School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Jeffrey S Savage


Self-Efficacy, Social Cognitive Theory, Student Achievement, Student Discipline Referrals, Teacher Self-Efficacy


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Educational Psychology | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to determine the strength of the relationship between teacher self-efficacy and discipline referrals. Participants completed the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale, which was used as an operational definition of teacher self-efficacy. A Spearman’s correlation coefficient measured the relationship between the predictor variables: classroom management, student engagement, and instructional strategies, and the criterion variable of discipline referrals. Criterion variable data consisted of collected discipline referral records of participants from the participating school district. Data on predictor variables were measured by participant responses on the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale, which include the three subscales that will serve as the predictor variables for this study, and also measured teacher self-efficacy. The population for this study included secondary teachers (N = 98) in a rural county school district located in a southern state. The conceptual framework was based on Julian Rotter’s human behavior theory of locus of control. By understanding the relationship between teacher self-efficacy and discipline referrals, administrators and school districts may be able to increase teacher retention rates by providing support and training for at-risk teachers. The researcher failed to reject all the null hypothesis tested during this study based on the results of the Spearman’s rho analysis.