Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Ronald Hallett

First Committee Member

Jacalyn Griffen

Second Committee Member

Iris Taylor


This dissertation is a qualitative case study of three elementary teachers that currently teach at a school implementing a departmental structure in Northern California. Data was gathered by interviewing each participant individually and is presented in the form of a narrative for each participant. The purpose of this study was to explore the math self-efficacy of elementary teachers who teach in a school implementing a departmental structure. The research addressed the following question: How does a departmental structure influence the experiences, perceptions, and self-efficacy of elementary teachers as each relates to mathematics instruction? The results of this study demonstrate that, when implemented correctly, respecting teacher autonomy and choice, a departmental structure at the elementary level can provide a framework that has a positive impact on teacher professional math self-efficacy. The structure creates the opportunity for focused preparation and learning, teacher specialization based on subject strength, and perceptions that the teachers are respected and trusted as content and instructional experts. All three participants expressed that they feel they are better math teachers in the departmental structure than they were in the single classroom structure. They also each expressed that they experience greater job satisfaction and reduced stress in the departmental structure.



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