Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Xu, Jianzhong

Committee Member

Hailey, Leigh Ann

Committee Member

Coats, Linda

Committee Member

King, Stephanie

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Educational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


Previous research has linked self-efficacy to classroom responsibility noting that teachers take on more classroom responsibility when they have confidence in themselves and their abilities. However, the gap to be addressed is with transitioning teachers who transitioned from other careers and those who entered alternate route programs. Previous research has found that these teachers lack self-efficacy because of lack of preparation and classroom experience, yet they still must take on the responsibilities of the classroom. The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine the internal factors that drive classroom responsibility for transitioning teachers who have low self-efficacy. In addition to that, it was also important to try to understand how self-efficacy can be developed in these teachers. The participants for this study were 4 teachers who either completed an alternate route program or transitioned to teaching from another career choice. They teach state-tested subject areas at a 5th and 6th grade elementary school in the rural South. Interviews were conducted with four transitioning teachers to be analyzed along with observations and artifacts. The study yielded the internal factors of motherhood, personal interests, and love as helping these teachers take responsibility for student learning. It was also found that verbal persuasion and vicarious experiences would help in developing self-efficacy in transitioning teachers. The current study challenges the idea of self-efficacy as the primary indicator of teacher responsibility. We are left to suggest that there are other realms to classroom responsibility, especially in transitioning teachers.