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The role of teachers' beliefs of learning disaabilities on teaching self-efficacy

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Title:
The role of teachers' beliefs of learning disaabilities on teaching self-efficacy
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Stewart, Breanna Janelle ( author )
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Denver, CO
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University of Colorado Denver
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English
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Motivation in education ( lcsh )
Teacher effectiveness ( lcsh )
Self-efficacy ( lcsh )
Learning disabilities ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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There is limited research examining classroom teachers’ perspectives of students with learning disabilities. As the number of students identified with learning disabilities is increasing within the general education classrooms, uncovering teachers’ beliefs for this student population is crucial. Teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs are tied to their instructional practices and ultimately student achievement. In light of this, the current study seeks to better understand how teachers’ beliefs, specifically regarding attributions and implicit theory of intelligence for students with learning disabilities may be connected to their self-efficacy. This study also considers what teacher demographic variables may be related to teachers’ teaching self-efficacy for student with learning disabilities. In order to investigate these beliefs, self-reported measures of teachers’ attributions, implicit theory of intelligence, and self-efficacy were collected from 217 educators in Adams 12 Five Star School District and educators attending the University of Colorado Denver. Results showed that the attributions of locus of causality, stability, and implicit theory of intelligence were predictors of teaching self-efficacy. An internal locus of causality, stable attribution, and entity theory of intelligence were found to predict a lower teaching self-efficacy. An external locus of causality, unstable attribution, and incremental theory of intelligence predicted a higher teaching self-efficacy. Suggestions are made for future research.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Colorado Denver, 2017.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility:
Brenna Janelle Stewart.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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Copyright Breanna Janelle Stewart. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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on10833 ( NOTIS )
1083341154 ( OCLC )
on1083341154

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THE ROLE OF TEACHER BELIEF S OF LEARNING DISABILITIES ON TEACHING SELF EFFICACY by BREANNA J ANELLE STEWART B.S., York College, 2014 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts Education and Human Development Program 2018

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ii This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Breanna J anelle Stewart has been approved for the Education and Human Development P rogram by Jung in Kim, Cha ir Kristen Bjork, Co Chair Courtney Donovan Date: May 12, 2018

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iii Stewart, Breanna J anelle (M.A. Education and Human Development P rogram ) The Role of Teacher Belief of Learning Disabilities on Teaching Self Efficacy Thesis d irected by Professor Jung in Kim ABSTRACT There is limited research examining classroom teacher perspective s of students with learning disabilities. As the number of students identified with learning disabilities is increasing within the general education classrooms, uncovering teacher belief s for this student population efficacy beliefs are tied to their instructional practices and ultimately student achievement. In light of this, the current study seeks to better understand how teachers beliefs, sp ecifically regarding attributions and implicit theory of intelligence for students with learning disabilities may be connected to their self efficacy. This study also considers what ef ficacy for student with learning disabilities. In order to investigate these beliefs, self implicit theory of intelligence, and self efficacy were collected from 217 educators in Adams 12 Five Star School Distri ct and educators attending the University of Colorado Denver. Results showed that the attributions of locus of causality, stability, and implicit theory of intelligence were predictors of teaching self efficacy. An internal locus of causality, stable attri bution, and entity theory of intelligence were found to predict a lower teaching self efficacy. An external locus of causality, un stable attribution, and incremental theory of intelligence predicted a higher teaching self efficacy. Suggestions are made for future research. This form and its content of this abstract is approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Jung in Kim

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iv DEDICATION I dedicate this thesis to all the struggling learner s as I was one myself I hope that this work will play a small r ole in heightening our awareness of the beliefs held regarding this vulnerable population and the responsibility we all have in helping struggling children. To the struggling learner specifically I p ray I can be a part of your story, helping you accompli sh what may seem to be impossible feats and making you aware that you are capable of anything. This research is also dedicated to the teachers, educators, and parents who work tirelessly with students who have learning disabilities Your patience, support and love have been instrumental in the lives of struggling learners and in my own life

