An Analysis of the Relationship Between Elementary Princpal Self-Efficacy and 5th Grade Reading Achievement

Thumbnail Image
Publication or External Link
Lockard, Steven Andrew
Parham, Carol
ABSTRACT Title of dissertation: AN ANALYSIS OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL SELF-EFFICACY AND 5TH GRADE READING ACHIEVEMENT Steven A. Lockard, Doctor of Philosophy, 2013 Dissertation directed by: Professor Carol Parham Department of Education Leadership, Higher Education and International Education Preparing students to be college or career ready in the 21st Century starts with the foundational skills they acquire in elementary school. Elementary school principals must work to ensure that, not only do they have a belief in their own abilities to provide this foundation, but that their school improvement efforts are reflected in the results of their students' achievement. This mixed-method study examines the relationship between elementary principals' perceptions of self-efficacy and student achievement scores in reading in a large suburban school district in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. In addition, the study explored leadership behaviors exhibited by principals in schools with high principal self-efficacy and high reading achievement. Data was gathered through the use of a survey (Principal's Sense of Efficacy Scale), principal interviews and teacher focus groups to answer the research questions. The researcher analyzed survey and interview data, utilizing the framework for the study -the triadic reciprocal causation model (Bandura, 1997). This framework provided a lens through which the construct of principal efficacy could be examined. The findings from this study revealed that there was limited evidence to suggest that principal self-efficacy and reading achievement were correlated. However, there was some evidence to support general common leadership behaviors of principals who report high levels of self-efficacy, in schools where high reading achievement exists. The teacher focus group responses validated the same behaviors selected principals identified. The common behaviors as described by teachers included the four larger themes of trust, empowerment, expectations, and collaboration.