DOI

10.17077/etd.brmro9z0

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Educational Policy and Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Liz Hollingworth

Second Advisor

Ain A. Grooms

First Committee Member

Timothy Neri Ansley

Second Committee Member

Leslie Ann Locke

Third Committee Member

Donald B. Yarbrough

Abstract

U.S. public education is regulated by accountability policies designed to ensure that all students, and those who are responsible for their education, are held to high academic standards. Accountability policies at the federal and state level have unintended consequences for educators, with principals and teachers experiencing increased job stress, decreased job satisfaction, and increased numbers of teachers and principals leaving the profession.

The construct of efficacy may be a critical component in meeting the established accountability demands. Perception of self-efficacy is one’s personal belief in one’s ability to achieve a desired outcome. Similarly, perception of collective efficacy is a system-level construct, the collective belief of a group of individuals that, together, they can achieve a desired outcome. In general, efficacy beliefs are shaped by four primary sources: mastery experiences, verbal or social persuasion, vicarious experiences, and physiological or affective states. Beliefs of efficacy are also contextual in nature, varying across situations or settings. Within the field of education, beliefs of teacher and principal self-efficacy and of collective teacher efficacy have been shown to positively impact teacher and principal behaviors as well as student achievement.

Given the context of state accountability policies in the area of literacy and the known relationship between efficacy beliefs and student achievement, this study examined the following two research questions: (RQ1) How do principals feel about their abilities to lead their schools? and (RQ2) What is the relationship between principals’ perceptions of their abilities to lead their schools and collective teacher efficacy perceptions? The target population for the study included public elementary school principals and teachers from Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Consenting participants completed a two-part survey, including demographic information and the Principal Sense of Efficacy Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Gareis, 2004) for participating principals or Collective Teacher Beliefs Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Barr, 2004) for participating teachers. Variables for analysis included: gender of the principal, the principal’s years at the school, school size, school type (rural, suburban, urban), socioeconomic status (SES) based on free or reduced lunch (FRL), special education (IEP), English Language Learners (ELL), race/ethnicity, student achievement based on percent of students scoring proficient on the state English Language Arts/Reading assessment, principal self-efficacy perceptions, and collective teacher efficacy perceptions. The researcher employed descriptive statistics, t-tests, one-way ANOVAs, correlational analysis, and hierarchical multiple regression analyses to answer the research questions.

Results indicated principal self-efficacy perceptions were significantly different based on school type (rural, suburban, urban) and free or reduced lunch (FRL) but not by other demographic variables of the principal or the school. In addition, principal self-efficacy perceptions were positively correlated with collective teacher efficacy perceptions (r= .435, p< .05). Furthermore, perceptions of principal self-efficacy were not a significant predictor of collective teacher efficacy perceptions. Years of experience in the building of the principal was the only significant predictor of perceptions of collective teacher efficacy.

Keywords

Accountability policy, Collective teacher efficacy, Leadership, Literacy, Principal self-efficacy, Student achievement

Pages

xiii, 180 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 148-167).

Copyright

Copyright © 2018 Janelle Leann Brouwer

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