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Development of the Teaching Engineering Self-Efficacy Scale (TESS) for K-12 Teachers

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Educational Research and Methods Poster Session

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.466.1 - 25.466.14



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Paper Authors


So Yoon Yoon Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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So Yoon Yoon, is a Postdoctoral Researcher at INSPIRE in Purdue University. She received her Ph.D. in educational psychology with specialty in gifted education and holds a B.S. degree in astronomy and meteorology and two master's degrees in astronomy and astrophysics and research methods and measurement. Her work centers on development and validation of instruments, particularly useful for P-16 STEM education settings and investigation of P-16 students’ spatial ability to understand its association with their academic performance and to identify their talents in STEM fields.

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Miles Griffin Evans


Johannes Strobel Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Johannes Strobel is Director of INSPIRE, Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning and Assistant Professor of engineering education and learning design and technology at Purdue University. NSF and several private foundations fund his research. His research and teaching focuses on policy of P-12 engineering, how to support teachers and students' academic achievements through engineering learning, the measurement and support of change of "habits of mind," particularly in regards to sustainability and the use of cyber-infrastructure to sensitively and resourcefully provide access to and support learning of complexity.

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Development of the Teaching Engineering Self-Efficacy Scale (TESS) for P-12 TeachersThis study describes a scaling procedure for the development of an instrument to measure P-12teachers’ engineering teaching self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is one’s personal belief about his orher capability to take an action for an attainment (Bandura, 1977). Teachers’ self-efficacy can bedefined as their personal belief in their abilities to positively affect students for educationalattainments. Since the introduction of the theory of self-efficacy by Bandura, self-efficacy hasbeen an important measure in education. Particularly, teachers’ self-efficacy received attentionfrom researchers because it was related to teachers’ classroom behavior that influences theperformance of students. In other words, teachers’ self-efficacy has a role of a mediator ofteachers’ commitment and a predictor of student outcome.Teacher training is a necessary prerequisite for the effective teaching of engineering. Whenintroducing engineering activities, teachers must deal with contents, materials, and teachingstyles different from other subjects (Rogers & Portsmore; 2004). Under these circumstances,many professional development programs that teamed up universities have been developed andapplied for teachers to be qualified and confident in teaching engineering (Jeffers, Safferman, &Safferman, 2004). Although a lot of efforts have been focused on teacher education, there hasbeen no credible instrument developed to measure teachers’ self-efficacy in teachingengineering.Therefore, this study attempts to develop an instrument to measure teachers’ engineeringteaching self-efficacy. For this study, engineering teaching self-efficacy was defined as teachers’personal belief in their ability to positively affect students’ learning engineering. We undertookseveral steps to develop the instrument. First, we reviewed several teacher self-efficacyinstruments, particularly used in STEM education. Studies using those instruments confirmedfactor structures of the teachers’ self-efficacy and provided suggestions for the improvements ofthe instruments. Those suggestions were reflected on conceptualizing the initial factor structureof the teaching engineering self-efficacy scale (TESS). Second, we reviewed the literature aboutprofessional development for P-12 teachers’ engineering education. This helped refine thefactors that constitute the construct situated in the engineering context. Third, we modified theexisting items from the self-efficacy instruments in the literature and also generated new items tobe situated in engineering. All the items in the initial pool have been judged by a panel ofprofessors and graduate students in engineering and education disciplines. To confirm face andcontent validity of the instrument, the panel has reviewed, discussed, and nominated about 60items for five subscales: engineering knowledge, instructional, engagement, outcomeexpectance, and disciplinary self-efficacy.As a next step, a pilot test is planned with about 100 teachers this fall. As an initial item analysis,an exploratory factor analysis will be conducted. To finalize the items and factor structure of theinstrument, a confirmatory factor analysis will be applied with a new data set from over 200teachers. In addition, item analyses based on classical test theory and item response theory areplanned to evaluate overall psychometric properties of the newly developed instrument.Additional evaluations of validity such as convergent, discriminant, concurrent, and predictive,are the planned following steps for a future study.

Yoon, S. Y., & Evans, M. G., & Strobel, J. (2012, June), Development of the Teaching Engineering Self-Efficacy Scale (TESS) for K-12 Teachers Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21224

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