Teacher efficacy, teacher expectations, and tolerance level for children with special needs

Gina Lyn Kuyers, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine relationships among general educators' efficacy, expectations, and tolerance levels for the academic and behavioral challenges typically presented by students with special needs. In addition, this study examined the relationship between measures of teacher efficacy at a domain and task-specific level. ^ One hundred eight elementary school teachers from Scottsdale, Arizona participated in the study. Teachers were asked to respond to a 3-part survey that measured teacher efficacy at a domain level for academic instruction and behavior management, teacher expectations and tolerance level for students' academic skills and social behaviors, and teacher efficacy in addressing specific academic or behavioral tasks. ^ Kendall's tau-b was used to analyze the relationship between teachers' expectations and tolerance and their efficacy for promoting or managing corresponding students' academic skills and social behaviors. The relationship between task-specific efficacy and teachers' expectations and tolerance levels was only partially supported. The Pearson's product-moment correlation was used to analyze the relationship between teacher expectations and teacher tolerance levels. A moderate relationship was noted. The Pearson's product-moment correlation was also employed to analyze the relationship between measures of teacher efficacy at the domain level and at the task specific level. Results supported a moderate correlation between the 2 levels of measurement within teaching domains. However, high correlations were observed within measurement levels across teaching domains. ^ These results emphasized the need for more coherent measurement of teachers' expectations and tolerance levels for academic skills and social behaviors, as well as other aspects of teacher expectations and tolerance as they relate to the successful inclusion of students with special needs in general education settings. In addition, more needs to be understood about the nature of teacher efficacy across teaching tasks and appropriate measurement across levels of specificity. Exploring the thought processes and sources of information teachers use in making efficacy judgments when faced with academic and behavioral challenges may clarify these issues. ^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Special

Recommended Citation

Gina Lyn Kuyers, "Teacher efficacy, teacher expectations, and tolerance level for children with special needs" (January 1, 2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3056143.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3056143

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