Author

Lucy Trower

Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education

Department

Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Maggie McCaffrey

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to increase the self-efficacy of a first-year teacher, with a focus on increasing the subject’s comfort with the autonomy required of the position. The subject teaches in a Montessori classroom of preschool-aged children (designed for 3-6 year olds, serving 3 year olds) at a young school in an urban environment. This was done through interventions that focused on factors of vicarious experience and social persuasion, as informed by Albert Bandura’s research. Data was collected through surveys that measured self-efficacy, satisfaction with life and job satisfaction, and through daily physical, mental, and emotional scales. Written reflection was evaluated through charting positive, neutral, and negative language. Interventions resulted in a significant increase in self-efficacy, with the influence of social persuasion having the largest impact on all factors. Future research might consider collective efficacy’s connection to social persuasion, and how a novice teacher’s sensitivity to social persuasion and vicarious experience may shift towards other factors that influence efficacy, with greater work experience.

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