Pre-Service Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy during an International Professional Practicum Experience 

Pre-Service Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy during an International Professional Practicum Experience 

Abstract

This research project measured the self-efficacy of preservice teachers before and after they completed their teacher education professional practicum experience during a study abroad experience. The Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) was administered prior to the pre-service teachers’ professional practicum experience and after the experience had ended. Follow-up interviews were conducted at the conclusion of the experience. Results indicate that the preservice teachers’ sense of self-efficacy was, for most items on the scale, unchanged by the practicum experience; however, for five items on the scale, the practicum experience abroad had a negative effect on the preservice teachers’ sense of self-efficacy. Qualitative results yielded common themes consistent with the quantitative data regarding classroom management. Implications for field experiences abroad are discussed.

Introduction & Study Background

During the summer of 2015, a group of graduate and undergraduate pre-service teacher education students embarked on completing their professional practicum experience abroad in a country well over 8,000 miles from their home. The pre-service teachers were immersed in a primary school in a suburban area of Cape Town, South Africa close to Khayelitsha, which is one of the largest black townships in South Africa. Many students from the primary school in in the township of Khayelitsha. This study examines the students’ sense of self-efficacy before and after this unique professional practicum experience.

In order to fulfill the state requirements for teacher certification and the university requirements for their practicum experience, the pre-service teachers had to spend a minimum of 60 to 80 hours in the classroom. Their practicum experiences were completed at a primary school with students ranging from grade R (equivalent to kindergarten) to ninth grade. The grades represented by the pre-service teachers who participated in this study were R, 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7. Each of the pre-service teachers completing this experience in the lower grades (R–5) were paired with another pre-service teacher. However, not all preservice teachers in who were completing their professional practicum in this international setting participated in this study.

Preservice teachers must also meet a diversity requirement with respect to classroom grade clusters. For Elementary Education majors, there are three clusters: pre-kindergarten or kindergarten; first, second, or third grade; and fourth or fifth grade. For Middle School majors, the pre-service teachers must complete three experiences in the selected concentration area(s) in two clusters: one in either fourth or fifth grade and one in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade. Like Middle School majors, the pre-service teachers in the Secondary Education program must complete three experiences in their specific major or concentration area in two clusters: sixth, seventh, or eighth grade; and ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth grade. Other than the Secondary major, each pre-service teacher was paired with another pre-service teacher needing the same grade cluster in order to fulfill the requirements to gain certification at the end of their respective program. It is worth noting that, because of the specific needs of each pre-service teacher other than the secondary pre-service teacher, all pre-service teachers were paired with someone from a campus different than their own.[1] Although each student was acquainted with all pre-service teachers in the group, none of the pre-service teachers knew the other pre-service teachers from the other campuses.

The pre-service teachers’ responsibilities began with classroom observation and progressed to the planning and execution of lessons. These aspiring educators were also expected to reflect on student learning, converse with cooperating teachers, consult with their university supervisors, and participate in collegial conversations with peers, in addition to participating in all school-related activities that happened during the school day, such as Cross Cultural Day for which the different grade levels put together a show for the school in the courtyard area of the school yard. Each day, the faculty of the school met as a group to discuss necessary items such as upcoming school assessments, surveys that needed to be completed by each class, and announcements of school-wide events. All pre-service teachers were required to be in these daily meetings.

Literature Review

Bandura (1994) defines self-efficacy as “people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives” (p. 71), claiming that beliefs of self-efficacy influence motivation and behavior such that personal achievement and well-being are enhanced by a strong sense of self-efficacy. According to Bandura, “[p]eople with high assurance in their capabilities approach difficult tasks as challenges to be mastered rather than as threats to be avoided” (p. 71). Berman, McLaughlin, Bass, Pauly, & Zellman (1977) have defined teacher efficacy as “the extent to which the teacher believes her or she has the capacity to affect student performance” (p. 137). Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk Hoy, and Hoy (1998) define teachers’ sense of efficacy as “the teacher’s belief in his or her capability to organize and execute courses of action required to successfully accomplish a specific teaching task in a particular context” (p. 233).

