Date of Award

Winter 2007

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Michael A Gass


Over 30 years of research highlight the effect teachers' beliefs about their teaching abilities (i.e., teacher efficacy) have on their professional actions (i.e., teachers' effectiveness). Yet the literature addressing this connection lacks extensive insight into how to raise teachers' efficacy. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of Project Adventure's RESPECT Program in raising middle school teachers' efficacy in four northeastern urban public schools.

This pretest-posttest quasi-experimental study tracked 68 teachers' efficacy change over the course of one school year. Teacher Efficacy (TE) change was measured using the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale's (TSES) following subscales: Student Engagement; Classroom Management; and Instructional Practices. Teachers completed the TSES prior to their first introduction to the program and at the end of their first year implementing the RESPECT curriculum. It was hypothesized that the RESPECT Program would be more effective at raising TE during the second year (i.e., implementation year). Two different study samples participated for two different (but consecutive) years (n = 34 for each sample). Informing/corroborating data was gathered via interviews and a teacher questionnaire.

The difference between the first year (i.e., pilot) and second year (i.e., implementation) teachers' mean SE subscale difference scores was significant (F(1, 66) = 8.08, p = .006). However, the significance derived from the decrease in implementation teachers' (-.542) and increase in pilot teachers' (.099) mean SE difference scores (i.e., difference between posttest and pretest scores). Corroborating interview data suggested a lack of modeling by RESPECT consultants was a major contributor to the implementation teachers' decreased SE scores.

Teachers' school was also determined to be a significant factor in implementation teachers' TE change (i.e., F(3, 30) = 5.66, p = .003 for the SE subscale). A Bonferroni post hoc test revealed teachers at a particular school (i.e., "Tupelo") experienced significantly different SE change than teachers at other schools. Tupelo's teachers were the only ones to experience mean positive change (.333), while Larch (-.693), Magnolia (-1.2), and Walnut (-.839) all experienced mean negative changes in their SE subscale scores. Corroborating interview data suggested Tupelo's teachers' higher emphasis on collaboration and consistent level of program fidelity may have been reasons for this finding.