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The Influence of Administrative Support on Special Education Teacher Self-Efficacy at the Middle School Level in a Small Northeast State

Ryan Borden, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

With the passing of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA, 2015) the role of special educators has become increasingly diverse. The defining structure of what enables teachers to effectively deliver instruction can be measured through self-efficacy (Bandura, 1997). Teachers with higher self-efficacy are more likely to overcome the burdens of their jobs (Guo, MacDonald Connor, Yanyun, Roehrig, & Morrison, 2012). Supportive leadership is a predictor of positive outcomes in special education (Murawski & Dieker, 2013). Understanding what factors of administrative support influence the self-efficacy of special educators allows leaders to provide more meaningful and consistent support to special educators. ^ The purpose of this mixed methods sequential, explanatory study was to determine the factors of administrative support that influence the self-efficacy of special educators at middle schools in a small northeast state. ^ The following research questions were addressed: ^ 1. How do the components of administrative support relate to special education teacher self-efficacy? ^ a. How do the components of administrative support relate to building level administrator self-efficacy? ^ 2. What is the relationship between the special educator’s perceived level of administrative support and their reported self-efficacy? ^ 3. What is the relationship between the building level administrator’s perceived level of support given and the reported levels of special educator self-efficacy? ^ a. What is the relationship between the perceived level of support provided by BLAS to special educators and BLA self-efficacy? ^ 4. How do administrator and teacher descriptions further explain the relationship among support and self-efficacy? ^ a. How do building level administrators describe their support to special educators? ^ b. How do special educators describe support provided by their building level administrator? ^ During the quantitative phase, a questionnaire was administered to middle school administrators and special educators to measure perceptions of their relationship and its influence on the self-efficacy of special educators. During the second phase, individual interviews were conducted to explore how both participant groups describe the factors that contribute to their relationship (Rubin & Rubin, 2012). The results of this study found a relationship between administrative support and special educator self-efficacy.^

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Special education

Recommended Citation

Borden, Ryan, "The Influence of Administrative Support on Special Education Teacher Self-Efficacy at the Middle School Level in a Small Northeast State" (2018). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI10793949.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI10793949

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