the classroom; and those
whose self-reflection encourage their confidence in responding to the children. These
students come from different backgrounds and academic levels and it is possible that this
impacts the way they teach.
Montessori teacher education is unique to others in placing more emphasis on
developing self-awareness than on building theoretical knowledge. Inner preparation
cannot be seen as effortless or resulting in an immediate transformation; it requires a
lifetime of both deep reflection and passionate commitment. Given the inherent difficulty
in changing existing beliefs, coupled with the relatively short duration of a teacher
11


preparation program, developing a valid lens through which candidate self-efficacy can
be examined is not a simple undertaking. Two separate studies, Henson (2002) and
Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (1998), found that once efficacy beliefs are
established they are harder to change. These studies indicate there is a small window of
opportunity to establish and to potentially increase a teachers self-efficacy; therefore, the
time to affect change in a teachers self-efficacy is early in the process of training and
induction. The purpose of this study is to determine how best to incorporate efficacy-
building components into teacher-training programs by gaining an understanding of the
influences on self-efficacy for Montessori teachers. Considering the emphasis on
persistent introspection and self-evaluation in Montessori training, it is evident that self-
efficacy beliefs would also play a part in nurturing the Montessori teacher. Montessori
noted that inner preparation will give [the teacher] the balance and poise which he will
need (Montessori, 1966, p. 153), which would naturally include the assessment of ones
own abilities in the classroom. In this regard, it is somewhat surprising that the grooming
of the Montessori teacher has not been studied in further depth.
Conceptual Framework
Despite the increasing interest in teacher self-efficacy over the years, no published
research explores the interplay of sources and their influences on the development of
Montessori teachers. Given that efficacy may be most malleable during the early stages
of learning (Bandura, 1997), Woolfolk Hoy (2000) pointed out that self-efficacy of pre-
service teachers is likely subject to change once they assume real teaching responsibilities.
12


Therefore, investigating pre-service teacher self-efficacy and how these beliefs are
conceived and nurtured can provide significant information to professionals responsible
for designing and implementing more meaningful teacher- preparation programs.
Self-efficacy means the judgment of ones ability to produce desired results and
forestall detrimental ones through ones own actions (Bandura, 2001, p. 10). Bandura
added that unless people believe they can produce desired effects by their actions, they
have little incentive to act (1997, p.3). This means a person who believes he is fully
capable of completing a task will set appropriate goals, be wholly motivated, perceive his
ability level as adequate to the task, and express interest in the outcome. Two people with
the same skills and knowledge may undertake a task differently depending on their level
of self-efficacy. This study is grounded in Banduras social cognitive theory and,
specifically, in his concept of self-efficacy.
Bandura (1997) proposes four sources of self-efficacy: mastery experiences;
vicarious experiences; social persuasion; and physiological and affective states. Mastery
experiences are the actual successful or unsuccessful outcomes of performing the task,
which Bandura indicated is the most important determinant of self-efficacy as it provides
authentic feedback regarding ones capabilities. It refers to the interpretations individuals
make of their past performances. For instance, past successes create a strong sense of
confidence for accomplishing similar future tasks, whereas failures can lower ones
efficacy perceptions particularly if they occur in the early stages of learning. Bandura
suggested that interpretations of past performance serve as a robust indicator of self-
13


efficacy and that failure was unlikely to affect it. A resilient sense of self-efficacy is when
one has faced setbacks and overcome obstacles, as one can easily be discouraged by
failure even after experiencing mild success. Therefore, the effects of failure on ones
self-efficacy are partly dependent on the timing and the total pattern of experiences in
which the failures occur. If the success is attributed to internal causes such as ability or
effort, then self-efficacy is enhanced. However, if success is attributed to luck or the
intervention of others, then self-efficacy may not be strengthened (Bandura, 1993;
Pintrich & Schunk, 1996).
Bandura (1997) identified vicarious experiences as the second-most potent
influence on self-efficacy. Vicarious experiences occur when a person sees someone with
perceived similar ability perform the task or skill in question; this makes the observer feel
that they too have the capabilities to succeed. On the other hand, observing someone fail
in spite of large efforts lowers ones efficacy. The degree to which the observer identifies
with the model therefore moderates the efficacy effect on the observer (Bandura, 1997).
By observing and identifying oneself with efficacious models, the learner gathers
information necessary to make judgments about his or her own capabilities. The more
closely the observer identifies with the model, the stronger the impact on efficacy (Hoy,
2000).
Verbal or social persuasion, such as words of encouragement or moral support
from others regarding ones performance, may also modify ones perceptions of efficacy.
Such positive verbal messages or social persuasion could influence the individual to exert
14


extra effort, or to demonstrate the persistent behavior necessary to succeed when faced
with difficult tasks. Alternatively, critical feedback could impede ones sense of self-
efficacy. Bandura (1977, 1997) viewed verbal persuasion as a comparatively weak source
of efficacy. Persuasion contributes to successful performances in the sense that a credible
boost in self-efficacy leads a person to initiate the task, attempt new strategies, or try hard
to succeed (Bandura, 1982). The potency of persuasion depends on the credibility,
trustworthiness, and expertise of the persuader (Bandura, 1986).
The fourth informational source on self-efficacy is an individuals physiological
or emotional state. High emotional arousal usually debilitates performance and results in
the individual feeling extremely vulnerable to failure (Bandura 1977), so experiences of
stress and anxiety may have a negative effect on the individuals beliefs about his
capabilities. In a taxing situation, physical symptoms such as increased heart beat or
sweaty palms can cause the individual to perceive ineptitude in performing a task.
Typically, self-efficacy is raised in a positive emotional state and lowered in a negative
emotional state (Bandura, 1997).
Using Banduras theory of self-efficacy to evaluate Montessori pre-service
teachers requires some modification and clarification (see Figure 2). In Montessori
teacher training courses, mastery experience would include content knowledge based on
Montessori philosophy, child development, observation and assessment, contemporary
issues, health, safety and nutrition, as well as the six curriculum areas of the classroom.
Students are expected to produce six albums with lesson plans on each of the curriculum
15


areas and to know the rationale and purpose behind each of the learning materials.
Vicarious influence refers to the influence of others in the teaching field that the teacher-
in-training could imitate; the internship mentor is particularly significant as the student
teacher models classroom management style from him/her. Verbal or social persuasion
denoted encouragement that the pre-service teacher receives from her/ his colleagues,
teachers, and mentors. The final influence of emotional state illustrates the impact of
stress and anxiety on efficacy beliefs. These four influences are then filtered through the
individuals cognitive processing before becoming a measurable conduit/indicator of
efficacy.
16


Content knowledge &
teaching experience Mentor support
Internal sources, Encouragement
e.g. stress and from colleagues
Figure 1.5: Conceptual framework of the study
17


Overview of the Study
One of the goals of this mixed methods research study is to determine how best to
incorporate efficacy-building components into teacher-training programs by gaining an
understanding of the influences on self-efficacy for Montessori teachers. The
development of teacher- efficacy beliefs among prospective teachers has generated a
great deal of research interest because once efficacy beliefs are established; they appear
to be somewhat resistant to change (Hoy, 2000). Quantitatively, the study will examine
the level of teacher self-efficacy and its influences. Each of these influences will be
further explored through qualitative semi-structured interviews with the participants.
In this study, I will attempt to predict the influences on pre-service teacher self-
efficacy; add to the current knowledge base; have a personal, social, and organizational
impact upon the Montessori teaching profession; and gain a deeper understanding of the
impact on teachers in general. The main objectives of this mixed methods inquiry are to
(a) build a statistical model that significantly predicts the influences on Montessori pre-
service teacher self-efficacy; (b) qualitatively examine the influences on Montessori
teacher efficacy; and (c) gain a better understanding of the multiple influences on those
students who exhibit high and low self- efficacy. Therefore, the following research
questions are explored:
1. Do the independent variables of mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal
or social persuasion, and physiological arousal significantly predict self- efficacy
among Montessori pre-service teachers?
18


2. How do Montessori pre-service teachers with high and low levels of self-efficacy
explain the influences of mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal or
social persuasion, and physiological arousal on their level of teaching efficacy?
In addition, several secondary research questions will also be examined:
3. What is the difference in scores on the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES)
between pre-service teachers and those that have completed their in-service?
4. Do teachers with high levels of self-efficacy report different influences than
teachers with low levels of self-efficacy?
Definition of Variables
This is a correlation study employing multiple regressions to explore the
relationship between several independent variables and teacher efficacy (dependent
variable). Figure 3 provides the definition for each of the variables used in the study;
whether it is an independent or dependent variable; and an explanation of how the
variable is being measured.
19


Research Question Variable Type Definition Measurement
1, 2, 3, and 4 Teacher Efficacy Dependent How competent does the Montessori pre-service teacher feel in his/her ability to affect the performance of all students? Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES)
1, 2, and 3 Mastery experience Independent Past successes create a strong sense of efficacy to accomplish similar future tasks, whereas, failures can lower ones efficacy perceptions particularly if they occur in the early stages of learning. Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) Interview
1, 2, and 3 Vicarious experience Independent Level of support and relationship with mentor and its impact on level of effectiveness. Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) Interview
1, 2, and 3 Verbal or social persuasion Independent Words of encouragement and moral support from others regarding ones performance may impact ones perceptions of efficacy. Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) Interview
1, 2, and 3 Physiological arousal or emotional state Independent The impact of stress and anxiety on an individuals belief about their capabilities. Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) Interview
Figure 1.6: Variables and how they are measured
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It is important to understand how teacher self-efficacy is developed and
maintained so that we can design educational interventions to prepare more effective
teachers. Since this study focuses on the sources of teacher self-efficacy, the findings will
supply invaluable knowledge based on the extent to which various source of efficacy
information,(namely: mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and
physiological arousal) influence teacher self-efficacy during the pre-service year. This
information will be beneficial to practitioners involved in the area of teacher preparation,
such as supervising lecturers and mentor teachers, in providing a learning environment
where pre-service teachers have opportunities to engage in experiences that foster high
teacher self-efficacy. Furthermore, the findings may aid in designing meaningful and
workable educational interventions aimed at strengthening teacher self-efficacy.
Introduction to the Chapters
In the current chapter, I outlined the purpose and significance of the study and the
conceptual framework that supported my research. I stated the research questions and
concluded this chapter with a brief overview of the studys methodology. This
dissertation includes four additional chapters. Chapter 2 discusses and reviews the
research and literature supporting a rationale for the study. Chapter 3 provides a detailed
description of the methodology used for collecting and analyzing data, including the
design, subjects, and sampling procedures. Chapter 4 discusses the administration of the
research study and presents the findings in regard to the research questions. Finally,
Chapter 5 addresses interpretations of the findings along with implications of the results
21


in the field of teacher preparation; projections for areas of further research; and
limitations of the study.
22


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The purpose of this research study is to examine various sources influencing
Montessori teachers self-efficacy and the relative strength of those sources. This chapter
will describe the components of social cognitive theory and self-efficacy as developed by
Albert Bandura (1997), which establishes support those teachers with a strong perception
of self-efficacy act in a particular way, contributing to students academic performance
and achievement. This will be followed by a historical overview of self-efficacy and the
history and measurement of teacher self-efficacy. Finally, the Montessori pedagogy and
its focus on the preparation of the teacher will be explored.
Social Cognitive Theory and Self-Efficacy
The concept of self-efficacy is grounded in the framework of social cognitive
theory, which emphasizes the evolvement and exercise of human agency (Bandura, 2006).
It is generally defined as the belief in ones capabilities to achieve a goal or an outcome.
Albert Bandura (1977) first introduced the cognitive social learning theory, which
examines the human capacity to exercise control over the nature and quality of ones life
(Bandura, 2001, p.l) through intentional actions. He proposed that the behavior a person
exhibits is influenced by his or her beliefs regarding an outcome expectation and an
efficacy expectation. In an outcome expectation, a person estimates that a given
behavior will lead to a certain outcome (2001, p. 193). An efficacy expectation is the
23


belief a person has regarding his/her ability to actually perform the behavior required to
produce the outcome (2001, p. 193). These two outcomes are distinct, particularly in the
educational setting. While a teacher may believe that specific teacher behaviors will lead
to a better classroom environment, improved student learning, increased class
participation, and so on that same teacher may not have confidence in her ability to
perform those behaviors. Efficacy beliefs determine how environmental opportunities and
impediments are perceived (Bandura, 2006), and how they affect choice of activities;
how much effort is expended on an activity; and how long people will persevere when
confronting obstacles (Pajares, 1997).
Self-efficacy beliefs determine how people feel, think, behave, and motivate
themselves; in the case of teachers this refers to the teachers beliefs in their own ability
to plan, organize, and carry out activities that are required to attain given educational
goals. Bandura (1986, 1997) noted that behavior is more effectively predicted by the
conviction that individuals have regarding their own capabilities than what they are
actually capable of accomplishing. Therefore, an individuals self-belief is a driving force
in his/her academic accomplishments. It is these ideas that determine how well
knowledge and skills are acquired (Pajares, 2003, p.8).
Bandura further defines self-efficacy as judging ones ability to produce desired
results and forestall detrimental ones (Bandura, 2001, p. 10). These diverse effects arise
from four major processes: intendonality; forethought; self-regulation; and self-
reflectiveness. Intendonality is the ability of humans to choose a course of action,
24


whereas forethought implies setting goals, anticipating likely consequences, and choosing
actions that are more likely to produce desired outcomes instead of undesirable outcomes.
Self-regulation indicates the human ability to monitor the chosen choice of action through
goal-setting and motivation. Finally, self-reflectiveness refers to the evaluation of the
persons motivation, values, and meaning of the chosen action. A strong sense of
efficacy enhances human accomplishment and personal well-being in many ways. A
teacher, for example, with high confidence in her capabilities will approach difficult tasks
as challenges to be mastered rather than as threats to be avoided. On the other hand, a
teacher with a low level of self-efficacy will set incomplete goals, lose motivation and
will not see herself as being competent and capable of the job. Although both these
individuals may possess the same skills and knowledge to complete the task, their level
of efficacy could mean they each perform the task in completely different manners
(Bandura, 1993).
Bandura (1977) stated that peoples conceptions of their self-efficacy, regardless
accurate or misjudged, are developed through four sources of influence which he termed
as (1) mastery experience or actual experience; (2) vicarious experience; (3) verbal or
social persuasion; and (4) physiological arousal or emotional state. The first, and most
effective, is through mastery experiences, or successes at tasks (1994, p2). Mastery
experiences increase ones self-efficacy, while failures may inhibit its development. The
best mastery experiences should take time and effort to accomplish. Bandura (1977, 1997)
identified vicarious experience as the second- most potent influence on ones sense of
efficacy. Observing the successes of others similar to oneself contributes positively to
25


self-efficacy. The opposite is also true observing the failures of others similar to oneself
may decrease self-efficacy. Social persuasion is the words of encouragement or moral
support from others regarding ones performance that may modify ones perceptions of
efficacy. Self-efficacy can be influenced if told by others that they have what it takes to
succeed (1994, p.3). Self-efficacy can also be diminished if told by others they do not
possess the skills for success. Bandura believed that it was far easier for social persuasion
to decrease self-efficacy than to increase it (1994). Physiological and affective states
indicate the physical and mental processes that may interfere with the performance of the
task, such as exhaustion or anxiety. This is how people react to situations, whether
physical or mental. Typically, self-efficacy is boosted in a positive emotional state and
lowered in a negative emotional state (Bandura, 1997). These influences are affected by
four mental processes: cognitive; motivational; affective; and selection (Bandura, 1997).
Cognitive processes can enhance or inhibit the performance on the task through the self-
appraisal of ones capabilities. Motivation can affect efficacy through the establishment
of goals, while the ability to control negative emotional thoughts and to enhance positive
thoughts also has a strong impact on efficacy beliefs. Finally, selection refers to the
choices people make based on their efficacy beliefs.
Historical Overview of Self-Efficacy
At the turn of the 20th century, much attention was focused on the impact of
human behavior in relation to the idea of self. The American psychologist William James
believed that introspective observation is what we have to rely on first and foremost and
26


always (1890, p. 185). James was among the first psychologists to address self-esteem
defining it as a feeling about ones self and what one thinks of personal accomplishments
in relation to other members of society (Pajares, 2002).
Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner dominated the 1920s to 1940s with their studies on
stimuli and response and, as a result, the idea of self was waylaid. The educational field,
which follows psychological theory, disregarded a focus on self as well. It was not until
the 1950s that Abraham Maslow re-directed interest to the construct of self by addressing
motivational process through his hierarchy of needs. In an effort to secure unsatisfied
needs, an individual increase his motivation with the need to become self-actualized,
that is, to achieve ones potentialities, capacities and talents (Pajares, 2002, p.3).
The work of Pavlov, Skinner, and Maslow gave birth to the humanistic movement
in the 1960s and 1970s. By examining self-constructs and self-beliefs, schools tried to
nurture self-esteem and a positive sense of self in their students. Much of the research on
self-esteem and student achievement provided findings that were inconclusive or
provided unsettling results (Pajares, 2002, p. 4) because these theories were not being
realistically executed in the classroom. Understandably, following this, the enthusiasm
towards understanding self-constructs diminished.
The 1970s and 1980s brought about the cognitive revolution, influenced greatly
by technological advances such as the computer. Psychologists turned their attention to
internal, mental tasking involving information procession, schema building, and problem
solving. At the same time, a nationwide concern grew that academic standards were
27


dropping drastically and that students were being awarded a high school diploma bereft
of necessary skills. This caused a back to basics approach to curriculum and practice in
the educational system (Pajares, 2002).
Regardless of the momentary movement, Albert Bandura (1977) identified what
he believed was an instrumental aspect missing from all the theories and educational
reforms in his publication, Self-efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral
Change. Describing individuals as being perceptive of the capabilities that impact and
help determine their choice of activities and persistence in reaching a goal, Bandura
coined the term self-efficacy. In his 1986 publication, Social Foundations of Thought and
Action, Bandura discussed a social cognitive theory in which he described people as
having beliefs about their own capabilities. It is these beliefs (or self-perceptions)
themselves, rather than their actual abilities are the driving force behind their
achievements (Bandura, 1986, 1997; Pajares, 2002). Therefore, those who believe they
have the capabilities to be successful make greater attempts to achieve the desired
outcome.
We have seen that interest in beliefs about personal control and self-esteem has a
long history in philosophy and psychology. It was Bandura who not only formalized the
notion of perceived competence as self-efficacy, but offered a theory of how it develops
and how it influences human behavior. From this point of view, namely, believing that
you can accomplish what you set out to do, that many more theorists began to study the
construct of self-efficacy.
28


What is Self-Efficacy?
Self-efficacy, as defined by Albert Bandura (1986), is peoples judgment of their
capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types
of performance (p. 391). Bandura (1986) clarified that self-efficacy is concerned not
with the skills one has but with judgments of what one can do with whatever skills one
possesses (p.391). Perceived self-efficacy beliefs may impact a person in either a
positive, empowering way, or in a negative, demoralizing way. How an individual
believes s/he is able to carry out the necessary actions to achieve a desired result
determines the course of action (Bandura, 1977): individuals who believe in their ability
to perform a specific task will work harder and persist in order to successfully reach the
goal than those who do not believe in their abilities. It is also important to note that
efficacy levels are context and task specific, meaning the efficacy level for a proposed
task may change within different contexts. For example, a persons efficacy level for
teaching math may be high in a Montessori classroom of normalized children
(Montessori, 1989) but low in a classroom of children with special needs. In order to
distinguish why self-efficacy levels differ, researchers must first have a thorough
understanding of the sources of self-efficacy (Bandura, 2007).
Sources of Teacher Self-Efficacy
Bandura (1977) describes four sources of personal efficacy: performance
accomplishments; vicarious experiences; verbal persuasions; and emotional arousals. The
first source, mastery experience, refers to how individuals interpret their past
29


performances. Performance accomplishments have the most potential for raising self-
efficacy beliefs since they directly involve the individual and successful completion of a
task. Bandura suggested that interpretations of past performance serve as a robust
indicator of self-efficacy; this hypothesis has been supported by studies of the sources of
students self-efficacy (Usher & Pajares, 2008).
The experience gained by observing the successes and failures of others creates
the second source, vicarious experience. In other words, when an individual observes
someone else completing a similar task with success, it leads to the impression that they
too could accomplish that task. Researchers propose that beginning teachers who have
higher levels of induction support are more likely to view their jobs as manageable;
report that they can teach the most difficult students, and indicate that they are successful
in providing education to students needing special education services (Billingsley et al.,
2004).
In addition to mastery and vicarious experiences, social or verbal persuasion also
affects levels of self-efficacy. The persuasive messages individuals receive from others,
such as; evaluative feedback from students, colleagues, administrators, and parents, likely
influence how capable one feels in his job. Positive messages typically boost self-efficacy,
while criticisms tend to undermine it. This is likely why teachers who perceive more
support from their principals are less stressed and more committed and satisfied with
their jobs than those who perceive less support (Billingsley & Cross, 1992). Similarly,
research shows that educators who remain in their jobs were about four times more likely
30


to recognize their administrators as supportive and encouraging than were the teachers
who left their jobs (Boe, Barkanic, & Leow, 1999). Verbal persuasion thus allows an
individual to overcome doubt when others express their beliefs in the individuals ability.
Self-efficacy stemming from verbal persuasion is not enduring, however, and requires
constant reassurance from others; any sign of failure or obstacles will weaken the
individuals self-efficacy.
Physiological and emotional states, which deal with the individuals somatic and
affective responses regarding his performance, are also a source of self-efficacy. For
instance, excessive stress or anxiety can convince teachers they do not have the skills
necessary to carry out his job successfully. Emotional arousal taps the individuals
anxiety, steering him away from a feeling of avoidance. Teachers with low self-efficacy
have reduced motivation to teach (Bandura, 1997). If the task is not successfully
completed, the individuals self-efficacy will be further influenced in a negative manner
(Bandura, 1977). On the other hand, those who feel energized by the teaching task likely
approach their work with confidence. For example, the multiple pressures on special
education teachers pose legitimate concerns for increased stress, which is associated with
burnout and teacher attrition (Billingsley et al., 2004; Boyer & Gillespie, 2000). In
general, self-efficacy will improve through consistently successful outcomes and
decrease with repeated failures.
Bandura (1997) determines Efficacy beliefs are best instilled by presenting the
pursuit as relying on acquirable skills, raising performers beliefs in their ability to
31


acquire skills, modeling the requisite skills, structuring activities in masterable steps that
ensure a high level of initial success, and providing explicit feedback of continued
progress (p. 105). Teachers efficacy beliefs are best enhanced through the effective
combination of efficacy information from different sources because each source of
efficacy information alone may contribute in some way to the enhancement of teachers
efficacy beliefs (Labone, 2004). Thus, it is best for research investigating teachers
efficacy beliefs to consider the various sources of efficacy information.
After exploring the variables that influence student teachers perceptions of their
teaching efficacy, Mary Poulou (2007), highlighted the importance of student teachers
personality characteristics, capabilities, and motivation as potential sources of teaching
efficacy. The author found that student teachers motivation (for example, love for pupils,
which enhances efforts towards effective teaching and personal effort and study about
topics of teaching effectiveness) to improve their teaching efficacy received the highest
ratings as a source of teaching efficacy in the study of 198 fourth-year students in Greece.
In addition, student teachers personality characteristics (for example, direct
communication with pupils, positive stance/humor) and enactive mastery with
social/verbal persuasion also received high mean scores as likely sources of teaching
efficacy. Poulou mentioned that the more student teachers perceived themselves as
possessing specific personality characteristics and teaching capabilities, the more they
felt efficacious in implementing instructional and discipline strategies and involving
pupils in the learning process (p. 212).
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In the longitudinal case study of one elementary science teacher during her
transition from pre-service to in-service teaching, Mulholland and Wallace (2001) found
that mastery experience was a powerful influence on her teaching confidence and
perception of competence. In their case study of Katie, a beginning elementary school
student teacher in Australia, the researchers noted that the enthusiasm of children during
a science lesson seemed to act as a form of social persuasion (Bandura, 1995) which
encouraged Katie to teach science and had the potential to strengthen Katies science
teaching beliefs(Mulholland & Wallace, 2001, p. 249). Mastery experiences were
achieved when pre-service teachers were better able to use manageable manipulative and
work with smaller groups of children who were interacting with other children. Early
development of high self-efficacy beliefs by achieving mastery experiences is important
to continue teaching science in the in-service situation. The authors found that the
enthusiasm of children and social persuasion provided by children were the constant
source of positive information in both pre-service and in-service situations, providing
pressure to continue teaching science despite the setback. They emphasize the need to
consider all sources of information in developing science teachers self-efficacy because
they recognize the lack of appropriate vicarious experience in the elementary school to be
a major drawback to the development of science teaching self-efficacy. Charalambous,
Philippou, and Kyriakides (2008) also found that it was important to observe, imitate, and
analyze mathematics lessons taught by in-service teachers who were given vicarious
experiences to student teachers in mathematics teaching. Thus, if self-efficacy is to be
enhanced during pre-service teacher education, university-based education can provide
33


pre-service teachers with positive sources of vicarious experience offered by teacher
educators teaching modeling as well as discussion about teaching strategies (Mulholland
& Wallace, 2001).
After analyzing four interviews, twelve written reflections, and seven transcribed
group discussion, J.P. Rushton (2000) found that the five interns who spent eight months
working in classrooms in inner-city schools moved past the cultural shock of their initial
experiences and were able to teach more effectively. As the interns adjusted to the
cultural differences, they came to accept the contrast between reality and their
preconceptions, and grew better able to cope with them, they grew in efficacy. Each
intern developed efficacy in different areas such as self-worth about becoming teachers,
growth in relation to a sense of gaining authority and respect with pupils, and personal
efficacy in relation to cooperating teachers. For example, one of the interns grew more
patient in dealing with disruptive behavior after seeing her cooperating teachers
disciplinary strategies. In addition, the interns adopted their mentoring teachers
authoritarian approach to teaching, but did not become rigid, impersonal, arbitrary, and
bureaucratic during their student teaching experiences (Rushton, 2000, 2003).
History and Measurement of Teacher Efficacy
Following the introduction of social cognitive theory and self-efficacy,
researchers began exploring how these concepts could be used in the study of teaching
and learning by identifying the construct of teacher efficacy and developing
instrumentation to measure this construct. A teachers belief that he possesses the ability
34


to influence student learning and achievement for all students, including those students
who may be considered unmotivated and difficult, is commonly referred to as teacher
self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977, 1997; Guske, 1987; Hoy, 2000). The development of a
reliable and valid instrument that accurately measures teacher efficacy was of primary
importance within this field of study and it was first introduced by the work of J.B. Rotter
(1996). It was labeled the locus of control and was defined as extent to which teachers
believe that they could control the reinforcement of their actions, that is, whether the
control reinforcement lay within themselves or in the environment (Tschannen-Moran et
al., 1998, p.202). The locus of control is the perception of where ones behavior stems
(Rotter, 1996). There are two distinct paths of locus of control: external and internal
control. External control is the belief that reward is due to luck, fate, chance or higher
powers. Internal control is the belief that behaviors and actions are a result of personal
characteristics.
The RAND corporation researchers were the first to use locus of control to
measure teacher self-efficacy. In 1977, the Rand Corporation studied planned change
over a period of four years; this Change Agent Study looked closely at the change
process and teacher growth. Rand researchers included items that explored the perceived
ability of teachers to control their actions and environment. Interestingly, teacher efficacy
was the most significant teacher attribute to growth and change throughout these studies
(Rand, 1977, No VII). It was found that teachers who identified themselves as highly
efficacious believed they could control or strongly influence student achievement and
motivation (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998, p. 202). Those teachers possessing a low
35


sense of teacher self-efficacy believed environmental factors played a bigger role in
outcomes than their actions. These teachers believed that environmental factors or
external factors such as conflict, violence, or substance abuse... affected students
learning more than their own influence (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998, p. 204).
Using Rotters locus of control theory, the RAND researchers first measured
teacher self-efficacy through two items in a questionnaire. The items were:
RAND Item 1: When it comes right down to it, a teacher really cant do much
because most of a students motivation and performance depends on his or her
home environment (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998).
This item was labeled general teaching efficacy and reflects agreement with an external
locus of control.
RAND Item 2: If I really try hard, I can get through to even the most difficult or
unmotivated students. (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998).
This item has been labeled personal teaching efficacy and indicates agreement with an
internal locus of control.
The RAND researchers discovered the scores on these two items, the teachers
sense of efficacy, had impacts on student motivation, stress level, teachers willingness to
implement innovation, and teachers willingness to stay in the field. These two items
consequently became the basis and inspiration for teacher efficacy instruments developed
36


by various researchers. Later research by McLaughlin and Marsh (1978) found teacher
efficacy to positively impact: achievement of a project goal; the amount of adjustment
made by the teacher throughout the project; student achievement; and, continued use of
project methods and materials (McLaughlin & Marsh, 1978; Symlie, 1990).
Supporting the construct of teacher efficacy are the indirect investigations by
Brookover et al. in 1978, and Brophy and Evertson in 1977. Brookover et al. (1978)
studied social-psychological variables that set schools of similar socioeconomic standards
and racial composition apart, based on students academic performance. According to the
study, teachers who demonstrate a great instructional commitment to students and
practice positive reinforcement, nurture higher-achieving students (Brookover et al,
1978).
Using Rotters Theory and the RAND items as a base, other researchers
developed instruments with the hope of effectively measuring teacher self-efficacy. Rose
and Medway (1981) developed a measure called the Teacher Locus of Control (TLC).
The TLC is a 28-item questionnaire where teachers were asked to assign responsibility
of student success/failure by choosing between two competing explanations for the
situations described (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998, p. 206). Rose and Medway found
the responses to the TLC were weakly but significantly related to the RAND items.
Another instrument measuring Responsibility for Student Achievement (RSA) was also
discovered in 1981 by T. R. Guskey. Guskey(1984) found strong inter-correlations
37


