Volume 23 (2015)
Initial Teacher Efficacy of In-Service Secondary Teachers in Trinidad and Tobago
Teacher efficacy is largely unexplored in Trinidad and Tobago, resulting in a deficit in understanding of teachers' beliefs about their ability to teach. This is important since teachers' beliefs influence how they feel about their work, how they assess and perform teaching tasks, and the educational experiences they provide for their students. This study examined three dimensions of teacher efficacy of secondary school teachers who were newly enrolled in an in-service teacher training programme at a university in Trinidad and Tobago. Teacher efficacy for classroom management, instructional strategies, and student engagement was measured using the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale, and analysed for differences by participants' sex, age, years of service, and school type. There were no differences in teacher efficacy by teachers' sex and years of service. Teachers over 45 years reported significantly stronger teacher efficacy for classroom management than younger colleagues. Teachers at government-assisted schools reported significantly higher teacher efficacy for classroom management and student engagement than those at government schools. Follow-up research should examine the sources of efficacy information that influence teachers' practice, in order to determine the contextual factors related to the school environment that influence teacher efficacy, and the influence of teacher training on teacher efficacy beliefs.
Keywords: Secondary School Teachers; Student Teachers; Teacher Efficacy; Inservice Teacher Education; Beliefs; Teacher Effectiveness; Self Efficacy; Trinidad and Tobago