Primary-Grade Teachers' Self-Efficacy Beliefs, Attitudes toward Teaching, and Discipline and Teaching Practice Priorities in Relation to the "Responsive Classroom" Approach

Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman and Brook E. Sawyer
The Elementary School Journal
Vol. 104, No. 4 (Mar., 2004), pp. 321-341
Stable URL:
Page Count: 21
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:


Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Primary-Grade Teachers' Self-Efficacy Beliefs, Attitudes toward Teaching, and Discipline and Teaching Practice Priorities in Relation to the


In this study we examined the ways in which experience with a relational approach to education, the Responsive Classroom (RC) Approach, related to teachers' beliefs, attitudes, and teaching priorities. Questionnaire and Q-sort data were collected for a sample of 69 teachers in grades kindergarten through 3 at 6 schools (3 schools in their first year of RC implementation and 3 comparison schools) in a district with a diverse student body (54% ethnic minorities, 35% eligible for free or reduced-price lunch). Findings showed that teachers who reported using more RC practices reported greater self-efficacy beliefs and teaching practice priorities that were consistent with those of the RC approach. Teachers at RC schools were also more likely to report positive attitudes toward teaching as a profession and to hold disciplinary and teaching practice priorities that were aligned with the goals of the RC approach. Findings are discussed in relation to the teacher and school changes that accompanied implementation of the RC approach.

Notes and References

This item contains 67 references.

