A multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis of teacher perceptions of social and emotional learning in rural Malawi
The British Journal of Educational Psychology
Short Title: Br J Educ Psychol
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: 2018/09/21/
Sources ID: 89891
Visibility: Public (group default)
BACKGROUND: Social and emotional learning (SEL) positively impacts children's school achievement and adult productivity. Successful implementation of SEL relies on teachers' pedagogical beliefs and practices.AIMS: We examined whether the Teachers' SEL Belief Scale designed in the United States is adoptable in low-income countries such as Malawi in response to a growing interest in teacher practices in SEL but a lack of research instruments in these countries. SAMPLES: The data used in this study were from 432 teachers working in 34 randomly selected primary schools in Zomba, a rural district in Malawi. METHODS: We used multiple-group confirmatory factory analysis to investigate the factor structure and the invariance of the adapted scale across teachers with different characteristics such as gender and training experience in SEL. When invariant, we compared group mean differences among teachers in our sample by gender and training experience. RESULTS: We found that the Teachers' SEL Belief Scale measured a similar construct of pedagogical perceptions of SEL among the sampled teachers, and it functioned equivalently across teachers with different genders and training experiences. Female teachers had lower perceived institutional support for SEL instruction compared to male teachers. Untrained teachers had lower levels of pedagogical comfort as well as perceived support for SEL compared to trained teachers. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings validate the adaptability of the Teachers' SEL Belief Scale in low-income contexts such as Malawi. We did not find evidence of systematic bias relative to group membership. In addition, significantly lower pedagogical comfort and institutional support among female and untrained teachers suggest areas for policy intervention to improve teacher performance in SEL in Malawi.