Staci Souhan


Fall 2022



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Trish Harvey

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Denise McGloughlin

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Heidi Saari


Efficacy and its impact on student outcomes have often been researched. Specific practices within an elementary setting that impact teacher efficacy has not been widely researched. This research focused on gathering the perceptions of elementary teachers regarding which experiences had impacted their feelings of efficacy positively or negatively. This qualitative research followed a grounded theory process. Data collection methods involved gathering data from an email survey and following up with a focus group which allowed triangulation of data and findings. Participants from a midwestern suburban high-performing elementary school were selected for this research based on the assumption that high-performing schools would likely have teachers who self-identified as having higher efficacy. I wanted higher efficacy educators because as an outcome I wanted to create a list of practices for administrators that could build efficacy for staff, sustain efficacy if it was in place, and avoid harming successful efficacy cycles or practices for new or newer administrators when joining a building. Findings suggested that administrators should pay particular attention to four general areas to support or sustain efficacy. The four areas for positive impact include any practices that impact an educator's time, areas that include support for the teacher, relationships, and reflective practices. Within these themes there were very specific practices that could be put into place for immediate impacts on efficacy, for example, one of the practices that received a 90.9% positive impact on efficacy was receiving a public oral or written compliment from a peer or administrator. The findings also suggested some practices that hinder or have a negative impact on efficacy. The two themes that emerged negatively were professional development based on how it is launched and handled and curriculum matters also dependent on how the decisions surrounding the curriculum are handled. Areas for future research include a longitudinal study that follows teachers from teacher development through their teaching career as well as research that would look at the cultural components of efficacy as that has not been covered in the existing literature.

Research Methodology

Grounded Theory


Teachers/ Teaching, Efficacy, Administration








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