Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Schmidt, Jennifer A. (Jennifer Anne)

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Educational psychology; Education; Elementary school teachers--Attitudes--Research; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Research; Master of education degree--Research; Elementary school teachers--Training of--Research


The present study sought to explore the sources of elementary teachers' mathematics teaching self-efficacy beliefs. Through the use of Seidman's in-depth interviewing protocol, four teachers with master's degrees in reading education and four teachers with master's degrees in mathematics education described their perceived sources of self-efficacy, including their experiences as students and teachers. The first research question addressed the three areas of mathematics teaching self-efficacy: content knowledge, instructional methods, and assessment techniques. The second research question examined whether there were differences in the perceived sources of self-efficacy based on the participants' degrees. Data were analyzed using descriptive coding and focused coding.;Sources of the teachers' self-efficacy beliefs included mastery experiences such as early learning experiences and teaching experiences. Sources of verbal persuasion included family members, peers, elementary teachers, colleagues, and college professors. Sources of vicarious experiences included peers in elementary school, college professors, and master's degree classmates. There were also sources of physiological state such as the participants' affect toward mathematics in elementary and secondary school. The most salient source of mathematics teaching self-efficacy that emerged for content knowledge was physiological affect, for instructional methods was verbal persuasion, and for assessment techniques was mastery experience. Implications for parents, teachers, professors, and school district leaders are explored.


Advisors: Jennifer A. Schmidt.||Committee members: Stephen Tonks; Elizabeth Wilkins.


225 pages




Northern Illinois University

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