Effects of teacher training in student self-efficacy on student mathematics self-efficacy and student mathematics achievement

Date of Completion

January 1995


Education, Mathematics|Education, Teacher Training




Over 15 years of research has been conducted in the field of self-efficacy since Albert Bandura's seminal article was published in 1977. The popular construct has been applied to areas ranging from snake phobias to basketball free throw shooting averages. Although its educational implications have been extensively researched, no prior research investigated the purpose of this study, which was to assess changes in students' self-efficacy and achievement after staff development on self-efficacy was conducted with their teachers.^ This quasi-experimental study included a pretest-posttest control group nested design using a volunteer sample of intact groups. Fifteen schools with 40 fifth-grade classrooms were randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group.^ A teacher training module was developed for the treatment group teachers on classroom instructional strategies to increase self-efficacy based on the research findings of the last 15 years. The module included a videotape presentation and handbook, which focused on three instructional strategies: helping students define goals, the use of peer models, and modification of teacher effort-ability feedback. The treatment group teachers used the instructional strategies described in the training session while teaching a 4-week measurement unit developed by the researcher based on mathematics skills usually included in a fifth grade curriculum. The control group teachers, who had not received the self-efficacy training, taught the same mathematics unit.^ The students of teachers trained in self-efficacy strategies had statistically and practically significant higher self-efficacy scores than the students whose teachers were not trained. This may indicate the beneficial nature of staff development in increasing student self-efficacy. Although females scored lower than males on the achievement pretest, there were no significant gender differences on the achievement posttest, indicating that the hands-on nature of the measurement unit, coupled with group activities, appeared beneficial for female students and erased any initial gender differences. ^