The essential goal of schooling is to create learning experiences that promote student achievement for students of all abilities and talents. Teacher efficacy is a construct that supports this goal because it has been demonstrated to improve the teaching and learning process and therefore increase student achievement. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which teacher efficacy is understood by the Maple Hill City School District's elementary school teachers and the extent teacher efficacy behaviors were practiced in the Maple Hill City School District's three elementary schools. Additionally, the study sought to investigate the effects of the district's professional development program on teacher efficacy for the elementary school teachers. This was a mixed method study using both qualitative and quantitative data sources. Data was collected using a modified version of the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale, two teacher focus groups, and two elementary school principal interviews. These sources were used to investigate the following three research questions: 1) To what extent do elementary school teachers in the Maple Hill City School District understand the construct of teacher efficacy? 2) To what extent are teacher efficacy behaviors practiced in the Pre-Kindergarten-Grade 6 classrooms in the Maple Hill City School District? 3) To what extent does the Maple Hill City School District's professional development program support teachers' knowledge and practices of teacher efficacy behaviors? Eight findings emerged after analyzing the data. These findings indicated that the teachers had a strong understanding of teacher efficacy and practiced teacher efficacy behaviors associated with improving the teaching and learning process. However, the findings also illustrated that the Maple Hill City School District needed to include teacher efficacy as part of a sustained professional development program. Recommendations were provided to facilitate the improvement and strengthening of teacher efficacy across the Maple Hill City School District.
|Advisor:||Crews, John R., McDade, Thomas J.|
|Commitee:||Barrett, Michelle M., Schall, Patricia L.|
|School:||College of Saint Elizabeth|
|School Location:||United States -- New Jersey|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational evaluation, Educational leadership, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Elementary school, Professional development, Student achievement, Student engagement, Student learning, Teacher efficacy, Teaching and learning process|
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