The purpose of this study was to describe the ways in which the experiences gained during practica influence the developing self-efficacy of Canadian pre-service teachers for teaching in inclusive classrooms. Questionnaires were issued to participants in teacher education programs at 11 universities across Canada, and the data were subjected to content analysis. Several themes that emerged from the participant responses were found to be influential in pre-service teachers’ feelings of efficacy, with behaviour management having the greatest influence, regardless of whether participants felt successful or challenged. Academic outcomes, relationships with students, and other school adults as resources were also identified as themes influencing pre-service teachers’ feelings of success and challenge in practica. The data revealed attitudes and beliefs about inclusion and the impact these may have on teacher efficacy. Several elements can positively influence teacher efficacy including the ability to identify and utilize instructional and personnel resources, the ability to form supportive professional relationships with other school adults, and the ability to recognize achievement as it pertains to the individual rather than prescribed norms. As beliefs about self-efficacy are informed by enactive mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, physiological factors, and verbal persuasion, teacher preparation programs can foster teacher efficacy by encouraging the development of positive attitudes and equipping teachers with the skills they need.
Young, G., Specht, J. A., Hunter, F. E., Terreberry, S., McGhie-Richmond, D., & Hutchinson, N. L. (2018) “The First Day He Kicked Shoes at Me, the Last Day He Brought Me a Picture of Himself”: Investigating the Practicum Experiences of Pre-service Teachers. Exceptionality Education International, 28, 83-101. Retrieved from https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/eei/vol28/iss3/7