between overall responsibility and responsibility for student success/failure as well as a
relation between positive attitudes about teaching to greater efficacy levels.
During the same time that instruments were being created based on Rotters
theory and the RAND items, other researchers were creating instruments based on
Banduras (1977) self-efficacy theory. Building on the distinction between personal
teaching efficacy (PTE) and general teaching efficacy (GTE) laid out in the RAND
Study, Dembo and Gibson (1984) made links to Banduras outcome expectancy concept.
They began with modifications to the RAND items and incorporated Banduras theory. In
1984, Gibson and Dembo created the most popular measure thus far, the Teacher
Efficacy Scale (TES), which proposes to capture Banduras two elements of efficacy,
efficacy expectation and outcome expectancy, by having participants respond to
statements such as when a student gets a better grade than he usually gets, it is usually
because I found better ways of teaching and even a teacher with good teaching abilities
may not reach many students. PTE relates to levels of organization, planning, and
fairness a teacher displayed as well as clarity and enthusiasm in teaching (Tschannen-
Moran et al., 1998, p. 213). GTE is assumed to measure outcome expectancy and is
related to clarity and enthusiasm in teacher (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998). The Gibson-
Dembo instrument uses a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5
(strongly agree) and became the dominant measure of teacher efficacy for twenty years. It
was found that teacher self-efficacy influences students attitudes toward school, subjects,
teachers, and new ideas (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998) and that students in second and
38


fifth grade whose teachers had a higher sense of GRT outperformed their peers in math
on the Iowas Test of Basic Skills (Moore & Esselman, 1992).
Dissatisfaction with the definition and measurement of the two sub-constructs
called for a new instrument that must encompass both an assessment of personal
competence and an analysis of the task in terms of the resources and constraints that exist
in particular teaching contexts ( Tschannen-Moran, et al., 1998, p. 240). The instruments
failed to meet both criteria and a new instrument was needed to be specific enough to
have good reliability, yet general enough to avoid losing predictive power. Soodak and
Podell (1996) argued that teacher efficacy was actually a three dimensional construct
consisting of personal efficacy, outcome efficacy, and teaching efficacy. Using the TES,
they added additional items and through factor analysis, identified the three sub-
constructs. They defined personal efficacy as a teachers belief that she has the necessary
teaching skills; outcome efficacy as the belief that when the teaching skills are used they
produce a desired student outcome; and teaching efficacy was defined as the belief that
teachers can overcome the effects of all outside influences on their students. Emmer and
Hickman (1991) asserted that teachers spend a considerable amount of time managing
student behaviors and therefore the quality of this management may lead to feelings of
high or low efficacy. They modified the TES to include the sub-construct of classroom
management with two sub-constructs of PTE and GTE sub-constructs.
Although these studies attempted to strengthen the construct of teacher efficacy,
they relied on a poorly designed instrument that did not completely capture the
39


complexity of Banduras theory of self-efficacy. Therefore, researchers began the work
of redefining and remodeling the construct of measuring teacher efficacy. Tschannen-
Moran sought to develop a new instrument based on the previous recommendations that
stated a reliable and valid instrument for measuring teacher self-efficacy did not exist
(Tschannen-Moran et.al., 1998). The development of a new instrument began by deciding
to follow and expand recommendations set by Bandura. They introduced a new
conceptual model of teacher efficacy that demonstrates the cyclical and context- specific
nature of this construct. The conceptual model cognitively processes Banduras four
sources of efficacy information (mastery experiences, physiological and emotional states,
vicarious experiences, and social persuasion), and then either analyses the teaching task
or assesses the personal teaching competence. The processes result in a level of teacher
efficacy that determines teaching performance, which becomes a new source of efficacy
information in itself. However, the instrument had issues with construct validity and
Denzine, Cooney, and McKenzie (2005) determined that the TES did not accurately fit
Banduras model of social learning theory.
Therefore, researchers began work on developing new instruments with stronger
construct validity. In response to the issues presented above in the measurement of
teacher efficacy, Bandura (1997) demonstrated that self-efficacy and locus of control
have little or no statistical relationship between each other. Reacting to the generality of
the above mentioned measures and to the lack of correlation with locus of control,
Bandura (undated) presented his own 30 item measure that recognizes the differing tasks
that teachers may be asked to perform. The scale is measured on a 9 point Likert scale
40


which details the amount of influence a teacher believes they exert over the stated
situation. While this scale is more conceptually specific and task oriented, the teaching
tasks which are included have been criticized for not representing normal teaching
activities (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). There is no reliability and validity
evidence available for this scale. Roberts and Henson (2000) developed an efficacy
instrument that attempts to address the theoretical and methodological issues associated
with the TES for use with science education teachers. Friedman and Kass (2002) also
suggested a model of teacher efficacy that accounts for the teachers school context and
her relationships in the school.
Using the conceptual models of Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk and Hoy (2001)
developed a new way to measure teacher efficacy, the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale
(TSES). The instrument was designed to evaluate both personal competence and an
analysis of the task in terms of the resources and constraints in particular teaching
contexts (2001, p.795). TSES attempts to further define normal teaching tasks and to
broaden the focus from unmotivated students to include capable students. The sub-
constructs of efficacy for instructional strategies; efficacy for classroom management;
and efficacy for student engagement include questions such as: To what extent can you
use a variety of assessment strategies? and How much can you do to control disruptive
behavior in the classroom? It was developed and refined in three studies. From those
studies, three factors emerged that accounted for over half of the variance. Those factors
were labeled Efficacy for Student Engagement, Efficacy for Instructional Practices, and
Efficacy for Classroom Management. In keeping to the recommendations for a specific,
41


yet general instrument, Tschannen-Moran et al. (1998) believed the student engagement,
instructional practices, and classroom management were three common elements that any
teacher would face. This procedure resulted in two versions of the instrument, a 24 -item
long version; and a 12- item short version. Both scales use the nine-point Likert-type
response scale with the options 1 (nothing), 3 (very little), 5 (some influence), 7 (quite a
bit), and 9 (a great deal). Factor analysis then confirmed the existence of the three factors
that accounted for 54 percent of the variance in the long form, and 65percent in the short
form. Finally, second-order analysis revealed that measures could conform to one factor
alone, which explained 75 percent of the variance in the long form and 68 percent of the
variance in the short form. Item loadings were appropriate for the three subscales and the
one entire scale. Internal reliabilities ranged from .87 to .91. The TSES is superior to
previous measures of teacher efficacy in that it has a unified and stable factor structure
and assesses a broad range of capabilities that teachers consider important to good
teaching..(Tschannen-Moran et al., 2001).This scale has the potential to fully capture
the efficacy expectation and outcome expectancy sub-constructs that are at the heart of
Banduras self-efficacy theory, but additional research utilizing this instrument along
with confirmatory qualitative analysis is needed to ensure the validity of this measure
(Henson, 2002).
This scale seems to have the potential to fully capture the efficacy expectation and
outcome expectancy sub-constructs that are at the heart of Banduras self-efficacy theory,
but additional research is needed to ensure the validity of this measure. Roberts and
Henson (2001) used confirmatory factor analysis to examine the initial version of the
42


TSES, but did not find sufficient support for the sub-construct Efficacy for Student
Engagement (ESE); they recommended the construct be either strengthened or eliminated.
Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy decided to strengthen the ESE sub-construct so the
final version demonstrated adequate reliability and validity (Tschannen-Moran et al., &
Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). Heneman, Kimball, and Milanowski (2006) reported on a
validation study of the TSES in which the sample produced valid and reliable data and
included all levels of teachers in its pool. They also determined that teacher scores on the
TSES significantly predicted teacher performance ratings at the end of the school year.
Whereas major strides have been made, it is clear that there are still issues to be
addressed in this research field. Perhaps a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods
would be the logical choice in studying teacher efficacy.
Self-Efficacy and Student Achievement
Albert Bandura studied self-efficacy in relation to a variety of factors, such as
motivation (Schunk, 1994) and phobias (Bandura, 1983). He noted that individuals
develop ideas and self-perceptions about their capabilities, which, in turn, drive an
individuals interaction with his environment. Bandura (1977) refers to this control as
perceived self-efficacy. Three studies explored the relationship between teacher
efficacy and student achievement; all of which supported the conclusion that teachers
with higher levels of efficacy appear to produce higher- achieving students. First, Rose
and Medway (1981) used the Teacher Locus of Control (TLC) scale, which measures
efficacy through an internal versus external orientation with a sample of 17 teachers and
43


their students. Internally oriented teachers attribute consequences to their own actions,
while externally-oriented teachers attribute consequences to factors outside their control.
The scores from the TLC measure, teacher observations, and student achievement data
allowed the researchers to determine that teachers with high levels of internal attribution
did have higher achieving students. Next, Ashton, Webb, & Doda (1983) used a sample
of 48 modestly-skilled high school teachers to explore student achievement data, teacher
efficacy scores from the two Rand items, and classroom observations. Their results
indicate levels of teaching efficacy are positively correlated to student achievement in
mathematics and language arts. Ross (1992) also found a positive relationship between
student achievement and teacher efficacy by observing the effect of coaching on teacher
efficacy and student achievement. The researcher worked with eighteen history teachers
and six instructional coaches to track student achievement as they implemented a new
curriculum. Using the TES, student tests, coaching survey, and interviews, the results
illustrated that student achievement increased significantly from pre-test to pos-test. All
these studies demonstrate a strong positive relationship between student achievement and
teacher efficacy; additional research involving the TSES and further examining the
impact of high level teacher efficacy is needed though.
In recognizing that efficacy belief is context specific, researchers developed
scales that focused on specific content areas, such as Riggs and Enochs (1990) Science
Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI) (which was refined by Enochs and Riggs
(1990) into the STEBI-B); and Enochs, Smith, and Huinkers (2000) Mathematics
Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument (MTEBI). Both of these instruments rework the
44


statements on the TES from a more general teaching focus to a precise science or
mathematics teaching focus, employing questions such as, I understand science concepts
well enough to be effective in teaching elementary science, and When a student does
better than usual in mathematics, it is often because the teacher exerted a little extra
effort. These scales retained the five-point Likert scoring of the TES as well as the low
validity issues, with both scales explaining less than 30 percent of the variance in teacher
efficacy.
Other studies have specifically investigated variable related to the sense of
efficacy in teachers. Emmer and Hickman (1991) proposed a new dimension to teacher
efficacy: efficacy in classroom management and discipline. The authors asserted that
teachers spend a considerable amount of time managing student behaviors, the quality of
which may, lead to feelings of high or low efficacy. The researchers added items to the
TES that reflected classroom management and disciplinary situations. Using factor
analysis, the final instrument revealed three factors: classroom management/discipline;
external influences; and personal teaching efficacy.
A study involving twenty elementary school children from Los Angeles
participating in the preferred reading program focused on the classroom practices of those
who successfully improved reading scores. Teacher efficacy, identified as their sense of
being able to get through to students, their commitment and morale (p. 38) positively
affected black childrens reading scores (Armor, et.al., 1976). Another study, connecting
teacher self-efficacy to student achievement was executed by Berman, et al (1977), in
45


which two middle schools with different organizational variables believed to impact
teacher efficacy were reviewed. After four or five classroom observations, the authors
concluded, our study of teacher efficacy beliefs indicates that the extent to which
teachers believe they are capable of influencing student performance affects their
enthusiasm and persistence in working with their students and ultimately their students
achievement (Ashton, et. al., 1982, p.ll).
In short, teachers who possess stronger perceptions of self-efficacy tend to display
specific observable behaviors, such as effort, persistence, enthusiasm, and confidence.
These teachers manage classroom time differently and engage students in learning for
longer periods of time. Teachers with strong self-efficacy exemplify warmth and
responsiveness to all students, especially those with reduced abilities. As David Kearns
(1988) acknowledged, failing to change the willingness of every teacher to have a
positive impact on every student and failing to inspire teachers to believe in their own
abilities, is failing to deal with a critical educational issue. It is imperative that teachers
believe in themselves and their students if educational strides are to be made.
Recently, research studies have focused on the influence of teacher efficacy
beliefs on general classroom teaching practices. For instance, teacher self-efficacy is
associated with quality of instruction and the use of innovative teaching methods
(Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). Teachers confident in their capabilities not
only report less stress, but also remain in the teaching profession longer with a greater
commitment than do teachers who doubt their capabilities (Schwarzer & Hallum, 2008;
46


Ware & Kitsantas, 2007). In other words, teacher self-efficacy serves as a defensive
factor for burn-out which has been a constant problem in the teaching profession.
Furthermore, compared to teachers with low self-efficacy, teachers with increased self-
efficacy display the following methods of avoiding stress: use more effective
instructional strategies; manage classroom behavior more effectively; exert more effort in
organizing, planning, and delivering their lessons; set higher goals for instruction; and
engage students to a greater extent in learning compared to teachers with low self-
efficacy (Allinder, 1994; Chwalitsz, Altameyer & Russel, 1992; Ross, 1998; Tschannen-
Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). Additionally, teachers who display more confidence in
their skills are typically more receptive to the consultation and application of novel
instructional practices (Morrison, Wakefield, Walker, & Solberg, 1994); teachers with
low self-efficacy direct more frequent criticism toward students making mistakes, and are
more susceptible to becoming frustrated when classroom routines are not followed
(Gibson & Dembo, 1984; Woolfolk, Rosoff, & Hoy, 1990).
While studies demonstrate direct links between a teachers perceived self-
efficacy and student achievement, various factors within the school system impact that
perception as well. Researchers have thus turned their attention toward investigating the
origins of teacher efficacy beliefs for important insights on fostering self-efficacy during
teacher training (Henson, 2002; Labone, 2004; Woolfolk Hoy, 2002). In spite of this
growing body of research, it is unclear how well these findings generalize to teachers of
different student populations.
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Teacher Preparation and Induction
Scholars have also explored the impact of teacher preparation programs and
novice teacher induction on teacher efficacy levels. This includes the effect of teaching
on levels of efficacy; the durability and changes from methods classes to student teaching
to the first year of teaching; and the method of instruction for teacher preparation.
Although a few studies have found some variability in the pattern, these studies indicate
teacher efficacy levels generally increase during methods courses and student teaching.
Volkman, Scheffler, and Dana (1992) examined, two groups of pre-service
elementary teachers completing their student teaching experiences, and discovered
several differences amongst them. The first group of 12 pre-service teachers was placed
in an environment that encouraged reflective practices. They were given one-on-one
meetings with a supervisory teacher, and met bi-weekly with the other students in the
treatment group for more reflective practice activities. The remaining 12 pre-service
teachers were placed in one of two control schools with no emphasis on reflective
practices. Each of the participants was asked to complete a journal reflecting on their
experience during this period, and to complete the TES prior to student teaching and after
student teaching. Using ANCOVA with post-test TES scores as the dependent variable,
pre-test TES scores as the covariate, and the treatment group as the independent variable,
the results indicated the treatment group had significantly higher levels of teacher
efficacy than the control group. The qualitative analysis of the journal entries supported
48


the results and revealed the treatment groups entries were more reflective and insightful
in general.
Another study investigating the benefits of student teaching place 100 pre-service
teachers in different settings, but did not separate them into a treatment or control group
(Fortman and Pontius 2000).The students were asked to complete a modified version of
the TES prior to student teaching, at the midpoint of student teaching, and at the end of
student teaching. Using a paired /-test, PTE post-test scores were significantly higher than
pre-test scores; scores on GTE were lower from pre-test to post-test, but not considerably.
The results also argued that females scored much higher than males on both pre-test and
post-test PTE scores. Along with the Volkman, Scheffler, and Dana (1992) study, these
findings show student teaching has a positive impact on levels of efficacy.
Several other studies have explored the trend of efficacy levels from methods
courses to student teaching and beyond, but have found somewhat conflicting
results. Woolfolk Hoy and Spero (2005) tracked levels of teacher efficacy in 53 pre-
service teachers from the beginning of their teacher preparation to the end of student
teaching, and then at the end of their first year of teaching. The participants were asked to
complete three different measures of teacher efficacy: the TES; Banduras scale; and a
newly developed Ohio State Teaching Confidence Scale. The results clarified that levels
of teacher efficacy increased from the beginning of teacher preparation to the end of
student teaching on all three measures. Between the end of student teaching and the end
49


of the first year of teaching, efficacy levels notably decreased on Banduras scale and the
GTE scale. The OSU scale demonstrated relatively stable scores.
Moreover, Palmer (2006) examined the efficacy levels of 55 pre-service teachers
at the beginning of a science methods course, at the end of the course, and at the end of
the program, using the STEBI-B and interview data from 18 of the participants. A
repeated-measures ANOVA revealed teacher efficacy increased significantly between the
beginning of the methods course and the end of the methods course. There were no
important differences between the post-test scores and the delayed post-test scores
administered at the end of the program, thus the gains in efficacy remained stable across
time and student teaching. As supported by the interviews, all the participants felt
positive about teaching science.
In a similar vein, Fives, Hamman, and Olivarez (2007) assessed the trend in
teacher efficacy during student teaching to determine whether teacher burnout
characteristics could be revealed this early on. The 49 participants were asked to
complete the TSES and other surveys measuring teacher burnout and learning
questionnaires before and after student teaching. Using a MANOVA with the three
factors from the TSES (efficacy for instructional practices; efficacy for student
engagement; and efficacy for classroom management) as the dependent variables, all
three factors showed considerable increases from pre-test to post-test.
In order to explore how efficacy levels are impacted by various school and
personal factors, Chester and Beaudin (1996) surveyed a group of 173 newly-hired
50


teachers in urban schools. This group of teachers included both novice teachers in general,
and experienced teachers new to a school. Again, a TES administered at the beginning
and at the end of the school year was used. The intent was to evaluate independent
variables of teacher placement; opportunity to collaborate; attention supervisors pay to
performance; and the availability and quality of resources. Evidently, teacher efficacy
increased in older novice teachers but decreased in younger novice teachers. Efficacy
levels tended to decline for overall experienced, newly -hired teachers who reported high
levels of collaboration, and who reported a high number of observations.
Picking up on the student teaching aspect of teacher efficacy, Chambers (2003)
questioned whether the length of student teaching produced changes in teacher efficacy.
Surveying 28 pre-service teachers enrolled in a two semester student teaching program
and 27 pre-service teachers enrolled in a one semester student teaching program, she
examined group differences in the TES. A /-test statistic and multiple regression statistics
were computed, but disclosed no differences between the two groups regarding efficacy
level. Therefore, the duration of student teaching may not create any differences in levels
of teacher efficacy.
Finally, Gorrell and Capron (1987) examined a group of 86 pre-service teachers
with low- to- moderate levels of teacher efficacy to determine whether different
instructional methods shaped varying levels of efficacy. Pre-service teachers were
initially given the Potential Teachers Attitude Questionnaire (PTAQ) as a measure of
efficacy, from which low-scoring students and moderate-scoring students were placed
51


into two groups. The first group received direct instructions on a teaching task, followed
by a student teacher demonstrating how to employ the task with a student and discussing
the instructions. The second group received cognitive modeling instructions for
completing the teaching task, followed by a student teacher demonstrating the task with a
student while employing cognitive modeling thought processes. The pre-service teachers
were then given the PTAQ again to compare scores. The low efficacy group/direct
instruction group had higher levels of efficacy than the low efficacy/cognitive modeling
group, but the moderate efficacy/cognitive modeling group had higher levels of efficacy
than the moderate efficacy/direct instruction group. Consequently, a direct instruction
approach might be more effective in elevating low-efficacy teachers.
All in all, the pattern of efficacy seems to increase during teacher preparation, but
decreases during student teaching in some cases. While certain studies efficacy levels
may decrease during the first year of teaching, other factors could mediate that decline.
Unfortunately, fully understanding the conditions that heighten or dampen efficacy levels
requires additional research. Furthermore, scholars should also consider assessing
changes in efficacy scores for initial low-to-moderate scoring teachers, as the initial high
scoring teachers should not have much variability. Although these studies do guide
student teaching duration and instructional methods for low-efficacy teachers, more work
with a common instrument is needed to verify these findings. This study focuses on
teachers within preschools following the Montessori Method of education.
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Maria Montessori and her Legacy
As the first woman to practice medicine in Italy, Dr. Maria Montessori spent time
working with children in the slums of Rome and quickly became interested in their
development. Her scientific observations of this group laid the foundation of a highly
organized pedagogy (2006) that has flourished worldwide. This visionary pedagogy did
not, however, emerge in isolation; Montessori perused Jean Itard, Johann Pestalozzi, Leo
Tolstoy, Friedrich Froebel, Johann Herbart, and William James and crossed paths with
Anna Freud, Erik Erikson, and Jean Piaget. Her writings alluded to the work of
naturalists, evolutionists, philosophers, theosophist, public leaders, and ancient thinkers.
Montessoris ideas extended to almost every major field of knowledge, and evolved into
a framework of human development from birth to childhood. This is a framework for
collaboration, invention and discovery that is unlimited in possibilities, yet fixed and
coherent at the same time.
A revolutionary/radical by nature, by nature, Montessori sought educational
reform as the vehicle par excellence for the regeneration of mankind. She developed her
pedagogy with the intention of promoting the natural ability of children to focus and
sustain their attention, a capacity which initiates a transition from capricious and
disorderly toward self- disciplined in the childs temperament (1989). Her teaching
methods were based on her observations of how children learned best; in this way she
avoided a search for patterns of child development that conformed to adult ideals of how
children should behave. As a result, Montessori paradoxically discovered that, given the
53


right environment and stimulation, a child could develop behavior and achievements
beyond all expectations. She realized children are better learners before six years of age
than they will ever be again, and that they could learn almost anything through special
techniques.
Montessoris interest in pedagogy grew from her work with children who were
categorized as deficient or idiots (Kramer, 1978/ Her search for pedagogical treatment
for intellectual deficiency led her to the French doctors, Jean Itard and Eduard Seguin.
Itards Wild Boy of Averyon (1801) dramatically confirmed the importance of the young
childs environment, while Itards student, Seguin, pioneered work with handicapped
children that provided Montessori with more direct help in her early years of teaching.
She used many of the materials Seguin developed, including the grooved letters that
would later to become the sandpaper letters, and the Seguin Boards that taught number
concepts. The work of these two doctors inspired academic approach centered on a
childs purposeful activity, generated through interaction with carefully-designed
learning materials. By the end of her life, Montessoris pedagogy was a comprehensive
array of didactic objects and accompanying exercises designed to capture and to hold
childrens attention. Montessoris observations convinced her that childrens spontaneous
interest in, and subsequent extended interaction with, these didactic objects resulted in
intellectual and social development.
By testing new approaches and materials and noting childrens reactions, Dr.
Montessori developed a radically different system of education. The pedagogy presents
54


the content of educational knowledge as a system of relations linking the major
disciplines (including language study, mathematics, geometry, history, geography,
science, music, and the visual arts) to the interests and needs of the developing child,
from early childhood to adolescence. This system was developed by trial and error over
her lifetime, with children in places as diverse as Rome and Chennai.
Though Montessoris contributions to the field of early childhood education are
often mentioned in university textbooks, the underlying theories that guided her work
receive little discussion. Her approach has been diluted to represent a variety of doctrines,
including education in the tradition of Rousseau (Postman, 1999); progressive education
in the vein of Dewey (McDermott, 1962); genetic epistemology resembling Piaget
(Elkind, 1974); the transition from modernist to post-modernist views of childhood and
constructivism (Elkind, 2003); and social development theory akin to Vygotsky
(Bodrova, 2003). Although valid, this diverse selection does not fully realize the
intricacies of the Montessori Method. Comprehending Montessoris philosophy is
particularly challenging as it stems from an oral body of work largely unavailable to
scholars unless they attend a formal Montessori teacher training program.
The Prepared Adult
Montessori believed that the first step in the integral resolution of the problem of
education must not, therefore, be taken toward the child, but toward the adult educator.
He must change his moral attitudes. He must divest himself of many preconceptions
(1989, p. 20). In her extensive writings, Montessori provides in-depth clarification
55


pertaining to the desired qualities of the prepared adult (teacher). Her ideas concerning
the active nature of learning suggest a model in which the teacher does not directly cause
understanding in students, but rather prepares the environment and removes impediments
to knowledge. This would require that adults were prepared for the task for whereas
it is true that the child develops in his environment through activity itself,
but he needs material means, guidance and an indispensable understanding.
It is the adult who provides these necessities... .If (the adult) does less than
is necessary, the child cannot act meaningfully, and if he does more than is
necessary, he imposes himself upon the child, extinguishing (the childs)
creative impulses. (Montessori, 1989, p.154)
Although the teacher oversees the Montessori classroom, it is truly the childs classroom,
with everything scaled to and arranged for the children. Whereas traditionally teachers
are thought to have as a main role the imparting of knowledge, in Montessori education
the teachers main role is connecting the child to the environment, in part through giving
lessons, and in part by maintaining the environment (Lillard, 2005, p. 282). The
teachers task is thus to prepare the materials but to refrain from obtrusive interference
in the childrens activity (1946, p. 3). Montessori emphasized that education is not what
the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human
individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the
environment (1946, p.3).
In addition to a proven way of engaging individuals in learning, that is successful
because it follows the natural development of the child, the Montessori approach
encompasses a vital intrinsic ingredient the attitude, mannerisms, and knowledge of the
prepared adult. This particular and different role for the teacher, Montessori maintained,
56


required extensive training. Whereas traditional teacher training focuses on assessments,
and curricula, classroom management, Montessori teacher training includes both personal
preparation and instructions in the lessons and the materials.
Preparation of the Montessori Teacher
Since a comprehensive record of the materials and activities that constitute the
Montessori pedagogy are not found in any published source, the training of Montessori
teachers is an oral training. A combination of lectures, hands-on practice with the
materials, album-writing, and oral examination has been transmitting the method since
1913, when Montessori delivered a training course in Rome (Kramer, 1976).
Moreover though, Montessori teachers must undergo through extensive training in
both preparing themselves personally and in learning the Montessori philosophy and
methodology. Inner preparation should not be seen as effortless or as resulting in an
immediate transformation, but as requiring a lifetime of deep reflection and passionate
commitment. Furthermore, the ability to observe children and to detect their needs is
fundamental to good Montessori teaching, which Montessori assessed must be carefully
developed through long practice (1917). Interestingly, she was convinced a background
in traditional education would hinder one from being a high-quality Montessori teacher:
An ordinary teacher cannot be transformed into a Montessori teacher, but must be
created anew; having rid herself of pedagogical prejudices (Montessori, 1963, p. 87).
Even if a system of countervailing motions that contains a remarkably hearty balance, an
equilibrating process that continually manufactures an immunity to change (Kegan and
57


Lahey, 2001, p. 6) exists, Montessori teachers must avoid reverting to old patterns and
traditional methods of education. In order not to go back to previous ways, we must be
aware and conscious all the time that old habits die hard. Change requires effort. Kegan
and Lahey (2001) discuss how individuals have a powerful inclination not to change and
how the processes of dynamic equilibrium, which, like an immune system, powerfully
and mysteriously tend to keep things pretty much as they are (p.5). Inner preparation
cannot be seen as effortless or resulting in an immediate transformation. It requires a
lifetime of both deep reflection and passionate commitment.
Montessori also felt it was important for children to be around teachers with a
certain level of maturity and spiritual self-awareness. She knew that children absorb not
only the words and actions of those around them, but also their energetic qualities.
Montessori insisted on the fact that a teacher must prepare himself interiorly by
systematically studying himself so that he can tear out his most deeply rooted defects,
those in fact which impede his relations with children... .A good teacher does not have to
be entirely free from faults and weaknesses (but should know what they are)
(Montessori, 1966, p. 149). Since the preparation of a Montessori teacher involves
personal change to eschew becoming an obstacle to the childs growth, she must confront
her own prejudices; only then will she be able to observe the child clearly.
Montessori in her lectures and texts documented both strengths of the adult
character that would aid the child, and weaknesses of disposition that would act as an
impediment to development. Although many other educational approaches now
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acknowledge the critical importance of the early, formative years, no other teacher
training seems to place great emphasis on the inner preparation of the adult. It is almost
as though this critical aspect of an adults character is outside the realm of educational
discussions.
In addition to personal preparation, a Montessori teacher should have a strong
knowledge base of the Montessori materials and their presentation. These materials have
been designed to capture and to hold the attention of a child, and they accordingly have a
history, a context, and a pedagogic motivation. Each has a specific way of being
presented and students in training learn about these materials and the many ways they can
be used to stimulate interest, as well as their connections to different areas of the
curriculum. During their internship, student teachers practice with these materials in front
of children as they must show a strong understanding of them during a practical
examination. Montessori (1963) countered the superficial presumption that her method
requires too little of the teacher by stating when the didactic material is considered, its
quantity and the order and details of its presentation, the task of the teacher becomes both
active and complex... .Her later inactivity is a sign of her success (p. 86).
A Practitioners Perspective
Although Montessori provided a strong methodology to support her philosophy of
education, sadly, not all Montessori school practice the method as it was originally
intended. At present, there are approximately 4000 Montessori schools in North America
and thousands more around the world (Lillard, 2005). Since the Montessori Method was
59


never trademarked, and because it lacks a governing organization, there is tremendous
diversity within the community of Montessori schools. Unlike the Primrose or
KinderCare franchises, no two Montessori schools are the same: some pride themselves
on remaining faithful to their interpretation of Montessoris original vision, while others
simply use the name and nothing else.
While every school community certainly has its merits, the lack of acute
understanding about the Montessori philosophy is unfortunate indeed. For instance, many
schools fill their classrooms with Montessori materials but neglect the free choice, the
organization and order, the collaborative learning and interaction (Lillard, 2005, p. 330)
aspects. Montessori, on the other hand, thought children learned best when they are
allowed freedom in a setting that has been carefully prepared for them. Another issue
plaguing the Montessori community is that it is hard for people to abandon culturally
transmitted ideas about children and schooling, and Montessori teachers often adopt
traditional school practices because those practices feel familiar (to parents and to
themselves) and seem, on the surface, to work. (Lillard, 2005, p.329). Furthermore, the
contrast between a traditional and Montessori teacher seems very minute to an
undisceming eye, so many Montessori teachers are not properly trained in the method.
Self- directed internships, condensed training programs, and prewritten lesson plans all
reduce the depth of the Montessori philosophy and the vast array of interconnections
between the materials and the philosophy (Lillard, 2005, p.220). In effect, these
shortcomings hinder a teachers self-efficacy as they lack the resources to implement the
Montessori pedagogy.
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Conclusion
The range of theories on teacher efficacy becomes particularly important in light
of Montessoris emphasis on the personal preparation of the teacher. Unfortunately,
despite searches on various databases (including Google Scholar, JSTOR and Wilson
Web) no empirical studies of Montessori teachers or Montessori teacher preparation were
found. In this study, I will draw on the elements of teacher support and school
environment; retention and coping mechanisms; attitudes and awareness; and
instructional methods to scrutinize the sources pertinent to self-efficacy. I will base my
research on Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoys Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale
(TSES), as this is the best instrument to evaluate Banduras levels of self-efficacy.
Although this body of work is certainly valid it was evident that the sources of teacher
self-efficacy themselves merited more attention; therefore, I undertook a study to better
understand how these beliefs are conceived and nurtured. As Pavlovs work contributed
to insights on self esteem, this research should contribute to professional development
and teacher preparation programs.
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CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY
Introduction
The purpose of this study was to examine various sources influencing Montessori
pre-service teachers self-efficacy and the relative strength of these sources of influence
on Montessori teachers self-efficacy. The study was designed to predict the influences,
add to the current knowledge base, have a personal, social and organizational impact
upon the teaching profession, and gain a deeper understanding of a complex phenomenon
It was carried out in two phrases. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were
employed throughout the investigation to enhance the credibility of the data (Goodwin &
Goodwin, 1996). I was able to achieve triangulation by using different methods to assess
similar constructs and enable data expansion by broadening the depth of the inquiry used
(Goodwin & Goodwin, 1996; Miles & Huberman, 1994).To put it simply, Numbers and
words are both needed if we are to understand the world (Miles & Huberman, 1994,
P-40).
Quantitatively the study examined the level of teacher self-efficacy and its
influences. To acquire more in-depth information of these influences and teachers
perceptions, open-ended, semi-structured interviews were carried out. Qualitative
research as defined by Denzin and Lincoln, is multi-method in focus, involving an
interpretive, naturalistic approach to its subject matter. This means that qualitative
62


researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of or interpret
phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them (2005, p.2). Additionally,
qualitative research builds a complex, holistic picture (Creswell, 1998). Qualitative
research allows the investigator to answer how and why questions and to compile a
detailed view and narration of the research, as well as carry out the investigation in a
natural setting (Creswell, 1998; Gay & Airasian, 2000).
This chapter describes the methodology and rationale behind the choice. It
includes descriptions of the procedures.
Research Questions
Bandura (1977) stated that peoples conceptions of their self-efficacy, whether
accurate or misjudged, are developed through four sources of influence which he termed
as (1) mastery experience or actual experience, (2) vicarious experience, (3) verbal or
social persuasion, and (4) physiological arousal or emotional state. To examine the
relevance of Banduras model to the preparation of Montessori teachers, the following
research questions were explored:
1. Do the independent variables of mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal
or social persuasion, and physiological arousal significantly predict self- efficacy
among Montessori pre-service teachers?
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2. How do pre-service teachers with high and low levels of self-efficacy explain the
influences of mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal or social
persuasion, and physiological arousal on their level of teaching efficacy?
In addition, two secondary research questions were also examined:
3. What is the difference in scores on the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES)
between pre-service teachers and those that have completed their in-service?
4. Do the teachers with high levels of self-efficacy report different influences than
teachers with low levels of self-efficacy?
Research Design
This study utilized a mixed methods design to investigate the relative strength of
the sources in predicting teacher self-efficacy. The purpose of the quantitative phrase was
to determine the level of teacher self-efficacy and to compare the average pre-TSES and
post-TSES scores to see whether there was a gain. The influences on teacher self-efficacy
were also examined to see which (if any) PIP dimensions predict efficacy accurately.
Perceptions of Preparation (PIP) was a questionnaire prepared to better understand the
influences (mastery, vicarious, verbal, and emotional) on a Montessori teachers self-
efficacy. In the qualitative phase, each of these influences was further explored through
semi-structured interviews with the participants.
A quasi-random sample for the quantitative portion of the study and a purposeful
sample for the qualitative portion of the study were utilized. The quantitative data was
collected and analyzed first, followed by the qualitative data. The two sources of data
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were then mixed at the interpretation phase of the research process. According to
Creswell and Plano Clark (2007), the design can also be classified as an Explanatory
design with follow up expectations. The study is attempting to explain the influences on
Montessori teacher self-efficacy quantitatively with a follow up qualitative portion that
attempted to support and expand upon the quantitative findings. The design is
demonstrated in Figure 3.7:
Figure 3.7: Explanatory design for self-efficacy study.
Since this mixed methods design is sequential, with the selection of participants
for interviews dependent on the quantitative analysis, I will describe the complete
methodology for the quantitative phase first, followed by the methodology of the
qualitative phase.
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Quantitative Phase
Setting and Participants
Quantitative data as described by Gay and Airasian (2000) are used to describe
current conditions, investigate relationships, and study cause-effect phenomena (p, 11).
Quantitatively this study examined efficacy in student engagement, instructional
strategies and classroom management. It compared the average pre-training and post-
training self-efficacy levels to see whether there was a gain. An additional questionnaire
judged which influence was strongest on the teacher: mastery, vicarious, verbal, or
physiological.
The population of interest in this study was students that were admitted to
Montessori teacher training programs throughout the United States. Only a small sample
of the population was included in the study. To maintain consistency of study sites, the
teacher training organizations chosen were accredited by Montessori Accreditation
Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). MACTE is the international standard setting
and accrediting body for Montessori teacher education and is recognized by the National
Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education
Accreditation Council (TEAC).
This study is not dependent on the age of the subjects. However, based on the
average of traditional graduating college students and general retirement age, it is
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estimated that subjects ranged in age from 23 to 65 years of age. Both males and females
were included in the study and gender and ethnicity information was collected.
This study utilized a quasi-random design for the quantitative portion of the study
and a purposeful sample for the qualitative portion of the study. Anticipating a 10 to 20%
response rate, an email was sent to the Directors of all the Montessori teacher training
programs in the USA enlisting their help. (Appendix A) The email explained the purpose
and design of the research:
As a part of my dissertation I am conducting research to gain a better
understanding of the influences on self-efficacy for Montessori teachers. Teaching
efficacy is an individuals perceived level of effectiveness for completing a
teaching task. Clearly, an investigation into pre-service teacher self-efficacy and
how these beliefs are conceived and nurtured can provide meaningful information
to teacher educators and professionals responsible for designing and
implementing more meaningful teacher preparation programs.
The email included a letter to be distributed to all the students that explained the research
as well as a consent letter for the participants. The consent form is provided in Appendix
B. The letter incorporated a link to the survey that was set up on the internet survey
provider Survey Monkey and an invitation to participate in the interview portion of the
study. This is provided in Appendix C.
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The reaction from the Directors of the teacher training programs was mixed. I
received enthusiastic responses from some that supported research and were eager to
participate. For example:
First of all I would like to congratulate you on pursuing your studies andfinding
such a good topic for your research. Our teacher education classes start in
September and I would be happy to relate your research to our
students. (Washington,)
There were others that were glad to participate but were reluctant to give out any personal
information (including email addresses) of their students and some that were concerned
that their students would participate in the survey but would be reluctant to do the one
hour interview. For example:
....is not allowed to divulge names, addresses or email of our students. Iam
sorry we cannot comply. (Texas)
There were a few training center that had several questions and really tried to make it
work but:
It looks like our students are not at the stage that fits your research situation and
in the time frame that you need (New York)
Sadly I received many responses from teacher training organizations that were either
shutting down or taking sabbaticals from offering their program. For example:
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Our program is about to close. We will not have any incoming students. Our last
cohort of students will be completing their internship this coming school year and then
our program will be closing. (Florida)
There were quite a few too that did not want to participate. This drastically cut down on
the participants for the research. Students newly enrolled into Montessori teacher training
programs were asked to take the TSES survey before they embarked on their training.1
There were a total of 35 students that took the survey. Once they had completed their
training, they were asked to take the survey again (TSES) along with an additional survey
(PIP). This time demographic information was collected. There were 22 students, all
female; who took the survey. Their ethnic distribution is as follows: Caucasian 15 (68%),
Hispanic 3 (14%), Asian 2 (9%) and Other 2 (9%).
Each participant was also asked if they would consent to an interview at a later
time, and if they agreed, they were asked to provide their name and phone number. Of the
22 students, 16 agreed to be contacted at a later date and gave their name and phone
number.
Measures
Banduras Socio-cognitive Theory of Self-Efficacy (1986, 1997) and the link of
teachers self-efficacy to student achievement provide the framework for the
1 Permission to use the Teacher's Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) in this study was granted by Anita
Woolfolk Hoy.
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investigation (Bandura, 1997; Hoy, 2000). In this study, I explored the relationship
between the independent variables of mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal or
social persuasion and physiological arousal or emotional state on a Montessori teachers
sense of self-efficacy. These variables were chosen in order to attempt to quantify the
influences on teaching efficacy. These quantified relationships were compared to the
relationships reported during the personal interviews. In order to form a complete picture
of the impact on personal teaching efficacy (self-efficacy), it was advantageous to
investigate beyond quantitative measures and employ qualitative methodology that
provided teachers the opportunity to narrate and describe the influences on them and how
they were affected (either positively or negatively). The hypothesis was that these
independent variables, taken together, would account for significant variance in the
dependent variable of teacher efficacy.
The dependent variable, which made up the first part of the questionnaire, was the
long version of the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) (Woolfolk Hoy, 2001).
This questionnaire is presented in Appendix D. According to Albert Bandura, motivation
comes from peoples judgments of their ability to carry out specific action and the
anticipated consequences of those actions. Bandura identifies these concepts as efficacy
expectations and outcome expectancies (1977). From these concepts, Gibson and Dembo
(1984) developed a 30-item survey/questionnaire to correspond with Banduras theory of
self-efficacy and to measure efficacy as it is aligned with efficacy expectations and
outcome expectancies. Hoy and Woolfolk went on to modify the Gibson and Dembo
(1984) instrument. Hoy and Woolfolk (1993) found the first dimension of efficacy to
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reflect a general belief about the power of teaching to reach difficult children ... and
(teachers) attitudes toward education (p. 357), labeling this dimension as general
efficacy. The second dimension reflected the teachers personal sense of efficacy (p.
357) and was labeled personal teaching efficacy. From these two dimensions, a long 24-
item version and a short 12-item version survey/questionnaire was developed.
The TSES long form asks for a self-report of teacher beliefs and was constructed
using a nine-point, Likert-type response scale with the options of 1 (nothing), 3 (very
little), 5 (some influence), 7 (quite a bit), and 9 (a great deal). The sentences on the scale
all begin with the stems, How much..How well... or To what extent... and ask
participants to gauge their abilities to handle various situations related to teaching.
Participants are asked about their proficiency with instructional practices, maintaining
classroom environments, and engaging students.
Three factors have been identified in both versions with loadings from .44 to .79:
efficacy for instructional strategies, efficacy for classroom management, and efficacy for
student engagement. For the purposes of this study, the 24-item version was used. The
overall reliability and validity of the composite scale is .94. The authors of this study,
Tschannen-Moran and Hoy note that With pre-service teachers we recommend that the
full 24-item scale be used, because the factor structure often is less distinct for these
respondents (2001). This version reported reliabilities of .87 for engagement, .91 for
instruction, and .90 for management. Validity was determined when Gibson and Dembo
(1984) performed a multitrait-multimethod analysis that supported both convergent and
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discriminant validity of the scale (Hoy & Woolfolk, 1990, p. 289). For this study, the
eight items that were summed to create the engagement scale were assessed to determine
whether or not they formed a reliable scale using Cronbachs alpha. The alpha for the
eight items was .92, which indicated that the items form a scale that has very high
internal consistency reliability. The alpha for the instruction scale (.95) and the alpha for
the management scale (.92) also showed very high internal consistency. In my analysis,
only the combined score was used which was .93.
Four independent variables were employed, corresponding to the four ways in
which Bandura argued that people develop a self of self-efficacy: mastery experience,
vicarious experiences, verbal cues, and physiological cues. To measure these variables a
new instrument, Perceptions of Participation, was developed for the purpose of this study.
It underwent revision based on the empirical results to arrive at a set of questions that
would have both logical construct validity (defined as fit with the definitions of
Banduras four constructs) and empirical construct validity, as demonstrated by
exploratory factor analysis.
The variable of mastery experience was first operationalized in the study with the
following questions on a five point Likert scale where 1 represents strongly disagree
and 5 represents strongly agree:
1. In my early experience of working with young children I generally felt successful.
2. I can recall experiences I have had working with difficult, unmotivated children,
in which I successfully engaged them in productive activity.
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3. Rate your satisfaction with your professional performance this year on a scale of 1
to 5.
4. I have had experiences presenting Montessori materials to children that have built
my confidence as a teacher.
The variable of vicarious experience was operationalized by the following sample
questions:
5. I felt that my advisor/mentor was supportive during my internship and this helped
my confidence.
6. In my preparation I was able to observe truly skilled teachers.
7. My advisor/mentor played a positive role in my development as a teacher.
8. Rate the interpersonal support provided by your colleagues at your school this
year on a scale of 1 to 5 (5=Very Good).
The variable of verbal or social persuasion was operationalized in the study by the
following questions:
9. People I respect have told me I will be a good teacher.
10.1 have people I can rely on who express confidence in me as a teacher.
11. My instructors encouraged me in ways that built my confidence.
12. My advisor/mentor provided me with positive, constructive feedback which was
very useful to me.
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The variable of physiological arousal or emotional state was operationalized in
the study by the following questions:
13. In the work I have done with children, I have had a feeling of well being.
14.1 have been nervous and experienced physical symptoms of anxiety while
working with children.
15.1 try to talk and explain my stress in order to get feedback from my colleagues.
16. At times when a child is being disruptive and not listening to me, I experienced
sweaty palms and/or increased heart beat.
This questionnaire also asked the participants for demographic information (gender,
ethnicity, and a self rating of their level of understanding of the Montessori philosophy
and methodology). These factors were selected for the purpose of the study because the
researcher viewed them as empirically promising and theoretically interesting. The
questionnaire is provided in Appendix E.
Procedures
The first step in this study was to determine the reliability and validity of the PIP
scales. Using SPSS, factor analysis was conducted to determine how closely the items fit
into the constructs they were designed to assess. As described above, the measure was
designed to address four factors or components, and four components were identified in
the exploratory factor analysis, as shown in the rotate component matrix in Table 3.1. In
the table, items 1 through 4 were designed to load on a Mastery component associated
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with Component 1, items 5 through 8 with a Vicarious component associated with
Component 2, items 9 through 12 with a Verbal or social persuasion component
associated with Component 3 and items 13 through 16 with a Physiological arousal or
emotional state component associated with Component 4.
Table 3.1: Rotated component matrix
Rotated Component Matrix
Component
1 2 3 4
Q1 .700 -.340
Q2 .568 .679
Q3 .785
Q4 .638 .404 -.280
Q5 .925
Q6 .788
Q7 .807
Q8 .919
Q9 .869
Q10 .918
Qll .262 .827
Q12 .414 .754
Q13 .702 .294
Q14 -.832
Q15 -.346 .496 .503
Q16 -.342 -.251 .787
Extraction Method: Principal
Component Analysis.
Rotation Method: Varimax with
Kaiser Normalization.
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Items Measuring Mastery
Items 2, 3 and 4 of the PIP survey (see above) fit well with measuring mastery. Item 1 did
not fit well with items 2, 3 and 4 and item 4 also fit with Vicarious. Therefore items 1 and
4 were dropped.
Items Measuring Vicarious
Items 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the PIP survey had high loadings and fit together well. So those
were maintained on the scale.
Items Measuring Verbal or Social Persuasion
Items 11 and 12 of the PIP survey had high loadings and went well together. So did items
9 and 10 and they fit together well but not on that construct and hence they were dropped.
Items Measuring Physiological Arousal or Emotional State
Items 15 and 16 of the PIP survey went together well on that construct. Item 14 did not fit
with 15 and 16 and so it was dropped.
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Table 3.2: Second factor analysis results
Rotated Component Matrixa
Component
1 2 3 4
Q2 .932
Q3 -.749 .455
Q5 .938
Q6 .776 .296
Q7 .779 .358
Q8 .922
Qll .949
Q12 .326 .876
Q15 .448 .670
Q16 -.301 .826 .272
Extraction Method: Principal
Component Analysis.
Rotation Method: Varimax with
Kaiser Normalization,
a. Rotation converged in 5 iterations.
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This is the second factor analysis, after omitting items 1, 4, 9, 10 and 14. The
analysis supports the 4 dimensions. The only irregularity is item 3, which measures both
emotional and mastery experiences.
Next, the internal consistency reliability of each of the revised PIP scales was
determined. This is shown in Table 3.3.
Table 3.3: Internal consistency reliability of PIP scale
Independent Variable Cronbachs Alpha N of items
Mastery .429 2
Vicarious .902 4
Verbal .882 2
Emotional .460 2
The reliability Cronbachs alpha for Mastery was .429 which was very low. This construct
was difficult to measure. The reliability Cronbachs alpha for vicarious was .902. This
construct had very high reliability. The reliability Cronbachs alpha for verbal was .882.
This construct had very high reliability. The reliability Cronbachs alpha for emotional
was .460. This construct had low reliability.
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Analysis
There were two stages to the analysis: comparing the pre and post results of the
TSES, and using multiple regressions to address Research Question 1. The results of that
analysis are presented in Chapter 4. The independent variables mastery experience;
vicarious experience; verbal or social persuasion and physiological arousal or emotional
state were chosen in order to attempt to quantify the influences on teacher self-efficacy.
These quantified relationships were compared to the relationships reported during the
personal interviews.
Qualitative Phase
Setting and Participants
After statistical analysis was completed, participants were identified. Since the
standard deviation criterion was not possible (since there were not enough participants
with extreme scores), I selected the four highest and four lowest scoring participants.
There were 4 people in the high efficacy group and 4 people in the low efficacy group
(Table 3.3). From these identified participants, eight people from each group had agreed
in advance to participate in the interview portion of the study. Thus, a purposeful sample
of four participants from each of these categories (Creswell, 1998; Morse, 1991) was
selected and email queries were sent. All four of the high efficacy participants responded
to the email query, while only three of the low efficacy participants responded. The
remaining one identified low efficacy teacher was then invited to participate in the
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interview and s/he agreed. Thus, four people from the high efficacy group and four
people from the low efficacy group completed the interview process.
Table 3.4: Mean scores.
Mean Scores (Pseudonyms used)
High Efficacy Low Efficacy
Jane 6 Jennifer 4.1
Lisa 5.71 Kathy 4
LeAnne 5.67 Carol 3.88
Torri 5.58 Maya 3.83
Mean of full set of TSES scores: 4.67
Standard Deviation of full set of TSES scores: 1.46
This analysis assumes that the high self-efficacy teachers are truly high, and low
self-efficacy teachers are truly low, and that there is a reliable difference between them.
Ideally, the high self-efficacy teachers should have TSES scores above 4.67 (mean) +
1.46 (standard deviation) = 6.13, and the low self-efficacy teachers should have TSES
scores between 4.67 -1.46 = 3.21. In my study, none of the high self-efficacy teachers are
that high, but there is still a full standard deviation difference between the lowest high
self-efficacy teacher and the highest low self-efficacy teacher.
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Data Collection
A semi-structured interview protocol was developed in order to guide the
interview process and help the researcher gain a deeper understanding of the influences
on Montessori teacher self-efficacy. The protocol is presented in Appendix G and the
guiding questions are divided into four sections. Questions pertained to each of the
independent variables and compared experiences of candidates whose efficacy declined
or remained constant through the period of pre-service. The questions began with an
attempt to put the candidate at ease:
1. Tell me about your Montessori training and elements of the course you enjoyed
most.
2. Tell me about how you feel as a beginning Montessori teacher about to lead a
class of children all by yourself?
This moved into questions that compared the influences on the teachers self-
efficacy:
3. Tell me about what you have read that has influenced your teaching. (Mastery)
4. Do you think your mentor /advisor had an impact on your confidence as a teacher?
How? (Vicarious)
5. Sometimes families and friends of students are supportive and sometimes they are
not. How supportive are your family and friends of you being a Montessori
teacher? (Verbal)
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6. How do you deal with your stress and anxiety? (Physiological)
Analysis
The qualitative data analysis began with a determination of the participants who
scored higher than and lower than one standard deviation above the mean on the TSES.
As described above, interviews were conducted with four participants from each group.
The interview data was transcribed and the investigator read each transcript three times
and then set it aside for several days to provide time for the investigators reflection. This
reflective process allowed time for the investigator to capture the subtle nuances of
meaning and the insights of intuitive understanding (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Berg, 2004;
Charmaz, 2006).
Analysis is an ongoing process that begins as soon as the data have been collected.
I used an inductive process to search for possible meaning and discover patterns and
connections that may exist among the interviews (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Berg, 2004;
Charmaz, 2006). The transcriptions were read a fourth time to discern patterns, themes or
concepts, theoretical insights, and possibilities for an emerging model on the influences
on self-efficacy (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Berg, 2004; Charmaz, 2006).
I used constant comparative analysis for my qualitative data analysis because I
wanted to explore the general questions I posed using the entire dataset to identify
underlying themes (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). This method of analysis is appropriate
when the researcher is attempting to gain an overall understanding of the data and wishes
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to develop a possible theme based on the data (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). The reason for
identifying four high self-efficacy and four low self-efficacy participants was to try to
discover how differences in their formative experiences led them to have high self-
efficacy or low self-efficacy.
Formatting Data into Tables
Microsoft Word functions were used for analyzing the text. Miles and Huberman
(1994) have made known that table structures are powerful tools for data analysis. Nancy
R. LaPelle (2004) has shown how effective this can be for coding and retrieving, semi-
automated coding and inspection, creating hierarchies of code categories via indexing,
global editing of theme codes, coding of face-sheet data, exploring relationships
between face-sheet codes and conceptual codes, quantifying the frequency of code
instances, and annotating text. I began with creating a four-column table, where each
separate response of the participant was entered into a new row of the table. The
interviewer questions were interspersed in bold in separate rows. Although the order of
the columns is not significant, the first column was used for the categorical coding and
the second column represents High or Low efficacy level of the participant. The actual
utterances of the interviewer and the participant are in the column three. A chronological
sequence number is entered in column four for each separate response of the participant:
this sequence number is important as it allows you to return to the original sequence of
utterances should you ever sort the table based on other columns (La Pelle, 2004). Table
3.4 shows this initial formatting into a table.
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Table 3.5: Interview statements on teacher self-efficacy
Level 1 Level 2 Text SEQ
H Tell me about your Montessori training and elements of the course you enjoyed most. Probe: In what ways did the course impact you? Positively or negatively? 1
H I love learning how little minds think. I feel this is something I missed out in my Bachelors. It was not covered there. I think the course has impacted me positively. 2
H I have tried to apply some of the philosophy in the public education classroom where I currently teach. 3
H It has forced me to think outside the box. It makes me consider development a lot more in my classroom what children may or may not be ready for rather than what they will be tested in. 4
Coding
Once the transcription in the tabular format was completed, I began to work with
the coding scheme. I used open coding as part of the analysis that pertains specifically to
the naming and categorization of phenomena through close examination of data
( Strauss & Corbin, 1990, p. 62). In preparation for the analysis, codes were created by
reading several of the interviews and noting themes that seemed to reoccur or that had
some significance to the study. According to Strauss & Corbin (1990), during open
coding the data are broken down into discrete parts, closely examined, compared for
similarities and differences, and questions are asked about the phenomena as reflected in
the data. Through this process, ones own and others assumptions about phenomena are
question or explored, leading to new discoveries (p. 62).
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The analysis began with examining the data line by line. I broke the participants
answers into chunks. Most of the chunks were about one or two sentences long; some
longer sentences were divided into smaller chunks. I then assigned codes to the chunks
using a deductive process. I felt that assigning predetermined codes to the chunks might
cause me to hear what I wanted to hear instead of what was actually stated. I took the
main idea of the chunk in assigning a code to it and sometimes I took a key word. Table
3.6 shows a sample of statements and the codes assigned to them.
Table 3.6: Sample statements and codes assigned.
Level 1 Level 2 Text SEQ
Tell me about your Montessori training and elements of the course you enjoyed most. Probe: In what ways did the course impact you? Positively or negatively? 1
5 I love learning how little minds think. I feel this is something I missed out in my Bachelors. It was not covered there. I think the course has impacted me positively. 2
1 I have tried to apply some of the philosophy in the public education classroom where I currently teach. 3
5 It has forced me to think outside the box. It makes me consider development a lot more in my classroom what children may or may not be ready for rather than what they will be tested in. 4
I started by coding experiences that the High group reported that could have
contributed to their strong efficacy and related those to the four Bandura constructs
represented in the PIP instrument. I repeated the process with the Low group. Besides the
categories of Banduras influences on teacher self-efficacy: mastery (1), vicarious (2),
verbal (3), and emotional (4), other codes included knowledge of theory (5), familiarity
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Full Text

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MIND OVER MATTER : CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO SELF EFFICACY IN MONTESSORI TEACHERS by PUNUM BHATIA B.A., University of Calcutta, 1978 B.Ed., University of Calcutta, 1982 M.A., University of Jadavpur 1981 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado Den ver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Educational Leadership and Innovation 2012

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ii This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by Punum Bhatia has been approved for the Educational Studies and Research Pr ogram by Alan Davis, Chair Donna Wittmer Joanna Dunlap Ellen Hall 10 /24/12

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iii Bhatia, Punum (PhD. Educational Leadership and Innovation) Mind over matter : Contributing factors to self efficacy in Montessori teac hers. Thesis directed by Professor Alan Davis ABSTRACT own abilities to succeed in spite of the given circumstances, this study seeks to identify the influenc es which lead to self efficacy in Montessori teachers. In order to evaluate perceptions of self efficacy, 35 pre service teachers in the United States were surveyed prior to beginning their Montessori teaching and again during the internship stage of their training. As Bandura asserted that self efficacy stems from four possible sources: mastery experience; vicarious experience; verbal or social persuasion; and physiological state (1997), the same subjects were given an additional questionnaire to determine which factors most affected their efficacy Multiple regression was then used to examine the reported efficacy. Following this data collection, four teachers from the high self efficacy group and f our teachers from the low self efficacy group were interviewed to reveal detailed qualitative information regarding the influences on their classroom efficacy. The research indicates that Montessori teachers with high levels of self efficacy have strong ma stery experiences that support their attitudes and desired professional goals. The quantitative results also show that an emotional state associated with past experiences is the second best contributor to self efficacy. Considering that self efficacy may b e most malleable during

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iv the early stages of learning, the results of this study serve to enhance the teacher training experience though the analysis of early obstacles. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Ap proved: Alan Davis

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v DEDICATION love of learning.

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vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am very grateful to many people who have supported me throughout the process of completi ng my doctoral program and dissertation. This project would not have been possible without the help and support of my dissertation committee. Thank you Dr. Alan nd to th e rest of my committee members Dr. Donna Wittmer, Dr. Joanna Dunlap and Dr. Ellen Hall for taking my vague ideas and shaping them into a coherent paper. Dr. William Goodwin, your wisdom, dedication to learning and wit are sorely missed. Special th anks also go out to my parents and my children, who did not let me give up and who regaled me with their own tales of all nighters. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the Montessori community from Calcutta to Colorado who has continuously inspired me for the past thirty years.

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vii PHOTOGRAPHS I wish to acknowledge the following organization for the photographs used in this document: Montessori Casa International, Denver CO. for the photograph s used in Figures 1, 2 and 3.

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viii TABLE OF CONTENTS CH APTER 1. .. 1 Purpose of the Research 1 Montesso 3 The Prepared Enviro 3 The Pre par Conceptual Framework Overview of the Study Definition of variables ...... ..19 Introduction to 2. REVIEW OF 23 Introduction 23 Social Cognitive Theory and Self 23 Historical Overview of Self E fficacy What is Self E fficacy 29 Sources of Teacher Self E fficacy History and Measurement of Teacher Self E fficacy ... 34 Self Efficacy and Student A chievement ................... 4 3 Teacher Preparation and I nduction 4 8

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ix Maria Montessori and her L egacy 53 The Prepared A dult Preparation of the Montessori T eacher A P racti ti erspective Conclusion 3. METHOD OLOGY Research Q uestions Research D esign Quantitative Phase Settings and Participants Measure ... 79 Qualitative Phase Setting and ...79 Data C ollec Form ing Data into T C oding Sorting Data Tables and Findi

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x Comparisons and A ssertions Cross Method Ana 4. RESULTS Introduction .92 Quantitative Results Researc h Q Mod e Research Q Qualitative R Constant Comparative A Primar Fin 99 Fin Fin d Fin d 7 Qualitative and Quant 5 DISCUSSION 11 4 Introduction 1 14 115

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xi Acquiring Know ledge of Montessori Philosophy and Methodol Classroom Experience and Fami liarity wi 122 Mento r Implications of t he F i 126 Limitations of t 130 133 Conclu 135 APPENDICES A. LET TE 139 B. CONSE NT APPROVAL FO R 143 C. LETT ER WITH SU 147 D. T 150 E. PERCEPTIO N 153 F. PERCEPTION 15 6 G. INT ER 15 9 BIBLIOGRAPHY

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xii LIST OF FI GURES FIGURE 1. 1 A Prepared Environme nt 4 (Photo credit Punum Bhatia) 1.2 Carefully prepared ........... 5 (Photo credit Punum Bhatia) 1. 3 Children concentrating on their work in a Montessori classroom. (Photo credit Punum Bhatia) 1 .4 Flow of a ctivity 7 1.5 Conceptual framework of the s tudy 17 1.6 Variables and how they are m easured ... 20 3.7 Explanatory design for self efficacy s .... 65 5 .5 Reconstructed c onceptual framework ... 116

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xiii LIST OF TABLES TABLE 3. 1 Rotated c omponent m 7 5 3. 2 Second f actor a nalysis r esults 77 3.3 3. 4 Mean s c or 80 3. 5 Interview statements on self e fficacy 84 3. 6 Sample statements and codes a ssigned 85 3. 7 Coding ...... 87 3. 8 High low efficacy c ompariso n 88 3. 9 Responses a dded 89 4.10 4. 11 TSES r esults 95 4.12 d 96 4. 13 Transcript of i nterview ... 97

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xiv 4. 14 Codes u sed 99

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xv STYLE NOTE This represents the direct translations of gram matical gender as used in a language other than English. In order to avoid wordiness This is by no means intended to be a discriminatory decision, but merely reflects the demographics of teac her training programs.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Purpose of the Research The first thing required of a teacher is that he b e rightly disposed for his task (Montessori, 196 6, p.149 ) In light of the current educational reform movement, higher education programs are focusing on the professional dispositions of teacher candidates as they review their curriculum standards and agendas (Darling Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995). Resear chers, practitioners and others with a vested interest in teacher education believe that information of subject matter and of pedagogical methods alone does not guarantee quality teachers or qua lity teaching although these are necessary prerequisites for effective teacher preparation (Borko & Putnam, 1996; Pajares, 1992). Teachers are now finding it essential to reflect on teaching practices, as well as knowledge and pedagogy, to better meet the needs of their students (Darling Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995). Dr. Albert Bandura the social psychologist who devised the construct of self efficacy argued more importantly, upon the judgment in mobilizing that knowledge an d skill set (1997) J udgment efficacy, is a cognitive process that operates in all learning situations and acts as a mediator between learning and action

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2 As Albert Bandura assumed he task of creating lea rning environments conducive to development of cognitive competencies rests heavily on the talents and self efficacy, as defined by Bandura, is the belief that an individual has the ability to c arry out certain actions that result in a desired outcome (1997). A teac consistently recognized as an important attribute of effective teaching and has been positively correlated to teacher and student outco mes (Tschannen Moran, Woolfolk Hoy 1998). This theory is supported by research that shows efficacy beliefs are strong pre Hoy, 2004, p.4). How efficacious a person believe s him or her to be influences the cho ice of activities, amount of eff o rt spent, and the persistence put forth to complete the tasks when confronted with obstacles. Furthermore, t eacher efficacy accounts for how competent a teacher feels in his ability to affect the perf ormance of all students, no matter how unmotivated or di fficult (Tschannen M oran, Woolfolk Hoy 1998). M uch remains to be learned about self efficacy, however, and how it develops in teachers. Unfortunately, simply identifying high and low efficacy teachers will not provide information on increasing levels of e fficacy. Instead, a deep understanding of the influences on teacher self efficacy is needed S chools of education and teacher preparation programs in particular need to be aware of the factors associated with increased levels of self efficacy in order to p roduce the most capable, innovative and dedicated teachers possible.

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3 Montessori Pedagogy Although the dispute c ontinues in traditional teacher education programs as to the relevance of dispositions in effective teaching practice, the concept is inherent to the Montessori teaching philosophy. Dr Maria Montessori thought integral resolution of the problem of education must not, therefore, be taken toward the child, but toward the adult educator. He must change his moral attitudes. He must divest alternative approach to pedagogy promoted the natural ability of children to focus and to sustain their attention, a capacity that initiates a transition in the ch fr om capricious and disorderly to self disciplined (1989). Montessori viewed education as a means of putting the child in touch with the world around him /her and helping him /her to develop the skills s/ he needs to embrace it. John Chattin McNichols found tha t T he Montessori program performs as wel l as most preschool programs in most areas, such as school readiness and intellig ence.. In the development of attentional strategies, general intelligence, achievement in aca demic areas, and especially in maintaining these gains, the Montessori Method performs better than most programs studied (1992, p. 204) The Montessori Method includes a personalized curric ulum, close observations of children, and no report s cards among other innovations. Considering the radical changes in our understanding and attitude to wards cognitive development, it is startling to find that many of these insig hts were already

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4 introduced by Dr. Maria Montessori. At the turn of the 20 th century, Montessori discovered a revolutionary way of dire i n contrast to the teacher centered app roach prevalent at the time, she realized that ch ildren learned more effectively if adults provided them with a prepared environment ( See: Illustration 1) that gave them a sen se of equality and empowerment. In the calm, ordered space of the children work o n activities of their own choosing and at their own pace. They experience a blend of freedom and self discipline in a place specially designed to meet their developmental needs. Figure 1 .1: A nvironment

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5 Montessori classroom s are usually a lar ge, open feeling space, with low shelves, different sizes of tables that comfortably seat one to four children and chairs that are A collection of materials (apparatus) is displ ayed on the shelves, with everything carefully ordered and in its place (See: Illustration 2) The materials entice the child because they are placed in the centre of his/her vision are within easy reach and because they have a sensory appeal, varying in color, shape, size, texture, and possibilities of manipulation. The array of sensory contrasts, however suggests purposeful variation rather than a random placement of brightly colored objects. Figure 1. 2: Carefully prepared shelf

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6 The apparatus helps children learn basic concepts and relationships at different levels of abstraction by ensuring that the activities are based on physical manipulation of objects and progress through imagery to symbolic representation. The adults in the classroom unobtrusi vely demonstrate the use of the material s and then leave the child to work with them, intervening as needed. Children are absorbed in using these objects, selecting them from the shelves, taking them to a mat or small table, and working with them unrestric tedly before returning them to the shelf. Figure 1. 3 : Children concentrating on their work in a Montessori classroom

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7 Montessori saw life in the classroom as interplay between the child, the environment and the teacher. E. M. Standing calls the prep ared environment 1957, p.265). In traditional schools the teacher attempts to impart knowledge to the children through her resources and expects them to learn from her, usually in a group situation. S ince the learning is u ndertaken mainly in the abstract and such a system limits how much children learn and at what age the learning should occur. In the Montessori classroom though, this third factor alters the dyn amic between student and teacher. The child is free to act on his own impulses and to repeat activities until he has exhausted his interest. Instead of the her energy is turned toward the e nvironment. Standing illustrates this in the following diagram : Figure 1 .4 : Flow of activity Teacher Environment Child

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8 T he child learns mainly through the environment, while t he teacher maintains the environment and supervises the children. In this way each child learns ind ependently and at his/her own pace. Standing desc a combination of a ). Thus t h e Montessori teacher has a multi faceted role, which means her initial training differs c onsiderably from the standard teacher preparation The Prepared Adult T he Montessori teacher seeks to provide an atmosphere of productive calm as children move efficiently along in their learning, alternating between long periods of intense concentration a nd brief moments of recovery/reorganization (Oppenheimer, 1999). The teacher's goal is to help and to encourage the children, allowing them to develop self reliance and inner discipline. Montessori believed that interrupting children when they were engaged in purposeful activity interferes with their momentum, interest, and inner workings of thought "[ The directress] understands and believes that the children must be free to choose their own occupations just as they must never be interrupted in th eir spont aneous activities"(2007 p. 240), wrote Montessori. Montessori placed the preparation of the teacher and the cultivation of her attitudes and values at the center of the process of becoming a teacher. I n Montessori teacher training, preparing the adult e motionally and spiritually is fundamental to the education of future teachers. According to Montessori

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9 The first essential is that the teacher should go through an inner, spiritual preparation; cultivate certain aptitudes in the moral order. Th is is the most difficult part of her training, without whic She must study how to purify her heart and render it burning with charity towards mility, and above all, learn how to serve. She must learn how to appreciate and gather in all those tiny and delicate manifestations of do this can only be attained through a genuine effort towards self perfection ( Standing, 1957, p 298) Montessori was not the first advocate of pursuing self knowledge. Carl Jung, the well known psychoanalyst f there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in 1940, p.285). J. G. Bennett echoed this advice writing hether we have to deal with children as parents or as teachers, our task begins with ourselves; and there is very much more to be derived by children from what those in contact with them do to put (1984 p. 82). In her extensive writings, Montessori states that true preparation of the teaching adult comprises three levels of meticulous knowledge. The first two are technical familiarity with the materi als (acquired through training) and scientific understandin g of the true nature of the child thro ugh study and acute observation. The responsibility to uphold and to maintain this technical and scientific knowledge is absolutely essential. The third phase also requires understanding but of the inner self he basis of this p. 298). Montessori identified this as a spiritual or moral preparation, which requires the recognition and removal of personal defenses built up over a lifetime. So the training of

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10 the teacher, who is to aid life, is something far more than a learning of ideas. It includes the training of character; it is a preparation of the spirit (Montessori, 2007, p.120). What Montessori therefore asked of her teach ers was that they no longer saw their role as that of simply one that imparts superior knowledge and understanding, but rather that of observer and catalyst between the children and the environment. Montessori reasoned that teachers should have positive a ttitude s to wards all children, regardless of the behavior they display when they first arrive at school. The teacher must have faith in the belief that the children will change for the better when they begin to concentrate on work and not label them on the basis of initial impressions. e insist on the fact that a teacher must prepare himself interiorly by systematically studying himself so that he can tear out his most deeply rooted defects, those in fact which impede his relations with (1966 p. 149). The Montessori teacher undergoes a different type of training from the conventional teacher even today when education generally shows signs of having absorbed many Montessori principles. Montessori considered an examination of her own personality as point for training reflecting on anger, impatience, favoritism, and other prejudices as a Likewise, the teacher must fos ter the prepared environment; if she is too dominant in the classro om, she can actually be an obs tacle to the children. Ideally, a teacher should regard herself as a sort of servant, ready to provide students with what they need without imposing herself on them

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11 The best preparation for teaching, according to Maria Montes sori is a study of can be very challenging for teachers who encounter Montessori for the first time. During the initial interview for a teacher training program, many candidates will gladly share their transcripts and discuss their academic successes or failures. On the subject of self awareness and journal writing however, few have undergone an in depth study of their own values, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses and habits. While some display excitement about this process, others show a lack of self assurance and even discomfort at the idea Montessori insisted, that a teacher must prepare himself interiorly by systematically studying himself so that he can tear out his most deeply rooted defects, those i n fact which impede his relations with child ren. In order to discover these subconscious failings we have need of a special kind of instruction. We must see ourselves as another sees us. We must be willi ng to accept guidance if we wish to become effective teachers ( Montessori, 1966, p. 149) As a result, the cohort of Montessori teachers usually falls into two categories: those who have mastered the materials, but who continue to strugg le in the classroom; and those whose self reflection encourage their confidence in responding to the children. These students come from different backgrounds and academic levels and it is possible that this impacts the way they teach Montessori teacher e ducation is unique to others in placing more emphasis on developing self awareness than on building theoretical knowledge. Inner preparation cannot be seen as effortless or resulting in an immediate transformation; it requires a lifetime of both deep refle ction and passionate commitment. Given the inherent difficulty in changing existing beliefs coupled with the relatively short duration of a teacher

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12 preparation program, developing a valid lens through which candidate self efficacy can be examined is not a simple undertaking. Tw o separate studies, Henson (2002 ) and Tschannen Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (1998) found that once efficacy beliefs are established they are harder to cha nge. These studies indicate there is a small window of opportunity to establish and e fficacy; therefore, the time to a efficacy is early in the process of training and induction. T he purpose of this study is to determine how best to incorporate efficacy building com ponents into teacher training programs by gaining an understanding of the influences on self efficacy for Montessori teachers Considering the emphasis on persistent introspection and self evaluation in Montessori training it is evident that self efficacy beliefs would also play a part in nurturing the Montessori teacher. Montessori will give [the teacher] the balance and poise which he will 1966, p .153) which would naturally s own abilities in the classroom. In this regard, it is somewhat surprising that the grooming of the Montessori teacher has not been studied in further depth. Conceptual Framework Despite the increasing interest in teacher self efficacy over the years, no published research explores the interplay of sources and their influences on the development of Montessori teacher s Given that efficacy may be most malleable during the early stages of learning (Bandura, 1997), Woolfolk Hoy (2000) pointed out that self efficacy of pre service teachers is likely subject to change once they assume real teaching responsibilities.

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13 Therefore investigating pre service teacher self efficacy and how these beliefs are conceived and nurtured can provide significant information t o professionals responsible for designing and implementing more meaningful teacher preparation programs. Self efficacy means 01, p.10). Bandura added that This means a person who believes he is fully capable of completing a task will set appropriate goals, be wholly motivated, perceive his ability level as adequate to the task, and express interest in the outcome. Two people with the same skills and knowledge may undertake a task differently depending on their level of self efficacy. This study is grounded in specifically in his concept of self efficacy. Bandura (1997) proposes four sources of sel f efficacy: mastery experiences; vicarious experiences; social persuasion; and physiological and affective states. Mastery ex periences are the actual successful or unsuccessful outcomes of performing the task which Bandura indicated is the most important determinant of self efficacy as it provides It refers to the interpretations individuals make of their past performances. For instance, p ast successes crea te a strong sense of confidence for accomplish ing similar future tasks, whereas efficacy perceptions -particularly if they occur in the early stages o f learning. Bandura suggested that interpretations of past performance serve as a robust indicator of self

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14 efficacy and that failure was unlikely to affect it. A resilient sense of self efficacy is when one has faced setbacks and overcome obstacles as one can easily be discouraged by failure even after experiencing mild success s elf efficacy are partly dependent on the timing and the total pattern of experiences in which the failures occur. If the success is attr ibuted to internal causes such as ability or effort, then self efficacy is enhanced. However, if success is attributed to luck or the intervention of others, then self efficacy may not be strengthened (Bandura, 1993; Pintrich & Schunk, 1996). Bandura (199 7 ) identified vicarious experiences as the second most potent influence on self efficacy. Vicarious experiences occur when a person sees someone with perceived similar ability perform the task or skill in question; this makes the observer feel that they to o have the capabilities to succeed. On the other hand, observing someone fail in spite of large efforts with the model therefore moderates the efficacy effe ct on the observer (Bandura, 199 7). By observing and identifying oneself with efficacious models, the learner gathers information necessary to make judgment s about his or her own capabilities. The more closely the observer identifies with the model, the stronger the impact on efficacy (H oy, 2000 ). Verbal or social persuasion such as words of encouragement or moral support may also Such positive verbal messages or social persuasion could influence the individua l to exert

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15 extra effort or to demonstrate the persistent behavior necessary to succeed when faced with difficult tasks. efficacy. Bandura (1977, 1997 ) viewed verbal persuasion as a comparat ively weak source of efficacy. Persuasion contribute s to successful performances in the sense that a credible boost in self efficacy leads a person to initiate the task, attempt new strategies, or try hard to succeed (Bandura, 1982). The potency of persuas ion depends on the credibility, trustworthiness and expertise of the persuader (Bandura, 1986). The fourth informational source on self or emotional state. High emotional arousal usually debilitates performance an d results in the individual feeling extremely vulne rable to failure (Bandura 1977), so e xper iences of stress and anxiety may have a neg beliefs about his capabilities. In a taxing situation, physical symptoms such as increas ed heart beat or sweaty palms can cause the individual to perceive ineptitude in performing a task. Typically, self efficacy is raised in a positive emotional state and lowered in a negative emotional state (Bandura, 1997). e fficacy to evaluate Montessori pre service teachers requires some modification and clarification ( see Figure 2). In Montessori teacher training courses, mastery experience would include content knowledge based on Montessori philosophy, child development, o bservation and assess ment, contemporary issues, health, safety and n utrition as wel l as the six curriculum areas of the classroom. Students are expected to produce six albums with lesson plans on each of the curriculum

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16 areas and to know the rationale and purpose behind each of the learning materials. Vicarious influence refer s to the influence of others in the teaching field that the teacher in training could imitate; the internship mentor is particularly significant as the student teacher models classroom management style from him/her. Verbal or social persuasion denoted encouragement that the pre service teacher receives fro m her/ his colleagues, teachers and mentors The final influence of emotional state illustrates the impact of stress and anxiety on efficacy beliefs. The se four influences are then filtered through the conduit/indicator of efficacy.

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17 Figure 1.5 : Conceptual framework of the s tudy Content knowledge & teaching experience Mentor support Internal sources, e.g. stress and anxiety Encouragement from colleagues TEACHER SELF EFFICACY Student engagement Instructional strategies Classroom management Vicarious experience Verbal or social persuasion Verbal or social persuasion Physiological arousal

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18 Overview of th e Study One of t he goal s of this mixed methods research study is to determine how best to incorporate efficacy building components into teacher training programs by gaining an understanding of the influences on self efficacy for Montessori teachers. The de velopment of teacher efficacy beliefs among prospective teachers has generated a great deal of research interest because once e fficacy beliefs are established; they appear to be somewhat resistant to change (Hoy, 2000). Quantitatively the study will exam ine the level of teacher self efficacy and its influences. Each of these influences will be further explored through qualitative semi structured interviews with the participants. In this study I will attempt to predict the influences on pre service teach er self efficacy; ad d to the current knowledge base; have a personal, social and organizational impact upon the Montessori teaching profession ; and gain a deeper understanding of the impact on teachers in general The main objectives of this mixed methods inquiry are to (a) build a statistical model that significantly predicts the in fluences on Montessori pre service teacher self efficacy ; (b) qualitati vely examine th e influences on Montessori teacher efficacy ; and (c) gai n a better understanding of the mu ltiple influences on those students who exhibit high and low self efficacy. Therefore the following research questions are explored: 1. Do the independent variables of mastery experience vicarious experience, verbal or social persuasion and physiological arousal significantly predict self efficacy among Montessori pre service teachers ?

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19 2. How do Montessori pre service teachers with high and low levels of self efficacy explain the influences of mastery experience vicarious experience, verbal or social persua sion and physiological arousal on their level of teaching efficacy ? In addition, several secondary research questions will also be examined: 3. between pre service teachers and those that have completed their in service? 4. Do teachers with high levels of self efficacy report different influences than teachers with low levels of self efficacy? Definition of Variables This is a correlation study employing multiple regressions to expl ore the relationship between several independent variables and teacher efficacy (depe ndent variable). Figure 3 provides the definition for each of the variables used in the study; whether it is an independent or dependent variable ; and an explanation of ho w the variable is being measured.

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20 Research Q uestion Variable Type Definition Measurement 1, 2, 3 and 4 Teacher Efficacy Dependent How competent does the Montessori pre service teacher feel in his/her ability to affect the performance of all students? Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) 1, 2 and 3 Mastery experience Independent Past successes create a strong sense of efficacy to accomplish similar future tasks, whereas, failures can lower perceptions particularly if they occur in th e early stages of learning. Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) Interview 1, 2 and 3 Vicarious experience Independent Level of support and relationship with mentor and its impact on level of effectiveness. Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) Interv iew 1, 2 and 3 Verbal or social persuasion Independent Words of encouragement and moral support from others performance may perceptions of efficacy. Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) Interview 1, 2 and 3 Physiological arousal or emotional state Independent The impact of stress and anxiety belief about their capabilities. Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) Interview Figure 1.6 : Variables and how they are measured

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2 1 I t is important to understand how teacher self effic acy is developed and maintained so that we can design educational interventions to prepare more effectiv e teachers. Since this study focuses on the sources of teacher self efficacy, the findings will supply invaluable knowledge base d on the extent to which various source of efficacy information,( namely: mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal persua sion, and physiological arousal) influence te acher self efficacy during the pre service year. This information will be beneficial to practitioners involved in the area of teacher preparation, such as supervising l ecturers and mentor teachers, in providing a learning environment where pre service teachers have opportunities to engage in experiences that foster high teacher self efficacy. Furthermore, the findings may aid in designing meaningful and workable educational interventions aimed at strengthening te acher self efficacy. Introduction to the Chapters In the current chapter, I outlined the purpose and significance of the study and the conceptual framework that supported my research. I stated the research questions and concluded this chapter with a brief This dissertation includes four additional chapters. Chapter 2 discusses and reviews the research and literature supporting a rationale for the study. Chapter 3 provides a detailed description of the methodology used f o r collecting and analyzing data, including the design, subjects, and sampling procedures. Chapter 4 discusses the administration of the research study and presents the findings in regard to the research questions. Finally, Chapter 5 addresses interpretati ons of the findings along with implications of the results

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22 in t he field of teacher preparation; projections for areas of further research; and limitations of the study.

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23 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE The purpose of this research stud y is to examine various sources influencing efficacy and the relative strength of those sources. T his chapter will describe the components of social cognitive theory and self efficacy as dev eloped by Albert Bandura (1997), which e stablishes support those teachers with a strong perception of self and achievement. This will be followed by a historical overview of self efficacy and the history and measure ment of teacher self efficacy. Finally, the Montessori pedagogy and its focus on the preparation of the teacher will be explored. Social Cognitive Theory and Self Efficacy The concept of self efficacy is grounded in the framework of social cognitive the ory, which emphasizes the evolvement and exercise of human agency (Bandura, 2006). It is generally Albert Bandura (1977) first introduced the cognitive social learning theory, whi ch (Bandura, 2001, p.1) through intentional actions He proposed that the behavior a person exhibits is influenced by his or her beliefs regarding an outcome expect ation and an 2001, p. 193). An e fficacy expectation is the

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24 havior required to 2001, p. 193). These two outcomes are distinct, particularly in the e ducational setting. W hile a teacher may believe that specific teacher behaviors will lead to a better classroom environment, improved student lear ning, inc reased class participation, and so on that same teacher may not have confidence in her ability to perform those behaviors. Efficacy beliefs determine how environmental opportunities and impediments are perceived (Bandura, 2006) and how they affec t choice of activities; how much ef fort is expended on an activity; and how long people will persevere when confronting obstacles (Pajares, 1997). Self efficacy beliefs determine how people feel, think, behave and motivate themselves ; in the case of te achers this beliefs in their own ability to plan, organize, and carry out activities that are required to attain given educational goals. Bandura (1986, 1997) noted that behavior is more effectively predicted by the conviction that individuals have regarding their own capabilities than what they are belief is a driving force in his/her academic accomplishments. It is these ideas knowledge and skill s p.8). Bandura further defines self results an Bandura, 2001 p.10 ). T hese diverse effects arise from four major processes: intentional ity; forethought; self regulation; and self reflectiveness. Intentionality is the ability of huma ns to choose a course of action,

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25 whereas forethought implies setting goals, anticipating likely consequences, and choosing actions that are more likely to prod uce desired outcomes instead of undesirable outcomes. Self regulation indicates the human ability to monitor the chosen choice of action through goal setting and motivation. Finally, s elf reflectiveness refers to the evaluation of the values, and meaning of the chosen action. A strong sense of efficacy enhances human accomplishment and personal well being in many ways. A teacher, for example, with high confidence in her capabilities will approach difficult tasks as challenges to be mas tered rather than as threats to be avoided. On the other hand, a teacher with a low level of self efficacy will set incomplete goals, lose motivation and will not see herself as being competent and capable of the job. Although both these individuals may po ssess the same skills and knowledge to complete the task their level of efficacy could mean they each perform the task in completely different manners (Bandura, 1993). efficacy, regardless acc urate or misjudged, are developed through four sources of influence which he termed as (1) mastery experience or actual experience; (2) vicarious experience; (3) verbal or social persuasion; and (4) physiological arousal or emotional state. The first, and most efficacy, while failures may inhibit its development The best mastery experiences should take time and effort to accomplish. Bandur a (1977, 1997) identified vicarious experience as the second efficacy. Observing the successes of others similar to oneself contributes positively to

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26 self efficacy. The opposite is also true observing the failures of others similar to oneself may decrease self efficacy. Social persuasion is the words of encouragement or moral that efficacy. Self efficacy can be influenced if told by oth efficacy can also be diminished if told by others they do not possess the skills for success. Bandura believed that it was far easier for social persuasion to decrease self efficacy than to in crease it (1994). Physiological and affective states indicate the physical and mental processes that may interfere with the performance of the task, such as exhaustion or anxiety. This is how people react to situations, whether physical or mental. Typicall y, self efficacy is boosted in a positive emotional state and lowered in a negative emotional state (Bandura, 1997). These influences are affected by four m ental processes: cognitive; motivational; affective; and selection (Bandura, 1997). Cognitive proces ses can enhance or inhibit the performance on the task through the self of goals, while the ability to control negative emotional thoughts and to enhance positive tho ughts also has a strong impact on efficacy beliefs. Finally, selection refers to the choices people make based on their efficacy beliefs. Historical Overview of Self Efficacy At the turn of the 20 th century, much attention was focused on the impact of hu man behavior in relation to the idea of self. The American psychologist William James

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27 1890, p.185). James was among the first psychol in relation to other members of society (Pajares, 2002). Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner dominated the 1920s to 1940s with their studies on stimuli and respon se and The educational field, which follows psychological theory It was not until the 1950s that Abraham Maslow re directed interest to the construct of self by addressin g y of needs. In an effort to secure unsatisfied needs, an individual increase his motivation with actualized, 002, p.3). The work of Pavlov, Skinner and Maslow gave birth to the humanistic movement in the 1960s and 1970s. By examining self constructs and self beliefs, schools tried to nurture self esteem and a positive sense of self in their students. Much of th e research on self (Pajares, 2002, p. 4) because these theories were not being realistically executed in the classroom. Understandably, following this, the enthusiasm towards understanding self constructs diminished The 1970s and 1980s brought about the cognitive revolution, influenced greatly by technological advances such as the computer. Psychologist s turned their attention to internal, mental taskin g involving information procession, schema building, and problem solving. At the same time a nationwide concern grew that academic standards were

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28 dropping drastically and that students were being awarded a high school diploma bereft of necessary skills. T the educational system (Pajares, 2002). Regardless of the momentary movement, Albert Bandura (1977) identified what he believed was an instrumental aspect missing from all the theories an d educational reforms in his publication, Self efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change Describing individuals as being perceptive of the capabilities that impact and help determine their choice of activities and persistence in reaching a g oal, Bandura coined the term self efficacy In his 1986 publication, Social Foundations of Thought and Action Bandura discussed a social cognitive theory in which he described people as having beliefs about their own capabilities. It is these beliefs ( or self perceptions ) themselves, rather than their actual abilities are the driving force behind their achievements (Bandura, 1986, 1997; Pajares, 2002). Therefore, those who believe they have the capabilities to be successful make greater attempts to achieve the desired outcome. W e have seen that interest in beliefs about personal control and self esteem has a long history in philosophy and psychology. It was Bandura who not only formalized the notion of perceived competence as self efficacy, but offered a t heory of how it develops and how i t influences human behavior. From this point of view, namely, believing that you can accomplish what you set out to do that many more theorists began to study the construct of self efficacy.

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29 What is Self E fficacy? Self e capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types with the skills one has but with judgments of what one can do with whatever skills one efficacy beliefs may impact a person in either a positive, empowering way, or in a neg ative, demoralizing way. H ow an individual belie ves s/he is able to carry out the necessary actions to achieve a desired result determines the course of action (Bandura, 1977): i ndividuals who believe in their ability to perform a specific task will work harder and persist in order to successfully reac h the goal than those who do not believe in their abilities It is also important to note that efficacy levels are context and task specific, meaning the efficacy level for a proposed task may change withi n different contexts. effic acy level for teaching math may be high in a Montessori (Montessori, 1989) but low in a classroom of children with special needs. In order to distinguish why self efficacy levels differ, researchers must first have a tho rough understanding of the sources of self efficacy (Bandura, 2007). Sources of Teacher Self Efficacy Bandura (1977) describes four sources of personal efficacy: performance accomplishments; vicarious experiences; verbal persuasions; and emotional arousal s. The first source, mastery experience, refers to how individuals interpret their past

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30 performance s. Performance accomplishments have the most potential for raising self efficacy beliefs since they directly involve the individual and successful completion of a task. Bandura suggested that interpretations of past performance serve as a robust indicator of self efficacy ; this hypothesis has been supported by stu dies of the sources of self efficacy (Usher & Pajares, 2008). The experience gained by observing the successes and failures of others creates the second source, vicarious experience. In other words, when an individual observes someone else completing a similar task with success, it leads to the impression that they too could accomplish that task. Researchers propose that beginning teachers who have higher levels of induction support are more likely t o view their jobs as manageable; report that they can teach the most difficult students, and indicate that they are successful in providing educa tion to students needing special education services (Billingsley et al., 2004). In addition to mastery and vicarious experiences, social or verbal persuasion also affects levels of self efficacy. The persuasive messages individuals receive from others, su ch as; evaluative feedback from students, colleagues, ad ministrators, and parents, likely influence how capable one feel s in his job Positive messages typica lly boost self efficacy, while criticisms tend to undermine it This is likely why teachers who pe rceive more support from their principals are less stressed and more committed and satisfied with their jobs than those who perceive less support (Billingsley & Cros s, 1992). Similarly, research shows that educators who remain in their jobs were about four times more likely

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31 to recognize their administrators as supportive and encouraging than were the teachers who left their jobs (Boe, Barkanic, & Leow, 1999). Verbal persuasion thus allows an individual to overcome doubt when others express their beliefs in S elf efficacy stemming from verbal persuasion is not enduring however, and requires constant reassurance from others; a ny sign of failure or obstacles will weaken the indi efficacy P hysiological and emotional state s, which deal with the individual somatic and affective responses regarding his performance, are also a source of self efficacy For instance, e xcessive stress or an xiety can convince teachers they do not have the skills necessary to carry out his job su ccessfully. Emotional arousal taps anxiety, steering him away from a feeling of avoidance. Teachers with low self efficacy have reduced motivation to teach (Bandura, 1997). If the task is not successfully efficacy will be further influenced in a negative manner (Bandura, 1977). On the other hand, those who feel energized by the teaching task likely approach their work with confidence. For example, the multiple pressures on special education teachers pose le gitimate concerns for increased stress, which is associated with burnout and teacher attrition (Billingsley et al., 2004; Boyer & Gillespie, 2000). In general, self efficacy will improve through consistently successful outcomes and decrease with repeated failures.

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32 acquire s k ills, modeling the requisite skills, structuring activities in mas terable steps that ensure a high level of initial success, and providing explicit feedback of continued progress (p. 105). combination of efficacy information from different sources because each source of efficacy beliefs to consider the various sources of efficacy inform ation. personality characteristics, capabilities, and motivation as potential sources of teaching which enhances efforts towards effective teaching and personal effort and study about topics of teaching effectiveness) to improve their teaching effic acy received the highest ratings as a source of teaching efficacy in the study of 198 fourth year students in Greece. communication with pupils, positive stance/humor) and enac tive mastery with social/verbal persuasion also received high mean scores as likely sources of teaching possessing specific personality characteristics and teaching capabili ties, the more they felt efficacious in implementing instructional and discipline strategies and involving pupils in the learning process (p. 212).

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33 In the longitudinal case study of one elementary science teacher during her transition from pre service to in service teaching, Mulholland and Wallace (2001) found that mastery experience was a powerful influence on her teaching confidence and perception of competence. In their case study of Katie, a beginning elementary school student teacher in Australia, th a science lesson seemed to act as a form of social persuasion (Bandura, 1995) which nd & Wallace, 2001, p. 249). M astery experiences were achieved when pre service teachers were better able to use manageable manipulative and work with smaller groups of children who were interacting with other children. Early development of high self effic acy beliefs by achieving mastery experiences is important to continue teaching science in the in service situation. The authors found that the enthusiasm of children and social persuasion provided by children were the constant source of positive informatio n in both pre service and in service situations, providing pressure to continue teaching science despite the setback. The y emphasize the need to efficacy because they recognize the la ck of appropriate vicarious experience in the elementary school to be a major drawback to the development of science teaching self efficacy. Charalambous, Philippou, and Kyriakides (2008) also found that it was important to observe, imitate, and analyze ma thematics lessons taught by in service teachers who were given vicarious experiences to student teachers in mathematics teaching. Thus, if self efficacy is to be enhanced during pre service teacher education, university based education can provide

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34 pre serv ice teachers with positive sources of vicarious experience offered by teacher & Wallace, 2001). After analyzing four interviews, twelve written reflections, and seven transcribed group discussion, J.P. Rushton (2000) found that the five interns who spent eight months working in classrooms in inner city schools moved past the cultural shock of their initial experiences and were able to teach more effectively. As the inte rns adjusted to the cultural differences, they came to accept the contrast between reality and their preconceptions, and grew better able to cope with them, they grew in efficacy. Each intern developed efficacy in different areas such as self worth about b ecoming teachers, growth in relation to a sense of gaining authority and respect with pupils, and personal efficacy in relation to cooperating teachers. For example, one of the interns grew more patient in dealing with disruptive behavior after seeing her authoritarian approach to teaching, but did not become rigid, impersonal, arbitrary, and bureaucratic during their student teaching experiences (Rusht on, 2000, 2003). History and Measurement of Teacher Efficacy Following the introduction of social cognitive theory and self efficacy, rese archers began exploring how these concept s could be used in the study of teaching and learning by identifying the con struct of teacher efficacy and developing instrumentatio possess es the ability

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35 to influence student learning and achievement for all students, including those students who may be considered unmotivate d and difficult is commonly referred to as teacher self efficacy ( Bandura, 1977, 1997; Guske, 198 7 ; Hoy, 2000). T he development of a reliable and valid instrument that accura tely measures teacher efficacy was of primary importance within this field of stu dy and it was first introduced by the work of J.B. Rotter believe that they could control the reinforcement of their actions, that is, whether the control reinforcemen t lay within themselves or in the environment Tschannen Moran et (Rotter, 1996). There are two distinct paths of locus of control: external and internal control. Exte rnal control is the belief that reward is due to luck, fate, chance or higher powers. Internal control is the belief that behaviors and actions are a result of personal characteristics. The RAND corporation researchers were the first to use locus of contr ol to measure teacher self efficacy. In 1977, the Rand Corporation studied planned cha nge over a period of four years; this process and teacher growth. Rand researchers included items that explored the perc eived ability of teachers to control their actions and environment. Interestingly, teacher efficacy was the most significant teacher attribute to growth and change throughout these studies (Rand, 1977, No VII). It was found that teachers who identified the mselves as highly Moran et al., 1998, p. 202). Those teachers possessing a low

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36 sense of teacher self efficacy believed environmental factors playe d a bigger role in outcomes than their actions. These teachers believed that environmental factors or learning more than their own influence (Tschannen Moran et al., 1998 p. 204). teacher self efficacy through two items in a questionnaire. The items were: RAND Item 1: because most of home environment (Tschannen Moran et al., 1998). This item was labeled general teaching efficacy and reflects agreement with an external locus of control. RAND Ite m 2: If I really try hard, I c an get through to even the most difficult or unmotivated students. ( Tschannen Moran et al., 1998). This item has been labeled personal teaching efficacy and indicates agreement with an internal locus of control. The RAND researchers discovered the score These two items consequently became the basis and inspira tion for teacher efficacy instruments developed

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37 by various researchers Later r esearch by McLaughlin and Marsh (1978) found teacher efficacy to positively impact: achievement of a project goal; the amount of adjustment made by the teacher throughout the pr oject; student achievement; and, continued use of project methods and materials (McLaughlin & Marsh, 1978; Symlie, 1990). Supporting the construct of teacher efficacy are the indirect investigations by Brookover et al. in 1978 and Brophy and Evertson in 1 977. Brookover et al. (1978) studied social psychological variables that set schools of similar socioeconomic standards According to the study, teachers who demonstrate a great instruct ional commitment to students and practice positive reinforcement, nurture higher achieving students (Brookover et al, 1978). developed instruments with the hope of effectively measuring teacher self efficacy. Rose and Medway (1981) developed a measure called the Teacher Locus of Control (TLC). The TLC is a 28 of student success/failure by choosing between two competin g explanations for the Moran et al., 1998, p. 206). Rose and Medway found the responses to the TLC were weakly but significantly related to the RAND items. Another instrument measuring Responsibility for Student Achievement (RSA) was also discovered in 1981 by T. R. Guskey. Guskey(1984) found strong inter correlations

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38 between overall responsibility and responsibility for student success/failure as well as a relation between positive attitudes about teaching to greater effica cy levels. theory and the RAND items, other researchers were creating instruments based on teach In 1984, Gi bson and Dembo created the most popular measure thus far, the Teacher efficacy expectation and outcome expectancy, by having participants respond to n a student gets a better grade than he usually gets, it is usually fairness a tea Moran et al., 1998, p. 213). GTE is assumed to measure outcome expectancy and is related to clarity and enthusiasm in teacher (Tschannen Moran et al., 1998). The Gibson Dembo instrume nt uses a 5 point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) and became the domin ant measure of teacher efficacy for twenty years It was found that teacher self te achers, and new ideas (Tschannen Moran et al., 1998) and that students in second and

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39 fifth grade whose teachers had a higher sense of GRT outperformed their peers in math on the Iowas Test of Basic Skills (Moore & Esselman, 1992). Dissatisfaction with th e definition and measurement of the two sub construct s competence and an analysis of the task in terms of the resources and constraints that exist in particular teaching contex Moran, et al., 1998, p. 240). The instruments failed to meet both criteria and a new instrument was needed to be specific enough to have good reliability, yet general enough to avoid losing predictive power. Soodak and Podell (1996) argued that teacher efficacy was actually a three dimensional construct consisting of personal efficacy, outcome efficacy, and teaching efficacy. Using the TES, they added additional items and through factor analysis, identified the three sub construct s They def s the necessary teaching skills; o utcome efficacy as the belief that when the teaching skills are used they pr oduce a desired student outcome; and t eaching efficacy was defined as the belief that teac hers can overcome the effects of all outside influences on their students. Emmer and Hickman (1991) asserted that teachers spend a considerable amount of time managing student behaviors and therefore the quality of this management may lead to feelings of h igh or low efficacy. They modified the TES to include the sub construct of classroom management with two sub construct s of PTE and GTE sub construct s Although these studies attempted to strengthen the construct of teacher efficacy, they relied on a poorl y designed instrument that did not completely capture the

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40 efficacy. Therefore, researchers began the work of redefining and remodeling the construct of measuring teacher efficacy. Tschannen Moran sought to develop a n ew instrument based on the previous recommendations that stated a reliable and valid instrument for measuring teacher self efficacy did not exist ( Tschannen Moran et.al., 1998). The development of a new instrument began by deciding to follow and expand rec ommendations set by Bandura. They introduced a new conceptual model of teacher efficacy that demonstrates the cyclical and context specific nature of this construct. The conceptual model cognitively processes sources of efficacy information (mastery experiences, physiological and emotional states, vicarious experiences, and social persuasion ), and then either analyses the teaching task or assesses the personal teaching competence The processes result in a level of teacher efficacy that d ete rmines teaching performance, which becomes a new source of efficacy information in itself However, the instrument had issues with construct validity and Denzine, Cooney, and McKenzie (2005) determined that the TES did not accurately fit social learning theory. Therefore, researchers began work on developing new instruments with stronger construct validity. In response to the issues presented above in the measurement of teacher efficacy, Bandura (1997) demonstrated that self efficacy and locus of control have little or no statistical relationship between each other. Reacting to the generality of the above mentioned measures and to the lack of correlation with locus of control, Bandura (undated) presented his own 30 item measure that recog nizes the differing tasks that teachers may be asked to perform. The scale is measured on a 9 point Likert scale

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41 which details the amount of influence a teacher believes they exert over the stated situation. While this scale is more conceptually specific and task oriented, the teaching tasks which are included have been criticized for not representing normal teaching activities (Tschannen Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). There is no reliability and validity evidence available for this scale. Roberts and Henso n (2000) developed an efficacy instrument that attempts to address the theoretical and methodological issues associated with the TES for use with science education teachers. Friedman and Kass (2002) also suggested a model of teacher efficacy that accounts for her relationships in the school. Using the conceptual models of Tschannen Moran and Woolfolk and Hoy (2001) developed a new way to measure teacher efficacy, (TSES). The instrument was designed to evaluate analysis of the task in terms of the resources and constraints in particular teaching 2001, p.795). TSES attempts to further define normal teaching tasks and to broaden the focus from unm otivated students to in clude capable students. The sub construct s of efficac y for instructional strategies; ef ficacy for classroom management; and efficacy for student engageme o what extent can you use a var iety of assessmen ow much can you do to control disruptive It was developed and refined in three studies. From those studies, three factors emerged that accounted for over half of the variance. Those factors were labeled Eff icacy for Student Engagement, Efficacy for Instructional Practices, and Efficacy for Classroom Management. In keeping to the recommendations for a specific,

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42 yet general instrument, Tschannen Moran et al. (1998) believed the student engagement, instructiona l practices, and classroom management were three common elements that any teacher would face. This procedure resulted in two versions of the instrument, a 24 item long version ; and a 12 item short version. Both scales use the nine point Likert type re spo nse scale with the options 1 (nothing), 3 (very little), 5 (some influence), 7 (quite a bit), and 9 (a great deal). Factor analysis then confirmed the existence of the thre e factors that accounted for 54 percent of the variance in the long form, and 65per cent in the short form. Finally, s e cond order analysis revealed that measures could conform to one factor alone, which explained 75 percent of the variance in the long form an d 68 percent of the variance in the short form. Item loadings were appropriate fo r the three subscales and the one entire scale. Internal reliabilities ranged from .87 to .91. previous measures of teacher efficacy in that it has a unified and stable factor structure and assesses a broad range of capabilities th at teachers consider important to good Tschannen Moran et al., 2001). This scale has the potential to fully capture the efficacy expectation and outcome expectancy sub constructs that are at the heart of efficacy theory, but addit ional research utilizing this instrument along with confirmatory qualitative analysis is needed to ensure the validity of this measure (Henson, 2002). This scale seems to have the potential to fully capture the efficacy expectation and outcome expecta ncy sub efficacy theory, but additional research is needed to ensure the validity of this measure. Roberts and Henson (2001) used confirmatory factor analysis to examine the initial version of the

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43 TSES, bu t did not find sufficient support for the sub construct Effica cy for Student Engagement (ESE); t hey rec ommended the construct be either strengthened or eliminate d. Tschannen Moran and Woolfolk Hoy decided to strengthen the ESE sub construct so the final ve rsion demonstrated adequate reliability and validity (Tschannen Moran et al., & Woolfolk Hoy 2001). Heneman, Kimball, and Milanowski (2006) reported on a vali dation study of the TSES in which the sample produced valid and reliable data and included all le vels of teachers in its pool. They also determined that teacher scores on the TSES significantly predicted teacher performance ratings at the end of the school year. Whereas major strides have been made, it is clear that there are still issues to be addres sed in this research field. Perhaps a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods would be the logical choice in studying teacher efficacy. Self Efficacy and Student Achievement Albert Bandura studied self efficacy in relation to a variety of factors, su ch as motivation (Schunk, 1994) and phobias (Bandura, 1983). He noted that individuals devel op ideas and self perceptions about their capabilities which, in turn, an individual s interaction with his environment Bandura (1977) refers to this co ntr ol as Three studies explored the relationship between teacher e fficacy and student achievement; all of which supported the conclusion that teachers with higher levels of efficacy appear to produce higher achieving students. First, Rose and Medway (1981) used the Teacher Locus of Control ( TLC ) scale which measures efficacy through an internal versus external orientation with a sample of 17 teachers and

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44 their students. Internally oriented teachers attribute consequences to t heir own actions, while external ly oriented teachers attribute consequences to factors outside their control. The scores from the TLC measure, teacher observation s, and student achievement data allowed the researchers to determine that teachers with high l evels of internal attribution did have higher achieving students. Next, Ashton, Webb, & Doda (1983) used a sample of 48 modestly skilled high school teachers to explore student achievement data, teacher efficacy scores from the two Rand items, and classroo m observations. The ir results indicate levels of teaching efficacy a re positively correlated to student achievement in mathematics and language arts. Ross (1992) also found a positive relationship between student achievem ent and teacher efficacy by observi ng the effect of coaching on teacher e fficacy and student achievement. The researcher worked with eighteen history teachers and six instructional coaches to track student achievement as they implemented a new curriculum. Using the TES, student tests, coach ing survey, and interviews, the results illustrated that student achievement increased significantly from pre test to pos test. All these studies demonstrate a strong positive relationship between student achievement and teacher efficacy; additional resear ch involving the TSES and further examining the impact of high level teacher efficacy is needed though. In recognizing that efficacy belief is context specific, researchers developed scales that focused (1990) Science Riggs (1990) into the STEBI B); Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument (MTEBI). Both of t hese instruments rework the

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45 statements on the TES from a more general teaching focus to a precise science or mathematics teaching focus, employing questions such as I understand science concepts well enough to be effective hen a student do es better than usual in mathematics, it is often because the teacher exerted a little extra effo point Likert scoring of the TES as well as the low validity issues with both scales explaining less than 30 percent of the variance in teacher efficacy. Other studies have specifically investigated variable related to the sense of efficacy in teachers. Emmer and Hickman (1 991) proposed a new dimension to teacher efficacy: efficacy in classroom management and discipline. The au thors asserted that teachers spend a considerable amount of time managing student behaviors the quality of which may, lead to feelings of high or low efficacy. T he researchers added items to the TES that reflected cla ssroom management and disciplinary sit uations. Using factor analysis, the final in strument revealed three factors: c lassroom management/disciplin e; external influences; and personal teaching efficacy. A study involving twenty elementary school children from Los Angeles participating in the pre ferred reading p rogram focused on the classroom practices of those who successfully improved reading scores. T affected bla Another study, connecting teacher self efficacy to student achievement was executed by Berman, et al (1977), in

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46 which two middle schools with different organizational variab les believed to impact teacher efficacy were reviewed After four or five classroom observations the authors teachers believe they are capable of influencing student performance affects their enthusias In short teachers who possess stronger perceptions of self efficacy tend to displa y specific observable behaviors, such as effort persistence, enthusiasm, and confidence. These teachers manage classroom time differently and engage students in learning for longer periods of time. Teachers with strong self efficacy exemplify warmth and responsiveness to all stu dents, especially those with reduced abilities As David Kea rns (1988) acknowledged, failing to change the willingness of every teacher to have a positive impact on every student and failing to inspire teachers to believe in their own abilities, is failing to deal with a critica l educational issue. It is imperative that t eachers believe in themselves and their students if educational strides are to be made. Recently, research studies have focused on the influence of teacher efficacy beliefs on general classroom teaching practice s. For instance teacher self efficacy is associated with quality of instruction and the use of innovative teaching methods (Tscha nnen Moran & Woolfolk Hoy 2001 ). Teachers confident in their capabilities not only report less stress but also remain in the teaching profession longer with a greater commitment than do teachers who doubt their capabil ities (Schwarzer & Hallum, 2008 ;

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47 Ware & Kitsantas, 2007). In other w ords, teacher self efficacy serve s as a defensive factor for burn out which has been a constan t problem in the teaching profession. Furthermore, compared to teachers with low self efficacy, t eachers with increased self efficacy display the following methods of avoiding stress: use more effective instructional strategies; manage classroom behavior m ore effectively; exert more effort in organizing, planning, and delivering their lessons; set higher goals for instruction; and engage students to a greater extent in learning compared to teachers with low self efficacy (Allinder, 1994; Chwalitsz, Altameye r & Russel 1992; Ross, 1998; Tschannen Moran & Woolfolk Hoy 2001). Additionally teachers who display more confidence in their skills are typically more receptive to the consultation and application of novel instructional practices (Morrison, Wakefield, W alker, & Solberg, 1994) ; t eachers with low self efficacy direct more frequent criticism toward students making mistakes and are more susceptible to becoming frustrated when classroom routines are not followed (Gibson & Dembo, 1984; Woolfolk, Rosoff & Hoy 1990). While studies demonstrate direct links between perceived self efficacy and student achievement, various factors w ithin the school system impact that perception as well. R esearchers have thus turned their attention toward invest igati ng the origins of teacher efficacy beliefs for important insights on foster ing self efficacy during teacher training (Henso n, 2002; Labone, 2004; Woolfolk Hoy 2002). In spite of this growing body of research, it is unclear how well these findings generali ze to teachers of different student populations.

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48 Teacher Preparation and I nduction Scholars have also explored the impact of teacher preparation programs and novice teacher induction on teacher efficacy levels This includes the effect of teaching on leve ls of efficacy; the durability and changes from methods classes to student teaching to the first year of teaching; and the method of instruction for teacher preparation. A lthough a few studies have found some variability in the pattern these studies indic ate teacher efficacy levels generally increase during methods courses and student teaching. Volkman, Scheffler, and Dana (1992) examined two groups of pre service elementary teachers completing their student teaching experiences and discovered several d ifferences amongst them. The first group of 12 pre service teachers was placed in an environment that encouraged reflective practices. They were given one on one meeting s with a supervisory teacher and met bi weekly with the other students in the treatmen t group for more reflective practice activities. The remaining 12 pre service teachers were place d in one of two control schools with no emphasis on reflective practices. Each of the participants was asked to complete a journal reflecting on their experien c e during this period, and to complete the TES prior to student teaching and after student teaching. Using ANCOVA with post test TES scores as the dependent variable, pre test TES scores as the covariate, and the treatment group as the independent variable the results indicated the treatment group had significantly higher levels of teacher efficacy than the control group. The qual itative analysis of the journal entries supported

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49 the results and revealed d insightful in general. Another study investigating the benefits of student teaching place 100 pre service teachers in different settings, but did not separate them into a treatment or control group (Fortman and Pontius 2000 ). The students were asked to c omplete a modified version of the TES prior to student teaching, at the midpoint of student teaching, and at the end of student teaching. Using a paired t test, PTE post test scores were significantly higher than pre test scores; s cores on GTE were lower f rom pre test to post test, but not considerably. The results also argued that females scored much higher than males on both pre test and post test PTE scores. Along with the Volkman, Scheffler, and Dana (1992) study, these findings show st udent teaching ha s a positive impact on levels of efficacy. Several other studies have explored the trend of efficacy levels from methods courses to student teaching and beyond but have found somewhat conflicting results.Woolfolk Hoy and Spero (2005) tracked levels of te acher efficacy in 53 pre service teachers from the beginni ng of their teacher preparation to the end of student teaching, and then at the end of their first year of teaching. The participants were asked to complete three different measures of teacher effic and a newly developed Ohio S tate Teaching Confidence Scale. T he results clarified that levels of teacher efficacy increased from the beginning of teacher preparation to the end of student teaching on all three measures. Betwe en the end of student teaching and the end

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50 of the first year of teaching, efficacy levels notably decreased on Ban GTE scale. The OSU scale demonstrated relatively stable scores. Moreover, Palmer (2006) examined the efficacy levels of 55 pre service teachers at the beginning of a science methods course, at the end of the course and at the end of the program, using the STEBI B and interview data from 18 of the participants. A repeated measures ANOVA revealed teacher efficacy increased s ignificantly between the begin ning of the methods course and the end of the methods course. There were no important differences between the post test scores and the delayed post test scores administered at the end of the program, thus the gains in efficacy remained stable across time and student teaching. As supported by the interviews all the participants felt positive about teaching science. In a similar vein, Fives, Hamman, and Olivarez (2007) assessed the trend in teacher efficacy during student teach ing to determine whether teacher burnout characteristics could be revealed this early on T he 49 participants were asked to complete the TSES and other surveys measuring teacher burnout and learning questionnaires before and after student teaching. Using a MANOVA with the three factors from the TSES (effic acy for instructional practices; efficacy for student engagement; and efficacy for classroom management) as the dependent variables, all three factors showed considerable increases from pre test to post te st. I n order to explore how efficacy levels are impacted by vari ous school and personal factors, Chester and Beaudin (1996) surveyed a group of 173 newly hired

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51 teachers in urban schools. This group of teachers included both novice teachers in general, and experienced teachers new to a school Again, a TES administered at the beginning and at the end of the school year was used. The intent was to evaluate independent variables of teacher placement; opportunity to collaborate; attention supervisors pay to pe rformance; and the availability and quality of resources. Evidently, teacher efficacy increased in older novice teachers but decreased in younger novice teachers. Efficacy levels tended to decline for over all experienced newly hired teachers who reported high levels of collaboration and who reported a high number of observations. Picking up on the student teaching aspect of teacher efficacy, Chambers (2003) questioned whether the length of student teaching produced changes in teacher efficacy. Surveying 28 pre service teachers enrolled in a two semester student teaching program and 27 pre service teachers enrolled in a one semester student teaching program, she examined group differences i n the TES. A t test statistic and multiple regression statistics we re computed, but disclosed no differences between the two groups regarding efficacy level Therefore, the duration of student teaching may not create any differences in levels of teacher efficacy. Finally, Gorrell and Capron (1987) examined a group of 86 pre service teachers with low to moderate levels of teacher efficacy to determine whether different instructional methods shaped varying levels of efficacy. Pre service teachers were initially s a measure of efficacy from which low scoring students and moderate scoring students were placed

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52 into two groups. The first group received direct instruction s on a teaching task, followed by a student teacher demonstrating how to employ the task with a s tudent and discussing the instructions. The second group received cognitive modeling instruction s for completing the teaching task, followed by a student teacher demonstra ting the task with a student while employing cognitive modeling thought processes. Th e pre service teachers were then given the PTAQ again to compare scores. The low efficacy group/direct instruction group had higher levels of efficacy than the low efficacy/cognitive modeling group but the moderate efficacy/cognitive modeling group had hi gher levels of efficacy than the moderate efficacy/direct instruction group. Consequently, a direct instruction approach might be more effective in elevating low efficacy teachers. All in all, the pattern of efficacy seems to increase during teacher prepa ration, but decreases during student teaching in some cases. While certain studies efficacy levels may decrease during the first year of teaching, other factors could mediate that decline. Unfortunately fully understanding the conditions that heighten or dampen efficacy levels requires additional research. Furthermore, scholars should also consider assessing changes in efficacy scores for initial low to moderate scoring teachers, as the initial high sco ring teachers should not have much variability. Althou gh these studies do guide student teaching duration and instructional methods for low efficacy teachers, more work with a common instrument is needed to verify these findings. This study focuses on teachers within preschools following the Montessori Method of education.

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53 M aria Montessori and her L egacy As the first woman to practice medicine in Italy, Dr. Maria Montessori spent time working with children in the slums of Rome and quickly became interested in their development. Her scientific observations of this group laid the foundation of a highly organized pedagogy (2006) that has flourished worldwide. This visionary pedagogy did not, however, emerge in isolation; Montessori perused Jean Itard, Johann Pestalozzi, Leo Tolstoy, Friedrich Froebel, Johann Herb art, and William James and crossed paths with Anna Freud, Erik Erikson, and Jean Piaget. Her writings alluded to the work of naturalists, evolutionists, philosophers, theosophist public leaders, and ancient thinkers. Montessori idea s extended to almost every major field of knowledge and evolved into a framework of human development from birth to childhood This is a framewo rk for collaboration, invention and discovery that is unlimited in possibilities yet fixed and coherent at the same time A revolut ionary/radical by nature, by nature, Mon tessori sought educational reform as the vehicle par excellence for the regeneration of mankind. She developed her pedagogy with the intention of promoting the natural ability of children to focus and sustain their a ttention, a capacity which initiates a transition from capricious and disorderly toward self (1989). Her teaching methods were based on her observations of how children learned best; in this way she avoided a search for patterns of child development that conform ed to adult ideals of how children should behave. As a result, Montessori paradoxically discovered that, given the

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54 right environment and stimulation, a child could develop behavior and achievements beyond all e xpectations. She realized children are better learners before six years of age than they will ever be again and that they could learn almost anything through special techniques Montessori with children who were c ategorized as deficient or idiots ( Kramer, 1978 ) Her search for pedagogical treatment for intell ectual deficiency led her to the French doctors, Jean Itard and Eduard Seguin. Wild Boy of Averyon (1801) dramatically confirmed the importance of the young student, Seguin, pioneered work with handicapped children that provided Montessori with more direct help in her early years of teaching. She used many of the materials Seguin developed, including the grooved letters that would later to become the sandpaper letters and the Seguin Boards that taught number concepts. The work of these two doctors inspired academic approach centered on a purposeful activity, generated through interaction with carefully designe d was a comprehensive array of didactic obj ects and accompanying exercises designed to capture and to hold aneous interest in, and subsequent extended interaction with, these didactic objects resulted in intellectual and social development. Montessori developed a radically different sy stem of education. The pedagogy presents

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55 the content of educational knowledge as a system of relations linking the major disciplines (including language study, mathematics, geometry, history, geography, science, music and the visual arts) to the interests and needs of the developing child, from early childhood to adolescence. This system was developed by trial and error over her lifetime, with children in places as diverse as Rome and Chennai. contributions to the field of early childho od e ducation are often mentioned in university textbooks, the underlying theories that guided her work receive little discussion. Her approach has been diluted to represent a variety of doctrines, including education in the tradition of Rousseau (Postman, 1999); progressive education in the vein of Dewey (McDermott, 1962); genetic epistemology resembling Piaget (Elkind, 1974); the transition from modernist to post modernist views of childhood and constructivism (Elkind, 2003); and social development theor y akin to Vygotsky (Bodrova, 2003). Although valid, this diverse selection does not fully realize the particularly challenging as it stems from an oral body of work largely unav ailable to scholars unless they attend a formal Montessori teacher training program. The Prepared Adult Montessori believed that education must not, therefore, be taken toward the child, but towa rd the adult educator. (1989, p. 20). In her extensive writings, Montessori provides in depth clarification

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56 pertaining to the desired qualities of the prepared adult (teache r). Her ideas concerning the active nature of learning suggest a model in which the teacher does not directly cause understanding in students, but rather prepares the environment and removes impediments to knowledge This would require that adults were pre pared for the task for whereas i t is true that the child develops in his envir onment through activity itself, but he needs material means, guidance and an indispensable understanding. It is the adult wh is necessary, the child cannot act meaningfully, and if he does more than is creative impulses ( Montessori, 1989, p.154 ) are thought to have as a main role the imparting of knowledge, in Montessori education The task is thus to prepare the materials but in the child education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by ex periences upon the (1946, p.3). In addition to a proven way of engaging individuals in learning, that is successful because it follows the natural development of the child, the Montessori approach encompasses a vital intrinsic ingredient the attitude, mannerisms, and knowledge of the prepared adult. This particular and different role for the teacher, Montessori maintained,

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57 required extensive training. Whereas traditional t eacher training focus es on assessments, and curricula, classroom management, Montessori teacher training includes both personal preparation and instructions in the lessons and the materials. Preparation of the Montessori Teacher Since a comprehensive reco rd of the materials and activities that constitute the Montessori pedagogy are not found in any published source, the training of Montessori teachers is an oral training. A combination of lectures, hands on practice with the materials, album writing, and oral examination has been transmitting the method since 1913, when Montessori delivered a training course in Rome (Kramer, 1976). Moreover though, Montessori teachers must under go through extensive training in both preparing themselves personally and in learning the Montessori philosophy and methodology. Inner preparation should not be seen as effortless or as resulting in an immediate transformation but as requiring a lifetime of deep reflect ion and passionate commitment. Furthermore, the ability to obs erve children and to detect their needs is fundamental to good Montessori teaching which Montessori assessed must be carefully devel oped through long practice (1917 ). Interestingly, she was convinced a background in traditional education would hinder one from being a high quality Montessori teacher: created anew; having rid herself of pedag 1963, p. 87). Even if a ns that contains a remarkably hearty balance, an

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58 Lahey, 2001, p. 6) exists, Montessori teachers must avoid r everting to old patterns and traditional methods of education In order not to go back to previous ways, we must be aware and conscious all the time that old habits die hard. Change requires effort. Kegan and Lahey (2001) discuss how individuals have a powerful inclination not to change and mic equilibrium, which, like an immune system, powerfully Inner preparation cannot be seen as effortless or resulting in an immediate transformation. It requires a lifetime of both deep r eflection and passionate commitment. Montessori also felt it was important for children to be around teachers with a certain level of maturity and spiritual self awareness. She knew that children absorb not only the words and actions of those around them, but also the ir energetic qualities. Montessori insisted on the fact that a teacher must prepare himself interiorly by systematically studying himself so that he can tear out his most deeply rooted defects, those in fact which impede his relations with chi (Montessori, 1966, p. 149). Since the preparation of a Montessori teacher involves personal change to eschew becoming an obstacle to the chi must confront her own prejudices; o nly then will she be able to observe the child clearly. Montessori in her lectures and texts documented both strengths of the adult character that would aid the child, and weaknesses of disposition that would act as an impediment to development. Although many other educational approaches now

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59 acknowledge the critical importance of the early, formative years, no other teacher training seems to place great emphasis on the inner preparation of the adult. It i s almost is outside the realm of educational discussions. In addition to personal preparation, a Montessori teacher should have a strong knowledge base of the Montessori materials and their presentat ion. These materials have been designed to capture and to hold the attention of a child, and they accordingly have a history a context and a pedagogic motivation. Each has a specific way of being presented and students in training learn about these mater ials and the many ways they can be used to stimulate interest as well as the ir connections to different areas of the curriculum. During their internship student teachers practice with these materials in front of children as they must show a strong unders tanding of the m during a practical examination. Montessori ( 1963) countered the superficial presumption that her method when the didactic material is considered, its quantity and the order and details of its p resentation, the task of the teacher becomes both erspective Although Montessori provided a strong methodology to support her philosophy of education, sadly, not all Montessori school practice the method as it was originally intended. At present, there are approximately 4000 Montessori schools in North America and thousands more around the world (Lillard, 2005). Since t he Montessori Method was

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60 never trademarked and because it lacks a governing organization t here is tremendous diversity within the community of Montessori schools U nlike the Primrose or KinderCare franchises no two Montessori schools are the same: some pride themselves on remaining faithful t o simply use the name and nothing else. While every school community certainly has its merits the lack of acute understanding about the Montessori philosophy is unfortunate indeed. For in stance many schools fill their classrooms with Montessori materials but neglect the p 330) aspects Montessori on the other hand, thought children lear ned best when they are allowed freedom in a setting that has been carefully prepared for them. Another issue plaguing t he Montessori community is that is hard for people to abandon culturally transmitted ideas about children and schooling, and Montesso ri teachers often adopt traditional school practices because those practices feel familiar (to parents and to 2005 p 329). Furthermore, the contrast between a traditional and Montessori teacher see ms very minute to an are not properly trained in the method Self directed internships condensed training programs, and prewritten lesson plans all t array of interconnections In effect, these shortcomings efficacy as they lack the resources to implement the Montessori pedagogy.

