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UNIVERSITI MALAYSIA SABAH

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION & SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT


DATA REASONING IN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH (TT60204)

ASSIGNMENT
TUTORIAL EXERCISES
ABSTRACT

NAME

AZILAH MOHD AIRUL ABDULLAH


MT1313129T

LECTURER
SUBMISSION
DATE
SEMESTER

DR. LEE KEAN WAH


26 APRIL 2013
SEMESTER 2 YEAR 2014/2015

ARTICLE CRITIQUE
Thomas D. Bordelon, Iris Phillips, Paul T. Parkison, Jeff Thomas & Corinne Howell
(2012): Teacher Efficacy : How Teachers Rate Themselves and How Students Rate
Their Teachers, Action in Teacher Education, 34:1, 14-25

INTRODUCTION
Teachers and students are two different entities that need to collaborate
effectively in order to achieve one mutual ultimate goal; succesful teaching and
learning. Ones self-efficacy does not only affect expectations of failure and success,
but it also influences motivation and goal setting (Swanson, 2010). From this view,
teachers undoubtedly need to be efficacious since it could affect their motivation, goal
setting as well as their general expectations of failure and success.

In the research Teacher Efficacy : How Teachers Rate Themselves and How
Students Rate Their Teachers, the researchers attempted to explore a new dimension
of teacher efficacy whereby a comparison between how teachers rate themselves and
how students rate their teachers is presented. The authors point out that very few
previous studies actually asked the students to evaluate teachers efficacy using the
the same criteria and this study intends to fill the gap. In order to obtain the required
data, the authors used the Teacher Efficacy the External Influences Scale as the
instrument; a scale designed to evaluate teachers efficacy in terms of classroom
organization and discipline.

In the study, seventh- and eighth-grade students along with their teachers were
the participants and they consisted of 710 out of 889 (79.8%) of the students attending
the school and 18 out of 55 (32.7%) of the teachers teaching at the school. Upon the
consent obtainment from the teachers and the parents of the students, the researchers
distributed the instrument - the Teacher Efficacy Influences Scale as mentioned above

which is a 13-item questionnaire with a 6-point Likert-type scale to the samples. One
of the findings shows that 5 out of the 13 items are statistically significant when
student and teacher responses are compared using an independent t test. Basically, the
significance of the responses suggests that teachers and students perceive teacher
efficacy differently. Firstly, the authors propose that teachers are more altruistic in
their beliefs about impacting students. Secondly, it seems that the students tend to
believe that teachers have little influence on student behavior, and finally, both
teachers and students believe that some students will choose to misbehave and that
teachers may not know how to deal with such students.

STRENGTH
One of the strengths of the research is that the researchers managed to discuss a
pertinent, organized yet comprehensive literature review. The literature review
discusses three major subtopics namely The Importance of Self-Efficacy, SelfEfficacy Development, as well as Professional Identity and Self-Efficacy that
together constitute the deeper comprehension regarding teacher efficacy, which is the
core subject of the research. Furthermore, the literature review is also composed of
previous researches that show progression towards the research objective. Apart from
that, the authors have organized the literature review well in a way that the literature
review first introduces a broad topic and later progresses to more specific and focused
ones.

Furthermore, another distinct strength of this particular study is that the


participating teachers are representative of the population despite being somewhat
small in number, which is only 18 out of 55 total number of teachers in the school. In
addition, the author also mentions that teacher population was normally distributed
despite the small number of teacher as participants. The authors even made a remark
on this particular issue in the research and this shows that they are aware of the
possible consequences that might emerge if they do not do so. That was indeed a
brilliant act in order to avoid any future dispute regarding the validity of the data
obtained.

