Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant professor of TEFL, University of Bojnord, Bojnord, Iran

2 University of Bojnord

3 A student in TEFL, University of Bojnord, Bojnord, Iran


Teacher efficacy is an essential psychological variable which is linked to student achievement, motivation, and even student self-efficacy. Moreover, teachers' self-efficacy beliefs play an essential role in the context of reform initiatives by mediating any behavioral change. The relevant literature reports conflicting findings on the sources, however. Such being the case, the present study aimed at speculating on the sources of self-efficacy among Iranian EFL teachers who participated in this study. To this aim, individual interviews were conducted with 18 English language teachers teaching in middle schools up to the point when data saturation was achieved. Moreover, the participating teachers were asked to keep journals in order to keep a record of the significant experiences that captured their attention concerning their self-efficacy beliefs during one semester. The data were analyzed using grounded theory procedures in which open, axial, and selective coding were applied to extract the themes (Corbin & Strauss, 1990). The results of the study indicated that Bandura's (1997) four sources of self-efficacy information including mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social persuasion, and physiological/emotional states played a crucial role in forming Iranian EFL teachers' efficacy beliefs. In addition to these sources, "teacher competence" and “contextual factors” appeared as two other influential factors affecting Iranian EFL teachers’ efficacy beliefs.


Aloe, A. M., Amo, L. C., & Shanahan, M. E. (2014). Classroom management self-efficacy and burnout: A multivariate meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 26(1), 101–126. doi:10.1007/s10648-013-9244-0
Althauser, K. (2015). Job-embedded professional development: its impact on teacher self-efficacy and student performance. Teacher Development, 19 (2), 210-225.
Ary, D., Jacobs, L. C., Sorensen, C. & Razavieh, A.  (2010). Introduction to research in education (8th Ed.). New York, NY: Wadsworth.
Ashton, P. T., & Webb, R. B. (1986). Making a difference: Teachers’ sense of efficacy and student achievement. New York: Longman.
Bandura, A. (2006). Toward a psychology of human agency. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(2), 164-180.DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6916.2006.00011.x
Bandura, A. (Ed.). (1995). Self-efficacy in changing societies. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84, 191–215.
Barabadi, E., & Razmjoo, S. A. (2016). The Emergence of Various Contradictions in Iranian High School English Education under the New CLT-based Curriculum.  Journal of Teaching Language Skills 35 (3): 41–64.
Ahn, k. (2009). Learning to teach within the curricular reform context: A sociocultural perspective on English student teaches practicum experience in South Korea. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.
Barabadi, E. (2015). An activity theory analysis of the ELT reform in Iranian public schools. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.   
Bostic, J., & Matney, G. (2013). Overcoming an ordinary Storm: Designing professional development for teachers implementing the common core. Ohio Journal of School Mathematics, 67, 12-19.
Britner, S. L., & Pajares, F. (2001). Self-efficacy beliefs, motivation, race, and gender in middle school science. Journal of women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 7 (4), 271-285.
Britner, S. L., & Pajares, F. (2006). Sources of science self-efficacy beliefs of middle school students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 43(5), 485-499. 10.1002/tea.20131
Bullock, A., Coplan, R. J., & Bosacki, S. (2015). Exploring links between early childhood educators' psychological characteristics and classroom management self-efficacy beliefs. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 47(2), 175–183. doi:10.1037/a0038547.
Chan, D. W. (2008). General, collective, and domain-specific teacher self-efficacy among Chinese prospective and in-service teachers in Hong Kong. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(4), 1057-1069.
Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory a practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: Sage Publications.
Chesnut, S. R., & Cullen, T. A. (2014). Effects of self-efficacy, emotional intelligence, and perceptions of future work environment on preservice teacher commitment. The Teacher Educator, 49(2), 116-132.
Corbin, J. & Strauss, A. (1990). Grounded theory research: Procedures, canons, and evaluative criteria. Qualitative Sociology, 13 (1), 3-21.
Gibson, S., & Dembo, M. (1984). Teacher efficacy: A construct validation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 569–582.
Glaser, B. & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: strategies for qualitative research. New York City, NY: Aldine.
Goddard, R. D., Hoy, W. K., & Hoy, A. W. (2004). Collective efficacy beliefs: Theoretical developments, empirical evidence, and future directions. Educational Researcher, 33(3), 3-13.
Goddard, R. D., Hoy, W. K., & Hoy, A. W. (2000). Collective teacher efficacy: Its meaning, measure, and impact on student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 37(2), 479-507.
Henson, R. K. (2001). Relationships between Preservice Teachers' Self-Efficacy, Task Analysis, and Classroom Management Beliefs. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwest Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, February1-3, 2001).
Ho, I. T., & Hau, K. T. (2004). Australian and Chinese teacher efficacy: Similarities and differences in personal instruction, discipline, guidance efficacy and beliefs in external determinants. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20(3), 313-323.
Hood, M. (2009). Case study. In J. Heigham & R. A. Croker (Eds.), Qualitative research in applied linguistics:  A practical introduction (pp. 66-90). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Howard, S., & Johnson, B. (2004). Resilient teachers: Resisting stress and burnout. Social Psychology of Education7(4), 399-420.
Johnson, K.E. (2009). Second language teacher education: A sociocultural perspective. Routledge: NY.
Kheirabadi, R., & Alavi Moghaddam, S. B. (2014). New horizons in teaching English in Iran: A transition from reading-based methods to communicative ones by "English for School Series." International Journal of Language Learning and Applied Linguistics World, 5(4), 225-232.
