Date of Award

Spring 2-28-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. John Freeman

Second Committee Member

Dr. Jackie Paxton

Third Committee Member

Dr. Michael Shepherd

Program Director

Dr. John Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Sarah Gordon


The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine teacher self-efficacy among general education teachers in inclusive settings in the Northwest region of Arkansas. The study further explored factors that contribute to the perceived level of efficacy, and the role of teacher education programs and professional development sessions in the level of self-efficacy. For the quantitative portion of this study, 101 general education teachers from six districts in Northwest Arkansas completed a survey with Likert-style questions. Qualitative data were provided through six follow-up interviews among participants that participated in the survey. Results from the study indicate that the overall level of self-efficacy in teaching students with disabilities is fairly high, especially efficacy in instruction. However, qualitative data indicated the teachers’ ability to consistently implement instructional strategies, behavioral strategies, and student IEPs in the classroom is low, indicating a disconnect between knowledge of strategies and consistent implementation in the classroom. This study also revealed that general education teachers feel the least amount of confidence in collaborating with parents of students with disabilities. Furthermore, findings revealed that general education teachers feel their teacher preparation program did not prepare them to meet the needs of students with disabilities and that more experienced-based training would have better prepared them. Lastly, among the teachers studied, they indicated they would like more relevant professional development sessions regarding teaching students with disabilities and v meeting the diverse needs of the classroom. Using data from this study, school and district leaders and teacher education programs should reflect on their current practices for supporting general education teachers in teaching students with disabilities, and implement positive systematic changes that address the needs of their current teachers in Northwest Arkansas.

Keywords: teacher self-efficacy, inclusive practices