Teachers' implicit theories, self-efficacy, professional experience, and willingness to consult on academic and behavioral problems

John Mark Kowalski, Fordham University

Abstract

The present study examined the relationship among teacher variables and made predictions regarding teachers' willingness to consult with a school psychologist based on these variables. Specifically, teachers' implicit theories of intelligence, personal teaching efficacy, and professional experience were examined as predictors of teachers' willingness to consult with a psychologist regarding a student's academic problems. Also, teachers' implicit theories of classroom decorum, personal teaching efficacy, and professional experience were examined as predictors of teachers' willingness to consult with a psychologist regarding a student's behavioral problems. ^ Pilot study I developed a new instrument measuring teachers' implicit theories of students' classroom decorum. The Nature of Classroom Decorum Questionnaire possessed moderate reliability and sufficient psychometric properties for use in the larger study. ^ Pilot study II entailed the drafting and selection of scenarios. Teachers identified problems in these scenarios as either academic or behavioral in nature, and possessing enough magnitude to be considered for consultation with a psychologist. This measured teachers' willingness to consult with a psychologist. The method demonstrated low reliability for gauging willingness to consult on an academic problem, and moderate reliability when measuring willingness to consult on a behavioral problem. ^ Multivariate procedures were conducted using two similarly configured path analyses. Teacher variables (work experience, implicit theories of intelligence classroom decorum, and personal teaching efficacy) were constellated in order to predict teachers' willingness to consult with a psychologist on a student's (a) academic problems, and (b) behavioral problems. ^ The general study supported a previous finding that teachers were more likely to view student intelligence from the perspective of an incremental theorist the longer they worked in teaching. Teachers' professional experience was positively related to a greater sense of personal teaching efficacy, a finding also previously reported. ^ Only personal teaching efficacy effectively predicted teachers' willingness to consult with a psychologist regarding a student's behavioral problems. No evidence supported the hypothesis that the implicit theories construct subsumed the teacher efficacy construct among the study's respondents. Implicit theories research methodology was critiqued. Teachers may be inclined toward conditional belief systems, rather than possessing categorical viewpoints of student potential. ^

Subject Area

Education, Guidance and Counseling|Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Teacher Training

Recommended Citation

John Mark Kowalski, "Teachers' implicit theories, self-efficacy, professional experience, and willingness to consult on academic and behavioral problems" (January 1, 2001). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3021705.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3021705

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