Pre-Service Teachers' Self-Efficacy and Instructional Tactics: The Impact of Pre-Service Teachers' Perceptions of Self-Efficacy in Relation to Instructional Tactics: A Sequential Study
Research indicates that self-efficacy, a person‟s belief in their own ability to meet certain expectations, can impact on their success. This concept has implications for pre-service teachers who are required to bridge the gap between theory and practice on professional experience sessions. This study aimed to explore pre-service teachers‟ perceptions of factors that influence their instructional self-efficacy. Data were collected from 71 students studying a Bachelor of Education (Primary) course using both qualitative and quantitative research instruments. Focus group (qualitative) transcripts were categorised and themes developed from these categories. Quantitative data was collected from a 50-item questionnaire, exploring their perceptions of their use of classroom planning, communication and management and its impact on their instructional self efficacy. Descriptive statistics for each question and sub-scale were determined and a linear regression was used to identify relationships between sets of independent variables (planning, communication, management), and two dependent variables teaching English and teaching Mathematics). Pre-service teachers identified vicarious and enactive modelling, accompanied by reflection, feedback and a supportive social environment as strong contributors to instructional self-efficacy. In contrast to expectations, they also identified instructional tactics booklets as very useful for increasing instructional self-efficacy. Data from the questionnaire indicated that there is a positive correlation between pre-service teachers‟ perceptions of their ability to manage classes and their instructional self-efficacy in teaching English and Mathematics. It also indicated that different sets of instructional tactics were perceived by pre-service teachers to determine their instructional self-efficacy in teaching various content areas. This study provided significant evidence that the use of specific instructional tactics and quality of pre-service classroom practice can be enhanced significantly by the manner in which the instructional tactics are taught, and may also provide relevant information for structuring practical teaching subjects in the future.