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IJLTER.ORG Vol 20 No 11 November 2021

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This article shares the critical reflections of a teacher educator who utilised digital stories as a teaching strategy in a professional development module for final-year pre-service teachers. Action research, through a participatory narrative inquiry approach, was employed, and data were gathered from digital stories, scripts, and reflective essays. The findings suggest that a platform was created for students to collaboratively share their perceptions, beliefs, and memories regarding teaching as a profession and to reflect on the impact that this lived experience had on their developing professional identity and ideas of good practice. Suggestions are made for recognising autobiographical stories as essential to all facets of teacher education and for acknowledging the influence of the apprenticeship of observation on individual pre-service teachers and on teacher-training programme curriculums.

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International Journal
of
Learning, Teaching
And
Educational Research
p-ISSN:
1694-2493
e-ISSN:
1694-2116
IJLTER.ORG
Vol.20 No.11
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
(IJLTER)
Vol. 20, No. 11 (November 2021)
Print version: 1694-2493
Online version: 1694-2116
IJLTER
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER)
Vol. 20, No. 11
This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part
of the material is concerned, specifically those of translation, reprinting, re-use of illustrations,
broadcasting, reproduction by photocopying machines or similar means, and storage in data banks.
Society for Research and Knowledge Management
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational
Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal which has been
established for the dissemination of state-of-the-art knowledge in the
fields of learning, teaching and educational research.
Aims and Objectives
The main objective of this journal is to provide a platform for educators,
teachers, trainers, academicians, scientists and researchers from over the
world to present the results of their research activities in the following
fields: innovative methodologies in learning, teaching and assessment;
multimedia in digital learning; e-learning; m-learning; e-education;
knowledge management; infrastructure support for online learning;
virtual learning environments; open education; ICT and education;
digital classrooms; blended learning; social networks and education; e-
tutoring: learning management systems; educational portals, classroom
management issues, educational case studies, etc.
Indexing and Abstracting
The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational
Research is indexed in Scopus since 2018. The Journal is also indexed in
Google Scholar and CNKI. All articles published in IJLTER are assigned
a unique DOI number.
Foreword
We are very happy to publish this issue of the International Journal of
Learning, Teaching and Educational Research.
The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational
Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal committed to
publishing high-quality articles in the field of education. Submissions
may include full-length articles, case studies and innovative solutions to
problems faced by students, educators and directors of educational
organisations. To learn more about this journal, please visit the website
http://www.ijlter.org.
We are grateful to the editor-in-chief, members of the Editorial Board
and the reviewers for accepting only high quality articles in this issue.
We seize this opportunity to thank them for their great collaboration.
The Editorial Board is composed of renowned people from across the
world. Each paper is reviewed by at least two blind reviewers.
We will endeavour to ensure the reputation and quality of this journal
with this issue.
Editors of the November 2021 Issue
VOLUME 20 NUMBER 11 November 2021
Table of Contents
Turning Windows into Mirrors: Digital Stories as a Teaching Strategy to Explore the Apprenticeship of
Observation in Pre-Service Teachers....................................................................................................................................1
Carolina S. Botha
Teachers’ Self-Efficacy and Online Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic in Qatari Governmental Schools......... 17
Amani M. Allouh, Saba M. Qadhi, Mahmood A. Hasan, Xiangyun Du
The Motivations and Barriers of Teachers’ Professional Development Activities during the Movement Control
Order (MCO) – A Preliminary Insight ............................................................................................................................... 42
Asraf Hadzwan Ahmad Safian, Anidah Robani, Muliati Sedek
Language Learners’ Willingness to Communicate and Speaking Anxiety in Online versus Face-to-Face Learning
Contexts.................................................................................................................................................................................. 57
Nada Alqarni
Teacher Perspectives on the Impact of the Cyber Press on the Development of Religious Knowledge among
Hearing-Impaired Students................................................................................................................................................. 78
Ihsan Ghadivan Ali Assaree, Ibrahim Khalaf Suleiman Al-Khalidi
Engaging Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers in Online Mathematics Teaching and Learning: Problems and
Possibilities ............................................................................................................................................................................ 96
Roland G. Pourdavood, Xuan Song
Development of a Problem-Based Learning Management System-Supported Smartphone (PBLMS3) Application
Using the ADDIE Model to Improve Digital Literacy ................................................................................................... 115
Rahmat Rizal, Dadi Rusdiana, Wawan Setiawan, Parsaoran Siahaan
Character Education in the Pandemic Era: A Religious Ethical Learning Model through Islamic Education....... 132
Nadri Taja, Encep Syarief Nurdin, Aceng Kosasih, Edi Suresman, Tedi Supriyadi
Factors Associated with Student Enrollment, Completion, and Dropout of Massive Open Online Courses in the
Sultanate of Oman .............................................................................................................................................................. 154
Vinu Sherimon, P. C. Sherimon, Leena Francis, Disha Devassy, Teresa K. George
The Impact of Teacher Feedback Via Google Doc in L2 Learners’ Writing ................................................................ 170
Mohammed Abdullah Alharbi, Abdulrahman Alqefari
Factors Inducing Literature Anxiety for Students Studying Literature in English .................................................... 195
Agnes Wei Lin Liau, George Boon Sai Teoh
Effectiveness of the Flipped Classroom Strategy in Teaching Qur’an Recitation Skills and Attitude Towards It
among First Grade Students in Saudi Arabia.................................................................................................................. 215
Ali Tared Aldossari, Munirah Saud Alhamam
“Let Me Enjoy Teaching” Improving Academic Quality Assurance Practices to Attain Teaching Excellence: Case
Study of Selected Private Higher Education Institutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ..................................... 237
Randa Hariri
Toward an Early Start for Head Start Children: Evidence from a Literacy Enrichment Starting at Age Three..... 255
Haiyan Zhang
Fusing the Jigsaw Method and Microsoft Teams: A Promising Online Pedagogy.................................................... 272
Malissa Maria Mahmud, Shiau Foong Wong
The Effects of Media Literacy-Based Activities on Writing Skills in the EFL Classroom.......................................... 288
Ji-Hyun Lee
Effectiveness of Gender Education in Ukraine as the Implementation of the Principle of Gender Parity ............. 306
Olga Shcholokova, Olena Karpenko, Zhanna Petrochko, Vira Kuzmenko, Tetyana Holubenko
Pre-Service Teachers’ Computer Self-Efficacy and the Use of Computers .................................................................325
Admire Chibisa, Mswazi Gladson Tshabalala, Mncedisi Christian Maphalala
Assessing for Learning: Teacher Training in Practice Involving 14 Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
Students................................................................................................................................................................................ 346
Elize (E. C.) Du Plessis
Predictors of Behavioural Intentions of Teachers to Adopt and Use Information and Communication
Technologies in Secondary Schools in Zimbabwe.......................................................................................................... 366
Norman Rudhumbu, Elizabeth Du Plessis, Patience Kelebogile Mudau
“I Teach the way I believe”: EFL Teachers’ Pedagogical Beliefs in Technology Integration and its Relationship to
Students’ Motivation and Engagement in the COVID 19 Pandemic Year ..................................................................387
Russell D’ Souza, Jayashree Premkumar Shet, Joel Alanya-Beltran, Korakod Tongkachok, Geena Hipolito-Pingol, Mohamed
Aboobucker Mohamed Sameem
Improving Students’ Critical Thinking through Oral Questioning in Mathematics Teaching.................................407
Muhammad Sofwan Mahmud, Wan Ahmad Munsif Wan Pa, Mohd Syazwan Zainal, Nadia Fasha Mohd Drus
The Autonomy of Indonesian EFL Students: A Mixed Method Investigation ........................................................... 422
M. Melvina, Nenden Sri Lengkanawati, Yanty Wirza
The Use of Critical Thinking Activities through Workshops to improve EFL Learners' Speaking Skills............... 444
Eliana Pinza-Tapia, Vanessa Toro, Karina Salcedo-Viteri, Fabian Paredes
Recommendations to Improve the Usability of Mobile Learning for Preschool Teachers in Africa: A Systematic
Scoping Review................................................................................................................................................................... 461
Monique De Wit, Nicola Ann Plastow
Enhancing Virtual Learning during the Crisis of COVID-19 Lockdown - A Case Study of a Higher Education
Institution in Maldives....................................................................................................................................................... 476
Mariyam Shareefa, Mohamed Muneez, Aaidha Hammad, Mariyam Shihama
Do EFL Teachers Reduce the Reading Gap in Qatar? A Study of Strategy Instruction in Government Schools... 494
Wafaa H. M. Morsy, Michael H. Romanowski, Xiangyun Du

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IJLTER.ORG Vol 20 No 11 November 2021

  • 1. International Journal of Learning, Teaching And Educational Research p-ISSN: 1694-2493 e-ISSN: 1694-2116 IJLTER.ORG Vol.20 No.11
  • 2. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER) Vol. 20, No. 11 (November 2021) Print version: 1694-2493 Online version: 1694-2116 IJLTER International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER) Vol. 20, No. 11 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically those of translation, reprinting, re-use of illustrations, broadcasting, reproduction by photocopying machines or similar means, and storage in data banks. Society for Research and Knowledge Management
  • 3. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal which has been established for the dissemination of state-of-the-art knowledge in the fields of learning, teaching and educational research. Aims and Objectives The main objective of this journal is to provide a platform for educators, teachers, trainers, academicians, scientists and researchers from over the world to present the results of their research activities in the following fields: innovative methodologies in learning, teaching and assessment; multimedia in digital learning; e-learning; m-learning; e-education; knowledge management; infrastructure support for online learning; virtual learning environments; open education; ICT and education; digital classrooms; blended learning; social networks and education; e- tutoring: learning management systems; educational portals, classroom management issues, educational case studies, etc. Indexing and Abstracting The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is indexed in Scopus since 2018. The Journal is also indexed in Google Scholar and CNKI. All articles published in IJLTER are assigned a unique DOI number.
