Award Date

5-1-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Emily Lin

Second Committee Member

Jian Wang

Third Committee Member

Travis Olson

Fourth Committee Member

Gwen Marchand

Number of Pages

151

Abstract

A teacher’s self and collective efficacies are assumed to be related to his or her teaching and student learning in a specific content area. His or her pedagogical content knowledge in the subject content area is also assumed to shape his or her teaching practice. In addition, the quality of one’s teaching is influenced by the context in which teaching is situated. However, the relationships among teacher self-efficacy, collective teacher efficacy, and pedagogical content knowledge situated in individualist and collectivist contexts of teaching mathematics have not been empirically examined adequately. Through the lens of social cognitive theory on teacher efficacy, situated learning perspectives, and concept of pedagogical content knowledge this study examined four research questions around the interrelationships between teacher self-efficacy, collective teacher efficacy, and pedagogical content knowledge in two different teaching contexts, the US and China, and explored the difference between Chinese and U.S. mathematics teaching contexts.

Using survey data from secondary mathematics teachers in the US and China, this study employed quantitative research methodology with both parametric and nonparametric methods, including chi-square test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and correlation to answer the research questions. The results showed that there was a significant difference between Chinese and U.S. mathematics teaching contexts: the former was more collectivist-oriented and the latter was more individualist-oriented. Compared to their Chinese counterparts, U.S. mathematics teachers scored significantly lower and fewer frequencies on observing instructional practice, critiquing, and providing feedback to their colleagues’ teaching. Chinese teachers reported a significant higher score in teacher self-efficacy related to specific teaching tasks, while U.S. teachers reported a significant higher score in teacher self-efficacy related to general teaching tasks. Chinese teacher scored significant higher in group-competence and collaboration and collegiality than their U.S. colleagues, while there was no significant difference in cooperation between Chinese and U.S. teachers. The results also revealed that for Chinese teachers, their specific self-efficacy was significantly associated with their group-competence, cooperation, and general self-efficacy was significantly related to group-competence, cooperation, and collaboration and collegiality; while for U.S. teachers, their general self-efficacy was significantly but negatively correlated with collaboration and collegiality. In addition, the results also showed that for Chinese teachers neither teacher self-efficacy nor collective efficacy was significantly related to pedagogical content knowledge; for U.S. teachers, only specific self-efficacy was significantly and positively correlated with pedagogical content knowledge.

This study contributes to the knowledge base for understanding mathematics teaching contexts in China and the US, which were assumed as collectivist and individualist but have not examined empirically. It also deepens the understanding of the relationships among teacher self-efficacy, collective teacher efficacy, and teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge situated within individualist and collectivist teaching contexts. The findings of this study were discussed in relation to the teaching/teacher cultures in China and the US, characterized by collectivist and individualist cultures, the different emphases of mathematics teacher preparation, and distinct curriculum and assessment systems. Implications were also addressed regarding mathematics teacher education practice, research in teacher self-efficacy, collective teacher efficacy, and pedagogical content knowledge, and cross-cultural comparison.

Keywords

Collective Teacher Efficacy; Collectivist Teaching Context; Individualist Teaching Context; Pedagogical Content Knowledge; Teacher Self-Efficacy

Disciplines

Teacher Education and Professional Development

Language

English


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