Date of Award
Doctor of Education (Ded)
Professional Studies in Education
George R. Bieger, Ph.D.
Frank Corbett, Jr., Ed.D.
Sue A. Rieg, Ed.D.
Title: A Study of the Relationship of Teachers’ Self- Efficacy and the Impact of Leadership and Professional Development Author: Karen “Heidi” L. Lewandowski Dissertation Chairman: Dr. George R. Bieger Dissertation Committee Members: Dr. Frank Corbett, Jr. Dr. Sue A. Rieg Studies have shown that teachers are a direct link to student achievement. Teachers with a strong sense of selfefficacy nurture students toward academic accomplishments. Teachers with a weak sense of self-efficacy tend to surrender in the presence of difficulty. How then, do schools promote teachers’ self-efficacy through leadership and professional development experiences provided to teachers? This mixed-method study examined teachers’ perception of their self-efficacy and the impact of leadership and professional development on that efficacy. One-hundred ninety-two teachers from 17 rural elementary schools throughout western Pennsylvania completed the Teacher Efficacy Scale (Woolfolk & Hoy, 1993). Teachers’ personal teaching efficacy (PTE) mean scores were used to identify schools with extreme measures. Teachers of three schools identified as possessing overall high PTE, and teachers of two schools identified as possessing overall low PTE completed the Nature of School Leadership (Leithwood, 1997) questionnaire. Following the leadership measure, two teachers from each school were chosen and participated in individual interviews to reveal detailed qualitative information regarding the school principal(s) and professional development experiences. Quantitative results of the study revealed that degrees exist among teachers’ PTE. Additionally, a statistically significant difference was found between the mean scores of teachers identified from high efficacy schools and low efficacy schools for the six categories of leadership traits. Surprisingly, faculty from schools identified as low efficacy actually rated their principal higher for exhibiting leadership characteristics thought to be effective. Qualitative data regarding teachers’ perceptions of selfefficacy, leadership traits and professional development experiences revealed no strong categories within either group. Additionally, the responses between groups were highly reflective of each other, providing inconclusive results
Lewandowski, Karen Heidi L., "A Study of the Relationship of Teachers' Self-Efficacy and the Impact of Leadership and Professional Development" (2005). Theses and Dissertations. 729.