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ERIC Number: ED513088
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 115
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-8969-5
Influences of Mentor Support on Beginning Special Education Teachers' Self-Efficacy
Paresa, Dawn Eiko
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to determine the influences of mentor support on the self-efficacy of beginning special education teachers (BSET). Research on induction has been limited in the focus of specific mentoring dynamics such as the development of self-efficacy that can benefit its participants. Two research questions guided this study: (1) What differences, if any, exist in teacher self-efficacy between former and current Mentoring Unique Special Educator (MUSE) program participants? (2) What mentorship events or activities influence teacher self-efficacy? The conceptual framework for this study was Bandura's social cognitive concept of perceived self-efficacy that is described as one's certitude to take purposeful action in a manner that is deliberately planned and implemented. Self-efficacy can influence an individual's performance in various ways such that it can impact choice, expenditure of energy and commitment, persistence, adaptability in both mental and emotional well-being. Teacher efficacy, stemming from Bandura's social cognitive theory, is defined as a judgment of an individual's capabilities to influence the outcomes of student learning, even among students who may be difficult (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). I investigated the differences in self-efficacy beliefs between former and current MUSE program participants utilizing the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). I then used a focus group to explore the elements of mentor support that had an influence on BSET self-efficacy beliefs. Findings from this study suggested that BSETs had different levels of perception in their sense of teacher self-efficacy in "Classroom Management" and "Instructional Strategies" during their teaching experiences while in the MUSE program. Four themes emerged from the focus group: (1) lack of support in school context, (2) emotional support, (3) instructional support, and (4) mentor experience and characteristics. This study found that the emotional and instructional support received from the MUSE mentor teachers provided the BSETs' positive experiences and sense of self-efficacy. Having a mentor with experiences similar to their own also gave the BSETs confidence in "surviving" and overcoming some of the day-to-day challenges of teaching. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A