Although Flores (2015) has indicated the need to provide authentic classroom teaching opportunities through “systematically structured field experiences” in order to connect research to practice (p. 14), to date, few investigations have been conducted to determine if completing a practicum experience abroad affects a pre-service teacher’s self-efficacy beliefs. Merryn, Moussa-Inaty, and Barza (2014) stress the importance of research of teachers working in environments different from their own, eg culturally, is underexplored.

Smolleck and Mongan (2011) used the Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI) instrument to assess changing self-efficacy beliefs among thirty-eight pre-service teachers at various stages of their professional development. They also collected qualitative data through which they investigated the “critical incidents, which may contribute to changes in self-efficacy.” Their results demonstrate a positive change in self-efficacy over the course of the research study and identify a set of potential educational experiences that may have influenced a change in self-efficacy with respect to teaching science as inquiry.

The development of teacher efficacy is a process. Although different experiences can contribute to building one’s teacher efficacy, mastery experiences during student teaching and the first year of teaching can have the most substantial impact (Mulholland & Wallace, 2001; Hoy & Spero, 2005). Brown, Lee, and Collins (2015) found that “pre-service teachers benefit from their student teaching experiences in terms of perceptions of preparedness and sense of teaching efficacy” (p. 87). Also found that although students teachers may have difficulties during their student teaching experiences, student teachers’ “positive perceptions regarding their growing knowledge and skillfulness, their increasing sense of efficacy, flexibility and spontaneity in their performance and interactions as well as the awareness of having achieved reasonable levels of acceptance and recognition amongst the school community” was found (p. 172).

Hoy and Spero (2005) used four quantitative assessments of teacher efficacy to measure the changes in efficacy from program entrance through the induction year. Their results show an increase in efficacy during student teaching and a decrease in efficacy during the induction year. They also found a relationship between changes in efficacy during the induction year and the level of support received.

As indicated by Bandura (1997) and then again in Yilmaz’s (2011) follow-up study with English as a Foreign Language teachers concerning how teachers evaluated themselves does have impact on their own effort in teaching and the challenges that are set for themselves and their students.

Research Questions and Hypotheses

The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine beliefs regarding self-efficacy among pre-service teachers completing their professional practicum in an international setting. This study sought to answer the following questions: (1) How does preservice teachers’ sense of self-efficacy change during their international practicum experience? (2) How does completing the practicum abroad affect pre-service teachers’ sense of self-efficacy? (3) What are some possible factors during the practicum abroad experience that might be related to changes in candidates’ self-efficacy?

We hypothesized that, consistent with Bandura’s theory that “[p]ersistence in activities that are subjectively threatening but in fact relatively safe produces, through experiences of mastery, further enhancement of self-efficacy and corresponding reductions in defensive behavior, “completing the practicum experience abroad would positively affect a change in efficacy.

Methodology

In order to gain greater insight into the participants’ belief in their own sense of self-efficacy, a mixed methods design was used. One of the reasons this design was chosen was how the study yielded to being an example of complementarity. Hesse-Biber (2010) explains how “complementarity allows the researcher to gain a fuller understanding of the research problem and/or to clarify a given result (p. 4).

Participants completed a pre-and post-inventory using the Teachers’ Sense of Self-Efficacy Scale (TSES), which is comprised of a Likert-type scale. Although the TSES scale was distinguished quantifiably by nine points on the Likert-type scale, there are only five justifiers identifying the scale, with one representing the lowest on the scale and nine representing the highest on the scale. The number one represented ‘nothing,’ three represented ‘very little,’ five representing ‘some influence,’ seven representing ‘quite a bit,’ and nine representing ‘a great deal.’

The pre-service teachers also completed post interviews. A semi-structured interview protocol was followed and was completed once the pre-service teachers returned from the international experience. “Semi-structured interviews allow respondents the chance to be the experts and to inform the research” (p. 668). The pre-service teachers are the experts of their own beliefs, thus the reason to use the semi-structured interview protocol so that the pre-service teachers would be able to provide appropriate data.

