Practicum Teachers’ Perceptions of Success in Relation to Self-Efficacy (Perceived Competence)

  • Kirk Anderson University of New Brunswick
  • Keith Walker University of Saskatchewan
  • Edwin Ralph University of Saskatchewan


How do student teachers gain confidence in their teaching abilities as part of their school-based practicum experience while increasing their self-efficacy from the successes of their practicum? To understand this question better, we explored preservice teachers’ post-practicum accounts of experiences of success in relation to efficacy (Bandura, 1977, 1982) with some reflection on motivational perspectives as found in self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Of particular interest are the findings that illuminate the views of post-practicum students toward the formative importance of school cooperating teachers, principals, and vice-principals and their lack of reference to university-based supervisors. Of more general interest are possible connections that support the need for a better understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in relation to perceived competence (self-efficacy) for novice teachers.

Author Biographies

Kirk Anderson, University of New Brunswick
Kirk Anderson joined the Faculty of Education in July 2007 after three years in the University of Calgary. He is an experienced school-based practitioner, in which capacity he has worked for 20 years as a teacher and administrator. He is currently involved in three major areas: the International Beginning Principal Study (IBPS), Writing Our Way Home (a series of reflections and writings based on the University of Calgary’s international work in retraining teachers and school leaders in post-conflict settings), and the Leadership Compendium Project (a compendium of the current and future major leadership issues facing Canadian schools). His teaching areas include courses in educational administration, leadership, and theory; leading change; and teacher evaluation and supervision. He was the recipient of the 2006-2007 Graduate Student Association Award for Excellence in Teaching (University of Calgary).
Keith Walker, University of Saskatchewan
Keith Walker is a professor of educational administration. His recognized areas of work include educational governance and policymaking; leadership philosophies and practices; community and interpersonal relations; organizational improvement and capacity-building; and applied and professional ethics. He brings over 30 years of experience as a manager, teacher, minister, leader, scholar, and educational administrator in public and social sectors. His formal education is in physical education, sports administration, theology, education, educational administration, and philosophy.
Edwin Ralph, University of Saskatchewan
Edwin Ralph is a professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies in the College of Education. His teaching and research interests are in instructional development and its mentorship at both the pre-K-12 and postsecondary levels. He is an award-winning instructor and supervisor and has published widely in these fields.