Collective teacher efficacy in low socioeconomic status Australian schools: A sequential exploratory new scale development

Year: 2019

Author: Borneman, Anna, Spooner-Lane, Rebecca, Walsh, Kerryann

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


This paper reports on a PhD in progress. The purpose of the study is to develop a new scale to measure collective teacher efficacy (CTE) within low socioeconomic status schools (low SES schools; i.e.., schools in the lowest quartile according to the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage).


CTE refers to the perceptions of teachers within a school, that they are conjointly capable of organising and executing the actions required to produce a given level of educational attainment in their students. CTE research originated from Albert Bandura’s (1977) social cognitive theory, and was advanced by Roger Goddard and colleagues from Ohio State University. A substantial body of research spanning from 2001 to present found CTE has a significant, positive and direct impact on student achievement, over and above the impact of SES. Hattie’s (2017) synthesis of over 1400 meta-analyses reported CTE as the number one factor with potential to accelerate student learning, three times greater than SES. Despite this, there is a notable absence of CTE research within Australian contexts. Measures of CTE may provide insight into the affective states of teachers within low SES schools, offering important data on school-level mechanisms which may drive the relationship between school SES and educational inequity.


This study comprises three phases. Phase one is a systematic scoping review including 54 studies. The scoping review mapped the corpus of CTE research in relation to conceptual definitions, scales used and findings. The scoping review identified the need for development of a new scale for measuring CTE in low SES Australian schools. The new scale development will use sequential exploratory mixed-method design. Phase two is a qualitative study, conducting interviews with teachers to understand the contextual demands of teaching in low SES schools. Scale items will be constructed through thematic analysis of interview transcripts and expert content validation. Phase three is a quantitative study to pilot test the scale with teachers nested in low SES schools, with reduction and reliability analysis in preparation for validation through future research.

This study will contribute to school improvement research in schools teaching the most vulnerable students and will further enhance theoretical understanding within CTE research.


Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215. []

Hattie, J. (2017). Visible Learningplus 250+ Influences on Student Achievement. Retrieved from []