Do Teacher Perceptions of School Working Contexts Contribute to the Quality of Teacher-Student Interactions in the Classroom?

Paxton, Carol, Education - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Rimm-Kaufman, Sara, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Deutsch, Nancy, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Tucker, Pamela, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
DeCoster, James, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

The purpose of this study was to: (a) examine the underlying factor structure for collective teacher efficacy, (b) describe individual teacher perceptions of collective efficacy, as well as correlation patterns with classroom observation scores, and (c) analyze the strength of association between the collective efficacy perceptions of 392 fourth- and fifth-grade teachers and their scored observed interactions with students in the classroom. This study is the first to examine individual teacher perceptions of collective efficacy as a member of a teaching team and their observed performance in the classroom. Three stages of analyses were conducted to obtain results.
First, a collective teacher efficacy measure was constructed based on the original Collective Teacher Efficacy Scale by Goddard, Hoy, and Woolfolk Hoy (2000). This process involved reducing items from the Teacher Working Conditions survey from the Measures of Effective Teaching Project and employing exploratory factor analysis. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed a two-factor structure for the nine items selected for the measure used in the present study. Characteristics of the two factors were consistent with definitions for the group competence and task analysis constructs of Goddard and colleagues’ (2000) collective teacher efficacy theory. Task analysis and group competence correlated at r = .406 (p < .01, two-tailed).
Second, descriptive statistics indicated that teachers agreed with group competence statements (M = 2.36, SD =.59) more often than task analysis statements (M = 3.23, SD =.49). There was also less variability around the mean for group competence than for task analysis. Third, bivariate correlations between collective efficacy constructs and CLASS observation dimension scores were weak (r ≤ .20). However, significant associations foreshadowed the results of structural equation model. Results from the structural equation models showed that group competence significantly correlated with teachers’ emotional support toward students in the classroom (β = .29, p < .05).
Findings from the study will support future work. The two-factor structure has implications for the development of alternative measures of collective efficacy and the conceptualization of collective efficacy in other research studies. Further investigations of teacher collective efficacy perceptions and the relationship that group competence shares with emotional support provided in the classroom have distal implications for the actions of policymakers, program developers, and administrators seeking additional strategies for school improvement.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
teacher efficacy, collective efficacy, teacher perceptions, teacher working conditions, teacher student interactions
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