Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Sarah Noonan, Diane Heacox, Aura Wharton-Beck



Teachers face unprecedented pressures that call into question their effectiveness and sense of self-efficacy. Teacher-self efficacy (TSE) involves teachers’ beliefs about their ability to meet the needs of their students regardless of circumstances or challenges (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 1977). Studies consistently supported the impact of self-efficacy on teacher effectiveness (Gibson & Dembo, 1984). A gap in the literature existed regarding how teachers develop self-efficacy throughout their careers. A mixed methods grounded theory study was conducted to identify factors affecting teachers’ self-efficacy at various career stages. I conducted a series of recursive interviews and focus groups and collected survey data related to the same topic. Findings revealed teachers develop a sense of self-efficacy in different ways depending in large part on their career path location. However, some factors positively influence TSE in all career stages, including self-reflection, feedback, collaboration, student relationships, and inclusive educational practices. A career model of teacher self-efficacy revealed differences in the contributing factors to self-efficacy based on learning habits and a direct focus on students. Generally speaking, as teachers progress through their careers, their TSE is fostered by narrowing their focus to aspects of their practice that directly impact students. For example, novice teachers developed TSE through feedback from authority figures while veteran teachers sought feedback directly from students. Additionally, the TSE of more experienced teachers was positively impacted by expanding their influence. For instance, veteran teachers pursued opportunities to mentor or coach other teachers as a way give back to the profession while enhancing their TSE.


Self-efficacy, career development, collaboration, reflection, inclusion, feedback

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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