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v ACKNOWLEDGEMENT S Josh your constant encouragement and belief in my ability has been a rock in my life. Thank you for following me in so many pursuits and sacrificing your time and energy for my dreams Your easy going nature and love for life have push ed me to be a better person. Marrying you will always be my greatest accomplishment. I am grateful to do this life with you. I love you. Mom we did it! Y ou were the catalyst in my learning. I attribute more than I can say to your support, hard work, patience, and love. Thank you for always believing the best for me and n ot believing that a learn ing disability woul d hold me back You are my hero. Dad thank you for being the best kind of dad. Your steadfast support and calm in my life have been an anchor now and always I admire you greatly To my family (the siblings, in laws, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins), I feel blessed to be part of s uch an intellectual, as well as caring group of people. You r love for learning and people are a big part of what has inspired me to continue on in my education. I am so grateful that you are my support system. Thank you and I love you! To m y CU Denver c om mittee m embers: Dr. Kim thank you for modeling that people and learning are something t o be deeply explored. You r love of learning has inspired me. I learned a great deal through your classes and am grateful to work with you I appreciate your guidance an d constant encouragement as I have navigated this process Dr. Bjork I appreciate your honesty and heart for struggling kids Your openness and sear ch for more answers for these children inspires me. Thank you for all your help. Dr. Donovan I would have been lost without all your research guidance. I appreciate your lightening quick email responses and all the help in the data analysis stage. I truly could not have done it without you. Thank you for your patience. To my undergraduate professors at York College: Dr. Spivey thank you for further fostering a love of the behavioral sciences in me. You modeled what a great teacher looks like. I hope to pay that forward. Dr. Leinen thank you for appreciating me. Your work ethic has always intimidated and inspired me. To m y friends an enormous, all encompassing thank you for the moral support, advice and tireless encouragement. I hope to be as good a friend to each of you as you are to me.

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vi TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. 2 .......... 4 ... 5 .......... 6 II. LITERATURE REVIEW 7 Teacher Belief s 9 The Framework for Attribution T he ory.. ........1 1 8 Self 1 Efficacy 4 of Intelligenc e a nd Self Efficacy 6 6 III. METHODS 28 .28 28 I nstrumentation .. 30 Method of 3 4

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vii Hypotheses and Plan of Analyses.. ..3 4 IV. FINDINGS Quantitative Finding .41 V. D ISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH ... .50 ...50 Limitations of the ... ..56 .5 7 For Future Theoretical and Pract .58 Implication s .. ...5 9 REFERENCES 6 2 APPENDIX A. U niversity of Colorado Denver Colorado Multiple Institutional Review 6 7 B. Surv ey Questionnaire 8 C. Q uestionnaire Consent 5 D. Email Invitation ......7 6

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1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Overview Overall confusion and disagreement exists regarding the construct of learning disabilit ies This confusion began in 197 5 when the United States Congress mandated learning disabilities as a disability category in special education without setting clear parameters of identification The discrepancy and disagreement over learning disabilities has led to fluctuating beliefs about students with learning disabilities (Williams Miciak, McFarland, & Wexler, 2016). As the population of children with learning disabilities increases in the classrooms (Pullen 2017 ) there is a need to understand educ perspectives on these students. Many inclusion beliefs of students with learning disabilities ; however, there is a lack of research specifically addressing regarding students with learning disabi lities (Greenfield Mackey & Nelson, 2016). A l earning disabilit y ha s been historically viewed as a genetic disorder ( Anderson & Meier Hedde, 2001; Scerri & Schulte Krne, 2010, as cited in Echegaray Bengoa, Soriano, Ferrer, & Joshi, 2017) This history m ay lead teachers to hold negative perspectives of students with learning disabilities. Previous research has shown that teachers instruct in accordance to their beliefs (Jonsson Beach, Korp, & Erlandson, 2012). Ultimately, t eacher belief influences teach er behavior (Kagan, 1992, as cited in Henson, Kogan, & Vacha Haase, 2001). learning disability must be examined in the context of their teaching self efficacy S tudents with learning disabilities must be taught by educa tors who view themselves as capable of providing effective instruction

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2 Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to e xamine teacher belief s about students with learning disabilities and i ts relationship to their self efficacy that is a teache r belief s in their ability to influence change for these students. For years, researche rs studied this construct, hoping to utilize its various facets to better bolster student competency in learning environments. One cannot overlook the importance of te acher belief, as it is a frequent topic of theoretical discussions, literature reviews, and empirical research (Pajares, 1992, as cited in Henson et al. 2001). Perspectives are often poorly communicated. As stated by Dweck, Chui, and Hong people's theory are largely implicit or poorly articulated, systematic effort is 267). ved notions of learning disabilities and their self efficacy expectations when it comes to working with students that have aforementioned disabilities. Both attribution theory and implicit theory of intelligence are frameworks for interpreting causal behav iors (Weiner, 1985; Bandura, 1977, 2995). explored to better understand It is essential to understand these beliefs to better educate, motivate, and support te achers working with struggling learners. Ultimately this study is crucial because of the link between teacher belief, teacher effectiveness and student achievement (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Moore & Esselman, 1992 as cited in Tschannen Moran & Hoy, 2001). Gu iding Research Questions This thesis proposes the following research questions: 1. Do teacher attribution s of learning d isabilities relate to their self efficacy?

