To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Early childhood teachers’ efficacy in the US rural Midwest: teaching culturally diverse learners

Julia Teresa Atiles (Department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri, USA)
Jonathan Robert Douglas (Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)
Martha Allexsaht-Snider (Department of Educational Theory and Practice, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)

Journal for Multicultural Education

ISSN: 2053-535X

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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).

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited