Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Childhood Education and Literacy Studies

Major Professor

Mary Lou Morton, Ph. D.

Co-Major Professor

Roger Brindley, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Susan P. Homan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Patricia L. Jones, Ph. D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey Kromrey, Ph.D.

Keywords

Content Area Teacher Efficacy, Teacher Attrition, Staff Development, Teacher Preparation, Curriculum Development

Abstract

Efficacy is created early in a career and not easily influenced over time yet states and school districts loose tremendous amounts of money annually educating and training teachers who elect to leave the profession as a result of low self-efficacy. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived levels of self-efficacy of middle school Language Arts and reading teachers at various stages in their teaching careers in an attempt to inform the practices of teacher preparation. The Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale along with a Teacher Demographic Survey was used to identify how preparation method, content area, and years of experience might relate to self-reported teacher self-efficacy scores. Findings suggest preparation method does play a significant role in self-efficacy of teachers specifically regarding classroom management. Content area of instruction did not reveal a significant difference among participants scores while years of experience did. Participants‘ self-efficacy increased as the total number of overall years teaching experience increased. Nevertheless, when focusing on the number of years at one location, this finding did not hold true. Teacher self-efficacy scores increased only until the 10 year and beyond mark then decreased. Demographic factors such as participant age, sex, ethnicity, and school location were not identified as predictive variables of a teachers‘ self-efficacy. Findings suggest school factors at the 6-8 grade levels may impact teacher efficacy scores. Implications and recommendations to schools districts and teacher preparation programs are offered.

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