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Title: Enhancing efficacy beliefs within a school community : can positive psychology help?
Authors: Critchley, Hannah
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: A study was undertaken using a quasi-experimental design to investigate the effects of a Positive Psychology intervention, on the self and collective efficacy beliefs of staff within a mainstream primary school community. Efficacy beliefs were selected as the topic of study due to their powerful and significant influence upon behaviour, such as effort and persistence; and protective factors such as resilience, personal well-being and achievement (Bandura, 1997). Positive Psychology was selected on the basis that within the UK it has received little attention to date, and since it offers a focus on the positive aspects of human experience, it could be useful in affecting positive change in relation to efficacy beliefs. A qualitative planning-phase enabled the generation of themes relating to areas of low efficacy within the experimental school; which formed the basis of a 14 item questionnaire designed to elicit views in relation to the themes. Baseline data was established through administration of questionnaires in the intervention and comparison groups. Accompanying qualitative data was also obtained from the intervention group. Preparatory activities preceded a brief Positive Psychology intervention for the intervention group; following which post-intervention data collection was undertaken (as with the baseline). Questionnaire data was analysed statistically and thematic analysis was employed with the qualitative data. Findings suggested that participants' efficacy beliefs had been enhanced in the experimental group, whereas this was not the case in the comparison group. Enhanced efficacy beliefs corresponded to the themes investigated, and significant positive differences were noted in relation to teaching and non-teaching support staff. Areas highlighted by participants related to the four sources of efficacy beliefs (Bandura, 1997) and to school structure and culture. Implications and limitations of the study were discussed along with possible areas for future research.
Description: D. App. Ed. Psy.
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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