School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Jessica Talada


Social Cognitive Theory, Self-efficacy, Classroom Management, Instructional Strategies, Student Engagement, Office Discipline Referrals


Education | Educational Leadership


Teachers’ levels of self-efficacy affect not only how they view themselves, but also how they view their students. Some students receive more discipline referrals than others, leading to higher retention and dropout rates for those students with a significant number of discipline referrals. Discipline referrals are subjective. Therefore, each person’s viewpoint attributes to how student behavior is perceived and reported. In addition to a disproportionate number of referrals received by certain students, some teachers are more prone to write a large number of referrals. Social cognitive theory states that an individual’s self-efficacy influences his or her actions. Individuals with a more positive self-efficacy are much more likely to achieve more favorable results. Those with a less positive self-efficacy are much less likely to achieve the desired outcome. This quantitative correlational study examined the overall self-efficacy and self-efficacy in the areas of classroom management, student engagement, and instructional strategies of 72 high school teachers across three high schools in the southeastern United States and the number of office discipline referrals they write. Each teacher was administered the short form of the Teacher Self-Efficacy Scale (TSES). A Spearman’s Rank Order was used to evaluate the relationship between the composite and subscale scores (classroom management, student engagement, and instructional strategies) on the TSES and each teacher’s number of office discipline referrals. The results indicated a weak negative relationship between teacher self-efficacy and the number of discipline referrals written. However, the relationship was not statistically significant. By understanding the connection between teacher self-efficacy and discipline referrals, administrators and district personnel may be able to improve student retention and dropout rates by identifying and providing additional capacity to teachers with lower self-efficacy.