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Title: Teacher self-efficacy and inclusive practice :an exploration of educator self-efficacy with regards to inclusive practice within the mainstream classroom
Authors: Grace, Christina
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Teacher self-efficacy (TSE) is theorised to underlie teacher effort, resilience in practice, and persistence when teaching pupils experiencing difficulties with learning (Bandura, 1997; Gibson & Dembo, 1984). Pupils categorised as having ‘special educational needs’ (SEN) experience difficulties with learning and have disproportionately poor outcomes in comparison to their peers (Department for Education, 2011). Researching TSE and any potential relationship/s between this and practice promoting the inclusion of pupils with SEN may contribute to understanding these poorer outcomes and perhaps identify a way to challenge these in future. An interpretative quantitative systematic review of literature regarding TSE and inclusive practice was undertaken initially in order to summarise the findings of research between 1998 and 2012. It concluded that research suggested a relationship between TSE and inclusive practice and that several factors, such as teaching experience and teacher attributions for pupil learning difficulties, may be associated with and/or moderate this relationship. A ‘bridging document’ was then developed. This outlined the gap in TSE research which was selected for further empirical exploration; the increased presence of support assistants (SAs) within the mainstream classroom. It also detailed initial epistemological and methodological considerations surrounding the subsequent empirical exploration of this area. The empirical study then undertaken aimed to explore the espoused self-efficacy beliefs of both mainstream teachers and SAs regarding their inclusive practice and teacher deployment of SAs. Consideration was given to the activities, planning, and collaboration undertaken by staff and any association between these and educator self-efficacy (ESE) levels, alongside any difference in the self-efficacy levels of teachers and SAs. A mixed methods survey methodology was employed utilising cross-sectional self-report questionnaires, containing both closed and open-ended questions, and structured observations. The empirical study concluded that although ESE regarding inclusive practice was not statistically associated with the activities practitioners undertook or the pupils they worked with within the classroom, it was associated with elements of staff planning and collaboration, such as communication prior to lessons. Additionally, teachers held higher ESE than SAs. This suggests that teachers may be more resilient, persistent, and possibly better placed to effectively support pupils with SEN than SAs, especially when also considering their often greater subject and pedagogical knowledge.
Description: D. App. Ed. Psy. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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