The purpose of this study was to explore early childhood teachers’ sense of efficacy for working with immigrant children. In addition, this study examined the relationship of early childhood teachers’ sense of efficacy to their multicultural attitudes.
Ninety early childhood teacher participants completed a demographic questionnaire, as well as the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale, long form (Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) and Teacher Multicultural Attitude Survey (Ponterotito et al., 1998).
The statistical analysis resulted in a significant difference found between teachers’ sense of efficacy when working with Latinos versus when working with Marshallese students, t(82) = 4.64, p < 0.001, and that the teachers’ sense of efficacy was positively correlated with their multicultural attitudes score, r = 0.266, p = 0.013.
The finding that early childhood teachers have differing levels of efficacy for working with different populations of immigrants, and that efficacy seems to be linked to multicultural attitudes, has implications for teacher educators and for professional development initiatives.
This appears to be an important starting point for professional learning efforts directed at teachers with lower levels of efficacy for working with their diverse students.
There was no prior research done focusing on different immigrant populations and the corresponding teachers’ sense of efficacy when working with them. The results shown support the idea that teachers’ multicultural attitudes appear to be significantly linked to their sense of efficacy, when working with immigrant students, especially within the area of student engagement.
Atiles, J.T., Douglas, J.R. and Allexsaht-Snider, M. (2017), "Early childhood teachers’ efficacy in the US rural Midwest: teaching culturally diverse learners", Journal for Multicultural Education, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 119-130. https://doi.org/10.1108/JME-10-2015-0032
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