Date of Award

12-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

John A. Anderson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

J. Beth Mabry, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Valerie J. Gunter, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

John Dellegrotto, Ed.D.

Abstract

While a considerable amount of research exists on teacher efficacy, few researchers have explored teacher efficacy at the secondary level in an inclusive classroom. Since teachers face many challenges in the classroom, several variables may exist as to what impacts a general education teacher’s efficacy, particularly when working with students with specific learning disabilities (SLD). Using a quantitative methodology involving a cross-sectional design, this exploratory study examined what elements affected the teacher efficacy of high school general education teachers when supporting students with identified SLD in inclusive classrooms. A total of 46 English and Algebra I general education high school teachers in 22 school districts in south-central Pennsylvania responded to survey questions. Findings from the study indicate that implementing teacher focused strategies, experience teaching students with SLD, and teaching in economically disadvantaged classrooms were significant in predicting overall teacher efficacy. In addition, using teacher focused strategies and experience teaching students with SLD were significant for teacher efficacy for instructional strategies. Moreover, additional findings demonstrated that beliefs on inclusion, implementing student focused strategies, and training in special education significantly affected teacher efficacy for classroom management. Finally, implementing student focused strategies and teaching in economically disadvantaged classrooms were significant for teacher efficacy for student engagement.

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