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Measuring Teacher Sense of Efficacy: Insights and Recommendations Concerning Scale Design and Data Analysis from Research with Preservice and Inservice Teachers in China


In this study, issues concerning the design of scales for measuring teacher sense of efficacy (TSE) are first identified with particular attention to the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES). Psychometric issues concerning analysis and reporting of TSE data are subsequently identified. Recommendations are offered about all identified issues, and these recommendations are taken into account when obtaining and analyzing TSE data from Chinese mainland preservice and inservice teachers. Exploratory factor analyses yielded a single factor for both samples as well as for four subgroups within the inservice teacher sample. Results also provided insights about scale design as well as the TSES being limited for capturing the breadth of TSE. Suggestions are made for improvements in the assessment of TSE.

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  • 13 February 2020

    The article Measuring Teacher Sense of Efficacy: Insights and Recommendations Concerning Scale Design and Data Analysis from Research with Preservice and Inservice Teachers in China written by Kang Ma, Robert Trevethan and Shuhong Lu, was originally published on vol. 14, no. 4 of Frontier of Education in China without Open Access. After publication, the authors decided to opt for Open Choice and to make the article an Open Access publication. Therefore, the copyright of the article has been changed to © The Author(s) 2020 and the article is forthwith distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (<ExternalRef><RefSource>http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/</RefSource><RefTarget Address="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" TargetType="URL"/></ExternalRef>), which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

    The original article has been corrected.

    Corresponding author: Robert Trevethan

    Email: robertrevethan@gmail.com


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Sylvia McAra and Michael Moxham suggested improvements to earlier drafts of this manuscript. Colleagues in Australia and China, including Qing Xu, Yichi Zhang, and Tengfei Gong, provided assistance with translating and back translating the surveys, and other colleagues helped with accessing participants.

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Correspondence to Robert Trevethan.

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Ma, K., Trevethan, R. & Lu, S. Measuring Teacher Sense of Efficacy: Insights and Recommendations Concerning Scale Design and Data Analysis from Research with Preservice and Inservice Teachers in China. Front Educ China 14, 612–686 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11516-019-0029-1

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  • teacher sense of efficacy (TSE)
  • teacher self-efficacy
  • Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES)
  • scale design
  • response rate
  • factor analysis
  • China