Discovering the impact of reading coursework and discipline-specific mentorship on first-year teachers’ self-efficacy: a latent class analysis
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Teacher self-efficacy is critical because it predicts teachers' future behavior and impacts teacher turnover. Most teachers begin their career with moderate to high self-efficacy for teaching, but often experience a sharp decline during the first year of teaching. After the first year, their self-efficacy begins to increase but rarely rises to the level it was prior to beginning teaching. Therefore, examining first-year teachers' self-efficacy is extremely important. Previous research generally depicts teachers as a homogeneous group, relying on variable-centered approaches and including self-efficacy as a scaling score, which may not be applicable at the individual level. Simply extending findings from the variable-centered analyses is insufficient. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to examine the heterogeneous profiles of first-year teachers' self-efficacy from the 2011-2012 Schools and Staffing Survey and to investigate how self-efficacy profiles are related to teacher training at the individual level. Using latent class analyses, we found three statistically distinctive classes within self-efficacy: high, moderate, and low. Regardless of teaching assignments, teachers who completed reading content courses during preparation programs and received discipline-specific mentoring during their first year dominated a higher level of self-efficacy. We conclude that these two factors are essential to preparing and retaining high-quality teachers.
author list (cited authors)
Feng, L., Hodges, T. S., Waxman, H. C., & Malatesha Joshi, R.