Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Stephen Laws


This qualitative research study examined the change of teachers’ levels of poverty awareness and their sense of efficacy after being exposed to targeted research-based strategies and resources. The focus was on building leadership capacity; fostering safe, healthy learning environments; and focusing on students, professionals, and systems of learning to address turning high-poverty schools to high-performing schools. Eight high-poverty urban schools participated in the study with five focus schools analyzed throughout the study (sample=XX). Study participants completed pre- and post-assessment measures of poverty awareness and their sense of efficacy to impact achievement for high-poverty students. Participants were given access to resources, strategies, and literacy sources in the period between the pre- and post-assessments to build teacher capacity. The SPSS analysis tool was used to analyze correlations, differences, frequency distributions, and trends in the data in order to determine changes in teacher efficacy levels. Data were also analyzed by demographic subgroups and by the three types of efficacy to determine trends and patterns. The study found that there were statistically significant differences in African-American, lateral entry, and experienced teacher subgroups’ levels of poverty awareness and efficacy. The data revealed that there were negative changes in awareness of poverty from the beginning of the study to the end in 21 of 24 comparisons. The results of this study suggest implications on preservice and district teacher orientation programs to design curriculum to meet the needs of teachers in high-poverty schools as well as attention to providing strategic professional development. This professional development should address deficits in efficacy of engagement, classroom management, and instructional strategies for teachers practicing in these learning environments.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.