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3 a. Do teachers with an external locus of causality (versus an internal locus of causality) for students with learning disabilities have a higher teaching self efficacy? b. Do teachers who hold an unstable attribution for students with learning disabilities have a higher teaching self efficacy than teachers with stable attributions for student growth? c. D o teachers who attribute learners with a greater degree of control over their learning difficulties have a higher degree of teaching self efficacy? 2. about the nature of intelligence in students with learning disabilities relate to thei r teaching self efficacy? a. Do teachers view intelligence as a malleable or fixed entity in students with learning di sabilities ? b. Does an incremental view of intelligence regarding students with learning disabilities relate to higher teaching self efficacy than an entity view of intelligence? 3. Does an external locus of causality, unstable attribution, controllability (positive attribution theory) and incremental theory of intelligence for students with learning disabilities positively predict teaching self e fficacy? 4. How do teacher factors, such as gender, role, education, and experience, relate to their attributions, theory of intelligence, and teaching self efficacy in students with learning disabilities? a. Do teachers with more teaching experience have lower teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities than less experienced teachers?

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4 b. Do special education teachers have a higher self efficacy than that of general education teachers? c. Do teachers with higher degrees have higher teaching self e fficacy for students with learning disabilities ? d. Do special courses, profession al development, or licenses on learning disabilities relate to higher teacher self efficacy? Significance of the Study Researchers often overlook the population of students w ith learning disabilities when examining implicit theory of intelligence and self efficacy studies. It is important to research teacher belief s when working with those who have learning disabilities as this population requires more support than typical s their perceptions of students, it is imperative to understand their attributions and assumptions of students with learning disabilities. It is critical to further research educator belief s as t lives. Teachers play a significant role in the lives of most children (Georgiou, 2008). The population of those with learning disabilities is prevalent, so educators must be prepared to address this need in a way that i has now been amply documented that cognitive processes play a prominent role in the to study Although research has examined the importance of teaching self efficacy to teacher instructional practice and student achievement, the beliefs that may moderate this relat ionship remain hazy (Brown et al., 2008; Dahl, Bals, & Turi, 2005; Kornilova, Kornilov, & Chumakova, 2009, as

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5 cited in Komarraju & Nadler, 2013). Even less research has focused these constructs in the framework of students with learning disabilities (Corno ldi Capodieci, Diago, Miranda, & Shepard, 2018). This said, researchers can bridge this critical gap by examining teacher attributions and implicit theory of intelligence regarding students with learning disabilities Definition and Terms Attributions : The inferences made about the causes of behavior (Bar Tal, 1978). Controllability : The extent of control an individual has over his or her behavior. (Brady & as to the extent to which the learner has control over thei r situation, behavior, or performance (Weiner, 1985). Entity Theory : The belief that intelligence is a fixed or nonmalleable quality (Dweck et al., 1995). Incremental Theory : The belief that intelligence is a malleable trait that can be changed and develo ped (Dwec k et al., 1995). Implicit Theory of Intelligence : A framework through which people interpret ability, failure, and success. It refers to two assumptions made about intelligence, either as malleable or fixed. Learning Disabilities one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations, including con ditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, Locus of Causality : Refers to the source of attribution. An internal locus of causality indica tes that the behavior is caused by a characteristic of the individual. An external locus of causality is one that is external to the individual (Brady & Woolfson, 2008).

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6 Teaching Self Efficacy: that will accomplish instructional goals and influence student growth (Bandura, 1977, 1995). Stability: to change (Weiner, 1985). Personal Identification of the Topic T o better appreciate the reason for this research topic, it is important to understand the spurred my passion and interest in the field of learning disabilit ies. As a graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver in the School of Education, I have seen varying perspectives of learning disabilities. Most alarming of these perspectives was that many of my fellow educators felt helpless in instructing st udents with learning disabilities, believing that they were only accommodating for the learning disability, rather than remediating it. I have heard numerous educators share different beliefs regarding learning disabilities. Many think they are: a differen ce in learning style, a gift, something that is innate (genetic) in the child, something unchangeable in the student, something for students to overcome, etc. This ambiguity s may correlate to their teaching self efficacy.

