The relationship between teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and parental involvement practices: A multi-method study

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2013-05

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Abstract

This study was designed to explore the relationship between teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and their use of family involvement practices. Bandura’s concept of self-efficacy and Epstein’s typology of family involvement provided the theoretical framework for examining this relationship. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods, justifying a two-phase sequential multi-methods study. In the first phase of the study, self-reporting instruments were used to discover the nature of the relationship between teacher self-efficacy, teacher’s family involvement self-efficacy, and the teacher’s use of family involvement practices. Teacher self-efficacy and family involvement self-efficacy were measured, respectively, using the Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale and the Family Involvement Teacher Efficacy Scale. Family involvement practices were self-recorded using the Teacher’s Family Involvement Practices Survey. In the second phase of the research, qualitative data was collected via interviews with a purposeful sample of teachers to further investigate the relationship between the two constructs. Participants in the study included 49 teachers from three different school districts along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast region. Of those that participated, eight agreed to provide qualitative data in a follow-up interview. The findings of the research indicate that a moderately strong relationship exists between teaching self-efficacy and the use of parental involvement practices. In other words, higher levels of teaching self-efficacy were associated with more frequent use of parental involvement practices. Teaching self-efficacy in student engagement and instructional strategies were significantly associated to teaching self-efficacy.
The research findings also revealed that communication is by far the most frequently used parental involvement practice. Other practices were largely neglected, which may be due to a variety of reasons, such as lack of appropriate training in the various methods available for parental involvement; variables within the school atmosphere that make parental involvement difficult, and logistical obstacles that teachers face as they try to involve parents.
Finally, despite having been significantly established in previous studies, the relationship between teacher family involvement self-efficacy and the use of parental involvement practices was not found to be significant with this study. The instrumentation used in this study may play a role in this phenomenon and should be considered carefully before employing it in future research.

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Keywords

Self-efficacy, Teacher self-efficacy, Parental involvement

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