  • Adalbjarnardotttir, S., & Selman, R. L. (1997). "I feel I have received a new vision": An anal- ysis of teachers' professional development as they work with students on interpersonal is- sues. Teaching and Teacher Education, 13(4), 409-428.
  • Ashton, P., & Webb, R. (1986). Making a difference: Teachers' sense of efficacy and student achieve- ment. New York: Longman.
  • Ashton, P., Webb, R., & Doda, N. (1983). A study of teachers' sense of efficacy: Final report, exec- utive summary. Gainesville: University of Florida, Foundations for Education.
  • Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Educational Psychologist, 28(2), 117-148.
  • Battistich, V., Solomon, D., Kim, D., Watson, M., & Schaps, E. (1995). Schools as communities, poverty levels of student populations, and students' attitudes, motives, and perfor- mance: A multi-level analysis. American Edu- cational Research Journal, 32(3), 627-658.
  • Block, J. (1961). The Q-sort method in personality assessment and psychiatric research. Spring- field, IL: Charles C. Thomas.
  • Brookover, W. (1974). School social climate study. East Lansing: Michigan State University and Michigan Department of Education.
  • Brophy, J., & Evertson, C. (1978). Context vari- ables in teaching. Educational Psychologist, 12, 310-316.
  • Brophy, J., & Good, T. L. (1984). Teacher behavior and student achievement. In M. C. Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching (3d ed., pp. 328-375). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
  • Bryk, A. S., & Schneider, B. (2002). Trust in schools: A core resource for improvement. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
  • Calderhead, J. (1996). Teachers, beliefs, and knowledge. In D. C. Berliner & R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 709-725). New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • Charney, R. (1991). Teaching children to care: Man- agement in the responsive classroom. Green- field, MA: Northeast Foundation for Chil- dren.
  • Charney, R., Clayton, M. K., & Wood, C. (1998). The "Responsive Classroom" advanced guide- lines. Greenfield, MA: Northeast Foundation for Children.
  • Charney, R., & Kriete, R. (2001). Creating a class- room community where social emotional learning thrives: The case of the "cool girls" list. In J. Cohen (Ed.), Caring classrooms/intel- ligent schools (pp. 77-86). New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Cheng, Y. C. (1996). Relation between teachers' professionalism and job attitudes, educa- tional outcomes, and organizational factors. Journal of Educational Research, 89(3), 163-171.
  • Cheung, W. M., & Cheung, Y. C. (1997, April). A multi-level analysis of teachers' self-beliefs and behavior, and students' educational outcomes. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago.
  • Cohen, J. (2001). Caring classrooms/intelligent schools. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Coladarci, T. (1992). Teachers' sense of efficacy and commitment to teaching. Journal of Ex- perimental Education, 60, 323-337.
  • Corbett, D., Wilson, B., & Williams, B. (2002). Ef- fort and excellence in urban classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Elliott, S. N. (1999). A multi-year evaluation of the "Responsive Classroom" approach: Its effectiveness and acceptability in promoting social and academic competence. Madison: University of Wisconsin. Available: http://www.responsiveclassroom. org/PDF_files/Springfield.pdf
  • Ervin, L. B. (2003). Teacher collaboration in the con- text of the "Responsive Classroom" approach. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Univer- sity of Virginia, Charlottesville.
  • Evans, R. (1996). The human side of school change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Evans, V., & Johnson, D. J. (1990). The relationship of principals' leadership behavior and teach- ers' job satisfaction and job-related stress. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 17(1), 11-18.
  • Friedman, I. A., & Kass, E. (2002). Teacher self- efficacy: A classroom-organization concep- tualization. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18, 675-686.
  • Fullan, M. G. (2001). The new meaning of educa- tional change (3d ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Goddard, R. D., Hoy, W. K., & Woolfolk-Hoy, A. W. (2000). Collective teacher efficacy: Its meaning, measure, and impact on student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 37(2), 479-507.
  • Goodlad, J. I. (1983). A place called school: Prospects for the future. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Hargreaves, A. (1984). Experience counts, theory doesn't: How teachers talk about their work. Sociology of Education, 57, 244-254.
  • Hoy, W. K., & Woolfolk, A. E. (1993). Teachers' sense of efficacy and the organizational health of schools. Elementary School Journal, 93(4), 355-372.
  • Huberman, M. (1983). Recipes for busy kitchens. Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization, 4, 478-510.
  • Huling, L., Resta, V., Mandevilla, T., & Miller, P. (1996). Factors in the selection of secondary school teachers. National Association of Second- ary School Principals Bulletin, 80(580), 57-64.
  • Justen, J. E., & Howerton, D. L. (1993). Clarifying behavior management terminology. Interven- tion in School and Clinic, 29(1), 36-40.
  • La Paro, K., & Pianta, R. C. (2000). Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). Char- lottesville: University of Virginia, Curry School of Education.
  • Lortie, D. C. (1975). Schoolteacher: A sociological study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Meyer, L. A., Wardrop, J. L., Hastings, C., & Linn, R. L. (1993). Effects of ability and settings on kindergartners' reading performance. Journal of Educational Research, 86(3), 142-160.
