Opportunities to Learn for Teachers’ Self-Efficacy and Enthusiasm
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AbstractThe aim of this study was to identify opportunities to learn for teachers’ motivational orientations. Motivational orientations are relevant characteristics of psychological functioning, which are important for the behavior of a teacher and mandatory for effective teaching. We focus on three domains: self-efficacy, subject-specific enthusiasm, and enthusiasm for teaching the subject. Self-efficacy covers the belief of an individual that he or she is capable of performing required behaviors to produce a desired outcome. Teacher enthusiasm is an affective teacher orientation that is related to a specific subject and to teaching this specific subject. Different opportunities to learn are considered for teachers’ motivational orientations. Since teacher education particularly focuses on the acquisition of professional knowledge, we added a further exploratory focus to the study and investigated the relationships between motivational orientations and professional knowledge (content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge). 134 biology teachers participated in the study. The results reveal that teacher education at university, the attendance in professional development courses, and self-study provide opportunities to learn for self-efficacy and enthusiasm for teaching the subject. Moreover, we found self-efficacy and subject-specific enthusiasm to be positively related to pedagogical content knowledge.