British Journal of Educational Psychology

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Volume 79 Issue 4 (December 2009), Pages 599-782

Changes in student teachers' agency beliefs during a teacher education year, and relationships with observed classroom quality, and day‐to‐day experiences (pages 677-694)

Background Conceptualizations of teachers' agency beliefs converge around domains of support and instruction.

Aim We investigated changes in student teachers' agency beliefs during a 1 year teacher education course, and related these to observed classroom quality and day‐to‐day experiences in partnership schools during the practicum.

Samples Out of a sample of 66 student teachers who had responded to at least two out of four times to a questionnaire (18 men 48 women; mean age 26.4 years), 30 were observed during teaching, and 20 completed a 4‐day short form diary.

Methods Confirmatory factor analysis validated two agency belief constructs. Multi‐level models for change investigated individual differences in change over time. Multi‐level path models related observation and diary responses to agency beliefs.

Results Supportive agency belief was high and stable across time. Instructional agency belief increased over time, suggesting a beneficial effect of teacher education. This increase was predicted by observed classroom quality (emotional support and student engagement) and daily positive affect and agency beliefs.

Conclusions Teacher education is successful in creating a context in which student teachers' supportive agency beliefs can be maintained and instructional agency beliefs can increase during the course.

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