Pre service early childhood teachers self efficacy beliefs towards parent involvement

2015-12-04
Alaçam, Nur
Olgan, Refika
Parents have a great influence on their children’s lives as becoming the first and enduringeducators (Wheeler & Connor, 2009). Parent involvement is beneficial for each stakeholders including; children, parents, teachers and program (Keyser, 2006). Parents’ involvement in children’s schooling promotes positive outcomes including children’s success in school work (Epstein, 2008; Morrison, 2013). Additionally, emotional and social development of children is also affected positively when parents have comfortable relationship with the teacher because children also develop trusting relationship with their teachers as a result (Keyser, 2006). As well as having benefits for children, parent involvement also improves communication between parents and teachers and supports each other’s efforts (Baker, Kessler-Skar & Piotrowski, 1999). Therefore, their involvement in children’s education is important, and teachers’ attempts to include parents in their children’s education play a crucial role on their involvement (Shumow, 2004). According to Greenwood and Hickman (1991), one of the critical variables that plays an important role in effective parent involvement is teacher efficacy and it has a direct impact on the implementation of effective parent involvement activities in school settings (Hoover, Dempsey, Bassler & Brissie, 1987). Teachers who have high self-efficacy beliefs in their ability to work with families show more effort to involve parents in educational processes (Garcia, 2004) and show persistence, enthusiasm, commitment in their instructional behaviors. Teachers’ high self-efficacy beliefs also contribute to student achievement, motivation and selfefficacy beliefs (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). In other words, teacher efficacy has a direct impact on the outcomes in classroom. The relationship between teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and implementation of parent involvement practices were evidenced in different researches in the literature (Garcia, 2004; Hoover-Dempsey et al., 1987) and concluded that teachers’ parent involvement beliefs significantly and positively predict their parent involvement practices (Thompson, 2012). It was also evidenced that pre-service teachers who feel more confident with parents are more likely to implement parent involvement strategies when they begin their profession (Katz & Bauch, 1999). According to Katz and Bauch (1999), pre-service teachers’ feelings and practices as classroom teachers are affected from their preparation for parent involvement activities and their comfort and competence levels can be increased through providing well developed and implemented parent involvement courses during their teacher education years (Morris & Taylor, 1998; Pentergast, Garvis & Keogh, 2011). Since pre-service teachers will be in-service teachers in the future, their parent involvement self-efficacy beliefs could give an idea regarding their future parent involvement practices in real classroom environments. Therefore, determination of self-efficacy beliefs towards parent involvement in this pre-service period is important. The current study is a part of more comprehensive study aimed to investigate how pre-service early childhood teachers’ general self-efficacy beliefs, parent involvement barrier perceptions, and their current self-reported skills in implementing parent involvement strategies predict their parent involvement self-efficacy beliefs. In the current study, adaptation procedures of the “Assessment of Parent Involvement Efficacy Scale” into Turkish are elucidated. Additionally, the current study designed to examine pre-service early childhood teachers’ levels of self-efficacy beliefs towards parent involvement and to investigate whether pre-service early childhood teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs towards parent involvement differ with respect to taking a course(s) on parent involvement strategies and their self-reported skills in implementing different types of parent involvement strategies. Cross-sectional survey research design was employed and data were collected from a sample of pre-determined population at just one point in time (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2012). In this study, the scale developed by Stuckey (2010) was adapted into Turkish by the researchers and expert opinions were taken in the adaptation process. The final form of the scale was used to collect the pilot data from 200 third and fourth-year (junior and senior) early childhood pre-service teachers from a state university located in the northern part of the Turkey in the spring semester of the 2013- 2014 academic year. Exploratory factor analysis results revealed one factor structure and Cronbach Alpha was .93. In the main study, the data were collected from 601 third and fourth-year (junior and senior) pre-service early childhood teachers from four universities located in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. Confirmatory factor analysis of the main data also revealed one-factor structure (Cronbach Alpha: .87). After that, descriptive analyses were conducted to determine pre-service early childhood teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and skills in implementing different types of parent involvement strategies. The results of the study revealed that the adapted version of “Assessment of Parent Involvement Efficacy Scale” is a valid and reliable instrument to be used with Turkish pre-service early childhood teachers. It was also found that the participants of the study hold sophisticated self-efficacy beliefs towards parent involvement. Their average mean of parent involvement self-efficacy beliefs score was 53.38, and it refers to higher level of parent involvement self-efficacy according to Stuckey’s (2010) criteria. However, no significant difference was found in their self-efficacy beliefs with respect to taking parent involvement course or not. Independent sample ttest results revealed that there were not a statistically significant mean difference between pre-service teachers who have taken parent involvement course and who have not taken parent involvement course (t (599) = -1.80, p= .072). On the other hand, the participants’ self-efficacy beliefs found to be significantly related with their selfreported of skills towards implementation of parent involvement strategies according to one- way analysis of ANOVA results. In other words, pre-service teachers who feel competent in implementing parent involvement strategies also had higher self-efficacy beliefs when compared to the ones who evaluate their skills as incompetent. Follow up analysis, post-hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD test, also indicated that the mean score for preservice early childhood teachers who evaluate their skills as very competent (M=55.11 SD=6.99) and moderately competent (M=54.41 SD=6.03) was significantly different from the others who evaluate their skills as incompetent (M=51.74, SD=6.76). The effect size was .05 which refers to medium effect size according to Cohen’s criterion (1988). These results reveal important implications for teacher educators in increasing early childhood teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs towards parent involvement. As Katz and Bauch, (1999) and Tichenor (2010) highlighted, pre-service teachers need more training on this topic.
Citation Formats
N. Alaçam and R. Olgan, “Pre service early childhood teachers self efficacy beliefs towards parent involvement,” Ankara, Turkey, 2015, p. 811, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/88256.