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The Relationship of Grade 12 High School Students' Perceptions of Writing Self-Efficacy and Academic Writing Outcomes in a Suburban High School

Agnes Pelopida, Johnson & Wales University


According to the Nation’s Report Card (2011), America’s students are not proficient in writing. Because self-efficacy is a primary predictor of the actual outcomes, educational research (Zimmerman & Bandura, 1994) has focused on means of developing beliefs of self-efficacy to increase outcomes (Bandura, 1997). The purpose of this sequential mixed methods single case study was to explore grade 12 students’ perceptions of self-efficacy in terms of academic writing. This study also evaluated the effectiveness of the writing curriculum in increasing students’ self-efficacy with respect to writing and exploring students’ and teachers’ perceptions of the writing process and the Senior Project Research Paper curriculum and highlight necessary changes. The primary research questions were: 1. What is the relationship of students’ self-efficacy with respect to academic writing competence and writing outcomes? 2. Are there gender differences in pre-test and post-test perceptions of self-efficacy in academic writing and writing outcomes? 3. What are students’ perceptions of the implementation process of the writing program? 4. What are students’ and teachers’ assessments and recommendations of the writing program? The framework for this research was based upon Stufflebeam’s (2007) program evaluation model with emphasis on the implementation of the curriculum and outcomes. The instrument, administered to students ( N=78), revealed a significant correlation between academic writing self-efficacy and outcomes. The results for pre-test Writing Process ( r=.29, r2=.08, p=.010), Creativity (r=.30, r2=.09, p=.008), and Time-Management (r=.29, r 2=.08, p=.012) dimensions and the post-test Writing Process (r=.33, r2=.11, p=.003), Creativity (r=.31, r 2=10, p=.006) and Time-Management (r=.41, r2=.17, p<.001) dimensions were positively related to Actual Grade attainment. Student (N=14) focus group findings indicated that students’ self-efficacy is increased through constructive teacher feedback, incremental goals presented by the curriculum, and topic interest. Teacher (N=5) focus group findings revealed that teachers feel that students are unwilling to meaningfully engage in the writing process, that they wish they had more time to address student needs and provide feedback, and that they value the writing curriculum which promotes collegiality and standardized expectations within the department. Results of this study will help educational leaders promote effective and meaningful writing instruction to foster student’ academic writing self-efficacy.

Subject Area

Language arts|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Pelopida, Agnes, "The Relationship of Grade 12 High School Students' Perceptions of Writing Self-Efficacy and Academic Writing Outcomes in a Suburban High School" (2016). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI10031621.