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A sociological view on teacher efficacy : a closer look at the school context

Lennart Van Eycken (UGent) and Mieke Van Houtte (UGent)
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Abstract
Studies have indicated that teacher efficacy influences teachers’ effort to encounter classroom difficulties and students’ academic performances (Fackler & Malmberg, 2016). Through mainly psychological research, we know which teacher characteristics affect teacher efficacy, nevertheless, classroom or school characteristics are largely overlooked in studies on teacher efficacy (Knoblauch & Hoy, 2008). Few studies concerning teacher outcomes include external obstacles, such as the socioeconomic composition of the school (Van Houtte, 2011). Socioeconomic and gender composition have already proven to influence students (Sellström & Bremberg, 2006; Van Eycken, 2018), but we know little about how these compositions can affect teachers’ efficacy. Studies suggest that teaching mostly low-SES students has a negative effect on teacher efficacy and the effect will be even stronger when teaching mainly low-SES boys (Auwarter & Aruguete, 2008). Using Flemish data of 1247 teachers and 6380 students in 59 schools gathered between 2012 and 2014, our multilevel analysis shows that socioeconomic composition does not affect teacher efficacy and no significant interaction between socioeconomic and gender composition was found. Gender composition affects one dimension of teacher efficacy: efficacy for classroom management. Teachers feel more efficacious when teaching mostly boys. This was unexpected, although we could link this with Bandura’s social learning theory (1997): “mastery of difficult tasks heightens feelings of efficacy”. Thus, schools with mostly girls seem less challenging. This study confirms the relevance of investigating compositional effects on teacher efficacy showing that teachers feel more efficacious for classroom management when teaching mostly boys, while efficacy affects students’ motivation and achievement.
Keywords
Socioeconomic composition, Gender composition, School effects, Teacher efficacy, SES

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MLA
Van Eycken, Lennart, and Mieke Van Houtte. “A Sociological View on Teacher Efficacy : A Closer Look at the School Context.” Europe and beyond : Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging : 14th ESA Conference : Abstract Book, European Sociological Association (ESA), 2019, pp. 224–224.
APA
Van Eycken, L., & Van Houtte, M. (2019). A sociological view on teacher efficacy : a closer look at the school context. In Europe and beyond : boundaries, barriers and belonging : 14th ESA conference : abstract book (pp. 224–224). Manchester: European Sociological Association (ESA).
Chicago author-date
Van Eycken, Lennart, and Mieke Van Houtte. 2019. “A Sociological View on Teacher Efficacy : A Closer Look at the School Context.” In Europe and beyond : Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging : 14th ESA Conference : Abstract Book, 224–224. European Sociological Association (ESA).
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Eycken, Lennart, and Mieke Van Houtte. 2019. “A Sociological View on Teacher Efficacy : A Closer Look at the School Context.” In Europe and beyond : Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging : 14th ESA Conference : Abstract Book, 224–224. European Sociological Association (ESA).
Vancouver
1.
Van Eycken L, Van Houtte M. A sociological view on teacher efficacy : a closer look at the school context. In: Europe and beyond : boundaries, barriers and belonging : 14th ESA conference : abstract book. European Sociological Association (ESA); 2019. p. 224–224.
IEEE
[1]
L. Van Eycken and M. Van Houtte, “A sociological view on teacher efficacy : a closer look at the school context,” in Europe and beyond : boundaries, barriers and belonging : 14th ESA conference : abstract book, Manchester, 2019, pp. 224–224.
@inproceedings{8618260,
  abstract     = {Studies have indicated that teacher efficacy influences teachers’ effort to encounter classroom difficulties and students’ academic performances (Fackler & Malmberg, 2016). Through mainly psychological research, we know which teacher characteristics affect teacher efficacy, nevertheless, classroom or school characteristics are largely overlooked in studies on teacher efficacy (Knoblauch & Hoy, 2008). Few studies concerning teacher outcomes include external obstacles, such as the socioeconomic composition of the school (Van Houtte, 2011). Socioeconomic and gender composition have already proven to influence students (Sellström & Bremberg, 2006; Van Eycken, 2018), but we know little about how these compositions can affect teachers’ efficacy. Studies suggest that teaching mostly low-SES students has a negative effect on teacher efficacy and the effect will be even stronger when teaching mainly low-SES boys (Auwarter & Aruguete, 2008). Using Flemish data of 1247 teachers and 6380 students in 59 schools gathered between 2012 and 2014, our multilevel analysis shows that socioeconomic composition does not affect teacher efficacy and no significant interaction between socioeconomic and gender composition was found. Gender composition affects one dimension of teacher efficacy: efficacy for classroom management. Teachers feel more efficacious when teaching mostly boys. This was unexpected, although we could link this with Bandura’s social learning theory (1997): “mastery of difficult tasks heightens feelings of efficacy”. Thus, schools with mostly girls seem less challenging. This study confirms the relevance of investigating compositional effects on teacher efficacy showing that teachers feel more efficacious for classroom management when teaching mostly boys, while efficacy affects students’ motivation and achievement.},
  author       = {Van Eycken, Lennart and Van Houtte, Mieke},
  booktitle    = {Europe and beyond : boundaries, barriers and belonging : 14th ESA conference : abstract book},
  isbn         = {9782956908708},
  keywords     = {Socioeconomic composition,Gender composition,School effects,Teacher efficacy,SES},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Manchester},
  pages        = {224--224},
  publisher    = {European Sociological Association (ESA)},
  title        = {A sociological view on teacher efficacy : a closer look at the school context},
  url          = {https://www.europeansociology.org/sites/default/files/public/Coordinator/ESA_2019_Manchester_Abstract_Book.pdf},
  year         = {2019},
}