Theoretical Framework

Bandura (1977) explains the four sources of information that can have an effect on one’s own personal efficacy. They are performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states. Bandura postulates that “cognitive events are induced and altered most readily by experience of mastery arising from effective performance” (p. 191). Based on Bandura’s assertions, through active participation, one must participate in actual experiences rather than be the onlooker. In a study investigating views of what it is to be a teacher of preservice teachers, Pendergast, Garvis, and Keogh (2011) also emphasized the necessity for teacher educators to recognize the influence of these key information sources on teacher self-efficacy.  Pre-service teachers begin their time in the classroom with limited mastery experiences. Results from a study conducted by Tschannen-Moran and Hoy explain how these same key points, “verbal persuasion, vicarious experiences, and emotional arousal, may well be most salient for pre-service teachers who lack significant mastery experiences” (p. 954). Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk Hoy, and Hoy (1998) also explain that “mastery or enactive experiences are the most powerful source of efficacy information (p. 229). Martins, Costa, and Onofre (2015) found that “classes’ characteristics, planning and teaching practice were examples of mastery experiences” (p. 263).

Participants

The participants for this study were eight pre-service teachers from a small, private university in the Southeastern United States. Of the eight participants, seven of the participants were enrolled in an undergraduate teacher education program, and one student was enrolled in a graduate teacher education program. The university attended by the pre-service teachers has multiple campuses. One campus is considered the traditional campus, whereas the other four campuses are for non-traditional students. Students from the traditional campus and three of the four non-traditional campuses were represented in the study. All pre-service teachers were early childhood (elementary) education majors except for the one graduate student, who was a secondary education major. Three of the participants were students of the traditional campus, whereas four of the participants were students of the centers. One student was a graduate student from the metropolitan campus. Although there were additional pre-service teachers represented in this experience, only seven of the pre-service teachers are recognized in this study.

Data Collection

In order to gain insight into whether the international experience had an effect on the pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy, a pre-and post-inventory was administered, as well as a follow-up interview. The students completed the Teachers’ Sense of Self-Efficacy Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). The inventory assesses three factors of self-efficacy: student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management. There are eight items in the inventory dedicated to each of these three factors, for a total of twenty-four items. The assessment is comprised of a Likert-type scale. The scaling consisted of choices based on a nine-point Likert-type scale with choices ranging from nothing, very little, some influence, quite a bit, to a great deal. Although there are two separate instruments constructed by Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy determining teachers’ sense of their own efficacy, one being a short form and the other being a long form, it is recommended by the authors to use the long form consisting of twenty-four items with preservice teachers. The authors’ reasoning is based on the increased ability of the long form to provide a distinct measure of each of the three factors.

The pre-service teachers were asked to complete the pre-assessment during their first full day in their new international environment. After the students had completed the international experience, the follow-up post assessment was administered. In order to gain a better understanding of the changes, if any, that took place, the pre-service student completed a semi-structured interview. The questions asked during the interview were as follows:

1.) In what ways, if any, has your teacher efficacy altered during your Mercer on Mission: Cape Town, South Africa experience?

2.) What barriers, if any, might have impacted a change in your own teacher efficacy?

3.) At what points in the Mercer on Mission: Cape Town, South Africa experience did you notice a change in your own teacher efficacy?

4.) In what areas of your own teaching do you feel the Mercer on Mission experience has had the most impact?

Findings and Analysis

A paired-samples t-test was used to determine whether there was a significant difference between the pre- and post-practicum self-efficacy scores of the pre-service teachers. The Pearson correlations between the pre- and post-practicum measurements for Questions 21 (Efficacy in classroom management – how well can you respond to defiant students) (0.727/0.041 sig.) and Question 22 (Efficacy in student engagement – how much can you assist families in helping their children do well in school?) (0.668/0.0700 indicate a medium correlation.

Table 1

Questions from The Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale
Indicating a Significant Difference
Question Corresponding Factor Mean difference Sig.

(2-tailed)

6 “How much can you do to get students to believe they can do well in school work?” Efficacy in Student Engagement -1.125 0.026
11 “To what extent can you craft good questions for your students?” Efficacy in Instructional Strategies -1.250 0.060
19 “How well can you keep a few problem students from ruining an entire lesson?” Efficacy in Classroom Management -1.500 0.040
20 “To what extent can you provide an alternative explanation or example when students are confused?” Efficacy in Instructional Strategies -2.125 0.001
21 “How well can you respond to defiant students?” Efficacy in Classroom Management -1.625 0.002
24 “How well can you provide appropriate challenges for very capable students?” Efficacy in Instructional Strategies -1.625 0.014

As the significance values for changes in these scale items is less than 0.05, the average decrease in scores can be attributed to the practicum experience.[2] However, significance values greater than 0.10 for changes in scores of the other items show the practicum experience did not significantly change the participants’ responses to these items.

