Teachers’ Efficacy for Supporting At-Risk Students and Their Perceived Role in Dropout Prevention

Kimberly Knesting-Lund, Brent O’Rourke, Anthony Gabriele


Research on the construct of teacher efficacy has demonstrated its positive relationship to a number of student outcomes, such as improved academic achievement, increased levels of self-efficacy, and a stronger belief in their ability to solve a math task and their motivation for completing it. Based on these findings, this research considered the possibility that teacher efficacy for supporting at-risk students could be related to their understanding of high school dropout, potentially suggesting ways to improve schools’ dropout prevention efforts. This study was an initial exploration of the relationship between high school teachers’ perceived efficacy for supporting at-risk students and their perceptions of their roles in the prevention of school dropout. Participants were 159 teachers from 4 Midwestern high schools, two in suburban areas and two in rural areas. Participants included both special and general education teachers from all content areas. Results suggest that teachers with higher self-efficacy for supporting at-risk students are more likely to identify causes of dropout within a school’s control and more supportive of schools’ role in dropout prevention. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v5i2.7523


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