  • Midgley, C., Feldlaufer, H., & Eccles, J. S. (1989). Change in teacher efficacy and student self- and task-related beliefs in mathematics dur- ing the transition to junior high school. Jour- nal of Educational Psychology, 81(2), 247-258.
  • Miskel, C., McDonald, D., & Bloom, S. (1983). Structural and expectancy linkages within schools and organizational effectiveness. Educational Administration Quarterly, 19(1), 49-82.
  • National Center for Education Statistics. (1997). Teacher professionalism and teacher commitment: A multi-level analysis. Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Education, Office of Educa- tional Research and Improvement.
  • National Center for Education Statistics. (1998a). The condition of education/indicator 39. Avail- able: c98p39.pdf
  • National Center for Education Statistics. (1998b). Violence and discipline problems in U.S. public schools: 1996-97. Washington, DC: U. S. De- partment of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement.
  • National Center for Education Statistics. (1999). Public School Teacher Questionnaire: Schools and Staffing Survey [On-line]. Available: http://
  • National Commission on Teaching and Amer- ica's Future. (2003). No dream denied: A pledge to America's children. Available: http://www.
  • Nespor, J. (1987). The role of beliefs in the prac- tice of teaching. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 19(4), 317-328.
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care Research Network. (2002a). The relation of global first- grade classroom environment to structural classroom features and teacher and student behaviors. Elementary School Journal, 102(5), 367-387.
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care Research Net- work. (2002b). Teacher-Reported Self-Efficacy- Third-Grade Questionnaire [On-line]. Available:
  • Northeast Foundation for Children. (1997). Guidelines for the Responsive Classroom. Green- field, MA: Northeast Foundation for Chil- dren.
  • Northeast Foundation for Children. (2003a). "Re- sponsive Classroom" institutes level 1 workbook. Greenfield, MA: Northeast Foundation for Children.
  • Northeast Foundation for Children. (2003b). "Re- sponsive Classroom" introductory workshop. Greenfield, MA: Northeast Foundation for Children.
  • Palincsar, A. S., & Brown, A. L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. Cogni- tion and Instruction, 1, 117-175.
  • Pianta, R. C. (1999). Enhancing relationships be- tween children and teachers. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Richardson, V. (1994). The consideration of teach- ers' beliefs. In V. Richardson (Ed.), Teacher change and the staff development process (pp. 90- 108). New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Richardson, V. (1996). The role of attitudes and be- liefs in learning to teach. In J. Sikula, T. J. But- tery, & E. Guyton (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education (2d ed., pp. 102-119). New York: Simon & Schuster Macmillan.
  • Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Storm, M., Sawyer, B. E., Pianta, R. C., & La Paro, K. M. (in prepara- tion). The Teacher Belief Q-Sort: A measure of teachers' priorities and beliefs. Charlottesville: University of Virginia, Curry School of Edu- cation.
  • Rosenholtz, S. (1987). Education reform strate- gies: Will they increase teacher commitment? American Journal of Education, 95, 534-562.
  • Rosenholtz, S. (1989). Teachers' workplace: The so- cial organization of work. New York: Longman.
  • Rosenthal, R., & Rosnow, R. L. (1991). Essentials of behavioral research. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Ross, J. A. (1998). The antecedents and conse- quences of teacher efficacy. Advances in Re- search on Teaching, 7, 49-73.
  • Ross, J. A., McKeiver, S., & Hogaboam-Gray, A. (1997). Fluctuations in teacher efficacy dur- ing implementation of destreaming. Cana- dian Journal of Education, 22(3), 283-296.
  • Scardamalia, M., Bereiter, C., & Steinbach, R. (1984). Teachability of reflective processes in written composition. Cognitive Science, 8, 173-190.
  • Smith, K. E. (1993). Development of the primary teacher questionnaire. Journal of Educational Research, 87(1), 23-29.
  • Solomon, D., Watson, M. S., Delucchi, K. L., Schaps, E., & Battistich, V. (1988). Enhancing children's prosocial behavior in the class- room. American Educational Research Journal, 25(4), 527-554.
  • Walker, H. M., Colvin, G., & Ramsey, E. (1995). Antisocial behavior in school: Strategies and best practices. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
  • Wang, M. C., Haertel, G. D., & Walberg, H. J. (1993). Toward a knowledge base for school learning. Review of Educational Research, 63(3), 249-294.
  • Waters, E., & Deane, K. E. (1985). Defining and assessing individual differences in attach- ment relationships: Q-methodology and the organization of behavior in infancy and early childhood. Growing Points in Attachment, 50(1-2), 41-65.
  • Watson, (2003). Learning to trust: Transforming dif- ficult elementary classrooms through develop- mental discipline. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Woolfolk, A. E., Rosoff, B., & Hoy, W. K. (1990). Teachers' sense of efficacy and their beliefs about managing students. Teaching and Teacher Education, 6(2), 137-148.
  • Wright, D. (1980). Teachers' educational beliefs: A study of schooling in the United States (Tech- nical Report No. 14). Los Angeles: University of California Los Angeles, Graduate School of Education. (ERIC Document Reproduc- tion Service No. ED 214 884)