School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Ellen Black


Self Efficacy, Math Content


Education | Secondary Education


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to examine the teacher self-efficacy of high school special education mathematics inclusion teachers with regard to their content knowledge in Long State Independent School District (pseudonym). The central question that guided this study was as follows: What are the perceptions of special education mathematics teachers in the inclusion classroom in regard to their mathematical content knowledge? The research was conducted using a school district located in Southeast, Texas. The research is grounded in Bandura’s social cognitive theory which suggests that through cognitive self-guidance humans can evaluate and modify courses of actions that override human influence. The research is also grounded by Lev Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development that proposes that teachers are important in student development. To collect data, participants engaged in an interview, participated in a focus group interview, and took a self-efficacy survey. Data were analyzed to find codes and themes about the lived experiences of the participants. All the participants in this study believed that they were competent enough to provide an adequate level of instruction to all students. However, the extent to which they were confident varied greatly. Most of the participants noted that their ability to deliver effective instruction in the inclusion classroom was because they were good mathematics students in high school and they could help others. The participants who did not have math classes in college wished they had and believed it would have made them better co-teachers. However, they also pointed to organizational constraints as impeding their abilities to be successful.