A Phenonmilogical Investigation into the Self-Efficacy Beliefs Of Teachers Who Have Persisted in The Teaching Profession

Shana Market Norton

Document Type Article

Abstract

This phenomenological study investigated the lived experiences of 12 secondary school teachers from public secondary schools in northern Georgia regarding their feelings about self-efficacy and why they have persisted in the teaching profession. The research questions centered around their perceptions on how self-efficacy influences the academic achievement of their students, on what personality characteristics they feel teachers add to their positive or negative self-esteem in teaching, and on what factors they identify as influencing their professional self-efficacy in teaching. Teacher self-efficacy, the belief in oneself to succeed at completing a task, is a key factor in retaining teachers. Four data collection methods were implemented to explore teacher self-efficacy: two focus groups, interviews, a self-efficacy assessment test, and open-ended survey questions. Results revealed that teachers believed that they would not remain in the profession if they felt they were not making a difference in the students' lives. The teachers repeatedly mentioned administrative support as a factor they believe impacts their self-efficacy. In addition, the attitude of surrounding teachers, collective self-efficacy, and students impacted their self-efficacy. Several of the teachers listed faith and exercise as two contributing factors to remaining in the profession with a continued sense of self-efficacy. The study revealed that teachers must have confidence in their specific subject area to retain self-efficacy in a classroom. In summary, the 12 teachers interviewed noted self-efficacy in teaching as being influenced by surrounding factors, including physical, spiritual, and mental health.