Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Department of Special Education

First Advisor

Mark Zablocki


The study of self-efficacy has become a dominant topic in psychological and educational research over the last 50 years. However, little information is known about preservice teachers and even less about preservice special education teachers’ beliefs. This study was designed to survey preservice special educators’ self-efficacy beliefs placed outside of the college classroom in the education field.

The participants (n = 74) were special education preservice teachers in the state

of Illinois in their practicum, field-based, or student teaching semesters. The participants completed a 24-question online survey designed by Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001) on their self-efficacy beliefs in the areas of classroom management, instructional strategies, and student engagement when working with children with special needs. Descriptive statistics, ANOVAs and a non-parametric test were used to determine preservice special education teachers’ beliefs and perceptions.

The results of this study showed that when comparing the three factors of classroom management, instructional strategies, and student engagement, overall preservice special education teachers’ reported higher self-efficacy in the area of classroom management but only when looking at participant’s number of cumulative hours of clinical experiences.

Discussions included looking at specific semester experiences in the field to see if there were changes in each group for each factor, targeting a group of preservice special education teachers to see if their self-efficacy beliefs changed from semester to semester, and looking at groups who followed a typical calendar schedule (spring semester graduates) versus those who did not to see if time of the year (and the activities in the schools for each) made a difference in the reported self-perceptions.


Imported from ProQuest Cahill_ilstu_0092E_10826.pdf


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