Jung, E., Zhang, Y., & Zhang, Y. (2016) Future professionals’ perceptions of play and intended practices: the moderating role of efficacy beliefs. Journal Early Child Development and Care, , 1-14.
This study examined whether perceptions of play of future professionals (N = 337) are related to their intent to integrate play into their practices and how their efficacy beliefs moderate the relation between perceptions of play and intended practices. While students with child-related majors were more likely to have stronger perceptions of play, they did not necessarily hold stronger intentions to use play in their practices, thus suggesting a noteworthy discrepancy between their perceptions and intentions. Students’ efficacy beliefs moderate the relationship between perceptions of play and their intended practices; however, an intriguing pattern was observed between high- and low-efficacy holders. The notable difference between participants with high- and low-efficacy beliefs in their intentions suggests the importance of efficacy beliefs in future professionals’ intended practices, as they make instructional and professional decisions in a challenging educational environment. The efficacy beliefs of future professionals need to be more seriously considered.