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Campbell, Christa Dawn
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Middle Tennessee State University
This qualitative study explored teacher perceptions to understand how teachers in Tennessee see the impact of accountability on their instructional strategies, classroom management, and student engagement. Each of the three categories is defined by The Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale, which was administered to the purposeful group of nine teachers at one urban elementary school in Tennessee (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). Each teacher in the study shared their voice through journal reflections of daily practices and two interviews. The reflections were open to teacher discretion with guidance from the What? So What? Now What? structure on daily practices with students and was used to guide questions for the second interview (Driscoll and Teh, 2001; Rolfe, et al., 2001). The first interview was to develop the relationship between researcher and participant and establish perspective of accountability with the nine participants. The second interview was to conduct a member check for accuracy of interpreted meaning from initial interview and journal reflections. When all participant data was collected responses were coded to discern categories and themes that the teachers shared through their voice on high stakes accountability in Tennessee (TDOE, 2010; Hanushek & Raymond, 2005). The data collected from all nine participants through the process of coding to themes answered the following research questions for this study:
1.! How do teachers in this school perceive state and local accountability mandates? 2.! What changes in practice related to instructional practices, student engagement
and classroom management do teachers in this school report as a result of local/state accountability mandates?
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3.! Are there any patterns in responses from participants in relation to their efficacy rating?
This study is important because of the need to document how teachers perceive and react to the current RTT accountability movement in Tennessee (TDOE, 2010). Thus, my goal is to understand how nine teachers at this school make sense of accountability mandates and how these understandings impact instructional decisions. While listening to teachers’ voices in their written reflections and through interviews, nine teachers in an elementary school described through the lens of efficacy how they continue teaching every day under this high stakes accountability system (Bandura, 1986, 1993, 1997; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001; Hanushek & Raymond, 2005; Kress, Zechmann, & Schmitten, 2011).
Keywords: efficacy, high stakes accountability, teacher practice, instructional strategies, classroom management, and student engagement, uncertainty, compartmentalization, as well as maximization and minimization of autonomy
Accountability, Classroom management, Coping with accountability, Efficacy, Instruction strategies, Student engagement