Perceived Competence and Autonomy among Teacher Trainees in Ghana
Seidu Sofo, Tontie L. Kanton

Drawing on Self-Determination Theory (SDT), this study examined perceived competence and autonomy among teacher trainees (TTs). A purposive sample of 95 TTs (56 males and 39 females) from one College of Education in Ghana participated in the study. Modified forms of the Perceived Competence Scale (PCS) and the Autonomy subscale of the Self-Regulation Questionnaire-Learning (SRQ-L) served as the main data sources. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results showed that 95.79% and 98.94% of TTs exhibited medium to high levels of competence and autonomy respectively. Pearson correlation analyses indicated significant positive relationship between PCS and SRQ-L (r = .40; p = .000). There was no significant correlation between the number of years in training and PCS or SRQ-L. Independent t-Test analyses suggested PCS and SRQ-L mean scores for males were significantly higher than those for females. One-Way ANOVA measures indicated no significant differences in either PCS or SRQ-L mean scores and the program of study. The findings suggest that gender was the main determinant of TTs’ PCS and SRQ-L, while marital status, the number of years in training, and the program of study were not. Teacher educators need to identify strategies that would enhance female TTs’ competence and autonomy.

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