Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Heather Miller


The attrition rate of teachers in an urban/suburban school district in a northeastern state caused schools to fail to attain annual yearly progress. To reverse this problem, administrators must understand the importance of their leadership and teacher efficacy and the need to nurture teachers to increase student performance. The purpose of this sequential mixed-methods study was to determine whether a relationship existed between leadership and efficacy. Total-population sampling was used to obtain 19 elementary and middle teachers who completed two surveys to examine the relationship between principals' behaviors (human relations, trust/decision making, instructional leadership, control, and conflict) and teacher efficacy (student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management). Survey data were analyzed using Pearson's product-moment correlations. In addition, face-to-face interviews were conducted with 3 teachers who had 5 or fewer years of teaching experience. These data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Quantitative findings indicated significant relationships between instructional leadership with teacher engagement and conflict with teacher engagement. Themes, based on the integrated model of teacher efficacy, revealed connections with the principal and support, guidance, and structure provided by the principal. Principals must focus on leadership behaviors that may increase teacher efficacy. These endeavors may contribute to positive social change when school leaders support teachers, who, in turn support students in their educational challenges to increase academic performance.