Collective Teacher Self-Efficacy

Ralf Schwarzer, Gerdamarie S. Schmitz, & Gary T. Daytner, 1999

  1. As teachers of this school, we are able to reach even the most difficult students because we are all committed to the same educational goals.
  2. I believe in the potential of our school’s faculty to establish innovative approaches to education even when faced with setbacks.
  3. I am convinced that we, as teachers, can guarantee high instructional quality even when resources are limited or become scarce.
  4. I am certain that we, as teachers, can achieve educational goals because we stick together and do not get demoralized by the day-to-day hassles of this profession.
  5. Our team of teachers can come up with creative ways to improve the school environment, even without support from others.
  6. We are definitely able to accomplish something positive at school since we are a competent team of teachers that grows every time we are challenged.
  7. As teachers, we can learn from our mistakes and setbacks in the classroom as long as we trust our shared competence.
  8. Since we are a competent and experienced team of teachers, we can improve the instructional quality of our school in spite of system constraints.
  9. I am confident that we as teachers can develop and carry out educational projects in a cooperative manner even when difficulties arise.
  10. We are able to lay out our educational goals in a convincing manner to even the most difficult parents because we present ourselves as a cohesive and competent team of teachers.
  11. I am certain that we can create a positive school climate through our shared efforts, even if this causes a tremendous workload for us.
  12. We can deal effectively with even the most critical events because we are able to draw upon the social network that exists within our faculty.

Response format:
(1) not at all true, (2) barely true, (3) moderately true, (4) exactly true

Collective self–efficacy deals with a group's beliefs in its competence for successful action, similar to an individual’s belief in his or her competence (see also: General Self–Efficacy scale and Teacher Self–Efficacy scale). A group of teachers, for example, can believe in the faculty’s capacities to cope successfully with stressful events that challenge the group as a whole. Thus, collective self–efficacy will influence a group’s goal setting, their collective efforts as well as their persistence when barriers arise. A highly efficacious team of teachers will, therefore, be more convinced of their ability to materialize innovative projects or to cope with budget cuts and other adversities. In addition, they will not easily be discouraged by setbacks.

There are several ways to assess this construct. We chose the individual as the unit of data collection so that the items can easily be mixed with the items of other scales without confusion for the respondents. Thus, the items ask for an individual's perception of the coping competence of his or her reference group.

The development of a General Collective Self-Efficacy scale for the assessment of collective beliefs that are not restricted to educators is currently being planned.

Cronbach's alpha in two samples (each about N = 300) of German teachers, who were participating in the nationwide innovative school project Self-Efficacious Schools, was found to be .91, and .92, respectively. Test-retest reliability resulted in .77 (N = 197) for the period of one year.

Collective Teacher Self–Efficacy showed high associations with the quality of social relationships among collegues. Associations with General and Teacher Self-Efficacy revealed just a moderate overlap between these three constructs (shared variance about 23% to 37%). Still the pattern of associations between Collective Teacher Self-Efficacy and other variables followed the pattern of the General and the individual Teacher Self-Efficacy; an indication of convergent validity. Moreover it was found that one sixth of the longitudinal teacher sample is clearly oriented either individually or collectively with regard to their self-efficacy beliefs, emphazising the unique contribution this scale can provide. 


    Bandura, A. (1997). Self–efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.

    Bandura, A. (1995). Exercise of personal and collective efficacy in changing societies. In A. Bandura (Ed.), Self-efficacy in changing societies (pp. 1-45). New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.

    Parker, L. E. (1994). Working together: Perceived self- and collective-efficacy at the workplace. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 24(1), 43-59.

    Romano, J. L. (1996). School personnel prevention training: A measure of self-efficacy. The Journal of Educational Research, 90(1), 57-63.

    Schwarzer, R. & Schmitz, G.S. (1999). Kollektive Selbstwirksamkeits- erwartung von Lehrern. Eine Längsschnittstudie in zehn Bundesländern [Collective self-efficacy of teachers. A longitudinal study in ten German states] . Zeitschrift für Sozialpsychologie, 30(4), 262-274.

    Shamir, B. (1990). Calculations, values, and identities: The sources of collectivistic work motivation. Human Relations, 43(4), 313-332.

    Spink, K. S. (1990). Collective efficacy in the sport setting. Special Issue: The group in sport and physical activity. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 21(4), 380-395.

    Spink, K. S. (1990). Group cohesion and collective efficacy of volleyball teams. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 12(3), 301-311.

    Zaccaro, S. J., Blair, V., Peterson, C. & Zazanis, M. (1995). Collective efficacy. In G. Mason (Ed.), Self-efficacy, adaptation, and adjustment: Theory, research, and application (pp. 305-328). New York: Plenum.