Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Policy Studies and Eval

First Advisor

Dr. Jane Jensen


This study examines teachers’ sense of personal and collective efficacy in two similar schools in Appalachian communities that achieved different results regarding students’ accountability test scores. Prior work in teacher efficacy, which is predominantly quantitative, is extended by the addition of teacher interviews that explore how teachers define the problems they face regarding student performance and how they work individually and collectively on strategies to support students’ success. The findings support that teachers with higher levels of efficacy in their work are associated with higher levels of student success. Further, the study offers insights into how teachers perceive problems and solve the problems at the two schools. Several questions emerge concerning how differences between the schools may be associated with more innovative problem-solving such as involving students in planning their futures, fostering collaboration among faculty to support students, and establishing a professional learning community to meet students’ needs.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)