First Year Teachers: Certification Program and Assigned Subject on Their Self-Efficacy
In the United States, the demands of increased federal accountability have dramatically impacted the field of teaching. Teacher certification programs have been taxed with preparing first year teachers to assist increasingly diverse students to pass high-stakes state assessments. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine the influence of teacher certification programs and the assigned subject on the self-efficacy of first year teachers. A purposeful sample of 288 first year teachers employed across 20 southeast Texas public school districts were administered the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale to assess their level of self-efficacy. Results from the independent t-test found insufficient evidence to suggest that teacher certification program and/or the subject matter assigned to teach had any influence on the self-efficacy of first year teachers. Teachers from traditional and alternative certification programs noted the importance of experience and mentoring as being crucial elements necessary to support their self-efficacy.