Moreover, another strength of this study includes the validity of the instrument
used and as aforementioned above, the instrument used in this study is Teacher
Efficacy the External Influences Scale that was developed by Emmer and Hickman
(1991). This is parallel to Daritys (2008) claim in which he mentions that good
questionnaires provide measures of variables that are valid as in being accurate. The
validity of an instrument is obviously of prime importance because it could actually
determine whether or not the data that shall be obtained through its administration is
relevant. According to Fraenkel, J. R., Wallen, N. E. & Hyun, H.E., validity has
been defined as referring to the appropriateness, correctness, meaningfulness, and
usefulness of the specific inferences researchers make based in the data they collect.
In this particular study, the instrument used does fulfil the above-mentioned criterias
because each of the items intends to elicit the information about the samples
responses regarding teacher efficacy. It is apparent that none of the items is out-ofcontext and this qualifies the instrument to be deemed valid to be used in order to gain
relevant data for the study.

Next, another strength of the study is that it employs appropriate procedures in


administering the questionnaire. The process began with the researchers obtaining
approval and informing consent from teachers and parents of the students before
moving on to an overt oral and written instruction in order to inform them about the
voluntary nature of the participating in the study as well as their rights to discontinue
their participations in the study without any risk or penalty. In fact, the researchers
had also taken care of anonymity aspect. It is important to note that the issue of
anonymity should not be taken lightly since the right procedure of doing it is crucial
in order to prevent nonresponse from taking place. According to Kays, K. M., Keith,
T.L., & Broughal, M. T. (2013), Increasing anonymity can reduce the cost of
disclosure to the individual and increase the likelihood of response. This clearly
shows that the dreadful nonresponse could significantly be reduced if efforts are put
to increasing anonymity.

Other than that, the authors have also done a good job in the results and
conclusion section. Firstly, the researchers objective to compare how teachers rate
themselves with how students rate their teachers has successfully been achieved
whereby the readers are presented with clear comparisons and contrasts alongside the
discussions on teachers versus students perceptions regarding teacher efficacy based
on the items in the instrument in the results section. Secondly, the results obtained are
actually supported in the literature and this makes the research noteworthy. Thirdly, in
the results section, the researchers have also communicated the limitations of the
study that include the relatively small number of participating teachers, the
geographical area of the United States as well as the relatively small population in
general. Meanwhile, as for the conclusion section, the conclusions reached by the
researchers are also valid and this has further added up another strength of this study.

Overall, we do believe that the study makes an important contribution to


advancing knowledge simply due to the fact that this research has managed to fill the
gap regarding how students actually rate teachers efficacy using the same measures
while concurrently getting teachers feedbacks on their own efficacy. Other than that,
the findings obtained in the research are also invaluable to advancing knowledge
because we are now provided with empirical evidence noting that both teachers and
students have different perceptions about teacher efficacy; something that we would
not have known should the study had not taken place. In fact, the researchers have
also presented in the conclusion section that both groups of experienced teachers and
teachers-in-training might find this study useful in order for them to reflect upon their
own perceptions should there be a sharp contrast between their own and their
students perceptions on their efficacy, and this element is vital in ensuring both
parties be well-equipped with the necessary efforts to be taken.

WEAKNESS

It is true that this study provides and proves significance especially on the issue
highlighted. However the writer did showed clear weakness in his writing. Firstly is
on the respondent that participated in this study in which the sample taken to test on
teacher efficacy is not balance. The number of students and teachers are largely differ
in which will questioned the validity of the study at the first place. Though however
the writer did realize the lacking of his study by pointing out that the data are actually
as representative of the population.
despite the relatively small number of teachers than the students, an independent t
test was used to compare the means of the two groups based upon the assumption that
the data are representative of the population an that the population is normally
distributed.
Thomas D. Bordelon, Iris Phillips, Paul T. Parkison, Jeff Thomas & Corinne Howell (2012):
Teacher Efficacy : How Teachers Rate Themselves and How Students Rate Their Teachers,
Action in Teacher Education, 34:1, 14-25

The writer in his study, had used quantitative approach in order to conduct
and collect data regarding teacher efficacy. In that context, he used a 13-item
questionnaire with a 6 point Likert-type scale in which the scale is anchored from 1strongly disagree to 6-strongly agree and that particular questionnaire provides no
neutral response. The term no neutral response indicated that the scale did not
provide neutral answer regarding the items asked in the questionnaire. The writer
however did not state clearly the description for the other four items which is item 2,
item 3, item 4 and item 5. The unclear description of the scale in the questionnaire
used in this study will led to readers lack of understanding on the purpose and
validity of the questionnaire distribution. It is better if the writer could clearly explain
on each scale in order to ensure that the tool used is adequately described for the
reader to understand what exactly the score means.