  • 4. Foreword We are very happy to publish this issue of the International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research. The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal committed to publishing high-quality articles in the field of education. Submissions may include full-length articles, case studies and innovative solutions to problems faced by students, educators and directors of educational organisations. To learn more about this journal, please visit the website http://www.ijlter.org. We are grateful to the editor-in-chief, members of the Editorial Board and the reviewers for accepting only high quality articles in this issue. We seize this opportunity to thank them for their great collaboration. The Editorial Board is composed of renowned people from across the world. Each paper is reviewed by at least two blind reviewers. We will endeavour to ensure the reputation and quality of this journal with this issue. Editors of the November 2021 Issue
  • 5. VOLUME 20 NUMBER 11 November 2021 Table of Contents Turning Windows into Mirrors: Digital Stories as a Teaching Strategy to Explore the Apprenticeship of Observation in Pre-Service Teachers....................................................................................................................................1 Carolina S. Botha Teachers’ Self-Efficacy and Online Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic in Qatari Governmental Schools......... 17 Amani M. Allouh, Saba M. Qadhi, Mahmood A. Hasan, Xiangyun Du The Motivations and Barriers of Teachers’ Professional Development Activities during the Movement Control Order (MCO) – A Preliminary Insight ............................................................................................................................... 42 Asraf Hadzwan Ahmad Safian, Anidah Robani, Muliati Sedek Language Learners’ Willingness to Communicate and Speaking Anxiety in Online versus Face-to-Face Learning Contexts.................................................................................................................................................................................. 57 Nada Alqarni Teacher Perspectives on the Impact of the Cyber Press on the Development of Religious Knowledge among Hearing-Impaired Students................................................................................................................................................. 78 Ihsan Ghadivan Ali Assaree, Ibrahim Khalaf Suleiman Al-Khalidi Engaging Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers in Online Mathematics Teaching and Learning: Problems and Possibilities ............................................................................................................................................................................ 96 Roland G. Pourdavood, Xuan Song Development of a Problem-Based Learning Management System-Supported Smartphone (PBLMS3) Application Using the ADDIE Model to Improve Digital Literacy ................................................................................................... 115 Rahmat Rizal, Dadi Rusdiana, Wawan Setiawan, Parsaoran Siahaan Character Education in the Pandemic Era: A Religious Ethical Learning Model through Islamic Education....... 132 Nadri Taja, Encep Syarief Nurdin, Aceng Kosasih, Edi Suresman, Tedi Supriyadi Factors Associated with Student Enrollment, Completion, and Dropout of Massive Open Online Courses in the Sultanate of Oman .............................................................................................................................................................. 154 Vinu Sherimon, P. C. Sherimon, Leena Francis, Disha Devassy, Teresa K. George The Impact of Teacher Feedback Via Google Doc in L2 Learners’ Writing ................................................................ 170 Mohammed Abdullah Alharbi, Abdulrahman Alqefari Factors Inducing Literature Anxiety for Students Studying Literature in English .................................................... 195 Agnes Wei Lin Liau, George Boon Sai Teoh Effectiveness of the Flipped Classroom Strategy in Teaching Qur’an Recitation Skills and Attitude Towards It among First Grade Students in Saudi Arabia.................................................................................................................. 215 Ali Tared Aldossari, Munirah Saud Alhamam
  • 6. “Let Me Enjoy Teaching” Improving Academic Quality Assurance Practices to Attain Teaching Excellence: Case Study of Selected Private Higher Education Institutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ..................................... 237 Randa Hariri Toward an Early Start for Head Start Children: Evidence from a Literacy Enrichment Starting at Age Three..... 255 Haiyan Zhang Fusing the Jigsaw Method and Microsoft Teams: A Promising Online Pedagogy.................................................... 272 Malissa Maria Mahmud, Shiau Foong Wong The Effects of Media Literacy-Based Activities on Writing Skills in the EFL Classroom.......................................... 288 Ji-Hyun Lee Effectiveness of Gender Education in Ukraine as the Implementation of the Principle of Gender Parity ............. 306 Olga Shcholokova, Olena Karpenko, Zhanna Petrochko, Vira Kuzmenko, Tetyana Holubenko Pre-Service Teachers’ Computer Self-Efficacy and the Use of Computers .................................................................325 Admire Chibisa, Mswazi Gladson Tshabalala, Mncedisi Christian Maphalala Assessing for Learning: Teacher Training in Practice Involving 14 Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Students................................................................................................................................................................................ 346 Elize (E. C.) Du Plessis Predictors of Behavioural Intentions of Teachers to Adopt and Use Information and Communication Technologies in Secondary Schools in Zimbabwe.......................................................................................................... 366 Norman Rudhumbu, Elizabeth Du Plessis, Patience Kelebogile Mudau “I Teach the way I believe”: EFL Teachers’ Pedagogical Beliefs in Technology Integration and its Relationship to Students’ Motivation and Engagement in the COVID 19 Pandemic Year ..................................................................387 Russell D’ Souza, Jayashree Premkumar Shet, Joel Alanya-Beltran, Korakod Tongkachok, Geena Hipolito-Pingol, Mohamed Aboobucker Mohamed Sameem Improving Students’ Critical Thinking through Oral Questioning in Mathematics Teaching.................................407 Muhammad Sofwan Mahmud, Wan Ahmad Munsif Wan Pa, Mohd Syazwan Zainal, Nadia Fasha Mohd Drus The Autonomy of Indonesian EFL Students: A Mixed Method Investigation ........................................................... 422 M. Melvina, Nenden Sri Lengkanawati, Yanty Wirza The Use of Critical Thinking Activities through Workshops to improve EFL Learners' Speaking Skills............... 444 Eliana Pinza-Tapia, Vanessa Toro, Karina Salcedo-Viteri, Fabian Paredes Recommendations to Improve the Usability of Mobile Learning for Preschool Teachers in Africa: A Systematic Scoping Review................................................................................................................................................................... 461 Monique De Wit, Nicola Ann Plastow Enhancing Virtual Learning during the Crisis of COVID-19 Lockdown - A Case Study of a Higher Education Institution in Maldives....................................................................................................................................................... 476 Mariyam Shareefa, Mohamed Muneez, Aaidha Hammad, Mariyam Shihama Do EFL Teachers Reduce the Reading Gap in Qatar? A Study of Strategy Instruction in Government Schools... 494 Wafaa H. M. Morsy, Michael H. Romanowski, Xiangyun Du
  • 7. 1 ©Authors This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research Vol. 20, No. 11, pp. 1-16, November 2021 https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.20.11.1 Received Aug 25, 2021; Revised Nov 04, 2021; Accepted Nov 18, 2021 Turning Windows into Mirrors: Digital Stories as a Teaching Strategy to Explore the Apprenticeship of Observation in Pre-Service Teachers Carolina S. Botha COMBER, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1693-5575 Abstract. This article shares the critical reflections of a teacher educator who utilised digital stories as a teaching strategy in a professional development module for final-year pre-service teachers. Action research, through a participatory narrative inquiry approach, was employed, and data were gathered from digital stories, scripts, and reflective essays. The findings suggest that a platform was created for students to collaboratively share their perceptions, beliefs, and memories regarding teaching as a profession and to reflect on the impact that this lived experience had on their developing professional identity and ideas of good practice. Suggestions are made for recognising autobiographical stories as essential to all facets of teacher education and for acknowledging the influence of the apprenticeship of observation on individual pre-service teachers and on teacher-training programme curriculums. Keywords: apprenticeship of observation; digital stories; narrative inquiry; pre-service teachers; professional identity 1. Introduction Regardless of the specific motivation individuals may have for initially deciding to study teaching, they will be confronted with a significant transition once they enter tertiary education and, subsequently, the teaching career. As early as 1975, Dan Lortie, in his apprenticeship of observation, postulated that students did not enter tertiary studies as blank slates, but instead came with a set of pre- determined ideas about good practice in teaching that had a profound influence on their developing professional identity (Lortie, 1975). In 2009, Palmer et al. (2009) speculated that these perceptions and experiences that students had before they entered university might not receive the adequate academic scrutiny that they deserved and needed.