Kim, E. J. (2008). In the midst of curricular reform: An activity theory analysis of teachers’ and students’ experiences in South Korea (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation). The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.
Kissau, S., & Algozzine, B. (2015). The impact of mode of instructional delivery on second language teacher self-efficacy. ReCALL, 27(02), 239-256.
Klassen, R., Tze, V. C., Betts, S., & Gordon, K. (2011). Teacher efficacy research signs of progress or unfulfilled promise? Educational Psychology Review, 23(1), 21-43.
Klassen, R. M., & Chiu, M. M. (2011). The occupational commitment and intention to quit practicing and pre-service teachers: Influence of self-efficacy, job stress, and teaching context. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36(2), 114-129.
Kupermintz, H. (2002). Affective and conative factors as aptitude resources in high school science achievement. Educational Assessment, 8(2), 123-137.
Kyriacou, C. (2001). Teacher stress: Directions for future research. Educational Review53(1), 27-35.
Lau, S., & Roeser, R. W. (2002). Cognitive abilities and motivational processes in high school students' situational engagement and achievement in science. Educational Assessment, 8(2), 139-162.
Lemon, N., & Garvis, S. (2016). Pre-service teacher self-efficacy in digital technology. Teachers and Teaching, 22(3), 387-408.
Martins, M., Costa, J., & Onofre, M. (2015). Practicum experiences as sources of pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy. European Journal of Teacher Education, 38(2), 263-279.
Maxwell, A. J. (1996). Qualitative research design; an interactive approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publication, Inc.
Mills, N. (2011). Teaching Assistants’ Self‐Efficacy in Teaching Literature: Sources, Personal Assessments, and Consequences. The Modern Language Journal, 95(1), 61-80. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.2010.01145.x
Moafian, F., & Ghanizadeh, A. (2009). The relationship between Iranian EFL teachers’ emotional intelligence and their self-efficacy in Language Institutes. System, 37(4), 708-718.
Morris, D. B., & Usher, E. L. (2011). Developing teaching self-efficacy in research institutions: a study of award-winning professors. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36(3), 232e245.
Mulholland, J., & Wallace, J. (2001). Teacher induction and elementary science teaching: Enhancing self-efficacy. Teaching and Teacher Education,17(2), 243-261.
Murphy, A. F., & Torff, B. (2016, January). Growing Pains: The Effect of Common Core State Standards on Perceived Teacher Effectiveness. In The Educational Forum (Vol. 80, No. 1, pp. 21-33). Routledge.
Pace, R. T., Boykins, A. D., & Davis, S. P. (2014). A proactive classroom management model to enhance self-efficacy levels in teachers of adolescents who display disruptive behaviors. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 52(2), 307. doi:10.3928/02793695-20130930-01
Pajares, F. (1996). Self-efficacy beliefs in academic settings. Review of Educational Research, 66, 543–578.
Palmer, D. (2011). Sources of efficacy information in an in-service program for elementary teachers. Science Education, 95(4), 577-600. DOI: 10.1002/sce.20434
Palmer, D. (2006). The durability of changes in self‐efficacy of preservice primary teachers. International Journal of Science Education, 28(6), 655-671.
Phan, N. T., & Locke, T. (2015). Sources of self-efficacy of Vietnamese EFL teachers: A qualitative study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 52, 73-82.
Poulou, M. (2007). Personal teaching efficacy and its sources: Student teachers’ perceptions. Educational Psychology, 27(2), 191-218.
Powell, A. (2009). The cornerstone: Classroom management that makes teaching more effective, efficient and enjoyable. Due-Season Press.
Razmjoo, S. A. & Barabadi, E., (2015). An Activity Theory Analysis of ELT Reform in Iranian Public Schools. Iranian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 18(1), 127-166.
Rizqi, M. A. (2017). Stress and resilience among EFL teachers: an interview study of an Indonesian junior high school teacher. TEFLIN Journal28(1), 22-37. DOI: -37
Sandholtz, J. H., & Ringstaff, C. (2014). Inspiring instructional change in elementary school science: The relationship between enhanced self-efficacy and teacher practices. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 25(6), 729-751.
Shoulders, T. L., & Krei, M. S. (2015). Rural high school teachers' self-efficacy in student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management. American Secondary Education, 44(1), 50–61. Retrieved from
Shepherd, M. (2006). Using a learning journal to improve professional practice: a journey of personal and professional self‐discovery. Reflective Practice, 7(3), 333-348.
Skaalvik, E. M., & Skaalvik, S. (2016). Teacher Stress and Teacher Self-Efficacy as Predictors of Engagement, Emotional Exhaustion, and Motivation to Leave the Teaching Profession. Creative E published Online August.
Skaalvik, E. M., & Skaalvik, S. (2007). Dimensions of teacher self-efficacy and relations with strain factors, perceived collective teacher efficacy, and teacher burnout. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(3), 611.
Stajkovic, A. D., & Sommer, S. M. (2000). Self‐efficacy and causal attributions: Direct and Reciprocal Links. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30(4), 707-737. DOI: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2000.tb02820.x
Tschannen-Moran, M., & Hoy, A. W. (2007). The differential antecedents of self-efficacy beliefs of novice and experienced teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education23(6), 944-956.
Tschannen-Moran, M., & Hoy, A. W. (2001). Teacher efficacy: Capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and teacher education17(7), 783-805.
Usher, E. L., & Pajares, F. (2009). Sources of self-efficacy in mathematics: A validation study. Contemporary educational psychology, 34(1), 89-101.
Wang, H. (2006). An implementation study of English as a foreign language curriculum policies in the Chinese tertiary context (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation). Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Yoo, J. H. (2016). The Effect of Professional Development on Teacher Efficacy and Teachersí Self-Analysis of Their Efficacy Change. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 18(1), 84.
Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Self-efficacy: An essential motive to learn. Contemporary educational psychology, 25(1), 82-91.