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61 Conclusion The range of theories on teacher efficacy becomes particularly important in light Unfortunately, despite searches on various databases (including Google Scholar, JSTOR and Wilson Web) no empirical studies of M ontessori teachers or Montessori teacher preparation were found. In this study I will draw on the elements of teacher support and school environment; retention and coping mechanisms ; attitudes and awareness ; and instructional methods to scrutinize the sou rces pertinent to self efficacy. I will base my research on Tschannen efficacy. Although this body of work is certainly valid it was evident that the sources of teacher self efficacy themselves merited more attention; therefore, I undertook a study to better understand to insights on self esteem, thi s research should contribute to professional development and teacher preparation programs.

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62 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY I ntroduction The purpose of this study was to examine various sources influencing Montessori pre service efficacy and the relative strength of these sources of influence efficacy. The study was designed to predict the influences, add to the current knowledge base, have a personal, social and organizational impact upon the teaching profession, and gain a deeper understanding of a complex phenomenon. It was carried out in two phrases. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed throughout the investigation to enhance the credibility of the data (Goodwin & Goodwin, 1996). I was able to ach ieve triangulation by using different methods to assess similar constructs and enable data expansion by broadening the depth of the inquiry used words are both needed if we ar p.40). Quantitatively the study examined the level of teacher self efficacy and its influences. To acquire more in perceptions, open ended, semi struc tured interviews were carried out. Qualitative research as d efined by Denzin and Lincoln, is multi method in focus, involving an interpretive, naturalistic approach to its subject matter. This means that qualitative

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63 researchers study things in their natur al settings, attempting to make sense of or interpret 2005, p.2). Additionally, research allows the investigat natural setting (Creswell, 1998; Gay & Airasian, 2000). This chapter describes the methodology and rationale behind the choice. It includes descriptions of the procedures. Research Questions efficacy, whether accurate or misjudged, are developed through four sources of influence which he termed as (1) mastery experience or actual experience, (2) vicarious experience, (3) verbal or social persuasion, and (4) physiological arousal or emotional state. To examine the rese arch questions were explored: 1. Do the independent variables of mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal or social persuasion and physiological arousal significantly predict self efficacy among Montessori pre service teachers?

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64 2. How do pre service te achers with high and low levels of self efficacy explain the influences of mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal or social persuasion and physiological arousal on their level of teaching efficacy? In addition, two secondary research questions w ere also examined: 3. between pre service teachers and those that have completed their in service? 4. Do the teachers with high levels of self efficacy report different influences t han teachers with low levels of self efficacy? Research Design This study utilized a mixed methods design to investigate the relative strength of the sources in predicting teacher self efficacy. The purpose of the quantitative phrase was to determine the l evel of teacher self efficacy and to compare the average pre TSES and pos t TSES scores to see whether there was a gain. The influences on teacher self efficacy were also examined to see which (if any) PIP dimensions predict efficacy accurately. Perce ptions of Preparation (PIP) was a questionnaire prepared to better understand the influences (mastery, vicarious, verbal efficacy. In the qualitative phase, each of these influences was further explored through semi structured interviews with the participants. A quasi random sample for the quantitative portion of the study and a purposeful sample for the qualitative portion of the study were utilized. The quantitative data was collected and analyzed first, followed by the qualitative data. The two sources of data

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65 were then mixed at the interpretation phase of the research process. According to Creswell and Plano Clark (2007), the design can also be classified as an Explanatory design with follow up expectations. The study is attempting to explain the influences on Montessori teacher self efficacy quantitatively with a follow up qualitative portion that attempted to support and expand upon the quantitative findings. The de sign is demonstrat ed in Figure 3.7 : __________ ______________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________ ___________________________ Figure 3.7 : Explanatory design for self efficacy study Since this mixed methods design is sequential, with the selection of participants for interviews dependent on the quantitative analysis, I will describe the complete methodology for the quantitative phase first, followed by the methodology of the qualitative phase. QUAN data collection QUAN data analysis QUAN results Identify results for follow up QUAL data collection QUAL data analysis QUAL results Interpretation

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66 Quantitative Phase Setting and Participants Quantita current conditions, investigate relationships, and study cause Quantitatively this study examined efficacy in student engagement, instructional strategies an d classroom manageme nt. It compared the average pre training an d post training self efficacy levels to see whether there was a gain. An additional questionnaire judged which influence was strongest on the teacher: mastery, vicarious, verbal or physiologic al. The population of interest in this study was students that were admitted to Montessori teacher training programs throughout the United States. Only a small sample of the population was included in the study. To maintain consistency of study sites, the teacher training organizations chosen were accredited by Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). MACTE is the international standard setting and accrediting body for Montessori teacher education and is recognized by the National Co uncil for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). This study is not dependent on the age of the subjects. However, based on the average of traditional graduating college students and general retirement age, it is

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67 estimated that subjects ranged in age from 23 to 65 years of age. Both males and females were included in the study and gender and ethnicity information was collected. This study utilized a quasi random design for the quantitative po rtion of the study and a purposeful sample for the qualitative portion of the study. Anticipating a 10 to 20% response rate, an email was sent to the Directors of all the Montessori teacher training programs in the USA enlisting their help. (Appendix A) Th e email explained the purpose and design of the research: understanding of the influences on self efficacy for Montessori teachers. Teaching of effectiveness for completing a teaching task. Clearly, an investigation into pre service teacher self efficacy and how these beliefs are conceived and nurtured can provide meaningful information to teacher educators and professionals responsible for de signing and The email included a letter to be distributed to all the students that explained the research as well as a consent letter for the participants. The consent form is provided in Appendix B The letter incorporated a link to the survey that was set up on the internet survey provider Survey Monkey and an invitation to participate in the interview portion of the study. This is provided in Appendix C

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68 The reaction from the Directors of the teacher training programs was mixed. I received enthusiastic responses from some that supported research and were eager to participate. For example: such a good topic for your research. Our teacher education classes start in September and I would be happy to relate your research to our ( Washington ) There were others that were glad to participate but were reluctant to give out any personal information (including em ail addresses) of their students and some that were concerned that their students would participate in the survey but would be reluctant to do the one hour interview. For example: ( Texas) There were a few training center that had several questions and really tried to make it work but: r research situation and in the time frame that you need York) Sadly I received many responses from teacher training organizations that were either shutting down or taking sabbaticals from offering their program. For example:

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69 Our program is about to close. We will not have an y incoming students. Our last coho rt of students will be completing their internship this coming school year and then our program will be closing. There were quite a few too that did not want to participate. This drastically cut down on the participants for the research. Studen ts newly enrolled into Montessori teacher training programs were asked to take the TSES survey before they embarked on their training. 1 There were a total of 35 students that took the survey. Once they had completed their training, they were asked to take the survey again (TSES) along with an additional survey (PIP) This time demographic information was collected. There were 22 students, all female; who took the survey. Their ethnic distribution is as follows: Caucasian 15 (68%), Hispanic 3 (14%), Asian 2 (9%) and Other 2 (9%). Each participant was also asked if they would consent to an interview at a later time, and if they agreed, they were asked to provide their name and phone number. Of the 22 students, 16 agreed to be contacted at a later date and gav e their name and phone number. Measures cognitive Theory of Self Efficacy (1986, 1997) and the link of efficacy to student achievement provide the framework for the 1 Woolfolk Hoy.

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70 investigation (Bandura, 1997; Hoy, 2000). In this study, I explored the relationship between the independent variables of mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal or sense of self efficacy. These variables were chosen in order to attempt to quantify the influences on teaching efficacy. These quantified relationships were compared to the relationships reported during the personal interviews. In order to form a complete picture of the impact on personal teaching efficacy (self efficacy), it was advantageous to investigate beyond quantitative measures and employ qualitative methodology that provided teachers the opportunity to narrate and describe the influences on them and how they were affected (either positively or negat ively). The hypothesis was that these independent variables, taken together, would account for significant variance in the dependent variable of teacher efficacy. The dependent variable, which made up the first part of the questionnaire, was the long vers Woolfolk Hoy 2001). This questionnaire is presented in Appendix D. According to Albert Bandura, motivation anticipated consequences of those actions. Bandura identifies these concepts as efficacy expectations and outcome expectancies (1977). From these concepts, Gibson and Dembo (1984) developed a 30 self ef ficacy and to measure efficacy as it is aligned with efficacy expectations an d outcome expectancies. Hoy and Woolfolk went on to modify the Gibson and Dembo (1984) instrument. Hoy and Woolfolk (1993) found the first dimension of efficacy to

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71 (p. 357), labeling this dimension as general 357) and w as labeled personal teaching efficacy. From these two dimensions, a long 24 item version and a short 12 item version survey/questionnaire was developed. The TSES long form asks for a self report of teacher beliefs and was constructed using a nine point, Li kert type response scale with the options of 1 (nothing), 3 (very little), 5 (some influence), 7 (quite a bit), and 9 (a great deal) The sentences on the scale participants to gauge their abilities to handle various situations related to teaching. Participants are asked about their proficiency with instructional practices, maintaining classroom environments, and engaging students. Three factors have been identified in both v ersions with loadings from .44 to .79: efficacy for instructional strategies, efficacy for classroom management, and efficacy for student engagement. For the purposes of this study, the 24 item version was used. The overall reliability and validity of the composite scale is .94. The authors of this study, Tschannen service teachers we recommend that the full 24 item scale be used, because the factor structure often is less distinct for these ( 2001). This versio n reported reliabilities of .87 for engagement, .91 for instruction, and .90 for management. Validity was determined when Gibson and Dembo multimethod analysis that supported both convergent and

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72 discriminant validity of the s For this study, the eight items that were summed to create the engagement scale were assessed to determine eight items was .92, whi ch indicated that the items form a scale that has very high internal consistency reliability. The alpha for the instruction scale (.95) and the alpha for the management scale (.92) also showed very high internal consistency. In my analysis, only the combi ned score was used which was .93. Four independent variables were employed, corresponding to the four ways in which Bandura argued that people develop a self of self efficacy: mastery experience, vicarious experiences, verbal cues and physiological cue s. To measure these variables a new instrument, Perceptions of Participation, was developed for the purpose of this study. It underwent revision based on the empirical results to arrive at a set of questions that would have both logical construct validity (defined as fit with the definitions of exploratory factor analysis. The variable of mastery experience was first operationalized in the study with the following questions on a f ive point Likert scale where 1 represents strongly disagree and 5 represents strong ly agree : 1. In my early experience of working with young children I generally felt successful. 2. I can recall experiences I have had working with difficult, unmotivated c hildren, in which I successfully engaged them in productive activity.

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73 3. Rate your satisfaction with your professional performance this year on a scale of 1 to 5. 4. I have had experiences presenting Montessori materials to children that have built my confidenc e as a teacher. The variable of vicarious experience was operationalized by the following sample questions: 5. I felt that my advisor/mentor was supportive during my internship and this helped my confidence. 6. In my preparation I was able to observe truly skill ed teachers. 7. My advisor/mentor played a positive role in my development as a teacher. 8. Rate the interpersonal support provided by your colleagues at your school this year on a scale of 1 to 5 (5=Very Good). The variable of verbal or social persuasion was o perationalized in the study by the following questions: 9. People I respect have told me I will be a good teacher. 10. I have people I can rely on who express confidence in me as a teacher. 11. My instructors encouraged me in ways that built my confidence. 12. My advisor /mentor provided me with positive, constructive feedback which was very useful to me.

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74 The variable of physiological arousal or emotional state was operationalized in the study by the following questions: 13. In the work I have done with children, I have had a feeling of well being. 14. I have been nervous and experienced physical symptoms of anxiety while working with children. 15. I try to talk and explain my stress in order to get feedback from my colleagues. 16. At times when a child is being disruptive and not listenin g to me, I experienced sweaty palms and/or increased heart beat. This questionnaire also asked the participants for demographic information (gender, ethnicity, and a self rating of their level of understanding of the Montessori philosophy and methodology). These factors were selected for the purpose of the study because the researcher viewed them as empirically promising and theoretically interesting. The questionnaire is provided in Appendi x E Procedures The first step in this study was to determine the r eliability and validity of the PIP scales Using SPSS, factor analysis was conducted to determine how closely the items fit into the constructs they were designed to assess. As described above, the measure was designed to address four factors or components and four components were identified in the exploratory factor analysis, as shown in the rotate component matrix in Table 3. 1. In the table, items 1 through 4 were designed to load on a Mastery component associated

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75 with Component 1, items 5 through 8 wit h a Vicarious component associated with Component 2, items 9 through 12 with a Verbal or social persuasion component associated with Component 3 and items 13 through 16 with a Physiological arousal or emotional state component associated with Component 4. Table 3.1: Rotated component matrix Rotated Component Matrix Component 1 2 3 4 Q1 .700 .340 Q2 .568 .679 Q3 .785 Q4 .638 .404 .280 Q5 .925 Q6 .788 Q7 .807 Q8 .919 Q9 .869 Q10 .918 Q11 .262 .827 Q12 .414 .754 Q13 .702 .294 Q14 .832 Q15 .346 .496 .503 Q16 .342 .251 .787 Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.

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76 Items Measuring Mastery Items 2, 3 and 4 of the PIP survey (see above) fit well with measuring mastery. Item 1 did not fit well with items 2, 3 and 4 and item 4 also fit with Vicarious. Therefore items 1 and 4 were dropped. Items Measuring Vicarious Items 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the PIP survey had high loadings and fit together well. S o those were maintained on the scale. Items Measuring Verbal or Social Persuasion Items 11 and 12 of the PIP survey had high loadings and went well together So did items 9 and 10 and they fit together well but not on that construct and hence they were dr opped. Items Measuring Physiological Arousal or Emotional State Items 15 and 16 of the PIP survey went together well on that construct. Item 14 did not fit with 15 and 16 and so it was dropped.

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77 Table 3. 2: Second factor analysis r esults R otated Component Matrix a Component 1 2 3 4 Q2 .932 Q3 .749 .455 Q5 .938 Q6 .776 .296 Q7 .779 .358 Q8 .922 Q11 .949 Q12 .326 .876 Q15 .448 .670 Q16 .301 .826 .272 Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotat ion Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization. a. Rotation converged in 5 iterations.

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78 This is the second factor analysis, after omitting items 1, 4, 9, 10 and 14. The analysis supports the 4 dimensions. The only irregularity is item 3, which measures both emotional and mastery experiences. Next, the internal consistency reliability of each of the revised PIP scales was determined. This is shown in Table 3.3. Table 3.3: Internal consistency reliability of PIP scale Independent Variable N of items Mastery .429 2 Vicarious .902 4 Verbal .882 2 Emotional .460 2 The reliability Cronbachs alpha for Mastery was .429 which was very low. This construct s was .902. This This construct had very high reliability. The reliability alpha for emotional was .460. This construct had low reliability.

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79 Analysis T here were two stages to the analysis: comparing the pre and post results of the TSES, and using multiple regressions to address Research Question 1. The results of that analysis are presented in Chapter 4. The independent variables mastery experience; vica rious experience; verbal or social persuasion and physiological arousal or emotional state were chosen in order to attempt to quantify the influences on teacher self efficacy. These quantified relationships were compared to the relationships reported durin g the personal interviews. Qualitative Phase Setting and Participants After statistical analysis was completed, participants were identified. Since the standard deviation criterion was not possible (since there were not enough participants with extreme sco res), I selected the four highest and four lowest scoring participants. There were 4 people in the high efficacy group and 4 people in the low efficacy group ( Table 3 .3 ). From these identified participants, eight people from each group had agreed in advan ce to participate in the interview portion of the study. Thus, a purposeful sample of four participants from each of these categories (Creswell, 1998; Morse, 1991) was selected and email queries were sent. All four of the high efficacy participants respond ed to the email query, while only three of the low efficacy participants responded. The remaining one identified low efficacy teacher was then invited to participate in the

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80 interview and s/he agreed. Thus, four people from the high efficacy group and four people from the low efficacy group completed the interview process. Table 3.4: Mean scores. Mean Scores ( Pseudonyms used) High Efficacy Low Efficacy Jane 6 Jennifer 4.1 Lisa 5.71 Kathy 4 LeAnne 5.67 Carol 3.88 Torri 5.58 Maya 3.83 Mean of full set of TSES scores: 4.67 Standard Deviation of full set of TSES scores: 1.46 This analysis assumes that the h igh self efficac y teachers are truly high, and l ow self efficacy teachers are truly low, and that there is a reliable differe nce between them. Ideally, t he h igh self efficacy teachers should have TSES scores above 4.67 (mean) + 1.46 (stand ard deviation) = 6.13, and the l ow self efficacy teachers should have TSES scores between 4.67 1.46 = 3.21. In my study, none of the h igh self efficacy teachers are that high, but there is still a full standard deviation difference between the l owest h igh self ef ficacy teacher and the highest l ow self efficacy teacher.

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81 Data Collection A semi structured interview protocol was developed in order to guide the interview proc ess and help the researcher gain a deeper understanding of the influences on Montessori teacher self efficacy. The pro tocol is presented in Appendix G and the guiding questions are divided into four sections. Questions pertained to each of the independent variables and compared experiences of candidates whose efficacy declined or remained constant through the period of pre service The questions began with an attempt to put the candidate at ease: 1. Tell me about your Montessori training and elements of the co urse you enjoyed most. 2. Tell me about how you feel as a beginning Montessori teacher about to lead a class of children all by yourself? This moved into questions that compare d efficacy: 3. Tell me about what you have read that has influenced your teaching. (Mastery) 4. Do you think your mentor /advisor had an impact on your confidence as a teacher? How? (Vicarious) 5. Sometimes families and friends of students are supportive and sometimes they are not. How supportive are your fam ily and friends of you being a Montessori teacher? (Verbal)

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82 6. How do you deal with your stress and anxiety? (Physiological) Analysis The qualitative data analysis began with a determination of the participants who scored higher than and lower than one standa rd deviation above the mean on the TSES. As described above, interviews were conducted with four participants from each group. The interview data was transcribed and the investigator read each transcript three times and then set it aside for several days t reflective process allowed time for the investigator to capture the subtle nuances of meaning and the insights of intuitive understanding (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Berg, 2004; Charmaz, 2006). Analysis is an ongoing process that begins as soon as the data have been collected. I used an inductive process to search for possible meaning and discover patterns and connections that may exist among the interviews (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Berg, 2004; Charmaz, 20 06). The transcriptions were read a fourth time to discern patterns, themes or concepts, theoretical insights, and possibilities for an emerging model on the influences on self efficacy (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Berg, 2004; Charmaz, 2006). I used constant comparative analysis for my qualitative data analysis because I wanted to explore the general questions I posed using the entire dataset to identify underlying themes (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). This method of analysis is appropriate when the researcher i s attempting to gain an overall understanding of the data and wishes

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83 to develop a possible theme based on the data (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). The reason for identifying four high self efficacy and four low self efficacy participants was to try to discover h ow differences in their formative experiences led them to have high self efficacy or low self efficacy. Formatting Data into Tables Microsoft Word functions were used for analyzing the text. Miles and Huberman (1994) have made known that table structures are powerful tools for data analysis. Nancy R. LaPelle automated coding and inspection, creating hierarchies of code categories via indexing, global editing of theme codes, coding between face sheet codes and conceptual codes, quantifying the frequency of code column table, where each separate response of the participant was entered into a new row of the table. The interviewer questions were interspersed in bold in separate rows. Although the order of the columns is not significant, the first column was used for the categorical coding and the second column represents High or L ow efficacy level of the participant. The actual utterances of the interviewer and the participant are in the column three. A chronological sequence number is entered in column four for each separate response of the participant: portant as it allows you to return to the original sequence of utterances should you ever sort the table based on other co 3. 4 shows this initial formatting into a table.

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84 Table 3.5: Interview statements on teacher self e fficac y Level 1 Level 2 Text SEQ H Tell me about your Montessori training and elements of the course you enjoyed most. Probe: In what ways did the course impact you? Positively or negatively? 1 H I love learning how little minds think. I feel this is somethi ng I missed out in my Bachelors. It was not covered there. I think the course has impacted me positively. 2 H I have tried to apply some of the philosophy in the public education classroom where I currently teach. 3 H It has forced me to think outsid e the box. It makes me consider development a lot more in my classroom what children may or may not be ready for rather than what they will be tested in. 4 Coding Once the transcription in the tabular format was completed, I began to work with the codi ( Strauss & Corbin, 1990, p. 62). In preparation for the analysis, codes were created by read ing several of the interviews and noting themes that seemed to reoccur or that had some significance to the study. coding the data are broken down into discrete parts, closely examined, compared for simila rities and differences, and questions are asked about the phenomena as reflected in

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8 5 The analysis began with exa answers into chunks. Most of the chunks were about one or two sentences long; some longer sentences were divided into smaller chunks. I then assigned codes to the chunks using a deductive process. I f elt that assigning predetermined codes to the chunks might cause me to hear what I wanted to hear instead of what was actually stated. I took the main idea of the chunk in assigning a code to it and some times I took a key word. Table 3. 6 shows a sample of statements and the codes assigned to them. Table 3.6: Sample statements and codes assigned Level 1 Level 2 Text SEQ Tell me about your Montessori training and elements of the course you enjoyed most. Probe: In what ways did the course impact you? Posi tively or negatively? 1 5 I love learning how little minds think. I feel this is something I missed out in my Bachelors. It was not covered there. I think the course has impacted me positively. 2 1 I have tried to apply some of the philosophy in the p ublic education classroom where I currently teach. 3 5 It has forced me to think outside the box. It makes me consider development a lot more in my classroom what children may or may not be ready for rather than what they will be tested in. 4 I star ted by coding experiences that the High group reported that could have contributed to their strong efficacy and related those to the four Bandura constructs represented in the PIP instrument. I repeated the process with the Low group. Besides the categorie efficacy: mastery (1), vicarious (2), verbal (3) and emotional (4), other codes included knowledge of theory (5), familiarity

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86 with materials (6), pacing of training(7), new and different (8), past success as a stu to children (11), ESL difficulties (12) and small class size (13). The codes were created t seem to efficacy (mastery, vicarious, verbal and emotional) plus emergent codes coming from the intervie w data. Once the codes were created, I began to fill in the code column (Level 1) in the tables. When all of the text in a row fell into one category that had been defined, one theme code was added to the table. For example in Table 3. 7 clearly enough for the codes 13, 6, 8 and 1 to fit in.

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87 Table 3.7 : Coding Level 1 Level 2 Text SEQ Tell me about your Montessori training and elements of the course you enjoyed most. Probe: In what ways did the course impact you? Positively or negatively? 1 13 What I most enjoyed about my training was small class sizes; also the personal 1:1 ratio with the instructor for lessons and the questions about the lessons. 2 6 With this intimate setting I w as able to practice the lessons several times and ask the questions I needed to. This made me really comfortable when I went into the classroom to give lessons to the students. 3 8 I also really enjoyed the cultural area of the philosophy. It went into r eal depth unlike other training centers where I Literacy area and the Pink, Blue, Green Series. I think that is a new and marvelous way to teach children how to read and write. 4 1 The course did im pact me positively. Very much so. I feel like the course completely changed my life to be very honest. I had just come back from teaching in Ethiopia and I was lost. Did not know what I was going to do. I was teaching in a traditional classroom there and c ame here and taught in a Montessori classroom. And really felt it shifted my entire life. Not just my career path but my personal choices. Just sort of Montessori became engulfed in it in every facet of my life. Even down to the cleanliness of my house! 5 Sorting Data Tables and Finding Patterns Once the text was coded for themes, I moved onto the more complex analysis of searching and sorting the data for patterns. I started by comparing the experiences of Jane (the highest self efficacy teacher) and Kathy (the lowest self efficacy teacher). These two

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88 teachers are nearly two standard deviations apart in sel f efficacy. I created a table ( 3. 7 ) to compare their experiences. Table 3.8: High low efficacy c omparison Group Name Main Explanatory Themes H Jane School came easy to me. I did not really have to work hard to get those grades. So I guess my grades were my successes. (9.1) Technically I failed myself by not pushing myself harder but I did not fail anything. I could have done a lot better. It was not than I had ever done before. (9.1) H H H L Kathy Failures I was not the best in academics and I wanted to be the best. This really bothered me as I tried so hard.(9.2) L L L When this was completed and in a similar manner, I looked at the other participants an d added their responses (Table 3. 9 )

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89 Table 3.9: Responses Group Name Main Explanatory Themes H Jane School came easy to me. I did not really have to work hard t o get those grades. So I guess my grades were my successes. (9.1) Technically I failed myself by not pushing myself harder but I did not fail anything. I could have done a lot better. It was not arder than I had ever done before. (9.1) H Lisa Many of those! Successes I was a very hard worker in school. Giving up was never an option. Even though I was in several special education classes, I still wanted to do my best. I worked very hard because I knew I wanted to go to college. I had fairly decent grades. (9.1) going to happen. I had to learn that in most cases I was going to get a B or a C. I had to learn to compromise with that. It hu rt my feelings a lot. I learned to become ok with it because I knew I was working to the best of my ability and I never gave up. (9.1) H LeAnne Academically I was very good. I was good in all areas. I got good grades throughout. (9.1) H Torri Successes Varsity swim team and tennis. Lots of volunteer work. Went to a Catholic High School and there were always opportunities to do volunteer work. We went to shelters, etc. (9.2) L Kathy Failures I was not the best in academics and I wanted to be the best. This really bothered me as I tried so hard.(9.2) L Maya I was very weak in anything to do with Math. Actually I did not pass any High School Math. But because I had so many credits, my grades were so high in other subjects, I passed with Honors. (9.2)

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90 T a b l e 3 9 C O N T L C arol In high school there was a major event in my life. I studied in a Catholic school since Kindergarten in a small city in the mountains. I moved to Rio, a big city to go to school. It was also a Catholic school but it was a shock to me. I did not do we ll at all. My parents recognized it and moved me to a smaller school. I then did much better. That other school was all about grades and the emphasis was on passing for the exam. I just paralyzed. The other school had more of the social aspect although it was a Catholic school too. Spiritual education too it was more in sync with what I had grown up with. I did very well once I changed the school. (9.2) L Jennifer The successes were never very much encouraged. If we were doing something well it was kind of acknowledged but in a very neutral way. What was acknowledged was if you were not doing well. Parents were always encouraging but we had some very tough teachers. Especially in Latin our teachers were very tough. They used to tell us that if we were not good in Latin we would never be a support of society. And somewhere that struck a very deep chord. You try to shake it off but I have been carrying it for so long. The time we take in the morning when we reflect, I take the time to speak about what has bee n bothering me. I find myself shedding the whole skin. I feel like a fresh new baby. Montessori Method gives me such passion it is such a positive way to teach the children. I do not want t o treat the children the but I do not want to teach that way. (9.2) Comparisons and Assertions I then co mpared the coded themes of the high group and the l ow group to determine how they wer e different. As the analysis proceeded, I searched for saturation of repetitive patterns and the links between them (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994; Berg, 2004; Charmaz, 2006). In order to maintain control over the data, I organized interview content

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91 into separate files according to each code and theme. These files, organized around specific codes and themes, facilitated content analysis (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994; Berg, 2004; Charmaz, 2006). I was able to arrive at four assertions that summarized how the participants explained their own confidence or lack of confidence and what the systematic differences are between high TSES candidates and low TSES candidates. Cross Method Analysis The next chapter will elaborate upon the results of the data analysis methods present ed in this chapter. It focuses on comparing the results of the two methods (qualitative and quantitative) employed. The two types of data are combined and analyzed to arrive at findings and conclusions with the aim being to show where these methods yielded similar or new information. The two approaches (statistical and interview based) are examined to see if they gave a consistent explanation: for example, if the level of efficacy of the participants was best explained by previous experiences working with c hildren that they interpreted as evidence that they had developed mastery of instructional techniques that equipped them to work successfully with hard to reach children or perhaps different explanations that ranged from perhaps the quantitative analysis e mphasizing the importance of mastery experience but the interviews placing more importance on verbal feedback from mentors of supervisors. At the end of the chapter the information will be synthesized, tying together all of the data into an integrated whol e.

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92 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Introduction The purpose of this mixed methods research study was to investigate the influences on self efficacy for Montessori teachers. Quantitatively, the study examined the level of teacher self efficacy and its influences. Each of these influences was further explored through qualitative semi structured interviews with the participants from the quantitative pool. At the completions of the quantitative analysis, I identified individual participants who scored one standard deviation above and below the mean score on teacher efficacy. I then selected four high efficacy and four low efficacy interview participants. I structured the interviews in order to gain more information of each of the potential influences on teacher self efficacy. The following research questions were explored: 1. Do the independent variables of mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal or social persuasion and physiological arousal significantly predict self efficacy among Montessori pre service teachers? 2. Ho w do Montessori pre service teachers with high and low levels of self efficacy explain the influences of mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal or social persuasion and physiological arousal on their level of teaching efficacy? In addition, seve ral secondary research questions were also examined:

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93 3. between pre service and those that have completed their in service? 4. Do the teachers with high levels of self efficacy repo rt different influences than te achers with low levels of self efficacy? This chapter first reports the results of the quantitative analyses, followed by the results of the qualitative analyses. Quantitative Results Research Question 1 In order to answer qu antitative research question 1 ( Do the independent variables of mastery experience vicarious experience, verbal or social persuasion and physiological arousal significantly predict self efficacy among Montessori pre service teachers ? ), I employed multipl e regression, with the total TSES efficacy score serving as the dependent variable and the four PIP subscales serving as independent variables. Model Summary Taken together, the PIP variables were strongly predictive of efficacy. The model yielded a multi ple correlation coefficient (R) of .838, an R square of .702, and an adjusted R square of .632 (p. <.001). Hence between 63% and 70% of the variance in efficacy can be predicted by the four PIP variables.

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94 Of the four PIP variables, two predicted self efficacy in significant ways, Mastery and Emotional (Table 4.10) The standardized beta coefficients suggest that Mastery predicts self experiences as the second best predictor of self .367, p <.015). The coefficient for Emotional is negative because the scale assigns higher values to negative experience physical symptoms of anxiety while working when a child was being disruptive and not listening to me, I experienced sweaty palms or Table 4.10: Coefficients Coefficients a Model Unstandard ized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients T Sig. B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) 87.224 43.777 1.992 .063 Mastery 18.243 3.657 .695 4.989 .000 Vicarious 1.485 1.862 .117 .797 .436 Verbal .620 3.868 .024 .160 .875 Emotional 6.691 2.462 .367 2.718 .015 a. Dependent Variable: TSE2STotal

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95 Research Question 3 In order to answer research question 3 ( What is the difference in scores on the service and those that have completed their in service? ), I was not able to use a t test for dependent variable to analyze the change in efficacy from pre to post because it is not possible to identify the individuals in order to match their pre and post scores. Consequently, I computed the mean and st andard deviation of each administration of the TSE S. These are reported in Table 4. 11 Table 4.11: TSES survey r esults Variance n Mean Standard Deviation TSES1 1345.00 33 157.94 36.67 TSES 2 1223.86 22 169.64 34.98 d for the effect size measure of the change from pre to post (Table 4.12) d is computed by dividing the mean difference between groups by the pooled standard deviation. The difference in means (169.64 157.94) was 11.7. I then divided this by the pooled standard devia tion (36.01). The answer was .32. According to Jacob Cohen (1998) this would be a small to medium effect.