  • 8. 2 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter In traditional lecture halls, students are often required to only look through windows, as they are often only confronted with the lenses of the epistemological and ontological view of the lecturer or the institution instead of being empowered to, through critical thinking and reflective practice, turn those windows into mirrors. This article reflects on a teaching strategy where space was created, through digital storytelling, for final-year pre-service teachers to explore the abovementioned aspects by unpacking their lived experience and memories that influenced their career choice and the subsequent conceptualisation of their professional identity (Gholami et al., 2021). Stories are an effective and emotional tool to create context and to explain, understand, and share phenomena and emotions. It is a way of seeking meaning and making sense of experiences, and a positive way of creating identity. Since Schön (1983) advocated the significance of reflection for learning, many approaches have been utilised to explore teacher experience and practice and to offer a platform for the voices of teachers to be heard (Botha, 2017). Freire’s (1970) theory of critical pedagogy postulates that a person’s lived experience should be the foundation for learning. This paper is grounded in the notion that autobiographical experience, memories, and life history should be recognised as essential to all facets of teacher education and that these stories have the power to influence their professional identity as future praxis. Lambert (2010, p. 10) comments that “finding and clarifying stories helps people to understand the context of their lives”. This process of self- reflection helps one “move from an awareness of ‘I am’ to a deeper awareness of ‘I have been … I am becoming … I am … and I will be …’” (Lambert, 2010, p. 10). In line with the recommendation of Dwyer et al. (2017) and Eichsteller (2019), I choose to use the term “narrative inquiry” instead of “storytelling” when referring to the unpacking of these experiences. As rationalisation, Dwyer et al. (2017) emphasise Aristotle’s use of narrative as the natural framework for representing the world of action. Narratives provide explanations of everyday sense making through stories. Within this framework, this paper, therefore, utilises digital storytelling as a form of participatory narrative inquiry to explore the apprenticeship of observation in pre-service teachers. 2. Evidence and theories overview 2.1 The apprenticeship of observation Together with constructivist thinkers such as Piaget (1970), Lortie (1975) and Vygotsky (1978) have explored the powerful influence that prior learning and previous experiences can have on the perceptions and experiences of pre-service teachers. The notion of the apprenticeship of observation refers to the lasting influence of the years that students spent as observers as learners in schools where they formed an idea of what they thought good teaching practice was, based on what they saw their teachers doing (Lortie, 1975). These pre-conceived notions are largely one-dimensional, imaginary, unexamined, and remarkably resistant to change and do not encompass the true complexity of teaching (Botha, 2020; Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005; Mewborn & Tyminski, 2006; Reyneke &
  • 9. 3 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Botha, 2019). Lortie (1975) warns that by only seeing what teachers do in class and not having any insight into their thinking, planning, and pedagogical decision making, pre-service teachers will most probably never connect teaching objectives and teacher actions. They may not realise that teachers are constantly making pedagogical choices between different teaching strategies or considering the various types of knowledge, skills, and values they have to convey during a lesson. In addition, this apprenticeship of observation has an impact on and contributes to the conceptualisation of the already developing professional identity of a pre- service teacher. In light of this, teacher educators may seek to provide opportunities for individual deconstruction and the unpacking of these perceptions instead of avoiding the acknowledgement of the presence of this apprenticeship in the lives of their students (Botha, 2020; Darling-Hammond, 2006). Digital stories, through the lens of participatory narrative inquiry, provide a suitable vehicle to explore these autobiographical memories of students to elicit the impact that this apprenticeship could have on their developing professional identity. 2.2 Digital stories Digital life stories are grounded in critical pedagogy (Freire, 1970) and the social learning theory (Bandura, 2001), which develops the idea of modelling and self- modelling. Such stories, according to Kim and Li (2020, p. 1), are three- to six- minute video vignettes through which students can “engage in critical reflection about their experiences, participate actively in the learning process, and give voice to their identities”. In such videos, a first-person voiceover is used with selected visual material that has been sourced specifically to address a particular theme. Creating these stories inevitably becomes an emotive experience. Additional advantages of these stories over traditional storytelling comprise the option of including emotional and affective content through enhanced creativity and the freedom to use one’s imagination, involve personal motivation, and offer opportunities for collaboration (Fleer, 2018; Lambert, 2010; Robin, 2008; Yocom et al., 2020). Further benefits identified in the literature include the user’s development of personal and professional identity (Fleer, 2018; Kim & Li, 2020), the enhancement of academic skills (Marais, 2021), such as digital searching or oral and writing, and its service as a transformative tool for a variety of contexts (Dahlström & Damber, 2020; Kearney, 2011). Digital stories are often interdisciplinary and participatory (Robin, 2008) and have the potential to be a catalyst for great power and personal growth (Kim & Li, 2020). This strategy is, therefore, a deliberate effort to combine technological applications with pre- determined pedagogical approaches. This may include using embodied pedagogies on a real-life platform for authentic stories that portrays not only ownership of the story but also a reflection on past and future motivation and behaviour. 2.3 Participatory narrative inquiry Clandinin and Rosiek (2007) build on the work of Dewey when they advocate a pragmatic ontology of experiences where all of an individual’s experiences grow from other experiences that are located somewhere on the continuum of that
  • 10. 4 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter person’s past, present, or future. In addition, Connelly and Clandinin (2006, p. 477) highlight the following: [P]eople shape their daily lives by stories of who they and others are and as they interpret their past in terms of these stories. Story, in the current idiom, is a portal through which a person enters the world and by which their experience of the world is interpreted and made personally meaningful. Such a participatory paradigm requires a focus on critical subjectivity where knowledge is created through critical self-reflection and reflexive dialogue (Wood, 2020). This promotes the acceptance of multiple ways of knowing, multiple realities, and an openness to alternative ways of understanding the world and contexts people live in. In addition, it creates space for narrative inquiry as a valid methodology. Narrative inquiry thus presents a suitable vehicle for an action research approach to exploring the stories and lived experience of pre-service teachers (Ding & Curtis, 2020). Lived experience and experiences of a specific personal and social context are explored (interaction) whilst transcending boundaries of past, present, and future (continuity). According to Bell (2002), researchers should acknowledge that stories do not exist in a vacuum but are constantly restructured and retold as new events unfold and new interpretations of older events become available. When storytelling, in this case digital storytelling, is considered as a way of participatory narrative inquiry, the content of and reflection on the story become more important than the making and telling of the story. The hidden meanings are explored, and both the storyteller (pre-service teacher) and the listener (researcher) are invited to critically reflect on their own experience and the influence of this story on their conceptualised reality. In the context of this study, digital stories are used to explore the impact of the apprenticeship of observation and the subsequent development of the professional identity of pre-service teachers. The principles of narrative inquiry were employed to answer the following research question that guided the study: How can digital storytelling be used as a participatory tool to explore the developing professional identity of pre-service teachers? 3. Methodology The original intent of this digital story assignment was to explore the life stories and lived experience of participants as part of an academic module in a pre- service teacher education programme. It soon became clear that there was much to be learnt from this endeavour, and the subsequent aim became to analyse these stories as a means of exploring the impact of the apprenticeship of observation on the creation of these stories. In addition, I realised that there was an opportunity to explore the value of these stories in the development of the professional identity of these pre-service teachers. As this was an activity that span several weeks, had several components, and fostered self-reflection with the goal of personal and social transformation, an action research approach was used for the study. In the following section, the methodology used during this endeavour will be unpacked by introducing the participants (the storytellers), exploring the ethics of care with
  • 11. 5 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter which this research was undertaken, and sharing the process of data gathering and analysis. 3.1 The storytellers The participants in the study were enrolled for an eight-credit, 12-week teaching methodology module in a pre-service teaching programme at a university in South Africa. This second-semester module is presented in the fourth and thus final year of the pre-graduate programme, and the focus of the module is the culmination of modules scaffolding professional development. The students were, therefore, expected to display the knowledge, skills, and values regarding the development of their professional identity throughout their pre-service teaching programme and teaching practice experiences at schools. The demographic composition of the students was very diverse in terms of gender, language, and race. The cohort of the study consisted of 44 students, of which 74% were female and 26% male, and 65% spoke Afrikaans and 35% English. Of the 44 students, 34 were white, five coloured, and five black. 3.2 An ethics of care Sharing stories and experiences can be a very personal experience, and it is, therefore, crucial that a culture and a relationship of trust and mutual respect exist between the teacher educator and the students before such an activity is undertaken. Connelly and Clandinin (2006) point out that in a narrative inquiry endeavour, negotiation about respect, mutuality, and openness to include multiple voices is essential. Building a relationship and creating rapport are essential parts of preparing for an action research endeavour. In an effort to create trust and a feeling of safety for the students to share their stories, I introduced the assignment by presenting my own digital story about the development of my professional identity as a teacher and, subsequently, as a teacher educator. I was honest and shared both the joys and the struggles I had experienced in my career thus far. I acknowledged my own apprenticeship of observation and admitted that I regarded it as both a joy and a burden that I possibly played a role in the forming of the apprenticeship of observations of my students. Sharing my own story in the format expected for the assignment served as an opportunity not only to create a safe space but also to motivate the students to share their own lived experience, expectations, and perceptions regarding teaching as a career. It also served to address power imbalances in the room. Ethical approval for this study was obtained through the appropriate institutional channels. At the onset of the assignment, all students enrolled for the module were invited to provide informed consent should they agree to their stories being shared on the online learning platform of the university. In this way, it would be also available for other students in the class to view. Two students opted not to provide such consent. Subsequently, at the end of the semester, after grading and the marks had been released, the students were also requested to provide informed consent for their digital stories and other data resulting from this assignment to be used in the study and possible future presentations. All of the
  • 12. 6 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter students provided their consent, including the two students who had not agreed to their stories being shared on the electronic platform. As a gesture of respect, I undertook not to use any of the material they had created in this paper. To guarantee anonymity, the students were offered the option of choosing pseudonyms for this paper. 3.3 The process The assignment reported on in this paper was designed as a six-week activity making up the largest part of the formative assessment for the module. Students were expected to submit three separate components over the allotted time. First, a script for the envisioned digital story was submitted. After submitting the digital story and taking part in class discussions, the students submitted a reflective essay on their experience. The process was divided into four phases. These phases can be regarded as cycles in a participatory action research design. As part of a complete assignment document, the students were given the following theme for their digital story: Becoming a teacher Look back, look inward, or look forward … Reflect on the following questions and use them as inspiration for your digital story. You can choose to address only one, or more, of these issues. Which people, events, and factors led to your decision to enrol for a teaching qualification? Which teachers or other people in your life had an influence on your career choice? How was your own experience of being a learner, and how did it influence the type of teacher that you are going to be? What are the greatest lessons that you have learnt through your years as a BEd student? How do you experience being a BEd student? Are you still sure that you want to become a teacher? Who or what has influenced your point of view? Which factors do you currently regard as influential in the development of your professional identity? What are your fears and concerns about your future as a teacher? Which aspects of professional development do you still need to give attention to before you will feel prepared to enter a full-time teaching position? 3.3.1 Cycle 1: Conceptualisation During the first cycle, the students were tasked with only conceptualising the script of their digital story that could ultimately be used as a voiceover for their story. As a lecturer-researcher, I was cognisant of the danger of letting students get caught up in the excitement of using new technology and focusing more on the process of creating the digital story than on the content of the story. Therefore, by writing a script of 250 words as a first submission, the students were forced to concentrate their efforts on examining their own perceptions, expectations, and experiences. After the submission of the scripts, I provided detailed individual feedback to each student, including prompting questions to foster more critical thinking and self-reflection. The students then had the opportunity to consider the feedback
  • 13. 7 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter and improve their scripts, after which they started the process of creating their digital stories. I also invited the students to a face-to-face conversation, should they want to discuss any matters relating to their script or my comments. 3.3.2 Cycle 2: Creation The assignment allowed the students the freedom to design the structure and content of the story to allow them to be creative and fully represent themselves in the final product. The only prerequisites were a time limit of three to five minutes and a 250-word limit on the script for the voiceover. They were given the option of using a variety of free software, such as PowerPoint with a voiceover, Animoto, MovieMaker, Videoscribe, or Powtoons. Relevant training was provided through a list of websites providing information and online facilitators. The completed digital stories were submitted via the online learning platform of the university. In as much as I dislike quantifying effort and performance, the assignments had to be graded with an analytical rubric, where different levels of achievement were awarded to a variety of assessment criteria. An analytical rubric was chosen over a holistic rubric because it tends to provide more detailed feedback, allows for consistent grading, and gave me the option of including additional comments that provided feedback on a much more personal and detailed level. 3.3.3 Cycle 3: Sharing After grading, a viewing party, with soda and popcorn, was held during two classes, where the students viewed the digital stories of their peers. Before the viewing, we collaboratively negotiated house rules that, firstly, respected the privacy of the students and, secondly, fostered a caring environment where the students felt safe to share their work. After every few stories, I facilitated a conversation that started with positive feedback and appreciation for both the story and the effort that went into the making of the digital story. 3.3.4 Cycle 4: Reflecting In the final cycle of the assignment, the students were tasked with writing a reflective essay in which they were invited to critically reflect on their expectations and experiences and evaluate the influence of the assignment on the conceptualisation of their developing professional identity. The reflective essays were not graded, as I did not want to assign a numeric value to this very personal form of feedback. I did, however, read each reflection and returned a personal thank-you note that validated their effort and shared how their stories had touched me and influenced my own thinking and practice. 3.4 Data analysis Scripts, digital stories, rubrics, reflective narratives, observations, and notes of class discussions were used as sources of data to enhance the validity and reliability of the study. A three-phase inductive approach, consisting of preparing, organising, and reporting, was followed to analyse the data. The preparation involved a decision to use words and sentences as the unit of analysis. I attempted to make sense of the data by reading several times through all the data and attempting to identify themes. Organising the data was initiated through open coding, and then the data were analysed using content analysis, one of the qualitative research techniques.
