Whether one examines teachers’ effectiveness from the perspective of a researcher, legislator, parent, principal, or student, the main goal is to prepare teachers who have a strong knowledge base related to science, knowledge of effective teaching strategies, the ability to teach, and a desire to make a difference in the lives of their students.
The underlying construct that influences each of these factors is teachers’ self-efficacy. We now know that teachers’ self-efficacy is embedded in an integrated system that includes prior experiences comprising previous successes and failures, as well as feedback from others. Self-efficacy can shape how a teacher will implement a new curriculum, predict the success or failure of a textbook or a technological platform, influence the effectiveness of professional development, or effectively frame a teacher’s response to a student’s question.
I therefore examine teachers' knowledge and self-efficacy beliefs when I study their professional development.