Date of Award

Spring 2-21-2018

Document Type

Dissertation - University of Massachusetts Global access only

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 early-career elementary teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs based on Bandura’s four psychological sources of information.

Methodology: An ethnographic research design was used in this study to collect data from 15 early-career elementary school teachers in Riverside County. An interview protocol was employed to gather the rich narrative descriptions from the participants’ perspective. These semistructured interviews were geared toward getting a better understanding of the perspective of the participants from their own point of view and asked open-ended questions so participants could provide rich accounts of situations that impacted their self-efficacy.

Findings: Examination of the data from the 15 ethnographic interviews indicated a variety of findings. These findings are: (a) Teachers feel motivated to improve after observing other teachers’ successes or failures; (b) Teacher experience a sense of excitement when they know they have impacted students; (c) Teachers feel validated from positive input from administrators; (d) The positive relationships that teachers establish refuels their energy to persist in the field; (e) Teachers develop confidence when observing a trusted colleague; (f) Teachers are more reflective after a failed teaching experience; (g) A teacher’s sense of personal accomplishment diminishes when they lack exposure to exemplar teaching in specific content areas; (h) Persevering through challenging situations increases a teacher’s commitment to the profession; (i) Teachers feel successful when implementing something new and student outcomes exceed expectations; and (j) Teachers feel validated from positive input from peers.

Conclusions: The results serve to inform researchers, district and school site administrators, and teachers of the importance of cultivating high levels of TSE thus impacting the resiliency of early-career teachers to keep them committed to the teaching profession.

Recommendations: Further research is recommended to continue to expand the understanding of TSE and the impact it has on teachers by examining the experiences of secondary teachers, by examining the experiences that impact collective teacher efficacy, and by examining the influence administrator knowledge has on teachers’ level of self-efficacy.