Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Jennifer Beasly

Committee Member

Mounir Farah

Second Committee Member

Michael Wavering

Keywords

Education; Benchmark test; Student achievement; Teacher education; Teacher efficacy; Teacher experience

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate which teachers’ characteristics have an impact on teachers’ sense of efficacy. In addition, the relationship between mathematics and science fifth grade teachers’ sense of efficacy and student achievement was examined. Two characteristics related to teachers were examined: teachers’ years of teaching experience and teachers’ highest degree. Participants included 62 mathematics and science teachers from three school districts in Northwest Arkansas. When comparing fifth grade mathematics and science teachers’ efficacy beliefs based on their highest degree, a significant difference in teachers’ efficacy beliefs was found based on their degrees. Teachers with a Bachelor degree have higher total efficacy than teachers who hold Master’s degrees. Moreover, an investigation to determine if there is a difference in mathematics and science teachers’ efficacy beliefs in the three subscale of teachers’ efficacy (for classroom management, for student engagement, and for instructional strategies) revealed a significant difference in teachers’ efficacy for two of the three constructs. However, when examining teachers’ sense of efficacy based on their teaching experience, no differences in teachers’ efficacy were found. A correlation was conducted and the results indicated that there was no significant relationship between fifth grade teachers’ sense of efficacy and students’ achievement in the benchmark test in mathematics and science. The recommendations from this study should be used to inform other scholars and administrators of the importance of teachers’ sense of efficacy in order to improve students’ achievement gains.