Date of Award

5-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Pamela Angelle

Committee Members

Mary Lynne Derrington, Sonya Hayes, Jo Ann Cady

Abstract

This mixed method study examined the influence of mastery experience opportunities as principal support from teachers’ perceptions of their teacher efficacy. This study examined whether mastery experiences, provided through teacher support, influences teacher efficacy, providing a picture of how efficacy is developed and supported by instructional leaders and guided by Bandura’s (1995, 1997) theory. This study was executed in a small rural southeastern United States school district in three phases. Phase 1 included the administration of the Teacher Self-efficacy Survey (Woolfolk-Hoy & Tschanen-Moran’s, 2001) at three sites, as baseline data. Phase 2 included the pre-intervention Teacher Self-efficacy Survey (Woolfolk-Hoy & Tschanen-Moran’s, 2001) administered to teachers (N = 5) volunteering to participate in the mastery experience opportunity. After completing the mastery experience, teachers were interviewed and given a post-intervention Teacher Self-efficacy Survey (Woolfolk-Hoy & Tschanen-Moran’s, 2001) for phase 3 of the study.Data analysis yielded elements that suggested the mastery experience opportunity had a positive impact on teacher responses to the TSES as well as a perceived influence on teacher efficacy through interview responses and observation. The findings of this research study support Bandura’s (1997) theory that mastery experiences are influential to the development of efficacy beliefs. The teachers participating in the mastery opportunity experience expressed that the immediate feedback, positive and constructive feedback, and feedback in the classroom setting were specific elements of the mastery experience that influenced their perception of teacher efficacy. This also supports Bandura’s (1997) theory that mastery experiences are most influential on self-efficacy. Moreover, increased efficacy provided needed perseverance and resiliency to the individual when developing or improving a new skill. Finally, a model for mastery experience opportunity was provided that could be utilized to support instructional leaders as they assist teachers in ways that improve teacher efficacy.

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