Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Special Education

First Advisor

Dr. Alonzo E. Hannaford

Second Advisor

Dr. Dona Icabone

Third Advisor

Dr. Joseph Eisenbach

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Howard Farris


Self-efficacy is the belief that one can successfully perform a behavior, and is a cognitive process theorized to play an important role in the acquisition and retention of new behavior patterns. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effectiveness of utilizing self-efficacy training procedures to influence the performance of preservice teachers, specific to social skill instruction, in their directed teaching assignments.

A modified posttest only control group design was utilized to compare the performance of three groups: (1) a treatment group exposed to self-efficacy training procedures, (2) a treatment group exposed to social skill training content information, and (3) a comparison group representing the standard classroom management university training sequence. The sample consisted of 34 preservice teachers in special education preparation programs at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan.

Analysis of the data collected resulted in the following conclusions: (1) Exposure to either self-efficacy training or social skill training content information results in a willingness to conduct social skill training activities in the classroom. (2) Preservice teachers exposed to self-efficacy training demonstrate more willingness to initiate, expend effort, and persist at social skill training than subjects exposed to the standard university training sequence. (3) Preservice teachers are favorably predisposed to conduct social skill training. (4) Subjects exposed to self-efficacy training are more willing to persist at social skill training in the classroom when faced with obstacles.

The hypothesis that self-efficacy training would produce more willingness to engage in social skill training than either a content training approach or the standard university training sequence was not supported. However, self-efficacy training was more effective at motivating classroom performance than standard university preparation.

The following implications were drawn from the findings: (1) Through training, preservice teachers can be influenced to pursue social skill training in the classroom. (2) Self-efficacy training is effective as a training approach and has the advantage of simulating field experience even when such hands-on opportunities are not accessible.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access