Efficacy Expectations and Perceptions of Responsibilities of Special Education
Self efficacy relates to one’s judgment of his/capability to carry out assigned tasks effectively. For teachers, self efficacy translates to the teacher’s perception of their capability in delivering their duties. It is purported that high self efficacy is evident in the ability to handle diverse situations. High efficacy makes people capable of adapting to variable situations and handling difficulty with capability. The self efficacy of teachers has the potential of influencing the learning capacity of the students.
Self efficacy implies that people believe they can organize and carry out their roles effectively. Various studies have shown that self efficacy among teachers makes them capable of testing their impacts on student learning. Moreover, it also ensures that teachers can help students with learning disabilities. Teachers also display self efficacy through responsibility in their actions.
Various challenges in education, especially dealing with students with learning disabilities affect self efficacy among teachers. Challenges such as high stress levels, low accountability and lack of access are prevalent in special education (McArthur, 2008). However, with self efficacy and student motivation, these challenges can be overcome. Teachers at lower academic levels are reported to have lower senses of self efficacy (Whitley, 2010). This implies that such teachers may not reap the benefits of motivation among students.
Apart from this, a sense of efficacy by the teacher increases the students’ perception of success. Factors such as the level of education and type of education have been found to contribute to self efficacy among teachers. This is in addition to the already outlined challenges of curriculum access and stress levels. However, the teachers have to find ways of dealing with these challenges to ensure efficacy in responsible teaching delivery.
Other aspects of efficacy such as outcome and collective efficacy are also essential in education. Outcome efficacy relates to the teacher’s belief that their actions can cause the intended results (Berry, 2011). On the other hand, collective teacher efficacy relates to the teachers’ belief that successful comes from the sum of their efforts as school teachers. The student s studied in relation to teacher efficacy has been confirmed to be more positive for the general education (Campbell, 2004). However, the special education teachers report various challenges to attaining the desired outcomes.
Some of the challenges cited by Berry (2011) include perception of poor remuneration, changing policies, low staffing which makes it difficult to attend to unique needs of students and lack of resources. On the other hand, secondary school teachers mention difficulty in understanding student transition as a challenge to self efficacy (Seo, 2007). The transition from childhood to puberty makes the children difficult to handle and the faint spirited cannot achieve this.
Self efficacy is an essential tool in achieving desired outcomes in education. However, with the current grievances, corrective measures have to be taken to ensure it is maintained. Measures such as provision of sufficient teaching resources, boosting teacher Morales and collaboration in teaching performance are recommended for boosting self efficacy among teachers. Collaboration between teachers engaged in special education is more so recommended due to the lack of sufficient resources. It is important for the teachers in special education to create ways through which the issue of limited time with the students can be addressed. This can help to solve the problem of competition for time by the students desiring attention.
Berry, R.L (2011), Special Education Teacher Burnout: The Effects of Efficacy Expectations and Perceptions of Job Responsibilities. Campbell, J. (2004), Assessing teacher effectiveness: developing a differentiated model. Great Britain: TJ International Ltd.
Campbell, V.P. (1991), Teacher efficacy and student meetment. South Carolina State College.
McArthur, C.L. (2008), Teacher retention in special education: efficacy, job satisfaction, and retention of teachers in private schools serving children with emotional/behavioral disabilities. Proquest LLC.
Seo, H. (2007), Korean Secondary Special Education Teachers’ Perceptions of Transition Competencies.
Whitley, J (2010), Modeling the influence of teacher characteristics on student meetment for Canadian students with and without Learning Disabilities, Canada: Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa
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