School climate, teacher efficacy, and teachers' inclination to participate in consultation and referral
This study examined the relationships between teacher efficacy, two school climate factors, specifically teachers' work relationships and the system maintenance of the school, and teachers' inclinations to participate in school-based consultation and to refer children for special education evaluation. Participants were 187 elementary school teachers living throughout the state of New Jersey. Surveys were mailed to teachers at their home addresses. Teachers completed and then return mailed the survey anonymously to the examiner. The survey included a general information questionnaire, and measures of teacher efficacy, school climate, and teachers' inclinations to participate in school-based consultation and in referral. Relationships between the variables were investigated using zero-order correlations. No significant relationships between personal teacher efficacy and teachers' inclinations to consult or to refer were found. No significant relationships were found between the school climate variables, and teachers' preferences toward consultation or referral. Hierarchical multiple regressions were performed to determine the effects of the interactions of personal teacher efficacy and each school climate variable on teachers' inclinations to participate in consultation and in the referral process. The interaction terms did not significantly add to the prediction of teachers' inclination to consult or to the prediction of teachers' inclination to use referral. General teacher efficacy was significantly and positively correlated with teachers' inclinations to consult with a school psychologist when faced with an academically struggling student. General teacher efficacy was significantly and negatively correlated with teachers' inclinations to refer children to special education. Results of regression analyses found that general teaching efficacy was the only significant predictor of teachers' inclinations to participate in consultation and in referral. Additional supplemental analyses found that the school climate variable, teachers' work relationships, was significantly correlated with teachers' willingness to consult with other teachers. Regression analyses found that teachers' work relationships predicted teachers' inclination to consult with one another when faced with an academically struggling student. These results suggest that the existence of highly collegial relationships between school psychologists and teachers could increase teachers' likelihood of using school-based consultation.
Fox, Mary Elizabeth, "School climate, teacher efficacy, and teachers' inclination to participate in consultation and referral" (2004). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3134437.