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96 d d Interpretation 0.2 Small 0.5 Medium 0.8 Large This means that teachers that had completed their in service rep orted a moderately higher level of self efficacy. Qualitative Results In order to answer research Question 2 (How do Montessori pre service teachers with high and low levels of self efficacy explain the influences of mastery experiences, vicarious experie nce, verbal or social persuasion and physiological arousal have affected their level of teaching efficacy?) and Question 4 (Do the teachers with high levels of self efficacy report different influences than teachers with low levels of self efficacy?), I c onducted eight interviews exploring the influences on Montessori teacher self efficacy. I asked four participants who scored high on teacher self efficacy and four participants who scored low on teacher self efficacy a variety of questions designed to exam ine possible efficacy influences. The interview protocol is presented in Appen dix G A question of how you feel as a beginning Montessori teacher about to lead a class of children all by yourself is presented in Table 4. 13

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97 Table 4.13: Transcript of interview with one high and one low self efficacy p articipant -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------High Participant I feel confident but also at the same time I am a bit nervous. Working with children and taking care of them is such a huge responsibility. I think the more you learn of Child Development and Montessori Philosophy the more you feel you do not know! I am constantly thinking of the children in my classroom and what lessons I should be and how best to meet their needs. Low Participant I am feeling m have been given the tools for it and I am slowly gaining in confidence. Of course I need a lot more pr actice with the materials and then working with the children. _______________________________________________________________________

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98 Constant Comparative Analysis In order to analyze the data produced from the eight interviews, I conducted constant comp arative analysis on the low efficacy group and the high efficacy group. This method of analysis is appropriate when the researcher is attempting to gain an overall understanding of the data and wishes to develop a possible theme based on the data. The anal ysis begins with examining the data line by line. While this method is similar to Classical Content Analysis in the use of in vivo coding of each line, Constant Comparative Analysis has the researcher reusing in vivo or personal codes that apply to later t ext. The codes I used are presented in Table 4. 14

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99 Table 4.14: Codes used for qualitative data a nalysis Mastery (1) Vicarious (2) Verbal (3) Emotional (4) Knowledge of theory (5) Familiarity with materials (6) Pacing of training (7) New and different (8) Past success as a student (9.1) Frustration as a student (9.2) Attitude to children (11) ESL difficulties (12) Small class size (13) After all coding is completed; the researcher then searches the data for patterns with the intention of finding similarities or differences I was able to arrive at five findings that summarized how the participants explained their own confidence or lack of conf idence and what the systematic differences are between high TSES candidates and low TSES candidates.

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100 Primary Findings I will list each of the findings first and then describe how I arrived at them. 1. High self e fficacy teachers felt that high school was rel a tively easy and they faced fewer obstacles. On the other hand, l ow self efficacy teachers felt that had many challenges. 2. All teachers showed a close relationship with their mentor. 3. The lead into Montessori for high self efficacy teachers was directly targe ted at them. For the low self efficacy teachers the lead was a secondary influence. 4. Literacy in the Montessori curriculum resonated with the high self efficacy teachers. Low self efficacy teachers did not mention anything specific. 5. High self efficacy stude nts had teaching experiences in which they felt successful with difficult/challenging students. Finding 1 The group of high self e fficacy teachers reported that high school was rel atively easy for them and they faced few obstacles. They felt extremely prou d of their the group of l ow self efficacy teachers felt that had many challenges in high school. One of the teachers in this group spoke and another expressed her frustration at not being good academically and how this really

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101 data support this theme: Finding # Group Name Quotes from interviews 1 High Jane School came easy to me. I did not really have to work hard to get those grades. So I guess my grades were my successes. 1 High Lisa Successes many of those! I was a very hard worker in school. Giving up was never an option. Even though I was in several special education classes, I still wanted to do my best. I worked very hard because I knew I wanted to go to college. I had fairly decent grades. 1 High LeAnne Academicall y I was very good. I was good in all areas. I got good grades throughout. 1 High Torri Successes Varsity swim team and tennis. Lots of volunteer work. Went to a Catholic High School and there were always opportunities to do volunteer work. We went to sh elters, etc. 1 Low Maya Successes well, I graduated with honors from High School. Very strong in English, journalism, year book, etc. These were important successes for me. But I was very weak in anything to do with Math. Actually I did not pass any Hi gh School Math. But because I had so many credits, my grades were so high in other subjects, I passed with Honors. 1 Low Carol In high school there was a major event in my life. I studied in a Catholic school since Kindergarten in a small city in the moun tains. I moved to Rio, a big city to go to school. It was also a Catholic school but it was a shock to me. I did not do well at all. My parents recognized it and moved me to a smaller school. I then did much better. That other school was all about grades a nd the emphasis was on passing for the exam. I just paralyzed. The other school had more of the social aspect although it was a Catholic school too. Spiritual education too it was more in sync with what I had grown up with. I did very well once I changed t he school. 1 Low Kathy I was not the best in academics and I wanted to be the

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102 best. This really bothered me as I tried so hard. 1 Low Jennifer The successes were never very much encouraged. If we were doing something well it was kind of acknowledged but in a very neutral way. What was acknowledged was if you were not doing well. Parents were always encouraging but we had some very tough teachers. Especially in Latin our teachers were very tough. They used to tell us that if we were not good in Latin we w ould never be a support of society. And somewhere that struck a very deep chord. You try to shake it off but I have been carrying it for so long. The time we take in the morning when we reflect, I take the time to speak about what has been bothering me. I find myself shedding the whole skin. I feel like a fresh new baby. with a general sense of efficacy based on their prior academic experiences, we need to pay attention to coa ching them through experiences in order to prove that they are capable. Finding 2 Both high and low self efficacy teachers showed a close relationship with their mentor and had numerous positive experiences to share. They believed these experiences made a huge difference in their teaching by providing them with lessons, feedback and teaching examples. They were able to talk to their mentors and problem solve specific issues. One teacher reported that they met once a week to go over lesson planning and the i mplementation of lessons. Another thought that she learned a great deal from just watching her mentor interact in the classroom. They all believed that this strong

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103 relationship with their mentor impacted their confidence as a teacher. The following quotes from the data support this theme: Finding # Group Name Quotes from interviews 2 High Jane My mentor has had a big impact on me as a teacher. She shows me everything and supports me. She makes me feel so confident. I love discussing Montessori with her! S he is always encouraging and telling me I will make a good Montessori teacher. She provides me with positive feedback and that helps me a lot. 2 High Lisa We are very close and as the course progressed we have become closer and that always helps. Absolut ely she impacted my confidence as a teacher. Always showing faith in me as a teacher. 2 High LeAnne My mentor and I would meet at least once a week. But she was always there for me. She had a very good impact on me and helped my confidence grow. I knew she was always there. She would give me the whole class to handle. She would sit back and watch. This gave me a lot of confidence. Everything was an advantage of the mentor experience and I will keep in contact with her. 2 High Torri She was very support ive. She really allowed me to find to study for the practical exams as well. Overall it has been very positive. 2 Low Maya Yes my mentor/advisor ha s had a big impact on me as a teacher. She has had an impact on me in the way that sometimes she knows better than me what I am ready for and encourages me to stretch myself. And is always respectful in guiding me. As opposed to making me feel know. Guiding me in a quiet way. In the way you would expect a good teacher to guide a child. To give me confidence. She encourages in me to find my own creativity. Was able to tap into my own reserves as a result of watching her. In other words I was ins pired to reach deeper into myself as I watched her. 2 Low Carol She is very awesome. She has a lot of experience. She impacted me positively in my confidence as a teacher.

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104 2 Low Kathy She helped me a lot. She was very direct and that helped me a lot. She was never afraid to tell me when I was doing something wrong or was not good or if I had to change something. That was very helpful. 2 Low Jennifer Yes, my mentor had an impact on my confidence. We always have great discussions. When I talk with her, I f ind this passion coming up. She understands where I am coming from and she is able to appreciate that I have understood. Of course I will keep in contact with her. Th is finding is important for educators as it draws attention to the importance of mentori ng relationships for interns. An intern becomes aware of his/her potential areas of growth through supervision and feedback. Positive feedback will enhance a positive attitude in the student and constant supervision will lead to the growth of specific trai ts and effectiveness as a teacher. It is also important that the supervisor model the traits of an effective teacher. Hence the way in which an internship is managed will have an influence on the development of a self efficacious teacher. The value of a go od mentor is immeasurable as both the high and low self efficacy teachers in this study have attributed their confidence to their mentor teacher as the greatest influence on their development from intern to teaching professional. Finding 3 The lead into Mo ntessori for h igh self efficacy teachers was directly targeted at them. A college teacher affirmed strongly external influence impacted the teacher by giving her the confidence that she was going to be good at this. It made her go into the program better prepared and she was ready to

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105 ow self e fficacy students the entry into Montessori was a secondary influence and mostly self initiated They did not have t he strong external influence that made up for the very positive attitude of the high self efficacy teachers. The following quotes from the data support this theme: Finding # Group Name Quotes from interviews 3 High Jane My son. When I put him in a Montess ori school, I saw the differences in him. I watched him and how fast he grew overnight. His teacher is amazing and her excitement as she tells me what he is doing. The excitement of the teachers and how they love their jobs makes me feel that I want to wor k there. The teachers in the school said this would come naturally to me and that I was ready for the training. 3 High Lisa I think Dr. Horner. A teacher in College. He brought up Montessori in a child development class. We did a little research on it. I went in afterwards and asked him if he thought this was a good fit for me. And he looked few other teachers to become a teacher. 3 High LeAnne I wa s looking for schools for my son and I heard about Montessori from my sister who thought it was a good for my son. When I was touring all the schools the philosophy of Montessori really struck out to me. It was different. I thought this was a good fit for me and I was ready to try it out. 3 High Torri Ms. Pearl. She has been teaching Montessori for 26 years. When I went into her classroom as an assistant I did not understand what she was doing necessarily but I thought it was amazing. I saw it was working but I did not know what she was doing. That was my first introduction to spurring my interest.

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106 3 Low Maya Myself. When I started working in a Montessori classroom as an assistant. I was working under a teacher who was about 22 years old. She had got an on line Montessori certificate. Occasionally in team meetings, I would ask questions or make a comment. I would be told or I would over hear others saying about that I was not respected for my knowledge I realized I did not know Montessori. Then I started researching classes and courses. It was really just me. And you know after a couple of months the administration wanted me to take classes. They may have seen that I had it in me to be a good teacher. But I always felt that they thought I never measured up. So it was always me. I felt like I had to prove myself. 3 Low Carol This person, Ellie, influenced me to become a Montessori teacher. I could not believe the daycare my son was at. I started to ques tion a lot of things. Why he had to be in a bouncy chair all day when he could walk. He would cry and cry and no one would pick him up. I decided to do some research and came across Montessori. I found Infant training in Boulder the teacher had opened an infant community in her house. When I stepped into this house, I was totally amazed. It was a prepared environment for this age group. She was very well trained and was very passionate. She just inspired me and I thought I could do this. I looked around f or training and that is how I came to it. 3 Low Kathy When I came here from Colombia I was a nanny. The children went to a Montessori school. I liked how they did things and how they learned. They were very bright kids. I wanted to know why they were like that. How the school was like. I was curious how they learned. Then I started to read about it and that introduced me to Montessori. 3 Low Jennifer Probably the tough time I had in my own school. I needed the life experiences I have to fully give the chi ld what I think the child deserves and needs to have. I hope that my experiences can help the child and that is why I chose to be trained as a Montessori teacher.

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107 This finding is important for educators as it draws attention to the fact that students co me to Montessori training from all walks of life and with all sorts of experiences behind them. Some have thought about the training for a while and others might not have put a lot of thought into it. It is important to know the background of the students and what brought them to Montessori. During the enrollment interview it is best to find out how serious the student is and if this is something they really want to do or it is a passing fancy. If it is the latter than it is best to show them that they belo ng here and that this is a niche for them. They will require a lot of encouragement and it will be necessary to keep them motivated by giving them more frequent feedback and building up their confidence. Finding 4 Literacy in the Montessori curriculum res onated with the h igh self efficacy teachers Of all the curriculum areas in a Montessori classroom, literacy is the one area that all students can relate to. We have all learned to read and write and we all have an opinion on how good or bad the reading an d writing scheme was. This helps us relate to this area by showing us how similar it is in its objectives and yet how different can be the way in which the objectives are met. Other areas are very Montessori based but literacy strikes a balance between con forming to the traditional model and arriving at it in a totally different, more effective way. Hence the difference is more tangible. Moreover the efficiency of the area in how the children learn and excel is obviously clear to them worked so hard wi th him. Today he is reading and journal writing The low self efficacy

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108 teachers did not mention anything specific that resonated with them in the Montessori curriculum. The following quotes from the data support this theme: Finding # Group Name Quotes fro m interviews 4 H Jane I lack knowledge in science and social studies because I have not really taught them in the public schools where I currently work. But I love those subjects and if I had to teach them, it would come easy to me. I could easily learn a bout them and then teach them. Right now I teach reading, writing and math only. 4 H Lisa I got into Montessori in College and now have found that I really enjoy it and it is a place for me to become a teacher. I have enjoyed a lot of the subjects of Mont essori. So far my favorite is Literacy. Coming from a background of learning to read using phonics, it makes so much sense to introduce it at such a young age. Literacy area. Getting to know the materials better and the lessons that go with it has made me more confident. Literacy because of past learning has been difficult for me. I was worried about the area. I have dyslexia. strong reader. So teaching someone else to read makes me very nervous. Learni ng a different method to teach the children has led to my confidence. 4 H LeAnne One of my Pre K children who did not know even one sound when I began teaching in his class. To begin with he would not even come near me. He would not listen to me. He wo uld walk away from me. I worked so hard with him. Today he is reading and journal writing. In Math too he is doing well. It is beautiful to see now. I am happy. I am thankful.

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109 4 H Torri I also really enjoyed the cultural area of the philosophy. It went in to real depth unlike other training centers enjoyed the Literacy area and the Pink, Blue, Green Series. I think that is a new and marvelous way to teach children how to read and write. 4 Low Maya Well, I felt very successful when I had a child read at the farm table. I have never had a child read with me. I doing. 4 Low Carol 4 Low Kathy 4 Low Jennifer This finding is important for educator s because it shows the importance when students are struggling and lacking in confidence to take them into familiar territory and helping them to see the effectiveness of the Montessori teaching tools. If the teacher has an opportunity to practice with the materials and actually work with the children her/his confidence will increase. This is true of the low self efficacy teacher who expressed how read with me Findi ng 5 The teachers from the high self efficacy group shared teaching experiences in which they felt successful with difficult/challenging students. These experiences have had many benefits to teacher self efficacy. They believe they have become stronger tea chers because of it and report having additional teaching skills; more knowledge of different teaching methods and a greater ability to diagnose student problems. A resilient

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110 sense of efficacy develops as a result of overcoming obstacles through perseveran t effort and sustaining effort no matter what the setbacks and difficulties are. This was by far the strongest difference between the high and low self efficacy teachers. The low self efficacy teachers revealed the belief that they are becoming more confid ent and comfortable with their new roles as Montessori teachers but lack much teaching experience. The one teacher in the low self efficacy group that has had more experience showed a confidence that none of the others in her group had. All the teachers in this group revealed a sense of intimidation but their expectations for themselves included an increase in efficacy and confidence along with better familiarity with the Montessori teaching apparatus. The following quotes from the data support this theme: Finding # Group Name Quotes from interviews 5 High Jane I do not deal with stress very well. I do yoga almost daily. I think yoga is a way of life and is a mental thing not just a physical thing. I do not deal with stress very well and that is why I am ch anging my career. With NCLB it just gets worse every year. I thought when I moved from Arizona to Colorado and worked in the best school, it would be different. But that is not so. They are just numbers on a piece of paper and their feelings and abilities are not taken into consideration. This year at this school was the worst. Never before have I not had a Principal not like me. I moved from Arizona and after 14 years of teaching in public schools I felt as though this was my first year! I was making a lot of mistakes with the technology. There was not much training. Nobody was helpful. The beginning of this year was really tough and I felt like the worst teacher on the face of the planet. My main goal is to get them to believe in themselves and I th ink I can do this. I have one student who in the beginning of the year wanted to quit. She is in 6 th grade and she was not

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111 doing anything. I spoke to her and asked her what she was doing. She said she wanted to quit school. So I gave her the rough talk. I told her not to wait around for a guy to take care of her for good guys did not want uneducated girls. Later in class she yelled at me and said I do not want anger management. I told her I was not a counselor but just her teacher and I was trying to help her. That was it. She totally switched and she is now a star student. Her spelling has improved. She is trying so hard. It makes it all worthwhile. She is the one I remember most and I know I c an do the same with other children. 5 High Lisa I do babysitting as well and some of the activities we have learned in school has helped a lot with the sometimes difficult kids. It takes a lot of practice to know them (Montessori materials) and with that knowledge I will be able to reach out to the most difficult students. I worked with a child that was not engaging in any activity on Pink Box 1. I went all the way through and felt she understood what we were doing and wanted to do it on her own. That mad e me feel really good and confident. 5 High LeAnne Fairly confident. I think I have achieved quite a lot am working in. I had some challenging kids and I was able to work with them fairly well. My director said I am doing well with them. We have kids with ADHD, dyslexia, etc and I am doing my best to work with them and get the best out of them. The parents are very happy too. This ki d has all kinds of issues sensory integration, dyslexia, ADHD. I would work with him well over the week and he would make some progress. Then the weekend would come and on Monday we would have to start all over again. This was so discouraging and dishear tening for me but I never gave up. 5 High Torri Yes. I have a child in our classroom, that has behavioral issues and I did not know how to deal with

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112 it. I feel like I should have maybe done some more research. I feel like I could have taken a few more ste ps back. Even now I have some children that definitely have some deviations that I need to take a step back and find out how to help them. Am I meeting their needs? What are their needs? What should I be doing? I am learning new things all the time not o nly from others but also from bumps in the road that I face. I am always thinking a lesson could have gone better I could have prepared the lesson better understanding and getting to know the children and their needs makes me look at the materials from a different perspective. But it is a lifetime of learning. 5 Low Maya I am only now beginning to understand the children and their capabilities. I can see now how much they can be. I feel like I am learning along with them. 5 Low Carol My confidence has increased in all areas. I started new. I was not a traditional teacher. I had not worked with children before. There is nothing I had to unlearn and learn again. 5 Low Kathy I think well. I feel good because it is not like teaching them the areas but fol lowing them. You can change the presentation to suit the needs of the child. If one kid needs more interaction and the other kid needs something else, we need to change the method of teaching them. I feel good because I think I can find a way. I have had t he opportunity of teaching lots of kids and I had good feedback from them. 5 Low Jennifer Of course I need a lot more practice with the materials and then working with the children. Montessori teachers with high self efficacy explain the influence of ma stery experience as having most affected t heir level of teaching efficacy. They have had a lot more experience working with children than teachers with low self efficacy. They have handled difficult children and view challenging situations as tasks to be m astered. They

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113 recover quickly from setbacks and disappointments as the teacher explained who worked again on Monday. She did not shy away from the situation but r ather took upon herself a problem that had to be worked upon. Her success in the past with this situation gave her the confidence in her personal abilities. It impacted the way she set goals and tasks for herself and how she felt she could succeed in the s ituation. Qualitative and Quantitative Results The results of this study (both qualitative and quantitative) indicate that Montessori teachers with high levels of self efficacy exhibit strong mastery experiences that account for the way they feel, and th e goals they want to accomplish. This is consistent with the quantitative portion of the study as well as the qualitative which goes beyond what emerged in the quantitative analysis by validating the importance of mastery experiences to develop a strong se nse of self efficacy. The quantitative results showed Emotional state (Bandura, 1998) associated with past experiences as the second best predictor of self efficacy However, the interviews with the participants did not provide further insight into the qu antitative finding.

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114 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Introduction The purpose of the present study i s to gain a better understanding of the influence s on a Montessori teacher level of self efficacy. Specifically, I am interested in how we can prepare guides/ tea chers that believe in themselves and their ability to handle the children when they enter the classroom. Since developing efficacy in teachers that lack confidence in themselves is quite challenging, it is important to see how we can break down these barri ers during the training itself ( Labone, 2004 ). This is what dre w my attention to this topic of research. The research questions guiding this study depend on identifying specific efficacy influences, and on exploring the differences between high and low ef ficacy participants. The research design was chosen in order to predict the influences, add to the current knowledge base and to impact teacher education and professional development programs. The leading objectives of this mixed methods inquiry were to ( a) build a statistical model that significantly predicts the influences on Montessori pre efficacy; (b) qualitatively examine the influences on Montessori teacher efficacy; and (c) gain a better understanding of the multiple influenc es on students who exhibit high and low self efficacy. This chapter explores the results of the study through four main sections: (a) the outcomes of the study in relation to existing literature ; (b) the implications of the findings; (c) the limitations of the study ; and (d) suggestions for additional research.

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115 Interpretation of Findings In this section, I will explore the quantitative and qualitative study results of the main influences on teacher self efficacy and the important differences between high a nd low efficacy Montessori teachers. Albert Bandura claimed learning environments her ability to impact the learning experience known ndura, 1997). efficacy influences of mastery (content knowledge an d previous teaching experience); vicarious experience (or mentor support); verbal persuasion (or encouragement from colleagues and comparable others) ; and physiological arous al (or internal sources such as anxiety and stress) each contributed to overall self efficacy levels, but the findings of this study indicate that mastery is the best predicator of efficacy According to the study, p hysiological arousal is the next best pr edicator of efficacy. The findings also show that there are three direct influences on Mon tessori teacher self efficacy: knowledge of theory; classroom experience; and mentor s upport. A reconstructed conceptual fram ework depicting the direct influences on Montessori teacher self efficacy is presented in Figure 5. 5.

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116 Figure 5.5: Rec onstructed conceptual framework Develop an understanding of Montessori philosophy and start a journey of spiritual preparation in Develop knowledge of child de velopment and learn the art of sustained and meaningful observation of the child. Develop an understanding of the prepared environment and how it facilitates independent learning and exploration by the child. Content knowledge and prev ious teaching experience Mentor support Internal sources, e.g., stress and anxiety Encouragement from colleagues and comparable others Devel op an understanding give presentations in a simple and precise manner. TEACHER SELF EFFICACY Student engagement Instructional strategies Classroom management Vicarious experience Verbal or social persuasion Verbal or social persuasion Physiological arousal

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117 efficacy with matters of importance to the teache rs introduced during their interviews. Although, t hese they do give insights into processes associated with teacher preparation and with what contributed to their efficacy levels. The first source, m astery experience refers to the interpretations individuals make of their past performances. he most effective way of developing a 1995, p.3) Performing a task successfully stren gthens efficacy; h owever, failing to adequately deal with a task or challenge can undermine and weaken that sense The best mastery experiences should take time and effort to accomplish. People who experience only quick and ea sy successes may actually be hurting themselves. If a more challenging task arises, it may cause the person to become frustrated and stressed, thereby decreasing his or her self efficacy. that interpretations of past performance serv e as a st rong indicator of self efficacy was confirmed in stu dies on the sources of student self efficacy (Usher & Pajares, 2008). When students can actually see themselves coping effectively with difficult situations, their sense of mastery is heightened As one of the high self efficacy teachers indicated in her interview in this study I am f airly confident. I think I working in. I had some challenging kids and I was able t o work with them fairly well She credited her training for her confidence : internship has given me a lot of confide nce. The curriculum covered 100 percent of

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118 everything that is required in the school that I am teachin g in This study shows that knowledge of Montessori philosophy methodology and teaching experience gradually lead s to higher self efficacy. For example, a teacher favorably interprets being successful in helping a student increased her sense of self eff icacy. On the other han d, failures in the classroom lowered The second source, vicarious experience, refers to the experience gained by observing the successes and failures of others. As Bandura eeing people similar to oneself succeed by su stained effort raises observers beliefs that they too possess the capabilities to master comparable act ivities required 1995, p.3 ). Thus, according to Bandura, a person forms beliefs in his own efficacy when he watches someone simi lar model the desired behavior. For example, films and videotapes have been used successfully to encourage socially withdrawn children to interact with other children. The child viewing the film sees a model child some one much l ike himself experience success and comes to believe that he can also do the same thing (Conger & Keane, 1981). Common examples of vicarious experiences enhancing self efficacy include advertisements for weight loss and smoking cessation programs that feat ure testimonials from successful people. Teachers in this current study observed the performance of their colleagues to evaluate their relative capabilities and to draw confidence from that experience In other words, they were able to identify closely wi th their mentor and their self efficacy grew from observing and modeling her/him. Researchers suggest that beginning teachers with higher levels of induction support compared to those with lower levels of support are more likely to view their jobs as

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119 manag eable; to report that they can te ach the most difficult students; and to indicate that they are successful in providing education to special needs students (Billingsley et. al., 2004). The persuasive messages individuals receive from others (verbal or soc ial persuasion) is the third source examined in this study Bandura asserted that people could be persuaded to believe they have the ski lls and capabilities to succeed; p ositive messages typically boost self efficacy, whereas negative appraisals tend to be discouraging. Bandura elaborated by determining eople who are persuaded verbally that they possess the capabilities to master given activities are likely to mobilize greater effort and sustain it than if they harbor self doubts and dwell on personal def iciencies 1995, p. 4) This is likely why teachers who think they have very supportive principals are less stressed and are more committed to and satisfied with their jobs as compared to those who perceive less support (Billingsley & Cross, 1992). In this study encouragement fr om colleagues and peers modified how capable the new teachers felt in their jobs which affected their perceptions of efficacy. This gradu ally led to a sense of confidence in being a ble to prepare an environmen t, self assuredly understanding the needs of the children and meeting them with a classroom that facilitates independent learning and exploration by the child. Positive verbal messages c an have a big impact here and are able to persuade the individual to p ut in that extra effort when faced with difficult tasks. As one of the high self efficacy teacher [mentor] was very supportive. She really allow ed me to find that

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120 You can do those math materials you know The final source of self efficacy, p hysiological and emotional states, refers to an somatic and affective responses regarding their performance. Moods, emotional states, physical reactions, and stress levels can all impact how a person feels about their personal abil ities in a particular situation; e xcessive stress or anxiety can convince a teacher she do es not have the s kills necessary to carry out her job successfully. For example, the multiple pressures on special education teachers pose legitimate concerns for increased stress, which has been associated with burnout and teacher attrition (Billingsley et. al. 2004; Boyer & Gillespie, 2000). not the sheer intensity of emotional and physical reacti ons that is important but rather (1995, p. 5) As seen in this research study, g rasping Montessori simple and precise manner reduce s anxiety and improv e s sense of self efficacy whereas struggling with the material presentations can have a negative impact on self efficacy. These sources are further explored under the following categories: acquiring knowledge of Montes sori philosophy and me thodology; classroom experience and familiarity with the material ; and mentor support.

