teacher locus of control

Topics: Julian Rotter, Locus of control, Motivation Pages: 9 (1661 words) Published: June 2, 2014
As Williams and Burden (1997) noticed learning does not take place in a vacuum. Environmental, social, political, and many other learner-external factors interact in complex ways to determine learning outcomes. Moreover, the way learners observe the world has a great influence over their educational achievements. Studies have shown that their sense of personal control over the educational process is one of the most significant factors in arousing and maintaining individuals’ interest and involvement in learning activities. This sense of personal control is known as Locus of Control (LoC). (Nodoushan, 2012, p. 123)

LoC indicates how a person believes about control over life events; LoC refers to whether individuals relate their success or failure to their own behavior. Rotter proposed a continuum for LoC with Externalisers and internalisers at the two opposing extremes. 'Internalisers' feel personally responsible for everything that happens to them in their lives whereas 'Externalisers' believe that factors beyond their control determine what would happen in their lives. (Nodoushan, 2012, p. 124) Rotter’s (1966) social learning theory locus of control construct suggested that generalizing laws of learning as illustrated above is a problematic procedure because the effect of rewards depends on how the person perceives a causal relationship between his or her behavior and the reward. If the person perceives a reward as contingent upon his or her own effort or ability (viz., internal locus of control),then the occurrence of a reward will strengthen the likelihood of that behavior recurring. If he or she sees a reward as not contingent upon ability or effort, that is, as a result of luck, chance, fate, or powers beyond personal control (viz., external locus of control), then the preceding behavior is less likely to be strengthened by the presence of a reward (Rotter, 1966). In general, Rotter suggested that individuals with an internal locus of control would place greater value on contingent achievement-related rewards. (Wu, 2008,)

Trusty and Macan (1995) suggested that under contingent reward conditions, subjects with an internal locus of control (i.e., internals) desired more control over the procedures and types of tasks and performed better than did subjects with an external locus of control (i.e., externals), whereas subjects with an external locus of control desired more control over the types of tasks and performed better than did those with internal locus of control under noncontingent reward conditions. Teachers have been seen as critical to the reform of the education sector and teacher development has been given high priority in the 1990s (Miller, 1999). Many teachers, administrators and policy-makers have been guided by the results of research and evaluation studies that suggested, according to Miller (1999, p. 63), that “teachers’ abilities, teachers’ knowledge of subject matter and teaching methods and teaching experience, along with small class sizes and the positive influences of small schools, are critical elements in successful student learning”. (Ferguson, 1991; Ferguson & Ladd, 1996; Greenwald, Hedges, & Laine, 1996). While the efforts at reform were underway, Jamaica and other Caribbean countries had to deal with the growing problems associated with teachers’ career decision-making of which the protracted problem of teacher attrition is an outcome; their teaching plans are of enormous interest in this complex process. Within the context of teaching, for example, an outcome expectation is illustrated by the teacher who believes that skillful instruction can offset the effects of an impoverished home environment. Here, efficacy is expressed not for oneself but, rather, for an abstract collective of teachers--the "normative teacher," using the language of Denham and Michael (1981, p. 41). An efficacy expectation, in contrast, would be reflected by the teacher's confidence that he or she...
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