Sheehan, C. Z., & Moore, L. L. (2019). Teacher Self-Efficacy in SBAE Methods Coursework: A Mixed Methods Study. Journal of Agricultural Education, 60(3), 219-231. doi: 10/5032/jae.2019.03219
As novice teachers gain experience, they are more efficacious and likely to overcome adversity. The more authentic, rigorous, and frequent the experience in preservice methods coursework, the better prepared candidates are to teach. We used a mixed methods, convergent, nested design to examine the Teacher Self-Efficacy (TSE) of 21 SBAE preservice teaching candidates prior to student teaching. In a teaching methods course that emphasized student engagement and the contextual conditions of
learning, we used the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale to quantitatively measure efficacy, while qualitatively measuring TSE using open-ended reflections. We concurrently analyzed data using paired sample t-tests, and deductive open coding and frequency counts. Students were more efficacious, particularly within student-engagement efficacy, following the methods course. While participants most frequently discussed instructional strategies, their richest discussion focused on the value of interest approaches and student engagement. Our study provides evidence that preservice teaching experiences embedded within a methods course significantly shape efficacy. When instructors emphasize student engagement, it is possible to develop student engagement efficacy to a similar, or even greater degree as both instructional strategies and classroom management efficacy under the same conditions, which may reduce teacher burn out and improve teacher satisfaction.