Recent initiatives aimed at improving the quality of Head Start programs have included an increased focus on the instructional strategies of Head Start teachers. One factor that researchers have associated with higher quality classroom instruction and increased child achievement in the K-12 grades is teachers' sense of self-efficacy (Berman & McLaughlin,1978; Ghaith & Yaghi, 1997; Guo, Piasta, Justice & Kaderavek, 2010; Justice, Mashburn, Hamre & Pianta, 2008; Nie et al., 2013). Thus far, research on early childhood teacher self-efficacy has almost exclusively relied upon survey and other types of quantitative data to answer questions about this important construct.
This study of Head Start teacher self-efficacy builds upon this body of research by utilizing a multiple case study to explore Maine Head Start teacher self-efficacy. This qualitative study examined the ways in which self-efficacy is developed and influenced by the context in which teaching occurs. Interviews with Head Start teachers and educational leaders as well as onsite observations were conducted to examine teachers' delivery of instructional support and their belief in their ability to do so in ways that benefit children.
Findings from this study indicate that elements of the teaching environment such as time for planning and reflection, relationships with colleagues, and the amount of time with children can and do influence teachers' provision of instructional supports. In addition the study found that teachers embed instructional supports within a cycle of intentional teaching that includes formative assessment data used to plan for, modify, and individualize instructional supports for children. Formative assessment data also confirmed the benefits of instructional support strategies for the teachers in this study and acted as evidence of mastery that sustained teachers' instructional self-efficacy.
These findings offer important information for educational leaders and other professionals who wish to optimize the conditions under which Head Start teachers provide effective instructional supports and build instructional self-efficacy. Information from this study can also be used to inform the types of policies and practices that best support teachers in their instructional support of children.
|School:||The University of Maine|
|School Location:||United States -- Maine|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Education Policy, Early childhood education|
|Keywords:||Classroom assessment of teachers, Head Start, Instructional support, Professional development, Teacher efficacy, Teacher observation|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be