Teacher efficacy within a Core Knowledge learning community in a high stakes testing environment
This study of 330 teachers in nine Core Knowledge elementary schools used the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale to analyze four types of efficacy: (1) overall teacher efficacy, (2) efficacy in student engagement, (3) efficacy in instructional strategies, and (4) efficacy in classroom management. In addition, the investigation employed two sets of teachers: those who have authored and implemented core knowledge units and faculty members who have only implemented the core knowledge components. The decision to explore the relationships between these core knowledge referents and aspects of teacher self-efficacy was based on prior research and the need to expand the work to a unique professional learning community that had not been previously studied. Bandura, (1986) states that self-efficacy is task specific. The specific task to be examined in this study is the writing of core units. Therefore, performing well in unit writing and showing mastery of this task should contribute to greater teacher efficacy. Even though there was only one statistically significant finding in this study i.e., (core writers had higher teacher efficacy in classroom management), in almost all of the comparisons the core writers had higher scores than the non-core writers in total efficacy, instructional strategies, student engagement, and classroom management.