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How teachers perceive their expertise: The role of dimensional and social comparisons
Paulick, I., Großschedl, J., Harms, U., Möller, J.

How teachers perceive their expertise: The role of dimensional and social comparisons

Contemporary Educational Psychology, 51, 114-122. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2017.06.007

Teachers’ self-concepts have shown correlations with the effectiveness of their teaching, but we know little about the development of their self-concepts. According to the generalized internal/external frames of reference (GI/E) model, social and dimensional achievement comparisons may affect not only students’ but also pre-service teachers’ self-concepts. Thus, we extended and applied this model to examine relations between estimates and self-concepts of 430 pre-service biology teachers’ professional knowledge in three domains: content knowledge (CK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), and pedagogical and psychological knowledge (PPK). Structural equation modelling provided strong support for the GI/E model’s capacity to explain teachers’ self-concepts: with positive paths from CK, PCK, and PPK to the corresponding self-concepts, indicating social comparison effects, and negative paths from CK and PPK test scores to the PPK and CK self-concepts, respectively, indicating dimensional comparison effects. In addition, CK was negatively related with the teachers’ PCK self-concept. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for both teacher education and the proposed GI/E model.