Teacher self-efficacy (TSE) is a frequently studied construct due to its positive relations with student outcomes. However, TSE of teachers in inclusive early childhood special education (ECSE) classrooms has seldom been studied. To fill this gap, we examined the extent to which (a) teachers exhibited differing levels of TSE for students; (b) children’s characteristics, particularly disability status and learning behaviors, were associated with TSE; and (c) relations between children’s characteristics and TSE remained consistent across an academic year. Thirty-seven teachers of inclusive ECSE classrooms completed surveys to ascertain their student-specific TSE and children’s learning behaviors for 114 children. Results indicated that teachers had different levels of TSE for students in their classrooms. Children’s characteristics, particularly their attention/persistence, were related to TSE, with more relations shown between TSE and children’s characteristics at the start of the school year than at the end. Implications for teacher professional development are discussed. (author abstract)
Does teachers’ self-efficacy vary for different children? A study of early childhood special educators
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