From Ephemera to Building Blocks: Capturing New Understandings About Efficacy Beliefs Among Teachers in Learning Communities Using Repertory Grid Elicitation
Wednesday, June 27 3:30 PM-4:00 PM
Abstract: A teacher's efficacy belief is a perception of his or her potential to facilitate student learning and engagement (Bandura, 1971, 1977). However, investigators studying this notion by probing and capturing shifts in teacher cognition about it have confronted persistent measurement problems (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk-Hoy, 2001). As learners, teachers are often content with what may be superficial understandings, and this can impact their job satisfaction and students’ academic achievement (Caprara, Barbaranelli, Steca, & Malone, 2006). This paper explores the findings of two educational studies which tested a different approach for educing evidence of formative change in the thinking of teachers involved in professional learning communities. In each case, the researchers sought to elicit cognitive shifts among members of their study groups by drawing out and analyzing reflective data through the Repertory Grid (Rep Grid) Triadic Elicitation Technique (Kelly, 1955). The rep grid data matrices showed that applied reflection aimed at identifying alignments can build a larger epistemological amalgamation of new understandings about teacher self-efficacy, benefiting both individuals and their professional community.