Teacher Efficacy in the Context of Teaching Low-Achieving Students in Singapore

Project Number
OER 23/12 JW

Project Duration
January 2013 - September 2015


In the continual pursuit of excellence and equality in educational outcomes, leveling up academically low-achieving students has become a major consideration across the transition of educational policies in Singapore. In response to the Ministry of Education's efforts on helping low-achieving students and the Prime Minister Lee's (2006) call for more understanding about individual differences in abilities among kids and greater care of those who do not do well in schools, this study focuses on teacher efficacy in the context of teaching low-achieving students in Singapore. A teacher's sense of efficacy is one of the few individual teacher characteristics that reliably predict teacher practice and student outcomes. It affects how teachers perceive, approach, and teach their students. It also appears to contribute to student achievement, attitude, and affective growth. However, teacher efficacy is perceived as a situational-based, context specific conception rather than a global disposition. Although teacher efficacy is an area that has been widely studied in developed countries around the world, it has not been widely researched in Asia. In Singapore, the research on teacher efficacy is extremely sparse. Particularly, the literature is reticent on how teacher efficacy is understood in the context of teaching low-achieving students in this country (Yeo et al., 2008). Since what teachers believe about their capacities is a strong predictor of teacher effectiveness, understanding teachers' sense of efficacy in teaching low-achieving students is important to teacher educators as they seek to prepare, equip, and support teachers in ways that will help them improve their teaching competence. Adopting a mixed methods approach, this study examines teachers' beliefs in their capabilities to perform professional tasks and to bring about low-achieving students learning, with the intent of indicating potential and contextualized ways of enhancing teachers' sense of efficacy in teaching low-achieving students in Singapore.

Research Themes
Children at Risk (Academic)/Slow-progressing students

Funding Source

Related Links
ReEd Vol 9 (2013): The Power of Teachers’ Beliefs
SingTeach Issue 56 (2016): Confident Teachers Make for Confident Learners

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