An investigation of the relationships between professional development, teacher efficacy and teacher stress among teachers in Shanghai public primary schools

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Rachelle Hackett

First Committee Member

Marilyn Draheim

Second Committee Member

Amy Scott


Under the theoretical framework of Guskey’s (2000) professional development models and Bandura’s (1997) social cognitive theory, this study sought to (a) identify how teachers in Shanghai public primary schools perceive the effectiveness of different types of professional development; (b) assess teachers’ self-efficacy and stress level; and (c) examine how teachers’ perceived effectiveness of professional development, their self-efficacy and stress level are related. A total of 562 public primary school teachers in Shanghai responded to the online survey which consisted of demographic information, the short version of Teacher Self-Efficacy Scale, Teacher Stress Inventory and a designed Professional Development Scale regarding the participation in and perceived effectiveness of professional development activities. Results emerged after analyzing the data: 1) among various types of professional development, mentoring, observation and assessment and study groups were perceived to be the most effective types by both novice and career teachers; 2) teachers generally felt “quite a bit” of teacher efficacy but a majority reported moderate levels of stress; 3) compared with their career counterparts, novice teachers have significantly lower self-efficacy and also show significantly lower stress; 4) a negative relationship between teacher efficacy and teacher stress exists for both groups of teachers; 5) an association between the perceived effectiveness of professional development and teacher efficacy exists for career teachers only; 6) teacher efficacy was found to fully mediate the relationship between perceived effectiveness of professional development and teacher stress only among career teachers. Additional discussion of the findings and their implications and suggestions for further research were also presented.





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