Does Performance Improvement Mapping affect teacher efficacy?
Efficacy is your personal belief that you are able to accomplish the task before you, and teacher efficacy has been correlated with increased student achievement. School reform policies that mandate interventions in under-performing schools may have an impact on teacher efficacy. This study investigates a mandated school reform policy called Performance Improvement Mapping, and the possible effect it may have on teacher efficacy.
This study was conducted over two years, using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The nine teachers in the study completed a baseline Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale (TES) in 2005, and a second think-out-loud administration of the TES in 2007. All thirteen participants of the study, including nine teachers, two district/DOE liaisons, the principal and the school counselor participated in several interviews over the course of the study. Data from the efficacy scales and the interviews were triangulated with information from researcher observations and a review of pertinent documents from the Department of Education, the district and the school. Efficacy is a personal belief, and the results of this study represent the perceptions of educators as they reflected upon the experience of writing a School Improvement Plan while participating in the Performance Improvement Mapping process.
The findings of this study will be informative for those who write school reform policies, administrators at the state, district and school level, and for the educators who teach our children. The findings of the current study indicate that the PIM process did affect teacher efficacy for the people who participated in the PIM training. The process did not, however, have a generalized effect on members of the staff who did not participate in the training. It appears that for PIM to be effective in facilitating whole-school improvement, all faculty members in the school need to experience PIM training.
This study also documents the many factors that influence school reform, teacher efficacy, and student achievement. The results of this study will provide valuable information for the Massachusetts Department of Education as they review the Performance Improvement Mapping process, and as they implement future school reform policies.