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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

David P. Baral

First Committee Member

Robert R. Hopkins

Second Committee Member

Jack McKay

Third Committee Member

Halvor Hansen

Fourth Committee Member

Suellen Skeen


Purpose. Teacher sense of efficacy refers to teachers' belief in their ability to motivate students to learn. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of selected personal characteristics, training variables, experience factors, school system variables, and principal leadership behaviors to the sense of efficacy of a group of teachers of LEP students. Procedures. A sample of 44 elementary school teachers of limited English proficient students was selected from school districts in Northern California with large numbers of LEP students. Questionnaire data were collected using an instrument with several scales. The measure of teacher efficacy used in this study was developed by Gibson and Dembo. Analysis of variance, t-tests, and Fisher's Least Significant Difference were used to test the hypotheses of this study. The antecedents of efficacy examined included selected personal characteristics of teachers, the perceived effectiveness of their university and district inservice training, experience in multicultural schools, and principal support of bilingual and instructional programs. Results. Several significant relationships were found. For example, the degree to which pre- and inservice training programs helped teachers develop proficiency in the student's primary language, knowledge of the home culture, and understanding the process of second language acquisition was clearly related to their sense of efficacy. The holding of credentials authorizing bilingual instruction and the size and type of district were found to be related to sense of efficacy. In addition, support of the instructional program by the site principal and his/her involvement in curriculum planning were related to teacher efficacy. Follow-up interviews found that teachers attributed their teaching success to informal meetings with their colleagues. Recommendations. Based on this study, quality university and district inservice training for bilingual teachers is suggested. This study highlights the need for principals to actively support their bilingual teachers by involving them in curricular decision making, planning, and encouraging informal group meetings. To increase bilingual teacher effectiveness, universities need to collaborate with local school districts in planning bilingual training programs.



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