Several teacher education studies have focused on teaching efficacy beliefs (Albayrak, 2011), because teaching efficacy beliefs influence the teacher’s effectiveness, attitude and behavior. The concept of self-efficacy, for instance, has been described by Bandura. Self efficacy, according to Bandura (1997) is the process whereby people develop the ability to organize and accomplish important tasks first.
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Bandura (1997) posits that self efficacy influences the manner in which an individual approaches his goals, challenges and tasks. This concept lies at the heart of Bandura’s social cognitive theory. Most people would think of self efficacy as a belief that they can act in such a way that they will be successful in their endeavors. Organizing and doing important things first are certainly apart of that.
On the broader side, social cognitive theory posits that what an individual observes in others plays a critical role in shaping his or her cognitive processes, as well as his or her social behaviors.
According to the philosophy of self-efficacy, people should develop their own capacity to reach the essential degree of learning (Albayrak, 2011). The development of mathematics self-efficacy in pre-service elementary teachers who participate in mathematics education methods courses is the core subject of this paper.
Self-efficacy beliefs usually “influence the manner in which people think, behave, and become motivated” (Albayrak, 2011, p.185). Efficacy beliefs also determine how much effort teachers will apply during the education process and how long their behavior will be sustained when they encounter obstacles while teaching (Albayrak, 2011).
Kazempour (2008) makes it clear that the concept of self-efficacy and the ideas of teacher-efficacy are related. He argues that teachers who are confident in their mathematical abilities are able to influence the mathematics learning methods of their students. Consequently, students’ belief levels will be enhanced affecting the success of particular students and of the learning environment.
This has been seconded by findings from various studies. In one such study, the attitude of elementary primary teachers with respect to mathematics was found to be essential in shaping student’s current and future perceptions (Salzer, 2010).
Students’ attitudes and success are partly dependent on the elementary teachers’ attitude with respect to mathematics. Moreover, teachers should provide different types of feedback to students and use the appropriate learning methods to help students achieve positive results in their learning.
Thus, teachers should believe that they are capable of improving the learning methods of different students in a classroom. Kazempour (2008) found that students’ performance depends considerably on their teacher’s efficacy, as teachers’ self-efficacy influences students’ achievement and motivation.
Teacher’s efficacy has two dimensions: “personal teaching efficacy and teaching outcome expectancy” (Kazempour, 2008, p.10). Personal teaching efficacy refers to a teacher’s belief in his or her own ability to teach mathematics in an efficient manner.
This significantly depends on the teacher’s attitude towards mathematics. If the teacher has a positive attitude, he or she is likely to teach mathematics in an efficient manner and boost the morale of his or her students. Conversely, teachers who have negative attitude towards mathematics are unlikely to teach mathematics in an effective manner; this negatively affects the students’ attitudes and ultimately success.
On the other hand, teaching outcome expectancy refers to the belief that a teacher’s mode of teaching is capable of influencing a student’s mode of learning in a positive manner.
Teachers who ascribe to this philosophy believe that external factors such as family background, parental influence, IQ, school conditions, and home environment do not influence a student’s performance in mathematics once the teacher uses the appropriate strategy to enhance the student’s ability to learn and digest new information. This strategy can be considered as an adequate use of the teacher’s self-efficacy (Cone, 2009).
Research shows that teachers who have a high level of teaching efficacy create a learning environment that encourages students to think productively. As Kazempour (2008) explains, teachers with high self-efficacy use such strategies as “student questioning, brainstorming, and class discussions” (p.401).
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Brusal (2007) found that using self-efficacy in instilling mathematics literacy allows teachers to improve the performance of their students regardless of whether their students come from challenging home backgrounds.
Self-efficacious teachers use student-centered approaches that stress the role of students in the learning process and make them feel that they contribute to the learning process as well. In the course of a discussion, according to Bursal (2007), this will make students feel that their opinions matter and they will become more interested in the subject.
This study will use mixed methods. The data will be collected through questionnaires and interviews to gain a deeper understanding of how self-efficacy influences the mathematics teaching of pre-service teachers. The study will gather data from future mathematics teachers both male and female in the field of early childhood education to analyze and assess how the self-efficacy of teachers influences their students.
An electronic survey will be carried out using Quartic software. Quatic software is a tool based on android platform and is used in scientific calculations. Five randomly selected teachers will be interviewed to judge how the progress of future teachers with and without self-efficacy (their perception towards mathematics) is affected by the methodology course.
Albayrak, M. (2011). The effect of methods of teaching mathematics course on mathematics teaching efficacy beliefs of elementary pre-service mathematics teachers. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 16(1), 183-190.
Bandura, L. (1997). Self Efficay: The Exercise of Control. New York, N.Y: W.H. Freeman and Company.
Bursal, M. (2007). Turkish preservice elementary teachers’ self- efficacy beliefs regarding mathematics and science teachng. International Journal of science and Mathematics Education, 8(4), 649-666.
Cone, N. (2009). Pre-service elementary teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs about equitable science teaching: Does service learning make a difference? Journal of Elementary Science Education, 21(2), 25-34.
Kazempour, M. (2008). Exploring attitudes, beliefs, and self efficacy of pre-service elementary teachers enrolled in a science methods course and factors responsible for possible changes. Retrieved from ProQuestDigital Dissertations. (AAT 3324538).
Salzer, (2010). The Impact of Exerience on Elematry School Teacher Efffcetive Realtionship with Mathematics. Illinois: Olivet Nazarene University.