  • 14. 8 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter To ensure justice, beneficence, and respect, I shared my findings and subsequent themes with the students via a forum discussion on the online learning platform. They were invited to do member checking and contribute to the process of ensuring the validity of the data. This was valuable to assure outcome validity (in acknowledging unexpected outcomes), dialogic validity (to ensure that all of the participants felt that their voices were heard and their contribution acknowledged), democratic validity (in that we followed a collaborative process throughout the study), and process validity (that the core principles of action research were adhered to). During the conceptualisation of this paper, I expected to use several excerpts from various stories to illustrate the themes that had been identified. But I eventually made the decision to share the full scripts of four students instead of sharing isolated excerpts from various students’ work. This is intended to facilitate a more detailed narrative and thereby capture the context and emotion shared in their digital stories. In addition, such an approach provides a more lifelike and authentic view of the data and invites the reader into the holistic experience of individuals. The digital stories of Alicia, Mary, Rene, and Pieter (pseudonyms) are shared in the next section. Their reflective narratives were also utilised in the data shared in this study. 4. Sharing in some stories Through thematic analysis, the following themes of the digital stories and in other supporting data sources were identified: • Academic excellence • Empathetic caring • Tradition • Empowering mentorship 4.1 Academic excellence: Alicia’s story of being inspired When I was at school, I had teachers who were not very, how shall I put it, enthusiastic about their subjects. They would rather sit behind their desk while they left us to our own devices. I do not want to be that type of teacher. I choose to remember the teachers who inspired me and who had a great influence on my life. My Hospitality Studies teacher inspired me to become a teacher. In her classes I found my passion. She was always prepared and ready to give advice. Once I started my teaching studies, she was the mentor for my first teaching practice. She really took me under her wing and showed me the other side of being a teacher. I was astounded at her subject knowledge. It was so much more than what I realised when I was a learner in her class. I want to be that type of teacher. A subject specialist. A lifelong learner. I want to give them a reason to work hard at academics. I think academic teaching is the primary job of a teacher and we have a responsibility to foster a love for learning in children. We must set the example of academic excellence. Like my Hospitality Studies teacher did.
  • 15. 9 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter 4.2 Empathetic caring: Mary’s story of overcoming being bullied I was bullied at school. I felt alone, no one wanted to help me. My life was useless. They called me names and said there’s nothing I can do about it … if I do, they will tell everybody I am the school slut. How could you ruin someone’s life like that? People just kept saying “Be the strong one …”, “Be happy, it’s not the end of the world.” How can you say this to a child? My world is falling apart, and you DON’T even see it! It felt like the whole school was against me. At break time I would sit in the classroom, just to avoid the people. One day a teacher came to me and said she was worried. That day she adopted me and started treating me like her own daughter. Made me feel self-worth. She never gave up on me. I was more at peace because I knew someone at school was looking after me. Because of that one teacher, the one person who saw me as me, and who saw that I did not fit in, I wanted to become the best teacher that I could be. For the children like me, the losers, the outsiders. To remind them that there is a plan for each and every one of them. I am looking forward to becoming a teacher, to journey with the misunderstood children until they also find a reason to live. I will succeed! 4.3 Tradition: Rene’s story of filling big shoes I come from a family of teachers. My grandfather was a school principal. My mother and father are both still teachers. I did not have much of a choice for my career. It almost feels like I have been teaching my dolls since I was in nappies myself. I am very proud of my family history. Although it sometimes feel[s] as if my identity has been imprinted on me without giving me the choice to choose another path. I have big shoes to fill. I, however, admit that my first opportunities to stand in front of a class during teaching practice have given me a new founded respect for this family tradition. They made it look so easy. I am quickly learning that it is not. I never realised how much work goes into being a teacher. I thought all that you needed was a love for children and a desire to change lives. Teaching practice taught me that being a teacher is very time-consuming. Don’t think your day is over when the school bell rings. I never thought about when marking happened, and I never realised how much planning one had to do before a lesson. This was indeed an eye-opener! So I am very grateful for the shoulders of giants that I can stand on. I know they will be there to guide me when my time comes. 4.4 Empowering mentorship: Pieter’s story of overcoming adversity I had to work very hard while I was at school. I have a learning disability. But I received so much extra support and encouragement from my teachers. I thought that I would never be able to become a teacher myself, I was not meant to go to university. But my rugby coach instilled faith in
  • 16. 10 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter myself that was not rooted in marks on a report card. He was there to support me when I was sad about a poor report card or overjoyed after scoring a winning try. He taught me that a great teacher did more than teach academics, he invested in his learners. He saw past their adversities and embraced their potential. He helped them to believe in themselves. I struggled with the transition of moving between school and university. It took me a few years longer than my peers to get it done. I failed some subjects along the way, but I will eventually be graduating at the end of this year. I found my feet and learnt the tricks of the trade. I want to start teaching to be a mentor to children like me, who felt dumb and disabled and like a disappointment. I want to help them see that anything is possible, if they just believe and work hard enough. 5. Discussion 5.1 A snapshot of identity in time I found great joy in watching the variety of digital stories with my students. The true privilege and value of participatory work were, however, the facilitation of the reflective discourses and the subsequent identification of four very strong themes emerging from their efforts. I found pleasure in hearing students collaboratively deconstructing their thought processes and sharing in the emotions behind the stories. In her reflective essay, Rene linked her experience to that of her peers and the stories she had learnt from them: I have always felt very emotional when I heard the reasons people was inspired to become teachers. In my situation I never had that ‘wow’ moment. It was a given. But for the first time I really understand how to translate my own feelings and thoughts into being a good teacher. It was almost like being invited into someone’s home after initially only having been allowed to look in through a window. The digital stories portrayed the outside façade of the house, but the discourse and reflective essays invited the reader in. Mary’s courage to share her story of being bullied and marginalised created a platform for other students to share their difficult stories as well. Having courageous conversations about what had happened in their past or even what they were going through at that very moment contributed to the group of students having empathy for one another and committing to an awareness of such issues in their future careers. This added depth and insight to the reflective essays that were written after those conversations during the viewing parties. Although the themes were visible in almost all of the stories, comparing and contrasting the content of class discussions and reflective essays also provided valuable insight. It was interesting to note, in the tradition of narrative inquiry, that the continuity of time was prominent. Almost all of the stories had a component of reflection on the influence of the past on their decision to study teaching. They also included a realistic component of the present time, indicating that they all had more to learn and realised that they still needed more preparation to become the great teachers they envisioned to be in their future. Pieter’s story is
  • 17. 11 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter a good example of the influence of time on his story of becoming a teacher. In his reflective essay, he explains: I never thought I would look back to my difficulties at school and be grateful for what it has taught me. Making this digital story helped me to see that my past does still have an influence on my future, but in a good way, and that I have the power to dictate the terms of that influence on my future. However, I had to ask myself how critical these reflections on past experiences were. Were the students, in the script of their digital stories, merely sharing experiences from the past, or were they possibly acknowledging the influence of the apprenticeship of observation on their perceptions of what teachers did on a daily basis? This study begs the question of whether the students might have lived and relived these stories for years, but maybe then, for the first time, they might really understand the true impact of the story on not only their career choice but also the development of their professional identity. Could the class discussions and reflective essay support these students’ attempt at linking context and time for professional development? The new meaning that they had made had the potential to transform thinking and empower them. I could clearly see the impact of the apprenticeship of observation on their perception of good teaching practice, personal mentoring, or empowering learners. As the creators of their stories, many of the students recognised that past experiences not only shaped their current practice but also defined their visions of career development grounded in specialised subject knowledge, student mentoring, or a love of learning. The stories also showed that the final-year pre- service teachers held particular ideas about teaching and learning that paralleled the practices they themselves had experienced and how they aimed to engage their own learners in a passion for their chosen discipline. The love for teaching that Alicia’s hospitalities studies teacher had instilled in her reminds one of the vital role that teachers play in the holistic development and support of learners. Individual teachers have the power to inspire and instil a passion for learning and teaching that can have a lasting impression on their personality, career, and overall being. After holding the viewing parties and analysing the reflective essays, I was, however, still unclear on whether the ways in which the influence of the apprenticeship of observation was illuminated were intentional or incidental. As both a teacher educator and a researcher, I was not sure whether the deeply ingrained influence of the apprenticeship had truly been deconstructed through the process. Was there a deliberate decision and effort to overcome this influence, or might the students now only be more aware of the existence of this apprenticeship? Table 1, through reference to the digital stories and reflective essays of the students whose stories are shared in this paper, explores the challenges that the apprenticeship of observation possibly still poses for pre- service teachers.
