Perfectionism in the classrom environment: An examination of the roles of teaching styles and percieved teacher self-efficacy

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Lowe, Elizabeth Jane
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Mount Saint Vincent University
The main purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between teaching styles, personality traits associated with perfectionism and the perceived sense of teacher efficacy. Teachers (N=52) completed three questionnaires administered via online survey service ( These three questionnaires were; Grasha’s Teaching Style Inventory 3.0 (Grasha, 1996), which identifies five teaching style clusters; The Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Frost et al, 1990) which indicates levels of perfectionism associated with positive or negative characteristics associated with perfectionism; and the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) which measures individual teaching assumptions in relation to perceived efficacy. Correlations, a T-Test for demographic variables and a multiple regression analysis were conducted to provide information in relation to the three questionnaire responses and to identify associations between perfectionism, teaching styles and perceived teacher efficacy. Results indicated significant correlations between Teaching Styles and Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy. The Facilitator teaching style was found to be significantly correlated with Student Engagement (r (52) = .35, p< .05). and ClassroomManagement (r (52) = .29, p< .05). The Delegator teaching style was found to be significantly correlated to Engagement (r (52) = .36, p< 0.01 and Management (r (52) = .28, p<.05. Significant Multiple Regression results occurred where the Grasha’s Teaching Styles significantly predicted the Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale subset Concern over Mistakes (F5, 46 = 2.5, p< .05). The Facilitator Teaching Style held the strongest predictive value. A hallmark of positive or adaptive perfectionism relates to problem solving in a sound and healthy manner (Fedewa et al, 2005). The Facilitator teaching style appears to coincide with this sound and healthy approach by incorporating collaborative problem solving between a teacher and student (Grasha, 1996). The Frost perfectionism subset Concern over Mistakes reflects negative reactions to mistakes, a tendency to interpret mistakes as equivalent to failure, and a tendency to believe that one will lose the respect of others following failure (Frost et al, 1990). High endorsement on this subset may be a predictor of maladaptive perfectionism (Frost et al, 1990). The Facilitator teaching style and the perfectionism measure Concern over Mistakes appear to reflect conflicting constructs. This supposed conflict is discussed along with other considerations associated with perfectionism, teaching styles and perceptions of teacher selfefficacy.