Term of Award

Summer 2023

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Education

Committee Chair

Juliann Sergi McBrayer

Committee Member 1

Marlynn M. Griffin

Committee Member 2

Taylor Norman



The school leader and teacher have the greatest impact on student success. The level of self-efficacy and level of preparedness is of the utmost importance for educators and students alike. This study investigated the perceptions of educators in the belief of whether they were adequately prepared to teach in a high poverty school. The participants, educators from four school districts, completed a survey based on their perceptions of their own level of self-efficacy and preparedness to work in high poverty schools. The results of this study are aimed at impacting educator preparedness to better understand how to best support students who live in poverty. The analysis through descriptive statistics and correlation analyses indicated an overall perception that educators felt well-prepared with limited supporting evidence to work in high poverty schools in the K-12 setting in the areas of student learning and engagement including curriculum and pedagogy, differentiation, and assessment. Educators felt a moderate level of self-efficacy, which indicated a need for professional learning in how to best support students in the high poverty setting in terms of problem solving when issues arise in the classroom. The implications of practice for this study indicated a need to ensure educators’ perceptions of preparedness to work in a high poverty school are at a high level and educators need to have a high level of self-efficacy to have a positive impact on student success. Future research should be conducted to pinpoint specific areas of need within student learning and engagement in order to determine how to best develop professional learning. Additional research should be conducted to determine if teachers with higher levels of self-efficacy and perceptions of preparedness are correlated to the leadership style of the school leader in place. Additional research should also be conducted to determine what specifically makes the educator feel a higher level of self-efficacy in the high poverty setting.

Research Data and Supplementary Material