Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 4-11-2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Jillian Skelton, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Donna Graham, Ph.D.

Content Reader

Nicholas J. Markette, Ed.D.

Keywords

teacher self-efficacy, TSES, teacher effectiveness, student achievement, NAEP, qualitative case study, Lutheran schools, relationship, vocation

Abstract

Teacher self-efficacy influences teacher effectiveness and, in turn, affects student academic achievement. Improving teacher effectiveness can improve student achievement. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measures student growth across the United States, and Lutheran schools consistently record strong achievement scores on NAEP. Exploring the influences on the sources of teacher self-efficacy in a Lutheran school can help deepen our understanding of the influences on teacher effectiveness. Guided by Bandura's social cognitive theory (1977), which asserts that an individual's belief in his ability to affect and control a desired outcome is impacted by mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological and emotional experience, this case study explored influences on the sources of teachers' self-efficacy in a nationally recognized Lutheran school. This extreme case study explored the phenomenon in an understudied population in order to gain a deeper understanding of the influences on teacher self-efficacy. The Teacher Self-Efficacy Survey (TSES) confirmed the self-efficacy of the participants. Interviews, field observations, and unobtrusive measures observations were the methods by which data was gathered and triangulated. Inductive analysis was used to interpret the data. The data revealed that professional development was of great importance in helping teachers to improve their effectiveness. Additionally, positive relationships among the different members of the school community and a sense of vocation, or the belief in a divine calling to teach, had deep meaning for the participants.

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