Factor analysis was performed in order to reduce the number of variables to reveal their underlying relationships and to determine whether the resultant pattern of correlations among items on the scale were the same as those obtained by Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy, the developers of the TSES. A total of four factor analyses, two for each administration of the TSES scale, were performed in SPSS using varimax rotation and principal component analysis as the extraction method.[3] The first analysis of the pre-test yielded five factors with eigenvalues greater than 1 which accounted for 95.89 percent of the variance. The first factor, with an initial eigenvalue of 11.192, explained 32.23 percent of the variance. When the component analysis was restricted to three factors, the three saved components accounted for 82.23 percent of the variance, with the first factor explaining 36.66 percent of the variance.

Table 2

Pre-test The Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale
Pre-test, no specified number of factors
Component

(Factor)

Initial Eigenvalues Rotation Sums of Squared Loadings % of Variance Explained Cumulative %
1 11.192 7.736 32.234 32.234
2 5.010 6.519 20.875 59.395
3 3.534 3.364 14.725 73.411
4 2.233 2.763 9.304 84.924
5 1.045 2.631 4.353 95.888

Table 3

Pre-test The Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale
Pre-test, no specified number of factors
Component

(Factor)

Initial Eigenvalues Rotation Sums of Squared Loadings % of Variance Explained Cumulative %
1 11.192 8.797 36.655 36.655
2 5.010 7.029 29.288 65.943
3 3.534 3.909 16.288 82.231

When factor analysis was used to reduce the variables on the TSES administered after the Practicum experience, four factors with eigenvalues greater than 1 emerged, accounting for 89.36 percent of the variance. The first factor, with an initial eigenvalue of 8.230, explained 27.320 percent of the variance. When the component analysis was restricted to three factors, the three saved components accounted for 74.95 percent of the variance, with the first factor explaining 28.89 percent of the variance.

Table 4

Post-test The Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale
Post-test, no specified number of factors
Component

(Factor)

Initial Eigenvalues Rotation Sums of Squared Loadings % of Variance Explained Cumulative %
1 8.230 6.557 27.320 27.320
2 5.894 5.376 22.398 49.718
3 3.863 5.190 21.625 71.343
4 3.460 4.325 18.021 89.364

Table 5

Post-test The Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale
Post-test, 3 factors specified
Component

(Factor)

Initial Eigenvalues Rotation Sums of Squared Loadings % of Variance Explained Cumulative %
1 8.230 6.934 28.890 28.890
2 5.894 6.587 27.444 56.334
3 3.863 4.467 18.614 74.948

The three moderately correlated factors identified by Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy are efficacy in student engagement, efficacy in instructional practices, and efficacy in classroom management. The items on our pre-experience administration of the TSES were distributed among these factors as follows:

Student Engagement: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15

Instructional Practices: 6, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23

Classroom Management: 10, 11, 20, 24

The items on our post-experience administration of the TSES were distributed among these factors as follows:[4]

Student Engagement: 1, 7, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 24

Instructional Practices: 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21

Classroom Management: 2, 4, 11, 17, 22, 23

Unstructured text data.

Although the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) determined the efficacy in student engagement, the efficacy in instructional practices, and the efficacy in the classroom management, other themes emerged in the responses from the participants in the semi-structured interviews. At the beginning of each interview with each participant, Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk Hoy, and Hoy’s (1998) definition of the teachers’ sense of efficacy, which is “the teacher’s belief in his or her capability to organize and execute courses of action required to successfully accomplish a specific teaching task in a particular context” was given to each pre-service teacher prior to posing the first interview questions (p. 233). Providing the pre-service teachers the definition would allow the pre-service teachers to have a firm understanding of what exactly was meant by the term “teacher efficacy” in the interview questions.

