Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Stephen Laws


According to Ashton (1984), teacher self-efficacy can produce a prevailing paradigm in the field of education. Ashton stated that there is no other personality trait of teachers that has such a profound effect on student academic success. A teacher preparation program that has an aim of developing teacher self-efficacy and includes the important elements of motivating students, “should develop teachers who possess the motivation essential for effective classroom performance” (Ashton, 1984, p. 2). Teacher self-efficacy denotes the belief or discernment that one can perform tasks adequately to reach a desired goal (Bandura, 1997).

According to Bandura (1986), self-efficacy judgments are based on four sources of information: an individual’s own past performance, vicarious experiences of observing the performances of others, verbal persuasion that one possesses certain capabilities, and physiological states (Bandura, 1986). These four sources play a pivotal role in teacher efficacy and their beliefs about children (Usher & Pajares, 2008).

In recent years, many educators have written about the purposes and desired outcomes of educational psychology, sensing the significance of the psychology field and its effect on teaching and learning (Brophy, 1974; Woolfolk Hoy, 2000). Nevertheless, educational psychologists have had difficulty explicating what their field requires and the impact it has on education (Ashton, 1984).

The goal of this research was twofold: to discuss the level of teacher training in college programs that pertain to teacher understanding of student motivational theories and to examine how teacher motivational strategies impact student achievement. To collect the data to answer these questions, a Motivating Students Questionnaire (MSQ) was sent to all certified teachers in four different elementary schools. Once the surveys were collected, they were analyzed individually to find a correlation of which motivational strategies worked best with students in the classroom. In addition, the researcher interviewed beginning teachers with 1-4 years of teaching experience at the participating schools to gauge their points of view on best practices when motivating their own students. The interviews were completely anonymous, with the researcher only recording the grade levels and subject areas of the interviewees.

Creative Commons License

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