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Teachers' self-efficacy, goal orientations, and classroom behaviours: an integrated perspective

posted on 23.01.2017, 23:54 by George, Sindu V
Although student motivation has been a major focus of basic and applied research in educational psychology for a long time, not many studies have been reported on teacher motivation until recently. Researchers highlight the absence of a sound theoretical framework as the main reason for the lack of research in this area. The current study presents an integrated perspective on teacher motivation by incorporating two different constructs from extant theories (teachers’ self-efficacy from social cognitive theory and goal orientations from achievement goal theory) under the overarching framework of expectancy-value theory. The study analyses the influence of teachers’ self-efficacy (efficacies for classroom management, student engagement, and instructional strategies), and goal orientations (mastery, relational, and work-avoidance) on the selected four dimensions (expectation, structure, relatedness, and autonomy support) of their classroom behaviours. A sample of 257 Victorian primary (n = 115), and secondary (n = 132), school teachers responded to the survey on an 11-point response scale (0-100). Data on teachers’ self-efficacy were collected using Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001); Goal Orientations for Teaching Scale (Butler, 2012) was used to collect data on teachers’ goal orientations. Data on behavioural dimensions were collected using two scales: Teacher Style Scale (Watt & Richardson, 2007b) and Teacher As Social Context Questionnaire (Belmont, Skinner, Wellborn, & Connell, 1988). The analyses of the data included confirmatory factor analysis (AMOS 20), Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and, simple, multiple, and canonical correlation analyses (SPSS 20). Paired sample t-tests confirmed the significance of changes in teachers’ self-efficacy during the early career stage. Stepwise multiple regression analyses tested the moderation effects, and structural equation modelling (LISREL) was used to develop the model showing the relationships between the dependent and independent variables in the study. Results indicated positive relationships between teachers’ self-efficacy and their classroom behaviours, further emphasising teachers’ self-efficacy as a key predictor of their classroom behaviours. The malleable nature of self-efficacy was also supported by the data. The negative relationship between teachers’ work-avoidance goal orientations and their classroom behaviours, and the positive association of teachers’ mastery and relational goal orientations with their classroom behaviours were evident with the current data. The data supported the development and testing of a valid structural model relating teachers’ self-efficacy, goal orientations, and classroom behaviours underscoring the significance of expectancy-value theoretical framework in teacher motivation research.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Paul W Richardson

Additional supervisor 1

Jeffrey P. Dorman

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre