Teacher efficacy – also called teacher self-efficacy or teacher’s sense of efficacy – is defined as a teacher’s ‘judgment of his or her capabilities to bring about desired outcomes of student engagement and learning, even among those students who may be difficult or unmotivated’ (Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy 2001). The notion of teacher efficacy originated during the mid-1970s in studies by the RAND Corporation and has evolved since then, becoming a frequent focus of educational researchers. As Zee and Koomen remarked, ever since the early RAND work, ‘studies on teacher self- efficacy (TSE) have been popping up like daisies in a spring field’ (2016, 981). In the journal Teaching and Teacher Education alone, 111 articles on teacher efficacy were published between 1985 and 2013 (Kleinsasser 2014). In fact, over the years, teacher efficacy in its many conceptualisations continues to be consistently (if moderately) related to important outcomes such as student achievement, teacher motivation, and teacher well-being (Klassen and Tze 2014; Zee and Koomen 2016).
The purpose of this analysis is to examine what we have learned about the meaning and measure of teacher efficacy, its value for teachers and their students, and how efficacy might be developed and supported during a teacher’s pre-service and in-service years.