Date of Award

Spring 4-11-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Tamerin Capellino

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Lee

Third Advisor

George Sziraki


Purpose: The purpose of this ethnographic investigation was to examine and describe the experiences that impact mid-career elementary teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs based on Bandura’s four psychological sources of information.

Methodology: An ethnographic research design was utilized in this study to collect data from 15 mid-career elementary school teachers in Riverside County, which is located in Southern California. A semi-structured interview protocol was utilized to gather the rich accounts of situations that impacted the self-efficacy beliefs of participants.

Findings: From the examination of data collected from the 15 ethnographic one-on-one interviews, the following findings emerged: (a) Teachers feel validated from positive input; (b) Teachers are more reflective after failed teaching experiences; (c) Teachers' sense of personal accomplishment diminishes when uncomfortable with the academic content; (d) Teachers suffer from emotional exhaustion when other adults are involved; (e) Teachers develop confidence when observing a trusted colleague; (f) Teachers grow professionally when they participate in collaborative lesson study; (g) The positive relationships teachers establish refuel their energy to persist in the field; (h) Teachers feel motivated to improve when observing other teachers' successes or failures; (i) Teachers feel a sense of worth when the light bulb goes on for the kids; (j) Teachers feel disconnected from negative input; (k) Teachers develop a deep understanding of how students learn; (l) Teachers experience a sense of joy when they know they have impacted students.

Conclusions: The results of this study are meant to inform educational leaders, educators, and researchers of the significance of developing high levels of teacher efficacy beliefs in order to ensure the well-being of mid-career teachers and in this way, ensuring that they stay committed to the teaching profession.

Recommendation: A recommendation for future research is the conduction of a longitudinal study that follows teachers from the early-career stage to the late-career stage in order to expand the understanding of how teacher self-efficacy changes through the years.