Validation of the Teaching Engineering Self-Efficacy Scale for K-12 Teachers: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach
Background: Teacher self-efﬁcacy has received attention because of its direct relationship with teachers’ classroom behaviors. Since engineering has been increasingly introduced in K-12 (precollege) education, development of an instrument to measure teachers’ self-efﬁcacy in the context of teaching engineering has been needed.
Purpose (Hypothesis): This study reports the development and validation of the Teaching Engineering Self-Efﬁcacy Scale (TESS) for K-12 teachers.
Design/Method: The items for the TESS were constructed through a comprehensive review of the literature regarding K-12 engineering education, the development of teachers’ self-efﬁcacy instruments in STEM areas, and K-12 teachers’ reﬂections on integrating engineering into their classrooms. During the content and face validity process, we used structural equation modeling to identify and conﬁrm the factor structure of the TESS, and used item analyses for reliability evidence.
Results: With data from 434 teachers in 19 states, exploratory and conﬁrmatory factor analyses using structural equation modeling resulted in the TESS consisting of 23 items loading across four factors: engineering pedagogical content knowledge, engineering engagement, engineering disciplinary self-efﬁcacy, and outcome expectancy. Cronbach’s alpha ranged from 0.89 to 0.96 and exhibited high internal consistency reliability coefﬁcients for the TESS.
Conclusions: Teacher self-efﬁcacy is a situation-speciﬁc construct because teachers’ efﬁcacy beliefs depend on the content area and teaching environment. Use of the TESS, as an instrument tailored for the engineering teaching context, can contribute to the literature on K-12 engineering education and improve the teaching of precollege engineering.