Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

General Human Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Mardel A. Crandall

Committee Member

Jennifer K. Henk

Second Committee Member

Bobbie Biggs

Keywords

Education; Arkansas; Caring; Childhood; Creating; Exploration; Learner-centeredness; Professionals; Qualified; Teacher

Abstract

The demand for degreed teachers for positions teaching children even younger than preschool age is increasing across the United States. Teacher qualifications vary from state to state, and there is increased emphasis on teacher credentials and education. The current study extends the current literature by examining variables that effect the development of teacher efficacy and aims to determine a relationship between trainability of characteristics of beliefs about learner-centered beliefs/developmentally appropriate practices and teacher efficacy. Participants were 175 teachers working in the state of Arkansas in early childhood programs teaching children birth to 5 years of age. A significant relationship was confirmed between total teacher efficacy and teacher learnered-centeredness with regard to discipline and classroom management, teaching practices, and beliefs about children. However, significant differences in teacher efficacy scores of teachers holding a degree in early childhood education (P-4 licensure) from those without a bachelor’s degree were not found. Interestingly, teachers with bachelor’s degrees in child development did have significantly higher efficacy scores than did those who held the P-4 license in Arkansas. Results are discussed with the hope that teacher-training programs specific to birth through Kindergarten can target specific trainable variables to improve teacher confidence in their training which will result in higher efficacy and developmentally appropriate teaching practices.

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