  • 18. 12 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter 5.2 Exposing the challenges of the apprenticeship of observation Table 1: Challenges posed by the apprenticeship of observation Challenges posed by the apprenticeship of observation Implication for the development of professional identity and teaching practice Evidence of this challenge from digital stories or reflective essays Perceptions of teaching are based on only their own preferences, needs, and experiences Pre-service teachers may not have an extensive understanding of teaching strategies and interventions for children who learn in different ways (learning styles, challenges, etc.) than they do. They may teach in ways that work for themselves instead of what other individuals may need. “This assignment taught me that not all learners who struggle will have the same needs that I did.” (Mary) “I have to learn that a good teacher cannot teach all learners in the same way. I never realised that when I was experiencing my own learning difficulties.” (Pieter) Concept of good and bad practice is limited to that which they had seen when they were in school Without first-hand experience of alternative teaching approaches, pre-service teachers may lack the knowledge and the will to move beyond the models they have experienced, which are very often teacher- centred. “I now only realise that what I considered good teaching might not necessarily have been that good. I now see how teacher-centred my teachers at school were and I might have more innovative ways to teach the same material.” (Alicia) Only obtain a partial view of the complexity of teaching; students are not aware of the thought processes involved in the planning, preparation, and teaching of lessons Differentiation techniques by which teachers engage learners in different activities or assignments based on students’ unique interests, learner preferences, or needs are obscured in the apprenticeship of observation. Pre-service teachers oversee these complexities during teaching practice when they are just attempting to cope. “I thought I knew what being a teacher encompassed. But it took teaching practice and this assignment to realise that I might have romanticised the career. I grew up amongst teachers but I didn’t really have an idea how hard they worked.” (Rene) Underestimate the administrative load As learners, and even as pre- service teachers, students only receive graded papers without being aware of the time it takes to grade these and the great administrative burden that is continuously placed on teachers. “As a child you never wonder when that teacher marked your test. As a student teacher I suddenly realised that these things happened at night and at a great cost to the personal live and family of a teacher.” (Alicia) Underestimate the different roles teachers play Pre-service teachers are not always aware of the various roles that teachers play. They often think that the subject specialist, assessor, and “I saw the job of a teacher as teaching, coaching sport and sometimes helping a child in need. I never knew about other tasks like being an agent of change in the community, managing
  • 19. 13 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter pastoral role are the only roles of the teacher. diversity and inclusivity, and addressing democracy and other political issues.” (Mary) Underestimate the emotional toll of teaching Pre-service teachers are often only exposed to academic interaction with learners and are not exposed to the personal challenges teachers may experience. “Neither of my parents ever showed the stress of their job. When they were at home, they were there for me. I now only respect them even more.” (Rene) Underestimate the gap between theory and practice Many pre-service teachers reported that they expected that teaching would be as teaching practice, and in their observation, beginner teachers were doing just as well as veteran, experienced teachers. It does, however, seem that during times of stress, they fall back on apprenticeship instead of what they learnt at university. “I thought you just show up and everything falls into place. I suspect that I will have a lot of challenges to overcome when I start teaching next year. What if university has not taught me enough? I can’t rely on what I thought I knew.” (Alicia) “I spend a lot of time planning lessons. But the moment I start struggling with classroom discipline or things start going wrong, I forget all the cool teaching strategies I learnt at university and I grab a textbook. Because experience tells me that is what works.” (Pieter) 6. Turning the window into a mirror I experienced the joy of joining my students to look through the windows of their digital stories and then had the privilege to be invited into some homes. A true reflective practitioner, however, will not only observe the new house in which he or she is standing, but will turn that window into a mirror and utilise the opportunity to explore and improve his or her own praxis. Thus, I had to acknowledge the complexities of this assignment and be open to critical reflection and feedback. In this manner, I was also confronted with my own apprenticeship of observation and the role that I played in contributing to the apprenticeship of my students. I had to be willing to deconstruct and disrupt my own perceptions, beliefs, and expectations of teaching. This process also included gaining an acute awareness of addressing issues of diversity and inclusivity in my classes. I had to acknowledge the importance of modelling good practice to the pre-service teachers under my tutelage and critically reflect on my successes and failures in this regard. I was invited to look in the mirror at my own identity, my own story, and my own house and acknowledge the new knowledge I had gained and the meaning I had made through this endeavour. This assignment not only challenged my students to critically unpack their understanding of their identity as teachers and to re- evaluate their own epistemological and ontological positioning, but I was challenging myself to do so as well. I had to critically assess the learning from this assignment in my own teaching and learning practice and explore the implications of this for the greater initial teacher education programme.
  • 20. 14 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter 7. Implications for practice It is generally accepted that pre-service teachers struggle once they stand in full- time teaching positions. The data from this study have shown that the influence of the apprenticeship of observation cannot be overlooked. Teacher educators have the responsibility to assess the curriculum of their modules and programmes to invite stories and lived experience into their classrooms. Adopting an action research approach to teaching will not only enhance and develop the scholarship of teaching and learning of the teacher educator but also acknowledge and address the apprenticeship of observation in both the student and the teacher educator. It was clear that there were, in essence, two narratives in each digital story − the overt narrative heard in the voiceover and the hidden message that not even the creator of the story might have been aware of. The reflective essays were valuable in identifying these hidden stories. Teacher educators should be acutely aware of their role as facilitators of such hidden narratives. Apart from facilitating critical thinking skills as a graduate attribute in their students, they also have the responsibility of motivating and guiding students to become reflective practitioners. Narrative inquiry and storytelling allow students the opportunity for reflecting, considering alternative views and possibilities, and engaging in participatory methodologies designed to assist in the process of developing an ethical professional identity and eventually becoming agents of change in their schools and classrooms. When the teaching in university lecture halls is relevant, authentic, and meaningful, pre-service teachers can be exposed to a new apprenticeship that will enable them to provide the same atmosphere in their own classrooms where space is created for diversity, inclusivity, creativity, and individuality of all. 8. Conclusion This endeavour has taught me that by encouraging pre-service teachers to value the stories they are living and the stories they hear, they may become teachers who create conditions that will allow their learners to reflect on their own stories, and by deconstructing the meaning and lived experience they bring, they may cultivate a classroom where personal growth and development are at the fore. This assignment has enhanced my own teaching practice, and I am now cognisant of always attempting to include some of the following outcomes in all my assignments: • Create space for new meaning, new knowledge, and new understanding. • Embrace diversity and inclusivity, and invite individual voices. • Promote self-reflection and critical thinking. • Enhance active learning and focus on alternative ways of teaching. • Foster a sense of transformation and growth. • Develop a sense of urgency for becoming agents of change in the educational landscape. • Continuously conceptualise a professional identity that is built on the foundation of integrity, ethical behaviour, and good practice.
  • 21. 15 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Through this adventure, I was not only invited to look through a window, but I was also given the opportunity to turn that window into a mirror. I was offered the chance to not only look at the façade of student teachers’ houses through the digital stories they had created, but I could also join in their search for the professional identity that supported their vision of being a teacher. Moreover, I could observe how the window turned into a mirror and invited me to critically reflect on my own identity and practice. 9. References Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 51, 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.52.1.1 Bell, J. S. (2002). Narrative inquiry: More than just telling stories. TESOL Quarterly, 36(2), 207-2013. https://doi.org/10.2307/3588331 Botha, C. S. (2017). Using metaphoric body-mapping to encourage reflection on the developing identity of pre-service teachers. South African Journal of Education, 37(3), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.15700/saje.v37n3a1377 Botha, C. S. (2020). The impact of the apprenticeship of observation on preservice teachers’ perceptions of teaching. Journal of Education, 81, 50-64. https://doi.org/10.15700/saje.v37n3a137710.17159/2520-9868/i81a03 Clandinin, D. J., & Rosiek, J. (2007). Mapping a landscape of narrative inquiry: Borderland spaces and tensions. In D. J. Clandinin (Ed.), Handbook of narrative inquiry: Mapping a methodology (pp. 35-75). Sage. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781452226552.n2 Connelly, F. M., & Clandinin, D. J. (2006). Narrative inquiry: A methodology for studying lived experience. Research studies in Music Education, 27, 44-54. https://doi.org/10.1177/1321103x060270010301 Dahlström, H., & Damber, U. (2020). Meanings made in students’ multimodal digital stories: Resources, popular culture and values. Designs for Learning, 12(1), 45-55. https://doi.org/10.16993/dfl.145 Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Constructing 21st-century teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 57(3), 300-314. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487105285962 Darling-Hammond, L., & Bransford, J. (2005). Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teachers should learn and be able to do. Jossey-Bass. https://doi.org/10.5860/choice.43-1083 Ding, F., & Curtis, F. (2020). ‘I feel lost and somehow messy’: A narrative inquiry into the identity struggle of a first-year university student. Higher Education Research & Development, 40(6), 1146-1160. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1804333 Dwyer, R., Davis, I. D., & Emerald, E. (2017). Narrative research in practice: Stories from the field. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-1579-3 Eichsteller, M. (2019). There is more than one way – A study of mixed analytical methods in biographical narrative research. Contemporary Social Science, 14(3), 447-462. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2017.1417626 Fleer, M. (2018). Digital animation: New conditions for children’s development in play- based setting. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49(5), 943-958. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12637 Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Continuum. https://doi.org/10.5958/2231- 458x.2015.00027.5 Gholami, K., Faraji, S., Meijer, P. C., & Tirri, K. (2021). Construction and deconstruction of student teachers’ professional identity: A narrative study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2020.103142
  • 22. 16 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Kearney, M. (2011). A learning design for student-generated digital storytelling. Learning, Media and Technology, 36(2), 169-188. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2011.553623 Kim, D., & Li, M. (2020). Digital storytelling: Facilitating learning and identity development. Journal of Computers in Education, 8(2), 33-61. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40692-020-00170-9 Lambert, J. (2010). The digital storytelling cookbook. Digital Diner Press. Lortie, D. (1975). Schoolteacher: A sociological study. University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.1177/019263657505939422 Marais, E. (2021). A journey through digital storytelling during Covid-19 students preparedness to use technology for learning in the language classroom. Research in Social Sciences and Technology, 6(2), 169-182. https://doi.org/10.46303/ressat.2021.17 Mewborn, D. S., & Tyminski, A. M. (2006). Lortie’s apprenticeship of observation revisited. For the Learning of Mathematics, 2(3), 30-32. Palmer, M., O’Kane, P., & Owens, M. (2009). Betwixt spaces: Student accounts of turning point experiences in the first-year transition. Studies in Higher Education, 34(1), 37- 54. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070802601929 Piaget, J. (1970). Genetic epistemology. W. W. Norton. https://doi.org/10.7312/piag91272 Reyneke, E. M., & Botha, C. S. (2019). The professional orientation of first year student teachers in a non-placement work-integrated learning program. International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning, 21(3), 303-316. Robin, B. (2008). Digital storytelling: A powerful technology tool for the 21st century classroom. Theory into Practice, 47(3), 220-228. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405840802153916 Schön, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. Basic Books. Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Harvard University Press. Wood, L. (2020). Participatory action learning and action research: Theory, practice and process. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429441318 Yocom, D., Bashaw, C., Price, D., & Cook, M. (2020). Perceptions of digital storytelling in the classroom. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 15(3), 164-197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.teln.2020.01.010
  • 23. 17 ©Authors This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research Vol. 20, No. 11, pp. 17-41, November 2021 https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.20.11.2 Received Aug 19, 2021; Revised Oct 31, 2021; Accepted Nov 08, 2021 Teachers’ Self-Efficacy and Online Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic in Qatari Governmental Schools Amani M. Allouh Qatar University, Qatar https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8284-4009 Saba M. Qadhi Core Curriculum Program, Qatar University, Qatar https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6087-5683 Mahmood A. Hasan Institutional Research and Analytics Department, Strategy and Development Office, Qatar University, Qatar https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1716-762X Xiangyun Du Education Research Center College of Education, Qatar University, Qatar UNESCO PBL Center, Alborg University, Denmark https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9527-6795 Abstract. This study investigated primary school teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs regarding online teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic and whether it determines any significant differences in self-efficacy levels based on different demographic data. A quantitative and qualitative survey method was employed. The data was collected from primary school teachers in Qatar public schools using a web-based survey that assessed self-efficacy in three areas: Students Engagement, Classroom Management, and Instructional Strategies. Four open-ended questions were included in determining the challenges faced by teachers, coping strategies, and the support needed and received. A total of 514 teachers voluntarily completed the survey. The results showed that elementary school teachers actively reported self-efficacy beliefs in online teaching. T-test and ANOVA analysis revealed significant differences between primary school teachers’ self-efficacy and years of experience in the three fields. However, no significant differences were found between self- efficacy, gender, and age in the area. Results indicated that the more years of experience teachers have, the more self-efficacy they perceive. The open-ended questions’ results showed that unmotivated students were the most frustrating challenge primary teachers faced in online teaching.
