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Teachers’ self-efficacy is an important motivational construct that is positively related to a variety of outcomes for both the teachers and their students. This study addresses challenges associated with the commonly used ‘Teachers’ Sense of Self-Efficacy (TSES)’ measure across countries and provides a synergism between substantive research on teachers’ self-efficacy and the novel methodological approach of exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM). These challenges include adequately representing the conceptual overlap between the facets of self-efficacy in a measurement model (cross-loadings) and comparing means and factor structures across countries (measurement invariance). On the basis of the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2013 data set comprising 32 countries (N = 164,687), we investigate the effects of cross-loadings in the TSES measurement model on the results of measurement invariance testing and the estimation of relations to external constructs (i.e., working experience, job satisfaction). To further test the robustness of our results, we replicate the 32-countries analyses for three selected sub-groups of countries (i.e., Nordic, East and South-East Asian, and Anglo-Saxon country clusters). For each of the TALIS 2013 participating countries, we found that the factor structure of the self-efficacy measure is better represented by ESEM than by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) models that do not allow for cross-loadings. For both ESEM and CFA, only metric invariance could be achieved. Nevertheless, invariance levels beyond metric invariance are better achieved with ESEM within selected country clusters. Moreover, the existence of cross-loadings did not affect the relations between the dimensions of teachers’ self-efficacy and external constructs. Overall, this study shows that a conceptual overlap between the facets of self-efficacy exists and can be well-represented by ESEM. We further argue for the cross-cultural generalizability of the corresponding measurement model.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access


© 2016 Scherer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.