In terms of the instrument used to measure teacher efficacy, the writer stated
that it was actually a modification of the inventory developed to gauge teacher
efficacy by Gibson and Dembo (1984). It would be better if the writer himself is able
to find and use a more recent inventory to modify on so as to not affect the instrument
validity and to ensure effectiveness of the study conducted. The instrument also lacks
in term of explanations on the items dimension. The writer did not gave much
attention on what dimension does each of the items represent in which this will not
provide a clear structure and understanding on the instrument used to measure the
dependent variable i.e. on teacher efficacy.

In terms of data representation, the writer did manage to present and highlight
the significance of the result obtained from the data collection process. The writer in
his study, illustrated the finding by using a table in order to compare the means of the
survey item. There were particularly five columns in the table. The first column
represent student/teacher, the second column represent N(number of participant),
mean and significance. However the data representation aspect could be more refined
if the writer could present the data in a much more systematic and easier way so as to
ease the reader in term of interpretation process.

Another element that should be focus is on the literature review. It is without


doubt that the writer had ensured the comprehensiveness of his writing regarding the
literature review. However it is noticeable that the writer lacks of attentiveness in the
matter of ensuring that the literature review is current i.e. within the last five years.
Most journals that were referred to and included in his study were published not in the
recent years in which more than six to seven years. One of the most outdated journals
included in his study was the one written by Goddard, R., Hoy, W., & Hoy, A. (2000).
Collective teacher efficacy. Its meaning, measure, and impact on student achievement.
American Educational Research Journal, 37(2), 479-507. The writer should actually
give more focus on this aspect as literature review provides the foundation for the
study significance and relationship to practice (Carol B. & Sharon C., 2011). So it is

vital for the writer to make sure that the literature review is current as to ensure the
validity and to give more support on the writers stand and belief about his study.

The writer in his study on teacher efficacy also did not state the hypothesis or
research question. This element is of extreme importance as it should reflect the
purpose of the study. Thus it is a need for a research question or hypothesis to be
clearly stated and that it matches the purpose of the study.

CONCLUSION

Overall, this study showed a significant contribution to teachers particularly as it


provides a new dimension and ways on how to perceive and make perception on the
rating of teacher efficacy. The writer had indeed achieved the purpose of his study and
is able to innovate on the study of teacher efficacy. Having been able to conduct this
study in which he had given thoughts on making comparison as to how teachers rate
themselves and how students rate their teachers is actually a plausible and a useful
research study to be conducted in the first place. However certain areas can be
improved and be given more focus on so as to ensure effectiveness and validity of the
study conducted.

REFERENCES

Boswell, C. & Cannon, S. (2010). Introduction to Nursing Research;


Incorporating Evidence-Based Practice. United States: Jones and Bartlett
Publishers.
Darity, E. W. (2008). Research, Survey. In International Encyclopedia of the Social
Sciences. (Vol. 7, pp. 196-197). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.
Fraenkel, J. R., Wallen, N. E., & Hyun, H. H. (2012). How to Design and Evaluate
Research in Education. New York: McGraw Hill.
Kays, K. M., Keith, T. L., & Broughal, M. T. (2013). Best Practice in Online Survey
Research with Sensitive Topics. Doi: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3918-8.ch009
Swanson, P. B. (2010). Teacher Efficacy and Attrition: helping Students at
Introductory Levels of Languaguage Instruction Appears Critical. American
Association of teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, 93, 305-321.
Skaalvik, E. M. & Skaalvik S. (2010). Teacher self-efficacy and teacher burnout:
A study of relations. Teaching and Teacher Education 26, 1059-1069.