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121 Acq uiring K nowledge of Montessori Philosophy and M ethodology acy is a materialized pedagogy in which educational knowledge is presented to childre n in multimodal form. Designed for use by children from birth to twelve years old the objects manifest a curriculum that scaffolds incrementally and systematically across all the subject areas. Students training to be Montessori teachers receive knowledge of her philosophy and methodology through lectures, demonstrations and practice sessions. On the basis of notes taken during the training sessions, students compile albums of Montessori theory, materials and procedures. The albums become a component of ultimately a resource from which their future practice is based. Other components of the assessment include essays and observations that display an understanding of Montessori principles and most importantly, an extended ora l and written examination that asks students to demonstrate any of the materials from memory in order to display their mastery of the pedagogy. To prepare teachers for the challenging role she outlined for them, Montessori devised a thorough training cours e based on a deep understanding of content knowledg e As Montessori aptly noted adults provide clear limits but set children free within those boundaries, and sensitively respond to aining high expectations, children show high levels of maturity, achievement, empathy, and other desirable characteristics (Lillard, 2005, p. 32 T his study clarifies that knowledge of Montessori theory and materials leads to

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122 mastery experiences. Som e teachers with unusually high levels of efficacy spoke about content knowledge as contributing to their confidence As one of the high efficacy which is why I say I would not change the exams because it taught me a lot. I can now see it in practicality in the classroom heir knowledge of child development theories and ability to deal with children as effectively as possible contributed to t heir mastery experience s and a high level of self efficacy. R esearchers e found that pre service teacher efficacy beliefs are enhanced by university courses that provide student teachers with hands on activities, experience writing lesson plans, or opportu nities to teach brief lessons (Cantrell, Young, & Moore, 2003; Watters & Ginns, 2000). The results of this study also indicate that some of the high self efficacy teachers felt a strong need to keep learning and becoming experts in their field. As one of t he efficacy teachers did not demonstrate any desire for additional learning opportunities. Classr oom Experience and Familiarity with the Materials In this study teacher self efficacy increased through classroom experience. The high self efficacy group which acknowledged the effect of material proficiency on their level of confidence, had significan tly more classroom experience t han the low self efficacy group. As a high efficacy teacher in this study

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123 with the Montessori materials. It takes a lot of practice to use them well and with that knowledge I will be able to reach out to the most difficult students specific understanding through repeated use and in the context of other materials, selected to avoid most redundancy, and quantified to allow mastery in about three years Unlike teacher training programs that give trainees a theoretical orientation to their work, teacher training in Montessori is intensely practical. This is because the Montesso ri Method is primarily a hands on approach to learning where the objects are designed to capture and to hold the attention of children As a result, teacher trainees must spend a lot of time working with the ma terials and understanding them; in turn, the f amiliarity with the materials builds their confidence to give flawless presentations to the children. The completed albums of the teacher trainees with lesson plans and diagrams, become a theory of practice that remains the groundwork of teaching througho ut their careers. These albums, created during the academic portion of the course, become their source of information for the materials and their presentations during their career as a Montessori teacher T he variations in Montessori teacher training prog rams themselves are immense however There is no t one single way to implement the Mont essori philosophy (Corry, 2006), and since the Montessori name is not trademarked (Ruenzel, 1997) it is impossible to fuse Montessori education together (Schapiro, 200 3). Montessori purists

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124 practice a more modern approach to the Method. Others claim the purists refuse to see the potential and practice (Hainstock, 1997). This divide remains among Montessori schools today As a result, a ny school could theoretically call themselves a Montessori school (Chattin McNichols, 1992). As mentioned earlier, the Montessori pedagogy is largely an oral tradition handed down from one gene ration to another; this has caused it to splinter into a wide array of organizations and centers worldwide. Consequently, Montessori diploma courses vary from country to country and from organization to organization. Courses run anywhere from three years to a year to six months and some distance learning courses do not even require a practical workshop element. It is obvious there are differences in the amount and detail of lessons on the m aterials and the exercises, on the rigorousness of the training and on the authenticity of the Montessori approach. P ractice sessions with the materials and classroom experience also contribute to teacher self efficacy. This is crucial since practice sessions with the materials as a contributor to self efficacy. As one student said, questions I needed to. This made me really comfortable when I went into the classroom to give lessons to the Those with low self efficacy also mentioned that unfamiliarity with the materials affected their ability to be a good teacher. Thus, it appears that training centers ought to emphasize practice with the teaching materials,

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125 knowing that familiari ty with them will aid in higher self efficacy levels even if that increases the demands on the student teacher. Mentor Support The mentor plays a very important role during the internship/practicum phases of Montessori teacher training. With years of expe rience in the classroom, they are able to provide advice and support to the trainees, guiding them to reach their goals. T he high and low self efficacy teachers interviewed for this research all revealed how much they valued and appreciated the support of their mentor ; this contributed to their vicarious experience. The teachers reported that their experiences with a mentor made a huge difference in their teaching by providing them with lessons, feedback and examples ; they appreciated being able to problem solve specific issues with their mentors As a high good impact on me and helped my confidence grow. I knew she was always there. She would give me the whole class to handle. She would sit back and watch. This gave me a lot of confidence T he high and low self efficacy teachers both believed that a very supportive mentor helped them to become better teachers. Several previous studies on teacher efficacy and mentor sup po rt have had similar results: Philippou and Charalambous (2005) determined that mentors could increase teacher efficacy through effective feedback that was supportive and constructive. T wo other studies also emphasize the important role of

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126 the mentor by d etermining that ment or support and collaboration have a strong impact on teacher efficacy (Mulholland & Wallace, 2001 and Poulou, 2007). The mentoring teacher is extremely importan t to Montessori teacher trainees who come out of training with theoretica l knowledge ready to be put into practice. F rom the mentoring teacher they learn classroom management skills, record keeping and all the practical aspects of working with young children. This puts a lot of responsibility on the mentor who must model care fully and guide in a very gentle manner. With th e variety of Montessori teacher training programs, there are differences in this area of the course as well There are some teacher training organizations that do not have an internship at all and others tha t allow self directed internships. It is abundantly clear from this research that the teacher trainees appreciated a good inter nship unde r a supportive mentor, which implies that the mentor should be properly trained. Each of these teacher self efficacy i nfluences (knowledge of theory, classroom experience familiarity with the materials and mentor support) contributed to the overall efficacy levels. Implications of the Findings The results of this study underline the need for Montessori teacher educati on programs to improve the quality of their training in order to allow students to develop a high sense of self efficacy The development of self efficacy is an essential first step toward becoming a successful Montessori teacher, as t he real preparation for education

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127 the teacher who is to help life is something far m ore than the learning of ideas. It includes the training of character; it is a preparation of ). This inner pre paration takes time and guidance. The preparation of a Montessori teacher involves slow personal changes that come from being an astute observer especially as characteristic of adults that can hinder our und 153). Montessori envisioned the teacher observing the child much as a scientist observes an experiment; this primary function would allow the teacher to direct the child towards the activities and materials whic h help hi m mature along natural lines. Montessori believed that : The teacher must bring not only the capacity, but the desire to observe natural phenomena. In our system, she must become a passive, much more than an active, influence, and her passiv ity shall be composed of anxious scientific curiosity, and of absolute respect for the phenomenon which she wishes to observe (Montessori, 19 12, p. 87) Adults, claimed Montessori could understand the phenomenon of human development only by seeing th e children in the classroom. Naturally, s uch a process takes time and gu idance by experienced teachers; since teacher training programs are now cutting corners this new breed of teachers is ill esire for y As Angeline Stoll Lillard wrote : Many Montessori teacher training programs are very short, lasting only a few weeks or months. Some programs attempt to educate Montessori teachers largely through internships, yet they do not ensure that th e supervising Montessori teachers meet with obvious potential problems (Lillard, 2005, p. 329 330)

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128 Learning to be a Montessori teacher involves knowledge of theory and procedures for working wi th the materials as well as forming connections between the philosophy and the methodology. Accordingly, changing the Montessori education system to give trainees time to accept a strong conceptual understanding of the underlying concepts will help them t o succeed in the classroom. R eflecting on t he status of Montessori teacher training programs today Aline Wolf posed a pertinent question: Today the curriculum and schedule of Montessori training centers is determined by time restraints, finances and practicality. What was once a two year training course is now finished in one year or is often reduced to several weeks in two consecutive summers with one or two days per month of classes during an internship in the intervening school year. In even more extreme cases training is limited to a correspondence course followed by two or three weeks of practical experiences with materials. Where is the time for the best preparation for teaching? ( W olf, 1996, p. 34) This research study demonstrates that high self efficacy teachers have more confidence in their conceptual understanding of the philosophy and methodology which gave them additional assurance as Montessori teachers. We must strive to inc rease the self efficacy of all Montessori teachers so that our children will have the best possible start to education. The current study also suggests that teacher education institutions should establish strong mentoring/coaching programs to provide teach er trainees with the necessary support and guidance. Each candidate interviewed for this research study regardless of h igh or low self efficacy spoke of a close relationship with his mentor and how grateful he was for this dialogue L earn ing classroom mana gement and teaching styles from a mentor is important during an internship e must be willing to accept guidance if we

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129 wish to Montessori, 1966 p. 34). S tandards for supervising teachers, based on years of classroom teachin g and professional development along with school support are imperative to selecting a good mentor. This should include an intern mentor meeting every day to answer questions and to plan the following day. This is ood classroom teachers are usually too focused on the children during the school day to simultaneously explain to an intern the many variations and nuances of the materials (if they even learned about them in their own training), and at the end of the day might be too Studies of teacher efficacy show that one possible way to promote a more realistic sense of self efficacy in pre service teachers is to provide them with mastery experience in the form of observations and field pla learned through carefully structured, intensively supervised field experiences within an Patterson, 2001, p. 336). Internship experiences provided in field based blocks of courses are essential components for rethinking curricular reform in effective teacher education programs (Fang & Ashely, 2004; Haverback & Parault, 2008; Linek et al., 1999; Worthy & Patterson, 2001). Field experiences expose pre service teache rs to a variety of teaching situations and ways to cooperate and communicate which are essential components in providing a balance between classroom demands and teacher philosophy (Linek et.al., 1999). The results of this study extend the results of Bandu in which the four experiential sources performance accomplishments (mastery),

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130 vicarious learning or modeling, emotional arousal (anxiety), and social persuasion and encouragement were important to the initial development of self efficacy expectations. This research highlight s the importance of knowledge of theory, classroom experience, familiarity with the materials and mentor support as potential sources of teaching efficacy. Limitations of the Study The present study is by no means exhaustive and provides only an initial survey on Montessori teacher self efficacy. T he study has limitations which make it diffic ult to generalize the findings, the main of which is the sample used. D espite the fact that all MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Counc il of Teacher Education) accredited institutions were contacted to take part in this survey (over 120) only ten responded positively and agreed to take part in the research. I intended to have at least 100 students from all over the c ountry participate in the study; instead, we had 33 participants in the pre test and 22 in the post test. Many of the training centers did not grant permission to take the names and information of their students for privacy reasons, and so it was difficul t to run a t test and to expound on their individual growth. It would have been the ir study. T he small number of indiv iduals that responded consequently resulted in a lack of more ext reme examples of high and low efficacy teacher s for interviews. Moreover, the Montessori Method attracts a broad spectrum of qualifications and diversity of backgrounds in its teacher training programs, which makes it difficult to

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131 general ize the survey. The discrepancy in education levels in particular play s such a large role in evaluating the self efficacy of teachers. Cultural perceptions are another limitation of this study. cultural environment shapes his norms, v alues, and ideas (Minggang & Yuan, 2004), his self efficacy is also dependent on the way in which he interprets the world. Success, therefore, is measured diff erently by various demographics as is expressing that success. Researchers conducting cross cultu ral communication work consistently find a distinct difference between individualistic and collectivist cultures regarding self efficacy. Those in individualistic cultures have higher levels of self efficacy and those from collectivist cultures such as A sian cultures, ha ve lower self efficacy levels ( even though they are often more successful in academic pursuits than those in individualistic cultures) (Scholz et.al 2002). F or many students from collectivist cultures, academic motivation is driven by a fe ar of failure and an intense desire to please their parents (Eaton & Dembo, 1997); one of the interviewees in this study expressed this sort of cultural conditioning by mentioning that something well it was kind of acknowledged but in a very neutral way. What was Similarly, s uccess can mean different things to different people. Again, c ollectivist and individualistic societies play a part in defining success. Since collectivist cultures tend to have a more realistic view of their abilities than individualistic cultures they also tend to have lower self efficacy level s

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132 your successes and failures as a student in high during the interview portion of this study, one of the high self efficacy teachers mentioned making varsity swim team and tennis. Others focused more on grades : to be the best. This really bothered me as I tried so hard Klassen (2004) explains that tic as opposed to optimistic efficacy beliefs do not necessarily predict poor performance for all cultural groups, as has been suggested by self efficacy theory Hence, these researchers suggest the re might be a variation in self efficacy because individualistic cultures are too optimistic in the ir notions of self efficacy, while collectivist cultures are more realistic. Self efficac y is influenced by many factors; among the most important are parent s, peers, and teachers (Bandura 1994). Since these factors vary widely according to culture, self efficacy also varies depending on the values upheld in a specific culture. Since not all participants were from the same background, it was important to cons ider culture during the interviews. Almost all the participants open to sharing their experiences candidly were high self efficacy teachers while those unwilling to speak about their difficulties and struggles were of low self efficacy Pointedly, nearly all the low self efficacy teachers came from ty pically collectivist societies. The different cultures represented in this sample may inhibit how each respondent interpreted success, and it is thus important to account for that discrepancy.

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133 Direction for Future Research This study provides much to contemplate in terms of future research. With the growing number of studies that show self efficacy is a powerful variable in instructional effectiveness, it is important to thoroughly investigate what impacts e fficacy within the context of teacher training. The results of the current study reveal a new conce ptual framework for Montesso ri teacher self efficacy, which opens up countless possibilities for future research. First ly new studies should be conducted to confirm the effic iency of the proposed PIP scale ; we must determine whether the scale holds t rue for all Montessori teachers throughout the world and whethe r the model works for elementary school Montessori teachers as well. Secondly, studies that explo re the relationship between an understanding of the Montessori philosophy and methodology and teacher self efficacy would be beneficial. This is particularly pertinent in light of the fact that the self ex amination process is inherent to Montes sori teacher preparation. Does high self efficacy raise self awareness or reduce it? This would be especially relevant as a longitudinal study that tracks low efficacy teachers as they work to acquire a deeper conceptual understanding. In a similar vein, research focu sing on how to structure professional development programs to enhance self efficacy could be helpful to the teacher training community. A mixed method study of a Montessori teacher trainer perceived self efficacy and its impact on the teacher trainees wo uld also provide data for understanding this very complex topic. Interviews and shadowing opportunities would illuminate how the teacher

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134 trainers strengthen the teaching candidate efficacy. Comparing information from interviews of Montessori trainer s would show if the thoughts, logic, and benefit s stemming from their initiatives for self efficacy promotion are similar, and what the ensuing impact is on students. Replicating this study in different parts of the world would pro vide data from schools c omprising different demographics. Not only would this supply comparative information and a larger area in which to generalize findings can be generalized but it could also reconcile some of the cultural discrepancies noted earlier. Since Montessori school s exist all over the world with the same educational materials studies of this nature are feasible. In addition, it would be beneficial to study self efficacy in pre service and in service teachers and observe the relationship with observed levels of sel f efficacy and student achievement. Previous studies (Walker, 1992) have shown student achievement and self efficacy to be related. It would also be interesting to take this research into the public school setting where Montessori schools are now becoming popular and assessing levels of efficacy of pre service teachers after some experience in the public sector. Finally, developing techniques for measuring teacher self efficacy in the first place would really contribute to the field While studies have s hown the TSES to be valid and reliable for measuring overall teacher efficacy, it may not be fully suited for measuring Montessori teacher self efficacy. Besides the TSES survey, a Perceptions in

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135 Participation (PIP) questionnaire was prepared to examine wh ich of the influences predicted self efficacy most accurately. As far as the intricacies of this particular study itsel f, the survey questions could and have been improved. Using SPSS, factor analysis was conducted to det ermine how closely the items fit i nto the constructs they were designed to assess. Several items were dropped because they did not fit well with the others. This survey instrument has since been changed and is presented in Appendix F; hopefully, other teacher training organizations will us e it and find it beneficial. The 19 questions on the interview were mostly open ended and gave the teacher trainees many opportunities to share their experiences. The one lapse was that the general questions were lacking, and I would request more specific examples in the future. This would apply for example to: (3) Tell me about how you feel as a beginning Montessori teacher about to lead a class of children all b y yourself. give me an example of a time when you handled a very difficult child in your classroom. On the whole though, the questionnaire was very effective and I did not witness the teacher trainees feel ing u ncomfortable at any point of their interview. Conclusion Teacher self efficacy is a crucial factor in improving teacher education and pr omoting education reform as high teacher self efficacy consistently correlates to positive student and teacher behavior s. they behave. The natural and extrinsic effects of their actions, in turn, partly determine

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136 show fs regarding their ability to affect student achievement account for some of the variance in teacher effectiveness (Armor, et al., 1976; Berman & McLaughlin, 1977). Hence, it is almost critical that t eachers possess a strong self efficacy that allow s them to help children reach their full potential. It is possible tha t some teachers will acquire strong self efficacy during their teacher training while others will do so only after running their own classrooms. As this study shows students that experience success make for more confident teachers. It is therefore important for professional d evelopment programs and teacher training institutions to provide their students with opportunities to experience success and to make them feel supported. Each of the te achers I interviewed for this research study were very appreciative of their tutor and mentor and spoke fondly of the relationships they formed with them. Teacher educators need to consider all the sources of information that influence prospective teach er efficacy beliefs to enhance these during the training it s e lf if prospective teacher efficacy is to be enhanced during teacher education programs. Teachers Montessori and others must be provided with opportunities to experience success and to know they are supported This will not only help those that have with a high sense of self efficacy but will also help and guide those that need to strength en their self efficacy. Only then will we aim of an efficacious educat ion tends to help toward the complete unfolding of life. To be

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137 thus helpful it is necessary rigorously to avoid the arrest of spontaneous movements and The hope of educational r eform lies in the tra ns forming individual attitudes, is that the adult is no longer an impediment to the

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138 APPENDICES

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139 APPENDIX A LETTER TO SCHOOLS REQUESTING PARTICIPATION IN RESEARCH STUDY.

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140 June 7 th 2011 Dear Director My name is Punum Bhatia and I am the Director of Montessori Casa International (MACTE accredited) in Denver, CO. I am also a PhD student at the University of Colorado Denver. As a part of my dissertation I am conducting research to gain a better understanding of the influences on self perceived level of effectiveness for completing a teaching task. Clearly, an investigation into pre service teacher self efficacy and how these beliefs are conceived and nurtured can provide meaningful information to teacher educators and professionals responsible for designing and implementing more meaningful teacher preparation programs The research will be conducted in two parts The first part is just before the students embark on thei r Montessori training. They will be asked to take a simple survey consisting of 24 questions that they answer on Survey Monkey. This will indicate their level of self efficacy. Then in December the y will be asked to take the same survey again as well as another one consisting of 12 questions. This is also on Survey Mo nkey and will indicate the influences on their level of self efficacy. Participants will be ranked by growth and the top 3 and bottom 3 will be interviewed. The interview will be a semi structured design and will be conducted over the phone. I appreciate your help and support in conducting this important research that will help us meet the needs of our students and improve the quality o f our training. I am

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141 attaching the letter as well as the link to the survey for you to forward to your students. Please copy me on that email so I will be able to follow up with them. Please contact me via phone (303.523.7590) or email ( pb@mcidenver.edu ) if you have questions or concerns. Thank you so much. Punum Bhatia Director I give permission to Punum Bhatia to recruit our students for the purpose of this research. ___________ ____________________________ _______ ______ Name and signature Date

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142 APPENDIX B CONSENT APPROVAL FORM

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143 Date: June 2, 2011 Valid for Use Through: Study Title: An Investigation into Sources of Montessori Teacher Self Efficacy Principal Investigator: Punum Bhatia COM IRB No: 11 0317 Version Date: June 2, 2011 Version #: 1 You are being asked to be in a research study conducted by Punum Bhatia. Punum is a doctoral student at the University of Colorado Denver. She can be reached at 303.523.7590. This form provides y ou with information about the study. Please read the deciding whether or not to take part. Why is this study being done? This study plans to learn more about the influences on Montessori teacher self efficacy. of effective teaching and has been positively correlated to teacher and student outcomes. You are being asked to be in this research study because you are training to become a Montessori teacher. Participation in this study is entirely your choice. Other people in this study For this study, there is neither an experimental nor a control group. The research is simply exploring various l evels of Montessori teacher self efficacy and the possible influences on the different levels. The study will be conducted in two parts. The initial study will consist of asking 100 participants around the country to complete a questionnaire instrument mea suring teacher self efficacy and other possible influences on self efficacy. This will be conducted at the beginning of the training program. A similar questionnaire will be conducted during the internship period of the training. The next part of the study will involve selecting 6 participants for an interview to more fully explore the influences identified in the questionnaire analysis.

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144 What happens if I join this study? If you join the study, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire that consists of 24 questions once in the beginning of your teacher training program and once when you near completion. As part of this study, you may be asked to participate in a one hour interview that will explore more deeply the influences on Montessori teacher self ef ficacy. The interview will be conducted by Punum Bhatia at the location of your choice. The questions will be related to the questionnaire results from the initial phase of the research study. The interview will be audio taped in order to ensure accuracy o f the information provided. You may request a copy of the audiotape and the taping will be stopped at any part of the interview at your request. What are the possible discomforts or risks? There are no foreseeable risks to participating in this research. At any time, if the questions cause the participant any discomfort, the participant can elect to stop the interview or skip the question. There is a slight risk of breach of confidentiality, thus in order to minimize this risk, access to the audiotapes and transcripts of the interviews will be limited to the principal investigator and her advisor. What are the possible benefits of the study? This study is designed for the researcher to learn more about Montessori teacher self efficacy. By participating in t his study, you will have the opportunity to learn more about your individual self efficacy and your participation will benefit the teaching community by providing more valuable information of Montessori teacher self efficacy influences. Will I be paid for being in the study? You will not be paid to be in the study. Will I have to pay for anything? It will not cost you anything to be in the study. Is my participation voluntary? Taking part in this study is voluntary. You have the right to choose not to t ake part in this study. If you choose to take part, you have the right to stop at any time. If you refuse or decide to withdraw later, you will not lose any benefits or rights to which you are entitled.

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145 Who do I call if I have questions? The researcher carrying out this study is Punum Bhatia. You may ask any questions you have now. If you have questions, concerns, or complaints later, you may call Punum at 303.523.7590. You will be given a copy of this form to keep. You may have questions about your ri ghts as someone in this study. You can call Punum with questions. You can also call the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (COMIRB). You can call them at 303 724 1055. Who will see my research information? We will do everything we can to keep your records a secret. It cannot be guaranteed. Both the records that identify you and the consent form signed by you may be looked at by others. They are: Federal agencies that monitor human subject research The Colorado Multiple Institutional Review B oard (COMIRB) The group doing the study People at the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (COMIRB) who want to make sure the research is safe We might talk about this research study at meetings. We might also print the results of this research st udy in relevant journals. But we will always keep the names of the research subjects, like you, private. Agreement to be in this study I have read this paper about the study or it was read to me. I understand the possible risks and benefits of this stu dy. I know that being in this study is voluntary. I choose to be in this study: I will get a copy of this consent form. Signature: Date: Print Name: I nvestigator: Date: ______

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146 APPENDIX C LETTER WITH SURVEY TO STUDENTS

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147 Research Survey on Montessori Teacher Self Efficacy My name is Punum Bhatia and I am a PhD student at the University of Colorado Denver. This survey is designed to provide information for my dissertation research study. I would like to thank you for ta king the time to complete this survey. Participation is voluntary. Your answers will help me to investigate the influences on Montessori teacher self completing a teaching task. The results of this study will only be used to help inform teacher education and professional development programs and participation will also give you the opportunity to learn more about your individual teacher self efficacy. You may contact me at any time in order to request your individual results and the combined results of this survey. The risks of this study are minimal and may include discomfort, potential loss of confidentiality, etc. You may discontinue the survey at any time. All responses will be kept entirely confidential. Your name will be removed from the survey and you will be referred to at all times by a coded number. I will be the only person with access to these records. The completed survey instruments will be securely stored for three years and then destroyed. I will do everything I can to keep your records confidential but this cannot, however, be guaranteed. If you have any questions or concerns during or after your participation, please contact me at 303.523.7590 or pb@mcidenve r.edu.. You may also contact the Colorado Multiple Institution Review Board at 303.724.1055 or via email at comirb@ucdenver.edu

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148 Please follow the link http://www. surveymonkey.com/s/XZLZ368 and answer the following questions as truthfully as possible. Thank you again for participating in this important work.

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149 APPENDIX D TEACHER SENSE OF EFFICACY SCALE

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150 T eacher S ense of E fficacy S cale (TSES) A. This questionnaire is designed to help us gain a better understanding of the kinds of things that create challenges for teachers. Your answers are confidential. Directions: Please indicate your opinion about each of the questions below by marking any one o respond to each of the questions by considering the combination of your current ability, resources, and opportuni ty to do each of the following in your present position. 1. How much can you do to get through to the most difficult students? 2. How much can you do to help your students think critically? 3. How much can you do to motivate students who show low interest in school work? 4. To what extent can you make your expectations clear about student behavior? 5. How much can you do to get students to believe they can do well in school work? 6. How well can you respond to difficult questions from your students? 7. How much can you do to co ntrol disruptive behavior in the classroom 8. How well can you establish routines to keep activities running smoothly? 9. How much can you do to help your students value learning? 10. How much can you gauge student comprehension of what you have taught? 11. To what exte nt can you craft good questions for your students?

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151 12. How much can you do to foster student creativity? 13. How much can you do to get children to follow classroom rules? 14. How much can you do to improve the understanding of a student who is failing? 15. How much can y ou do to calm a student who is disruptive or noisy? 16. How well can you establish a classroom management system with each group of students? 17. How much can you do to adjust your lessons to the proper level for individual students? 18. How much can you use a variety of assessment strategies? 19. How well can you keep a few problem students from running an entire lesson? 20. To what extent can you provide an alternative explanation or example when students are confused? 21. How well can you respond to defiant students? 22. How much c an you assist families in helping their children do well in school? 23. How well can you implement alternative strategies in your classroom? 24. How well can you provide appropriate challenges for very capable students?

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152 APPENDIX E PERCEPTIONS IN PARTIC IPATION 1

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153 Perceptions in Participation I These questions are designed to help us gain a better understanding of the influences on a efficacy. Please indicate your opinion about each of the statements by circling only one n umber that best represents your opinion. 1. In my early experience of working with young children I generally felt successful. 2. I can recall experiences I have had working with difficult, unmotivated children, in which I successfully engaged them in productive activity. 3. Rate your satisfaction with your professional performance this year on a scale of 1 to 5 (5=Very Good). 4. I have had experiences presenting Montessori materials to children that have built my confidence as a teacher. 5. I felt that my advisor/mentor was supportive during my internship and this helped my confidence. 6. In my preparation I was able to observe truly skilled teachers.. 7. My advisor/mentor played a positive role in my development as a teacher. 8. Rate the interpersonal support provided by colleagu es at your school this year on a scale of 1 to 5 (5+Very Good). 9. People I respect have told me I will be a good teacher. 10. I have people I can rely on who express confidence in me as a teacher. 11. My instructors encouraged me in ways that built my confidence.

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154 12. M y advisor/mentor provided me with positive, constructive feedback which was very useful to me. 13. In the work I have done with children, I have had a feeling of well being. 14. I have been nervous and experienced physical symptoms of anxiety while working with ch ildren. 15. I try to talk and explain my stress in order to get feedback from my colleagues. 16. At times when a child is being disruptive and not listening to me, I experienced sweaty palms or increased heart beat.

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155 APPENDIX F PERCEPTIONS IN PARTIC IPATION II

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156 Perceptions in Participation II These questions are designed to help us gain a better understanding of the influences on a efficacy. Please indicate your opinion about each of the statements by circling only one number that best represents your opinion. 1. I do not hesitate to return to a lesson that has not worked well in the past. 2. While working with difficult students, I managed to successfully engage them in productive activity. 3. This school year my successes outwe igh my failures. 4. There are certain Montessori materials I fall back on to rebound from setbacks. 5. My advisor/mentor guided me during my internship and I rely on his/her methods in my own teaching. 6. In my teacher training I observed adept teachers. 7. I often re flect on how my advisor/mentor would handle a situation and react similarly. 8. Rate the support provided by school colleagues on a scale from 1 to 5. 9. My advisor/mentor provided me with positive feedback that supported by career choice. 10. My friends and family often praise my work as a teacher. 11. My instructors build my confidence by encouraging my teaching skills. 12. 13. When I am distracted or tense my students sense those feelings.

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157 14. If preoccupied with perso nal matters I am unable to concentrate on the lesson at hand. 15. I discuss my challenges with my colleagues to manage my stress. 16. At times when a child is being disruptive and not listening to me, I experienced sweaty palms or increased heart beat.

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158 A PPENDIX F INTERVIEW PROTOCOL

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159 Interview Protocol Introduction You have been selected to speak with us today because you have been identified as someone who has a great deal to share about learning and teaching. I am interested in exploring the influences on Montessori teacher self efficacy levels and how people feel about themselves as teachers. We will be exploring your personal experiences with learning and then moving on to more teaching related influences. To facilitate note taking, I would like to audio tape our conversations today. Only researchers on the project will be privy to the tapes that will be eventually destroyed after they are transcribed. Human subject requires that you sign a special form that protects your rights. Essentially this document states that: (1) all information will be held confidential, (2) your participation is voluntary and you may stop at any time if you feel uncomfortable, and (3) we do not intend to inflict any harm. But it is possible that the process of ans wering the questions could lead you to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Thank you for agreeing to participate. We have planned this interview to last no longer than one hour. During this time, I have several questions that we would like to cover. If time begins to run short, it may be necessary to interrupt you in order to push ahead and complete this line of questioning

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160 Personal Learning Experiences 1. Tell me about your Montessori training and elements of the course you enjoyed most. Probe: In what wa ys did the course impact you? Positively or negatively? 2. Just as there are parts of training that students enjoy, there are often things that students wish were different in their training. What, if anything, do you wish were different. 3. Tell me about how yo u feel as a beginning Montessori teacher about to lead a class of children all by yourself. 4. In which areas has your confidence as a Montessori teacher increased because of your training? In what areas has it decreased? 5. What aspects of the training most imp acted your confidence as a teacher? 6. Tell me about some of your successes and failures as a student as a student in high school. 7. How would you describe yourself as a future teacher. 8. How confident do you feel to successfully teach all the curriculum areas even to the most difficult students? Teaching Efficacy Influences 9. What or who would you say influenced you to become a Montessori teacher? 10. Tell me about what you have read that influenced your teaching. 11. Who would you say influenced you positively during your training? Negatively?

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161 12. Could you rank in order of importance what influence was the most important to you in the training: Lectures Demonstrations Peer support Teacher Practice teaching Mentor 13. Tell me about your advisor/mentor relationship How often d id you meet? Probe: Do you think your mentor/advisor had an impact on your confidence as a teacher? How? What were the advantages and disadvantages of this mentor experience? Will you keep in contact with your mentor? 14. Do you share your achievements on Fa cebook or Twitter/ 15. Sometimes families and friends of students are supportive and sometimes they are not. How supportive are your family and friends of you being a Montessori teacher? 16. What provides you with motivation and inspiration? 17. What are the causes of your stress and anxiety? Probe: How do you deal with it? 18. Could you tell me one story about when you felt least successful as a Montessori teacher? 19. Could you tell me one story about when you felt most successful as a Montessori teacher

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162 BIBLIOGRAPHY Armor D., Conroy Oseguera, P., Cox, M., King, N., McDonnell, L., Pascal, A., Pauly, E., & Zellman, G. (1979). Analysis of the school preferred reading programs in selected Los Angeles minority schools, REPORT NO. R 2007 LAUSD Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporatio n. Allinder R M. (1994). The relationship between efficacy and instructional practices of special education teachers and consultants. Teacher Education and Special Education 17 :86 95. Ashton, P., Olejnik, S., Crocker, L., & McAuliffe, M. (1982 ). Measur ement problems in Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York. Ashton, P. T., Webb, R. B., & Doda, N. (1983). A study of teachers' sense of efficacy. National Institute of Education. Ashton, P. T., & Webb, R. B. (1986). and student achievement New York: Longman. Bandura, A., (1977). Self efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Revi ew 84 (2), 191 215. Bandura, A. (1982). Self efficacy mechanisms in human agency. American Psychologist Vol 37, pp 122 147.

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176 Roberts, J. K., & Henson, R. K. (2001). A confirmatory factor analysis of a new measure of teacher efficacy: Ohio state teacher efficac y scale Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association. student outcome. Journal of Educational Research 74 (3), 185 190. Ross, J. A. (1992). Teach er efficacy and the effects of coaching on student achievement. Canadian Journal of Education, 17 (1), 51 65. Ross, J.A. (1998). The antecedents and consequences of teacher efficacy. In: Brophy J, editor. Advances in research on teaching. Greenwich, CT JAI Press. 7, 49 73. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80 1 28. Ruenzel, D. (1997). The Montessori Method. Teacher Magazine 8 (7), 30 35. Rushton, S. P. (2000). St udent teacher efficacy in inner city schools. The Urban Review 32 (3), 365 383. efficacy while teaching in an inner city school. The Urban Review, 35 (3). 167 189. Schapiro, D. (1993). What is Montessori education is part of the answer? Education Digest 58 (7), 40 43.

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