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Teacher Efficacy Beliefs:Understanding the Relationship Between Efficacy and Achievement in Urban Elementary Schools


Within the last three decades there has been a surge of interest in how teacher beliefs affect the teaching and learning process. A major focus of the research in teacher beliefs has been in understanding the nature of teacher self-efficacy beliefs and how ot affects the choices, decisions, and effectiveness of teachers. Bandura's work (1982, 1986, 1993,1996,1997), developed and defended the idea that our beliefs in our abilities affect our behavior, motivation, and ultimately our successes and failures.Bandura(1986), Dewey (1997), and Parajes (1992) suggest beliefs are the best predictors of individual behaviors and that beliefs influence teachers' perceptions, judgments, and practices.

This study, a cross-sectional design experiment, examines key variables that might influence teacher expectations. To that end, this study seeks to: (a) provide a limited overview of teachers' self-reported efficacy beliefs; (b) examine the influence of these beliefs on student groups, and (c) understand which efficacy beliefs may influence teacher practice.

Offered, is a discussion of understanding teacher self-efficacy beliefs and the variables - particularly locus of control - that may influence teacher expectations, thus, how teacher efficacy beliefs may contribute to the choices teachers make in their instructional practices which may subsequently affect student academic outcomes. While significant limitations restrain the strength of the findings, the study will begin to provide a basis for modifying teachers' sense of self-efficacy beliefs and to understand how stated beliefs affect practices that may subsequently affect student academic outcomes.

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