Inside-out': Rethinking the place of self-efficacy beliefs and reflective practice in teacher education

Year: 2007

Author: Jones, Marguerite

Type of paper: Refereed paper

The impact of self-efficacy beliefs in pre-service teacher education is profound. Within teacher education, the beliefs students create, foster and hold true are foundational motivators determining depth of engagement and learning both intra-personally and professionally. This study emerges in the light of heightened debate about what constitutes best “evidenced-based teacher education” programs, and benchmarked professional standards of teacher graduate attributes and their relationship with student teacher self-efficacy. This paper reports on research commenced in April 2006.It explores the processes by which students developed, identified and especially reflected upon their self-efficacy beliefs. The study has used both teacher and learner self-efficacy scales. An analytical framework based upon self-efficacy, reflective practice and the Quality Teaching Framework (NSW DET, 2003) and the NSW Institute of Teachers’ Professional Teaching Standards(NSW IT, 2005) informed this study. However in this paper students’ reflective writing on two administrations of student learner self-efficacy scales, specifically developed for this research, are focussed upon. Two forms of students’ reflective writing, scaffolded and unscaffolded, were analysed to ascertain student beliefs, and knowledge about their reflective practices and the differences between scaffolded and un-scaffolded reflections. Preliminary findings revealed a relative conceptual shallowness in the intellectual quality of students’ reflective practice in unscaffolded as compared to scaffolded reflections. Implications are drawn for teacher education practice.