The study sought to examine the relationship between teachers’ self-efficacy and their classroom management practices among public Junior High School teachers in the Kwahu West Municipality. The descriptive survey design was used for the study. Proportional sampling and simple random sampling procedures were used to select a total sample of 217 respondents for the study. Two sets of questionnaires were employed for the study. The Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy teacher self-efficacy scale (TSES) was adapted and a structured questionnaire on classroom management practices were used for the study. Frequencies and percentages, Mean and standard deviation, Pearson Product Moment Correlation and Independent sample t-test were used to analyse the data for the study. The results showed a statistically significant moderate positive correlation between teachers’ self-efficacy and classroom behaviour management practices. The study also revealed a statistically significant moderate positive correlation between teachers’ self-efficacy and instructional management practices as well as between teachers’ self-efficacy and student classroom engagement practices. The study recommends that the Ghana Education Service organise training programmes for teachers to receive more training in the fields of self-efficacy and classroom management practices to yield higher outcomes in the classroom management.

Background to the Study
A teacher is required to teach a classroom full of students with a wide range of learning abilities, possibly coupled with some levels of learning abilities (Ryan, 2007). Also, every classroom is made up of students from stable, traditional or supportive home environments and from unstable, broken, or homeless situations. According to Senler (2011), both pedagogical knowledge and content knowledge are not the only factors which makes a teacher effective.

Evidence has been established on the fact that a lot of factors affect the teaching and learning process (White 2009). These factors, either remote or direct, mostly influence educational outcomes. Teachers’ ability to manage time, space, activities, materials, social relations and the behaviour of students have come to be accepted as some of the factors that can be affected by teacher self-efficacy, which in the long run affects academic achievement (White, 2009).

Self-efficacy has been discussed by Bandura (1977) to be a powerful tool in learning and motivation. Teachers’ self-efficacy, and confidence in their ability to promote students’ learning was identified almost 31 years ago as one of the few teacher characteristics related to students’ achievement in a study by the RAND Corporation (Armor, Conroy-Oseguera, Cox, King, McDonnell, Pascal, Pauly, & Zellman, 1976).

Since that early study, teacher self-efficacy has been associated with such significant variables as student motivation, teachers’ adoption of innovations, superintendents’ ratings of teachers’ competence, teachers’ classroom management strategies, and time spent teaching certain subjects, and teachers’ referral of students to special education (Woolfolk Hoy, 2000). Other authors have also made the same argument; teacher self-efficacy, teachers’ judgment of their capabilities to organize and carry out strategies necessary for successfully accomplishing a specific teaching task in a particular context is found to be significantly related to their classroom behaviour and to students’ outcomes such as achievements and motivation (Ashton & Webb, 1986). Classroom management is a very important aspect of teaching and learning, however, if we consider the issues mentioned, we can only argue that good classroom management depends on the efficacy level of the teacher.

According to Bandura (1997), self-efficacy refers to a person’s ability to believe in his capabilities and implementation of actions to be successful. A teachers’ self-efficacy influences his or her own thought patterns. He further stated that efficacy evokes emotions that steer actions towards objective perseverance through challenges or adversity, recovery from an obstacle, and addresses steadfastness over events that affect the task.

Teacher efficacy has been defined as “the extent to which the teacher believes he or she has the capacity to affect student performance (Berman McLaughlin, Bass, Pauly, and Zelman, 1977; cited in Abu-Tineh, 2011). In other words, a teacher’s conviction that he or she can influence how well students learn, even those who may be having difficulties or are under-motivated (Guskey & Passaro, 1994).

According to Bandura (1977), people have different levels of self-efficacy in different areas. Having high self-efficacy to handle challenging and demanding conditions are required for high performance. People’s level of self-efficacy affects their performances. Low self-efficacy leads to questions about the self in terms of capabilities and lack of motivation, both of which prevent people from concentrating on the activity they are involved in. When people cannot succeed in an activity, they question their capabilities and feel depressed (Yilmaz, 2004). However, people with high self-efficacy feel the strength to cope with difficulties. The difficulty of the activity may motivate them even more, and they strive for success.

The fact that someone has high self-efficacy and has done their best with enthusiasm does not mean that they will be successful. They may fail, but people with high self-efficacy do not feel the need to hide behind external factors like the physical conditions in a setting or the fact that they have shortcomings as people with low self-efficacy do. Instead, they think they should work harder for success and strive to gain control over “potential stressors or threats” (Bandura, 1997, p. 39). These qualities of people with high self-efficacy separate them from people with low self-efficacy, helping them perform well.

The level of self-efficacy varies among teachers. School administrators can directly influence the building of efficacy with their staff. Principals can build and foster efficacy in the areas of student engagement, effective instructional practices, and classroom management (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). An individual’s feeling of comfort in a working environment, the feeling of being supported by leadership and the acknowledgement of leaders’ influence with others for gain or assistance, tend to have much higher efficacy (Bandura, 1997).

