To What Extent Do Teachers and Administrators Perceive They Impact Student Engagement in a Rural Southwest Georgia School System

Date of Award





Doctor of Education


Counseling, Foundations & Leadership


The concept of engagement emerged to understand and improve outcomes for students whose academic performance in school was marginal or poor. The importance of student engagement for achieving success in school was proven in many studies. Lessons designed to engage students helped to improve student achievement at all levels including lower academic performing students and helped to create positive school cultures and classroom learning environments. Very little was known about how teacher beliefs (perceptions of student engagement) influenced student engagement within the classroom. There were only a few studies in which student engagement was examined from the teacher’s perspective. To further the research on student engagement, the researcher conducted a correlational design study using a sequential mixed-methods approach. The participants were teachers and administrators from a rural school system located in southwest Georgia. An online self-efficacy assessment measure (Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale) was used to assess teachers’ and administrators’ perception of student engagement in three factors: Efficacy in Student Engagement, Efficacy in Instructional Strategies, and Efficacy in Classroom Management. Semi-structured follow-up interviews were also conducted to look for reoccurring themes between teachers and administrators regarding their beliefs about their impact on student engagement. Statistically significant differences were found between the mean score of the Administrators and Teachers category of groups on the Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale in all areas. Administrators perceived teachers had a greater capacity to impact student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management in the classroom than teachers perceived teachers had.

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