  • 24. 18 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Therefore, contacting parents was highly prioritized by teachers for coping with this challenge. Besides, professional training was the main support received, but more practical and interactive workshops are still needed. This research can provide educators with insights on implementing technology effectively in their online classrooms and adapting to challenging times to achieve a smooth and effective learning process. Keywords. self-efficacy; online teaching; COVID-19 pandemic; emergency online teaching; teachers’ self-efficacy 1. Introduction The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has exposed teachers to the pressures of potential uncertainty. Rapid changes in educational delivery techniques have hampered teachers’ ability to adapt to changing situations (Baloran & Hernan, 2020). Given that the epidemic is far from over, online learning is seen as the best answer for the time being since teachers will need to become proficient and adaptable to this new standard in a pedagogical context. Therefore, educational researchers have repeatedly stressed the importance of teaching efficacy, as it is the key contributor to both students’ and schools’ academic achievement (Hodges et al., 2020). One essential goal of Qatar’s educational reforms is to improve teaching quality to ultimately develop student achievement (Al-Thani & Nasser, 2012). Since all schools aim to offer quality education, it is essential to investigate personal teaching efficacy regarding emergency online teaching (EOT). Research findings have demonstrated that teachers’ effectiveness required for EOT is somewhat different from that demanded by traditional face-to-face instruction (Loeb, 2020). In EOT, mainly when teaching lower grades, it is much more challenging to maintain students’ attention, carry out discussions, progress tracking, and provide student assistance (Hallman, 2020; Hechter & Vermette, 2013). Qatar’s Government Education system is comprised of four school levels: preschool levels (aged 3-5); primary levels (age 6-12, grade 1-6); preparatory (Grade 7-9), and secondary levels (Grade 10-12). The population of teachers in Qatar’s government schools is nearly 12,500 (Planning and Statistics Authority, 2019). Almost half (52%) of Qatar’s government school teachers are primary school teachers (Planning and Statistics Authority, 2019). According to the Qatar Statistical Profile (Planning and Statistics Authority, 2019), there are 6500 primary teachers in Qatar. 516 are male teachers, constituting just 8 percent of the total population, while female teachers account for 5,984 of the targeted population or 92 percent. The primary government school teachers are divided across 122 government schools, with 63 boys’ schools and 59 girls’ schools (Planning and Statistics Authority, 2019). As for the Qatari government schools’ response to COVID- 19, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) adapted distance learning to efficiently prevent the spread of COVID- 19, ensuring that all learners can continue their education and that their studies are prioritized (MOEHE, 2020).
  • 25. 19 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Accordingly, teachers had to acquire new skill sets quickly. Additionally, they had to liaise with other educators to shed some light on the accelerated transition from face-to-face teaching to distance learning (Loeb, 2020). In this regard, most existing studies of teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs have mainly focused on the traditional face-to-face classroom context. However, little is known about self- efficacy in emergency online classrooms. This requires research in the online teaching self-efficacy context. Thus, the research aimed to investigate primary teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs related to full-scale online teaching in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the study aimed to determine if there are variations in self-efficacy in relation to variables such as gender, age, and teaching experience. 2. Literature Review The conceptual framework on which this study is based on Bandura’s theory (1993) that describes teacher efficacy as a cognitive mechanism in which persons build perceptions about their ability to succeed at a specified performance level. In a similar sense, a person’s self-efficacy is confidence in their capability to complete particular tasks (Goddard et al., 2004). Goddard et al. (2004) asserted that it is not an evaluative judgment about what has been done; instead, it is a judgment about what can be done. This study identifies teacher self-efficacy as primary governmental school teachers’ perceptions about their abilities to accomplish the professional tasks to facilitate the students’ knowledge development. Based on Bandura’s (1977) theory, four factors affect efficacy beliefs. First, the mastery experiences act as ability indicators. The second factor that affects efficacy beliefs is vicarious experiences that modify efficacy perceptions by communicating qualifications and contrasting them with other people’s achievements (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998). A further efficacy impact factor is verbal persuasion, which influences teachers’ self-efficacy by encouraging and supporting their abilities (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998). Finally, the concluding impact factor is states of physiology, both negative and positive emotions, such as tension/stress and excitement/happiness, that can influence efficacy (Tschannen- Moran et al., 1998). 2.1 Teacher efficacy As Bandura’s (1977) self-efficacy construct began to spread, educators and researchers observed a significant difference between Rotter’s theory, which focused on effective behavior, and Bandura’s theory, which focused on efficacy beliefs. Irrespective of their differences, both approaches are deemed equivalent (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998). Rotters’ self-efficacy discusses a person’s perception of the impact of behavior on outcomes, in contrast to the theory of self- efficacy, where Bandura discusses the assumption that a person’s acquired traits can achieve such results (Bandura, 1977). Following both approaches, Tschannen- Moran et al. (1998) conducted a teacher efficacy model. Within the integrated model, the four critical factors of self-efficacy beliefs are assumed to influence teacher efficacy. Moreover, it is within the social cognitive process, indicating that teacher efficacy beliefs are developed within social parameters.
  • 26. 20 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Regarding the teacher efficacy model, Tschannen-Moran et al. (1998) recommended that the teacher efficacy measurement assess two central components: analysis of teaching tasks and assessment of personal teaching competency. Teachers primarily analyze the required tasks and then evaluate their teaching competency to judge their efficacy (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998). One of the most powerful features of this model is its cyclical nature, as every newly mastered experience influences potential expectations regarding self- efficacy. Higher efficacy expectations lead to better efforts and perseverance, which ultimately leads to improved outcomes. Hence, it can be concluded that better short-term effects contribute to higher long-term efficacy expectations (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998). Several studies have demonstrated the importance of teachers’ self-efficacy as the main factor of education quality and learning outcomes (Affouneh et al., 2020; Allinder, 1994; Infurna, 2016; Lin & Zheng, 2015; Riggs & Enochs, 1990;). Teachers’ perception of their self-efficacy can affect students’ success (Lin, & Zheng, 2015), as teachers’ self-efficacy affects their decisions in choosing learning activities within the classroom (Sahertian & Soetjipto, 2011). The stronger the belief in self- efficacy, the more successful one’s coping attempts (Bandura & Adams, 1977). Highly officious teachers tackle disruptive situations with the belief and confidence that they will exert power to reduce disruption. They tend to put extra effort into displaying higher organizational and planning skills (Allinder, 1994). In contrast, a low level of teaching efficacy correlates with teachers’ attitudes regarding their ability to positively influence their students and improve their learning skills (Robinia & Anderson, 2010). Less assertive teachers can feel hopeless, avoid complex tasks, and often give up quickly because they do not believe in a successful outcome (Riggs, 1995; Lin & Zheng, 2015). As a result, the lower the teachers’ self-efficacy, the less time they devote to their duties (Wong, 2003). 2.2 Teacher self-efficacy and Online Teaching Extensive studies have examined teachers’ self-efficacy in the face-to-face teaching mode (Alhasni, 2017; Mehdinezhad, 2012; Infurna, 2016; Lumpe et al., 2012; Voris, 2011). Positive results were reported in some studies, such as Voris’ (2011) study carried out on special education teachers in Kentucky, Kim and Kim’s (2010) survey on early childhood teachers’ self-efficacy in South Korea, and Chang et al. (2001) survey on university teachers in Taiwan. However, these studies pose a direct conflict with Wong’s (2003) study, which revealed low self- efficacy levels when undertaking online tasks. Although numerous studies have explored teachers’ self-efficacy, there has been little study on self-efficacy in an online setting. However, in Canada, school and university teachers reported low to intermediate levels of self-efficacy in both educational methods and student interaction domains (Sokal et al., 2020). while teachers revealed low self-efficacy levels in undertaking online tasks during the pandemic in United States (Pressley & Ha, 2021) and Italy (Cataudella et al., 2021)