Interview Question 1: In what ways, if any, has your teacher efficacy altered during your Mercer on Mission: Cape Town, South Africa experience?

Although all participants voiced that their teacher efficacy altered during their experience, one theme which emerged was classroom management. Another theme was planning. Other themes were knowing the students and their culture and background. Albeit no additional themes were identified among two or more participants, it is worth noting other ways the participants’ teacher efficacy was altered. One participant explained how she now feels she is more flexible.

Interview Question 2: What barriers, if any, might have impacted a change in your own teacher efficacy?

All students felt the language was a barrier that could have impacted a change in their own teacher efficacy.

Interview Question 3: At what points in the Mercer on Mission: Cape Town, South Africa experience did you notice a change in your own teacher efficacy?

Most students noticed a change in their own teacher efficacy during the beginning of their experience in the school. However, there was one pair of students who were placed in the same classes who developed a change during the second week of their pre-service teaching experience. These two students had the opportunity to split their daily routine between two classrooms. During the second week, it was decided the pair of pre-service teachers would complete the rest of the experience in one classroom instead of the two.

Interview Question 4: In what areas of your own teaching do you feel the Mercer on Mission experience has had the most impact?

Understanding the importance of having to work together and being a part of collegial conversations were two themes that emerged. Multiple participants stressed that their classroom management and planning were both impacted in positive ways. One pre-service teacher noted in multiple interview questions that her confidence had been impacted positively. As indicated in a study conducted by Gaudino, Moss, and Wilson (2012) and also by Pence & Macgillivray (2008), it was found that pre-service teachers’ self-confidence was impacted positively because of the international field experience.

The data demonstrated that participants’ belief in their own teacher efficacy changed in a short amount of time regarding a few of the factors being tested within the TSES. Themes which emerged in the responses of the participants added credence to the data gathered from the TSES. When pre-service teachers are provided opportunities through which they are able to experience teaching, their own self-efficacy can be improved (Smolleck & Mongan, 2011). People with a strong sense of self-efficacy persevere through failure by ameliorating insufficient effort of knowledge (Bandura, 1994).

Discussion

Although each pre-service teacher gained a new perspective of teaching in a different country, all pre-service teachers who participated in this international field experience program classroom management was a factor of the TSES with a significant difference and was also a theme which emerged during the interviews. As common with first year teachers, lower self-efficacy in regard to instructional practices and classroom management has been reported.

A recent study indicates that students with training in particular classroom management procedures earlier in their preparation program have higher preservice teachers’ self-efficacy and are more comfortable managing classroom behavior (Lenter & Franks, 2015). O’Neill and Stephenson (2012) found that when pre-service teachers had not completed a course in classroom management their preparedness to handle behaviors in the classroom which were troublesome decreased. However, the pre-service teachers in this study completed their professional practicum experiences without a prior course in classroom management, as this course is generally recommended during the last semester of the teacher preparation program while candidates are completing student teaching.  While it is common for preservice teachers to have issues with classroom management, some of these issues can be resolved during their professional practicum experience (Charalambous, Philippou, & Kyriakides, 2008).

Teacher isolation has been identified for many years (Davis, 1986; Finders; 1988). Ensuring pre-service teachers have the opportunity to be involved in collegial conversations as well as well as belonging to a community, a positive influence can happen in regard to their own beliefs in self-efficacy (Meristo, Ljalikova, & Löfströ​​m, 2013). Fortunately, all teachers except the one graduate pre-service teacher were in a classroom with a peer. Having the pre-service teachers in the same classroom with a peer during their practicum experience was one way the pre-service teachers were able to join each other and discuss daily occurrences, thus not being in isolation. In their interviews at the end of the experience, two of the pre-service teachers who were paired mentioned the support they received from each other in regard to lesson planning and developing rapport with their students. A third participant, the secondary education pre-service teacher and the only preservice teacher who was not paired with a peer, noted in her interview that the designated collaboration time she had each day with the teachers from the school assisted her in developing a new perspective regarding her students.

