School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Verlyn Evans


Emotional Disorder, Functional Behavioral Assessment, Individualized Education Program, Self-contained Setting, Self-efficacy


Education | Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe how special education teachers view their self-efficacy for teaching ED students and manage classroom tasks within the context of the self-contained setting. The theoretical frameworks that guided this study were Bandura’s social cognitive theory and Rotter’s locus of control theory as they related to self-efficacy and the management of tasks specific to teaching students with emotional disorder. The research questions that guided this study sought to describe how self-efficacy helped special educators manage ED students’ individualized instructional programs (IEPs), cope with student behavior, and the management of para professional personnel. A review of the literature includes an examination of the constructivist epistemology, relevant literature on self-efficacy, and classroom challenges specific to special education teachers who teach ED students within self-contained settings. Data collection occurred through individual and focus group interviews, and participant blog entries. Significant statements were analyzed to uncover common themes that described the textural and structural descriptions that revealed the essence how self-efficacy assisted special educators who teach emotionally and behaviorally challenged students. Data were validated through triangulation methods that included member checks and writing rich, thick descriptions. The research presented the unique voices of special education teachers, their lived experiences as teachers, and served as validation of the challenges they experience.