  • 27. 21 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Several studies have been conducted to explore the relationship between specific demographic variables and teacher self-efficacy. Several researchers have observed a positive relationship between self-efficacy levels and the number of years in teaching experience. It was discovered that more experienced teachers perceived themselves as highly efficient in teaching compared to those with less experience (Alhasni, 2017; Mehdinezhad, 2012; Chang et al., 2011; Infurna, 2016). In contrast, Lee and Tsai (2010) found a significantly greater self-efficacy among less experienced teachers than those with more experience. Several studies indicated no notable correlation between teachers’ age, gender, and their levels of self-efficacy in the online learning environment (Mehdinezhad, 2012; Wee-Loon’s, 2011; Robinia & Anderson, 2010). On the other hand, some studies revealed that female teachers displayed higher self-efficacy than males (Chang et al., 2011), whereas another study found that males exhibited higher self- efficacy beliefs than females counterparts (Lumpe et al., 2012). In addition, Chang et al. (2011) reported a significantly greater self-efficacy among younger teachers than older ones. Based on what has been discussed so far, although teachers’ self-efficacy is not a new topic, there are no apparent patterns regarding population demographic information, gender, age, and years of experience in an EOT setting. This study, therefore, sought to analyze the burnout levels of teachers in Qatar by answering the following research questions: 1. How do Qatari primary government school teachers report their level of self- efficacy in emergency online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic? 2. How does the level of self-efficacy vary according to gender, age, and years of experience? 3. Research method 3.1 Participants Study participants included government primary school teachers in Qatar, which take up almost half (52%) of Qatar government school teachers (Planning and Statistics Authority, 2019). Participants in this study were male and female who were selected randomly. The research had a total of 514 teachers as participants who responded and completed the questionnaire. The questionnaire survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey, and the link was emailed to all governmental primary school teachers. The total population of primary teachers is 6500 divided across 122 government schools (92% female, n=5,984; 8% male, n= 516). The primary government schools are 122, with 63 boys’ schools and 59 girls’ schools (Planning and Statistics Authority, 2019). According to the demographic data are shown in table 1, the response rate was 8%, resulting in a 2.3% sampling error. Table 1. Demographic Data Characteristic Levels Frequency Percent Gender Female 458 89.1%
  • 28. 22 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Male 56 10.9% Age 21- 30 112 21.8% 31- 40 226 44.0% 41- above 176 34.2% Teaching Experience 5- 10 Years 135 26.3% Less than 5 years 94 18.3% More than 10 years 285 55.4% 3.2 Research design, instrument, and procedures A quantitative and qualitative survey method was employed to gain insight into personal teaching efficacy regarding EOT as emergency online classrooms using a questionnaire. After obtaining permission from the primary researcher, the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) was used as a survey instrument in the present study. The social cognitive theory of Albert Bandura (1977), which the current research is based on, was used to direct TSES items. Besides, four open- ended questions were introduced after the survey within the qualitative part of this study to allow for further elaboration. After finalizing the scale, Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001) tested it in three trials. Teachers and preservice teachers were polled on three different studies. The scale was lowered from 52 to 32 items in the first study, then to 18 items in the second study. Consequently, 18 new items were created and reviewed. Following the completion of the scale, Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001) developed a scale with 24 items and three sections: Student Engagement, Classroom Management, and Instructional Strategies. The questionnaire items were graded on a 9-point frequency rating scale ranging from (1) “nothing” to (9) “a lot.” It was written in English as well as Arabic. We developed the survey in English and then translated it into Arabic to fit the Qatari framework since Arabic is the native language of the majority of the targeted participants. Two expert translators translated the Arabic version back to English to ensure that ideas and concepts had the same meaning in both languages. 3.2.1 Validity Specialists fluent in Arabic and English at the College of Education evaluated the content validity; two professors were experts in schoolwork; Senior Professional Development Specialists at the National Center for Educational Development. Professors and experts were given the survey to evaluate, and they remarked on the issues regarding clarity in connection to the study’s goals. Minor changes were made to the questionnaire based on the experts’ advice. Some statements have been changed to make them more relevant to the duties of teachers in Qatari schools in the online environment (19, 22, 23). Changes were
  • 29. 23 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter also made to the wording of the items to make them more appropriate for use in an online environment, with an emphasis on altering statements like “in your classroom” to “in your online class.” Statement (24) has been removed, and other statements have been reduced to eliminate repetition and make them simpler to comprehend and apply (2, 3, 7, 13, 14). In addition, statement 17 has been modified from “How much can you do to adjust your online lessons for various learning styles?” to “How much can you do to make your online lessons match learning styles?” Confirmative Factor Analysis (CFA) was used to ensure construct validity using AMOS software 26. The factor loadings for all subcategories were significant and above the recommended cutoff level of 0.5, as shown in Table 2 below for all factors (F1 online student engagement, F2 online classroom management, and F3 online instructional methods) (Hasan, 2019). Table 2. Items loading to each factor based on Confirmative factor Analysis using AMOS program. Item factor Load Q1.1 How much can you do to help your students think critically in an online class? <- -- F1 0.51 Q1.2 How much can you do to get through to students in an online class? <- -- F1 0.584 Q1.3 How much can you do to motivate students who show low interest in online work? <- -- F1 0.724 Q1.4 How much can you get students to believe that they can do well in an online class? <- -- F1 0.795 Q1.5 How much can you do to help students’ value online learning? <- -- F1 0.775 Q1.6 How much can you do to foster individual student creativity in an online course? <- -- F1 0.698 Q1.7 How much can you do to improve lower achievers in an online class?” <- -- F1 0.546 Q1.8 How well can you facilitate collaborative learning online? <- -- F1 0.540 Q2.1 How much can you control disruptive behavior (e.g., disrespectful posting or failure to adhere to outline policies for posting online)? <- -- F2 0.693 Q2.2 To what extent can you make your expectations clear about student behavior in an online class? <- -- F2 0.642 Q2.3 How well can you establish routines (e.g., facilitate or moderate student participation) in coursework to keep online activities running smoothly? <- -- F2 0.649
  • 30. 24 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Q2.4 How much can you get students to follow the established rules for assignments during an online class? <- -- F2 0.635 Q2.5 How much can you do to control students dominating online discussions? <- -- F2 0.731 Q2.6 How well can you organize an online course (e.g., convey expectations; standards; course rules) with each group of students? <- -- F2 0.676 Q2.7 How well can you facilitate student responsibility for online learning? <- -- F2 0.649 Q2.8 How well can you respond to defiant students in an online setting? <- -- F2 0.565 Q3.1 How well can you respond to questions from online students <- -- F3 0.508 Q3.2 How much can you do to gauge student comprehension of what you have taught in an online mode? <- -- F3 0.604 Q3.3 How well can you craft questions or assignments that require students to think by relating ideas to previous knowledge and experience? <- -- F3 0.685 Q3.4 How much can you do to make your online meet learning styles? <- -- F3 0.75 Q3.5 How much can you do to use a variety of assessment strategies for an online course? <- -- F3 0.765 Q3.6 To what extent can you provide an alternative explanation or example when students in an online class seem to be confused? <- -- F3 0.671 Q3.7 How well can we provide good online learning experiences for students? <- -- F3 0.535 3.2.2 Reliability Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001), the scale’s developers, reported the following about the scale’s reliability: Cronbach’s alpha of .94 indicates complete score dependability. Teachers’ self-efficacy subscale Cronbach’s alpha coefficient values varied from.87 to.91, suggesting a good level of internal consistency (see Table 3). The factor analysis showed three reasonably linked variables, including Efficacy in instructional methods was 0.91, student management was 0.90, and student engagement and interaction was 0.87.
  • 31. 25 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Table 3. Internal consistency of the TSES (Tschannen-Moran and Hoy’s, 2001) After the instrument modifications, we have tested the reliability, and Cronbach’s alpha was .92 for the entire survey, with subscale reliabilities of self-efficacy in student engagement at .83, efficacy in classroom management at .86, and efficacy in instructional strategies at .81 (see table 4). Table 4. Reliability Statistics of the survey. Self-efficacy domains Cronbach’s Alpha N of Items Student Engagement 0.83 8 Classroom management 0.86 8 Instructional Strategies 0.81 7 Whole Survey 0.92 23 3.3 Data Collection The data for this study were collected using a web-based data collection system. Primary teachers in Qatari government schools received a survey link via emails in October 2020. After two weeks, a follow-up message was sent to the non- respondents to remind them about the importance of their participation. We contacted primary school principals via emails to receive their permission to administer the survey to their teachers and encourage them to participate in the study. 3.4 Data analysis Descriptive statistics are processed using version 26 of the Social Science Statistics Package (SPSS). Tables were used to define the data; the mean, standard deviation, and weighted average of the measured item were reported. Quantitative tests such as t-test, ANOVA, and post hoc tests (Multiple comparisons based on LSD tests) were used to discuss relationships between teacher efficacy scores and the demographic variables. Furthermore, Alpha Cronbach was used for reliability, and Confirmative factor analysis was used for Constructive validity. 4. Results The results of the research questions within three aspects of self-efficacy are recorded in this section: student engagement, classroom management, and instructional strategies.