Many investigators agree that the correlations upon which factor analysis is based require large sample sizes in order to stabilize the solution and achieve good recovery of population factors (e.g., Comrey & Lee 1992; Tabachnick & Fidell 2013). Reviews by MacCallum, Widaman, Zhang, & Hong (1999) and Velicer & Fava (1998) debunk previously proposed rules of thumb for specifying minimum N. In addition to a lack of agreement among authorities regarding the determination of minimum sample sizes, Velicer and Fava found neither rigorous theoretical basis nor empirical basis for the rules (1998, p. 232). MacCallum, Widaman, Zhang, & Hong found that extremely large sample sizes are necessary to achieve good recovery of population factors when communalities are low.[5] MacCallum, Widaman, Preacher, and Hong (2001) later confirm that “if communalities are high, recovery of population factors in sample data is normally very good, almost regardless of sample size, level of over determination, or the presence of model error” (p. 636). In fact, the retention of an incorrect number of factors, especially too few factors, can cause major distortion of loading patterns (Fava & Velicer 1998; MacCallum, Widaman, Preacher & Hong 2001). “The main effects of N and communality level on recovery of population factors are more dramatic when factors are less well determined” (p. 612). According to Tabachnick and Fidell (2013), smaller sample sizes can be tolerated with consistently high communalities (greater than .6). In the present factor analyses, communalities were all very high (with most above .9 and none less than .875).

A minimum of three variables per factor is critical, four or five is better (Velicer & Fava 1998). “Factors that are not measured by at least three high-loading variables should not be interpreted” Velicer & Fava, 1998, p. 248), and an even stricter criterion should be used when the sample size is low.

Conclusions

Willard-Holt (2001) found that pre-service teachers could be positively impacted both personally and professionally when involved in an international teaching experience. Research has suggested that pre-service teachers being involved in an international field experience could have benefits in pre-service teachers’ “professional and personal changes such as increased confidence, a better appreciation and respect for differences of others and other cultures, and an awareness of the importance that feedback and reflection play in professional and personal growth” (p. 14).

Pre-service teachers may have an artificially elevated sense of self-efficacy; completing a significant field experience abroad might provide an important challenge to their pedagogical skills, knowledge and attitudes that might not otherwise occur. They can then be encouraged to seek the professional development they require in order to be successful in the classroom.

Either preservice teachers’ sense of self-efficacy was artificially inflated at the pre-test, or the language barrier hindered the beliefs at the post-test. However, pre-service teachers can have the presumption that they are able to conqueror difficult tasks regarding teaching prior to being immersed in the situation (Sevgi, Gök, & Armağan, 2017)

Bandura (1997) explained how experiences, mastery and vicarious, assist pre-service teachers in strengthening their ability to teach while in their practicum experience. Like Bandura, Putman, (2009) explains the same, that the effect of those two experiences are important aspects of the experience the pre-service teachers are able to take part in their practicum experience.

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[1] Although the pre-service teachers are students at one university, the university has multiple campuses. The university has a traditional campus, which caters to traditional resident students. The university also has a campus located in a large metropolitan area and caters to graduate students. There are also centers that the university provides where working adults are able to enroll and graduate with an undergraduate degree. Of the five campuses, the university offers degrees in initial certification in education, four of those campuses were represented in the study abroad program.

[2] Item 11 is included in the table because of its borderline significance value of 0.060.

[3] Tabachnick and Fidell (2013) warn against aggregating the results from repeated measures because “underlying factor structure may shift in time for the same subjects with learning or with experience in an experimental setting, “suggesting that the differences in structure may be “quite revealing” (p. 617).

[4] Item 9 was not strongly correlated with any of the factors for the post-experience administration of the TSES.

[5] A variable’s communality, defined as the sum of its squared factor loadings, is the proportion of its variance that can be explained by the underlying factors. MacCallum, Widaman, Zhang, & Hong, S. (1999) consider communalities in the range of .5 to be acceptable with sample sizes of at least 100 when factors are well determined (i.e., having a minimum number of marker variables with high loadings for each factor).

About the Author

Authors

Dr. Michelle Vaughn
Dr. Rebecca Grunzke

Michelle Vaughn, EdD, is an assistant professor for the Tift College of Education at Mercer University where she focuses on literacy and teacher preparation. Research interests include culturally responsive pedagogy, teacher preparation, and teacher professional development.

Rebecca Grunzke, PhD is an independent researcher.