Building a relationship between teachers’ self-efficacy and the teacher’s ability to transform the lives, attitudes, and motivation of their students from a negative direction to a more positive direction has remained important, but the challenge has always been how to isolate the teachers with the required characteristics needed to achieve this feet or connection.

Jerald (2007) summarized the characteristics associated with high levels of efficacy. He stated that efficacious teachers have the following characteristics:

Exhibit effective planning and organization.

Have the willingness to try new methods.

Are open to new ideas.

Are dedicated and have patience when things are not going as planned.

Are able to put up actions that prove to be more supportive to students who are not mastering the skills which are being taught.

Are more likely to help students who are under achieving rather than referring them for special education services.

In addition, he stated that teachers with enough self-efficacy are able to manage time in the classroom, arrange students in a way that will always make the classroom environment an enabling one for students with different capabilities, students with high capabilities and low capabilities, and as well as students with physical challenges. A self-efficacious teacher will make sure that there are no handicapping situations in the classroom.

Teacher self-efficacy is established during teacher education programs and first year of teaching. Results from studies on teacher self-efficacy have shown that teacher self-efficacy increases during teacher education experiences (Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993). In other words, teacher self-efficacy starts from when a prospective teacher begins to receive education to become a professional teacher and refines it with experience in the teaching job. Other writers, including Moseley, Reinke and Bookour, (2003), argue that self-efficacy declines for a period, beginning after graduation, through the end of first year of teaching. According to Yin (2012), the concept of self-efficacy is of critical importance to teacher education, but it is mostly ignored during training, support programs and in the daily work environment.

Teaching and learning depend on the abilities and effectiveness of teachers. This includes teachers’ confidence in student engagement, instructional strategies and classroom behaviour management are important factors which determine the level of self-efficacy of a teacher (Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993).

Classroom management is a complex interactive process that is highly dependent on the context of the classroom environment. It involves careful monitoring of the total environment of the classroom, including instructional management and behaviour management, in such a way that will promote an atmosphere where learning can take place (Marzano, Marzano, & Pickerinrg, 2003). The classroom activities in which students are engaged, the types of responses made to students by teachers, the teacher's awareness of factors competing for student attention, as well as the physical structure of the room, all impact on a well-managed classroom (McCreary, 2010).

According to Wong, Wont and Rogers (2012), classroom management refers to all the things that a teacher does to organize students, space, time, and materials so that students’ learning can take place. Classroom management is the term used to highlight all those activities necessary to create and maintain an orderly learning environment such as planning and preparation of materials, organization, decoration of the classroom and certainly the establishment and enforcement of routines and rules. It also refers to all those positive behaviours and decisions teachers make to facilitate the learning process of their students (Mazano, et al, 2003).

McCreary (2010) defined classroom management as the methods and strategies an educator uses to maintain a classroom environment that is conducive to student success and learning. He stated that efficient teachers should acquire a toolbox of classroom management strategies that they can use in the classroom. Mazano, et al, 2003) asserted that a well-managed classroom provides an environment in which teaching and learning can flourish. He points out that the importance of feeling safe at school is linked to students learning. It was further stated that safe and orderly environment refers to an environment, which protects students from physical and psychological harm and maintain order so learning can take place.

Every teacher has his or her own strengths and weaknesses, and as such, teachers’ ability to manage a classroom effectively can vary. According to Brannon (2010), little is known about the relationship between elementary school classroom management styles and students’ outcomes. Sowell (2013) is also of the view that, classroom management optimization is one strategy towards maximizing student achievement. In today’s society, schools are being held accountable for every aspect of students’ achievement. Classroom management plays a major role in students’ classroom achievement.

Many of the educational reforms have failed to address the relationship between students’ achievement and students’ discipline which forms part of factors that need to be taken care of by effective efficacy and classroom management skills of teachers (American Association of School Administrators, 2002; Brannon, 2010).

For a number of decades, classroom discipline has been cited as a major issue for teachers (Martin & Sass, 2010), and if a teacher lacks the required strategies and the abilities to manage a classroom effectively, glimpses of indiscipline on the part of students will begin to break into the limelight. Students’ achievement has been affected in schools where discipline and behavioural issues are not appropriately handled.

Research shows the importance of classroom management, however, knowledge on the most effective or appropriate classroom management strategy to be used in the classroom has been a problem (Brannon, 2010).

There is theoretical support for interventionist (Bandura, 1997) noninterventionist (Kounin 1977; Rogers 1994; Wong & Wong, 1998), and interactionist (Glasser, 1985; Lanoue, 2009) classroom management styles, however, not much is known about self-efficacy and classroom management. Further, little is known about the relationship between teacher self-efficacy, and classroom management practices.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Topic  |  Size: 131 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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