  • 32. 26 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter 4.1 Quantitative data results To address question one, we utilized the SPSS software to obtain descriptive statistics. The scores were divided into five groups, ranging from extremely low to very high, on a nine-point scale ranging from nothing (1) to a great deal (9). (Very Low: 1- 2.59, low: 2.60- 4.19, Middle: 4.20- 5.79, High: 5.80- 7.39, and very High: 7.40 -9). Table 5 shows the mean (M), standard deviations (SD), and weighted average (WA) scores for the three domains from participants (N=514). Table 5 shows that the overall findings in the three categories correlated to the high self-efficacy category among instructors, with a mean of 6.69 and 74 percent of the total. Teacher self-efficacy, on the other hand, differed across the three areas. Table 5. Means, Standard Deviations and Weighted Average of self-efficacy domains N Mean/9 Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean Weighted Average Student Engagement 514 6.78 1.329 0.059 75% Classroom Management 514 6.46 1.544 0.068 72% Instructional Strategies 514 6.84 1.314 0.058 76% Total 514 6.69 1.215 0.054 74% We used a t-test, ANOVA with post hoc testing to determine any important differences between demographic variables on self-efficacy levels. Teacher self-efficacy and Gender The t-test findings on teachers' self-efficacy beliefs by gender are shown in Table 6. There was no gender difference in any of the three factors studied: student engagement (t= -0.99, df=512, p=0.3180 >0.05), classroom management (t=-0.96, df=512, p=0.3340 >0.05), and instructional strategies (t=-1.01, df=512, p=0.3100 >0.05). Table 6. Independent Sample T-test results of teacher self-efficacy beliefs by gender (group samples test) Domain Gender N Mean Weighted Average Std. Deviation t Df Sig. (2- tailed) Student Engagement Male 56 6.61 73% 1.1254 - 0.999 512 0.318 Female 458 6.80 76% 1.3519 Classroom Management Male 56 6.27 70% 1.6386 - 0.968 512 0.334 Female 458 6.49 72% 1.5324 Instructional Strategies Male 56 6.67 74% 1.3247 - 1.016 512 0.310 Female 458 6.86 76% 1.3123 Overall self-efficacy Male 56 6.51 72% 1.1771 - 1.143 512 0.254 Female 458 6.71 75% 1.2193
  • 33. 27 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Teacher self-efficacy and age Table 7 shows the results of the ANOVA test, which was used to evaluate teachers’ perceptions in relation to the years of age. Age was classified into 21-30 years old, 31-40 years old, and 41- above. The findings of the ANOVA test revealed no significant differences between the three domains, overall self-efficacy, and years of age (F=0.133, p=0.875> 0.05). (See table 7) Table 7. ANOVA test result of teacher self-efficacy believes by age Age N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Weighted Average F Sig Student Engagement 21- 30 110 6.64 1.183 0.113 74% 1.770 0.171 31- 40 226 6.75 1.415 0.094 75% 41- above 176 6.93 1.288 0.097 77% Classroom Managemen t 21- 30 110 6.30 1.375 0.131 70% 0.874 0.418 31- 40 226 6.54 1.532 0.102 73% 41- above 176 6.47 1.664 0.125 72% Instructiona l Strategies 21- 30 110 6.80 1.202 0.115 76% 0.133 0.875 31- 40 226 6.84 1.364 0.091 76% 41- above 176 6.88 1.319 0.099 76% Overall self-efficacy 21- 30 110 6.57 1.055 0.101 73% 0.133 0.875 31- 40 226 6.70 1.283 0.085 74% 41- above 176 6.75 1.223 0.092 75% Teacher self-efficacy and years of teaching experience Table 8 shows the ANOVA test results for teaching experience, which were used to examine the relationship between teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and years of experience. Years of experience were classified into three categories: Less than five years, five to ten years, and more than ten years. The results of the ANOVA test revealed a significant difference in overall self- efficacy across the three levels of teaching experience (F=8.522, p=0.000 <0.05). (See table 8). The differences in general self-efficacy across the three levels of teaching experience were determined using LSD post hoc test (see table 9). Differences were found between teachers with more than ten years of experience and those with five to ten years of experience (mean contrast =0.41498, p=0.001<0.05). A substantial difference existed between instructors with more than ten years of experience and those less than five years (mean difference =0.46947, p=0.001<0.05). It may be inferred from this that the longer a teacher has been teaching, the higher their self-efficacy. Table 8. ANOFA-test result of teacher self-efficacy beliefs by years of experience. Experience N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error F Sig (p) Student Engagement Less than 5 years 94 6.4548 1.36917 0.14122 7.752 0.000 5- 10 years 135 6.5852 1.34851 0.11606
  • 34. 28 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Experience N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error F Sig (p) More than 10 years 285 6.9820 1.27530 0.07554 Classroom Management Less than 5 years 94 6.2354 1.47946 0.15259 7.419 0.001 5- 10 years 135 6.1352 1.45077 0.12486 More than 10 years 285 6.6934 1.57327 0.09319 Instructional Strategies Less than 5 years 94 6.5729 1.33954 0.13816 4.433 0.012 5- 10 years 135 6.7175 1.32578 0.11410 More than 10 years 285 6.9895 1.28341 0.07602 Overall Less than 5 years 94 6.4144 1.18721 0.12245 8.522 0.000 5- 10 years 135 6.4689 1.18502 0.10199 More than 10 years 285 6.8839 1.20713 0.07150 Table 9. Multiple Comparisons based on LSD Test. Dependent Variable Years of Experience Years of Experience Mean Difference (I-J) Std. Error Sig. Student Engagement More than 10 years Less than 5 years .52723* 0.15608 0.001 5- 10 years .39683* 0.13710 0.004 Classroom Management More than 10 years Less than 5 years .45805* 0.18140 0.012 5- 10 years .55824* 0.15934 0.000 Instructional Strategies More than 10 years Less than 5 years .41653* 0.15521 0.008 5- 10 years .27201* 0.13634 0.047 Overall self-efficacy More than 10 years Less than 5 years .46947* 0.14246 0.001 5- 10 years .41498* 0.12514 0.001 As far as student engagement is concerned, the results of the ANOVA test also revealed a significant difference in student engagement among teachers based on their years of experience t (F=7.752, p=0.000<0.05). Less than five years of teaching experience (M=6.45, SD=1.36), 5-10 years of teaching experience (M=6.58, Sd=1.34), more than ten years of teaching experience (M=6.98, SD) = 1.27) According to the LSD test (Table 9), it is found that there is a difference between teachers with more than ten years of experience and 5-10 years of experience (average difference=0.39683, p=0.004<0.05). In addition, there are also significant differences between teachers with more than ten years of experience and those with less than five years of experience (mean difference=0.52723, p=0.001<0.05). According to this data, the more years of work, the higher the sense of self-efficacy.
  • 35. 29 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Based on tables (8 & 9), the classroom management domain differs significantly across the three levels of teaching experience (F=7.419, p=0.001 <0.05). The differences were found between teachers with more than ten years of experience and those with 5-10 years of experience (mean difference =0. 55824, p=0.000<0.05). There is also a significant difference between teachers with more than ten years of experience and less than five years of experience (mean difference =0. 45805, p=0.012<0.05). In the classroom management domain, teachers with more than ten years of experience (M=6.45, SD=1.36) had greater levels of self-efficacy than teachers with five to ten years of experience (M=6.58, SD=1.34) and teachers with fewer than five years of experience (M= 6.98, SD= 1.27). There are also significant differences among the three years of expertise in teaching strategies (F=4.433, p=0.012<0.05). The LSD test (Table 9) reveals a distinction between teachers with more than ten years of experience and those with 5-10 years of experience (average difference = 0.27201, p=0.047<0.05). There is also a significant difference between instructors with more than ten years of experience and those less than five years (average difference=0.41653, p=0.008<0.05). 4.2 Qualitative data Results As part of the study’s qualitative aspect, four open-ended questions were included towards the end of the questionnaire to acquire a more elaborated perspective from the participants involved. 4.2.1 Challenges teachers encountered in online teaching during the pandemic period Being cognizant of the challenges teachers face in online teaching is essential for understanding the key factors that affect self-efficacy levels and scoping the future landscape regarding these challenges. An in-depth examination of the first open- ended question revealed three significant themes teachers face while conducting online classes: unmotivated students, uncooperative parents, and technical issues. (See figure 1). Figure 1. Main challenges faced by teachers in online teaching
  • 36. 30 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Unmotivated students were a recurrent theme in primary teachers’ responses, as shown in figure 1. The responses of 48% of inexperienced teachers, 47% of expert teachers, and 52% of teachers with 5 to 10 years of experience were in unison, suggesting that their students were unmotivated to learn and complete online tasks. 4.2.2 Strategies teachers used to cope with online teaching challenges during the pandemic period Figure 2. Frequently addressed coping strategies with challenges in online teaching Figure 2 reflects that problem solving was the most considered option, with the participants strongly affirming that they strive to overcome these challenges in every way possible. The majority of participants selected contact with parents as the first option for bridging the distance between teachers and their students caused by physical barriers. Teachers interact with parents in various ways, including phone calls and text messages to their students before and after school hours. Teachers have met with parents for several reasons involving their children. 4.2.3 Support teachers received in online teaching during the pandemic period Figure 3. Main support teachers received in online teaching
  • 37. 31 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter From figure 3, it is clear that the workshops provided to teachers, and the cooperation of school faculty members such as administrators, coordinators, and the IT department, proved to be a critical support system in assisting teachers in adapting to the new pedagogical life. The school administrators and coordinators spent time assisting teachers and students to ensure that the system operated smoothly and that parental expectations were met. 4.2.4 Support teachers need to develop their self-efficacy in distance education Figure 4. The primary support teachers require in online teaching The survey findings reveal that over 54% of teachers believe that interactive and practical technological professional development is required to develop self- efficacy in online teaching and overcome challenges. Participants suggest providing training workshops to coach teachers on utilizing and practicing online teaching techniques effectively (See figure 4). 5. Discussion ` This study aimed to investigate primary level teachers’ perceptions concerning self-efficacy in online teaching amidst a pandemic setting within the three domains: instructional strategies, student engagement, and classroom management. Teachers in primary schools indicated high levels of self-efficacy in online teaching, with mean scores ranging from 5.80 to 7.39 in the three areas of student engagement, classroom management, and instructional strategies. Results also did not report any correlation between self-efficacy and demographic variables, including age and gender. However, it is noteworthy that a higher self- efficacy level was more prominent among teachers with more years of experience than those with much less experience. 5.1 Teacher efficacy The high self-efficacy beliefs are found in Horvitz et al. (2015) ’s study of online instructors from various universities. Other research on face-to-face education, such as Voris’ (2011) study on special education teachers in Kentucky, Kim and Kim’s (2010) study on early childhood teachers’ self-efficacy in South Korea, and Chang et al. (2001) study on university teachers in Taiwan, all reported positive results. However, Sokal et al. (2020) research on online teachers’ self-efficacy in the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, Robinia and Anderson’s (2010) study, and Wong’s (2003) study all reported the opposite, low self-efficacy levels.
  • 38. 32 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Bandura (1977) identified two major factors that had a substantial impact on teacher efficacy. Vicarious experience, in which teachers observe other successful teachers. Observing successful people, according to Bandura (1977), increases the belief in achieving professional success. Teachers responded in the open-ended questions that they were encouraged by workshops and attending external training programs outside work hours. This shows that vicarious experiences and self-efficacy are correlated. Verbal persuasion is the second factor that influences teachers’ self-efficacy. Teachers are often convinced of their self-belief in their ability to overcome obstacles by vocal support from others. Verbal persuasion enhances teachers’ self- efficacy by encouraging and supporting their skills and providing strategies for dealing with difficulties (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998). Numerous teachers reported getting verbal influence from their school officials, supervisors, and colleagues in response to the open-ended questions. The self-efficacy beliefs of primary school teachers were investigated to see any significant differences between self-efficacy scores and demographic factors. Surprisingly, the results of this research revealed a statistically significant correlation between self-efficacy and years of teaching experience. Indicating that the more years of experience teachers have, the greater their self-efficacy in online teaching. Experienced teachers had better mean scores, which is not surprising given that research has shown that experienced teachers are well-versed in subjects and specialists in creative teaching techniques. As a result, they had a lot of time to perfect their teaching methods (Dinc, 2019). Furthermore, these findings corroborate with Tschannen-Moran and Hoy’s (2007) hypothesis that experienced teachers demonstrate higher self-efficacy than novice teachers due to variations in teaching techniques. There was no significant difference between gender and self-efficacy in online teaching in this research. One possible reason for this result is that, in contrast to earlier decades, computers are now more widely available and simpler to use for both men and women (Dinc, 2019). This result is consistent with Mehdinezhad’s (2012) research on university teachers’ self-efficacy in Iran, Wee-(2011), Loon’s research on primary science teachers’ self-efficacy in Singapore, and Robinia & Anderson’s (2010) Michigan research on nurse educators’ self-efficacy in online teaching in Michigan. The previous research differs in terms of Gender showed more significant levels of self-efficacy. Female teachers had greater self-efficacy than male teachers in specific research (Chang et al., 2011), while men had firmer self-efficacy beliefs than females in another study (Chang et al. 2011, and Lumpe et al., 2012). This research also shows no notable link between teachers’ age and their levels of self- efficacy in any of the three areas; all three age groups had high levels of self- efficacy. Many of the studies discussed in the literature review did not consider differences in teachers’ self-efficacy based on their age. Similar results were observed in