The Quest for Comparability: Studying the Invariance of the Teachers’ Sense of Self-Efficacy (TSES) Measure across Countries

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Scherer, Ronny ; Jansen, Malte ; Nilsen, Trude ; Areepattamannil, Shaljan ; Marsh, Herbert W. (2016)
  • Publisher: Public Library of Science
  • Journal: PLoS ONE, volume 11, issue 3 (issn: 1932-6203, eissn: 1932-6203)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC4784889, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150829
  • Subject: Research Article | Education | Cognitive Psychology | Human Learning | Sociology | Professions | Geographical Locations | Learning | Population Groupings | Psychology | People and Places | Teachers | Cross-Cultural Studies | Electron Microscopy | Scanning Electron Microscopy | Biology and Life Sciences | Neuroscience | Research and Analysis Methods | Asia | Medicine | Labor Studies | Political Science | Q | R | Learning and Memory | Schools | Social Sciences | Culture | Science | Microscopy | Cognitive Science

Teachers’ self-efficacy is an important motivational construct that is positively related to a variety of outcomes for both the teachers and their students. This study addresses challenges associated with the commonly used ‘Teachers’ Sense of Self-Efficacy (TSES)’ measure across countries and provides a synergism between substantive research on teachers’ self-efficacy and the novel methodological approach of exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM). These challenges include adequately representing the conceptual overlap between the facets of self-efficacy in a measurement model (cross-loadings) and comparing means and factor structures across countries (measurement invariance). On the basis of the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2013 data set comprising 32 countries (N = 164,687), we investigate the effects of cross-loadings in the TSES measurement model on the results of measurement invariance testing and the estimation of relations to external constructs (i.e., working experience, job satisfaction). To further test the robustness of our results, we replicate the 32-countries analyses for three selected sub-groups of countries (i.e., Nordic, East and South-East Asian, and Anglo-Saxon country clusters). For each of the TALIS 2013 participating countries, we found that the factor structure of the self-efficacy measure is better represented by ESEM than by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) models that do not allow for cross-loadings. For both ESEM and CFA, only metric invariance could be achieved. Nevertheless, invariance levels beyond metric invariance are better achieved with ESEM within selected country clusters. Moreover, the existence of cross-loadings did not affect the relations between the dimensions of teachers’ self-efficacy and external constructs. Overall, this study shows that a conceptual overlap between the facets of self-efficacy exists and can be well-represented by ESEM. We further argue for the cross-cultural generalizability of the corresponding measurement model.
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