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7 CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW Learning Disabilities Learning disabilities is an umbrella term describing many more specific learning or dyscalculia No strong cons ensus exists for the term This is due to a lack of cohesion of the construct. In 1975, the U.S. disability category in special education; nonet heless, this law did not establish or define (Williams et al., 2016). In 1977, the United States Office of Education (USOE) addressed this issue by providing inition on the ability achievement discrepancy found in students with learning disabilities (USOE, 1977, as cited in achievement discrepancy centered on precarious research that brought ab out much controversy (Francis et al., 2005; Hallahan & Mercer, 2002, as cited in Williams et al., 2016). This contention revolved around the belief that the established ability achievement discrepancy for SLD identification was not methodologically sound ( Williams et al., 2016). In 2001, disputation over the definition of a learning disability led the Office of Special Education Programs at the L earning Disabilities S ummit to determine that this definition was neither necessary or satisfactory (Bradley, D anielson, Hallahan, & Mercer, 2002, as cited in Williams et al., 2016). In 2004, the U.S. Congress accepted this recommendation, and during the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) no longer required the of SLD be contingent on the existence of an IQ

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8 (United States Department of Education, 2004, as cited in Williams et al., 2016, p. 2). Students could also be identified, in part, through an inadequate response to research based in terventions or procedures, such as Response to Intervention ( RTI ) The inclusion of new options for LD identification in IDEA (2004) was the first significant change to SLD identification since 1977 (Williams et al., 2016). This overall confusion and disa greement on the definition of learning disabilities also led difficult construct to define. The discrepancy and incongruity regarding learning disabilities further emphasizes the need to research teacher beliefs, as this inconsistency led to varying often contradictory views and perceptions of learning disabilities (Williams et al., 2016). s regarding students with learning disabilities is a topic lacking adequate exploration Most rese s of disabilities in general, rather than focusing specifically on learning disabilities (Greenfield et al. 2016). Furthermore, a vast opinions of inclusive education for students w ith learning disabilities (i.e., Bender, Vail, & Scott, 1995; Schumm, Vaughn, Gordon, & Rothlien, 1994; Sharman Forlin, &s Loreman, 2008, as cited in Greenfield et al., 2016). In addition to this, researchers explored both pre service and in service teach er perspective s of inclusion for those with learning disabilities (Berry, 2010; Burke & Sutherland, 2004; Cook, Tankersley, Cook, & Landrum, 2000; Douglas 2014; Gokdere, 2012; Sari, Celikoz, & Secer, 2009, as cited in Greenfield et al., 2016). The larges t body of research belongs to that of pre service teachers and their attitudes regarding inclusion for students with learning disabilities As the number of K 12 students with learning disabilities grows in general education classrooms, it is important to

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9 efficacy may be related (Greenfield et al., 2016). The prevalence of learning disabilities warrants a need to examine teacher assumptions regarding these students. From 1976 to 2011, students identified with learning disabilities, 6 to 17 years of age, rose by greater than 300% As of the 21st century, public schools were identifying 5% to 6% of their students as having learning disabilities. Students with learning disabilities now make up hal f of special education services (Cortiella & Horowitz, 2014, as cited in Pullen, 2017). Swanson (2000) termed the identification of students with learning disabilities identification (Aaron, 1997, as cited in Pullen, 2017) and faulty psychometric procedures (Francis et al., 2005; Siegel, 1992, as cited in Williams et al., 2016). Others feel that social and cultural influences may be a cause of this increase in learning disabilities (Hallahan, 1992, as cited in Pullen, 2017). Regardless, students with learning disabilities remain a prominent population within schools, so these varying perspectives demand further investigation (Pullen, 2017). Teacher Belief s of Learning Disabilities Teacher liefs govern their instruction and development and school achievement not only through explicit strategy instruction, but also through overt and subtle messages abou attributional theory

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10 Borkowski, & Rellinger, 1990, as cited in Georgiou, 2008, p. 119). For example, if a teacher has reservation may expect or demand less of the student because of the beliefs they hold. It is, therefore, crucial d, Galper, Denton, & Seefeldt, 1999, as cited in Georgiou, 2008). learning disabilities. As cited by Corno ldi Capodieci, Diago, Miranda, and Sherpard (2018) with th e inclusion of students with learning disabilities in general education classrooms, of the etiology of learning disabilities and the adaptive educational practices they use with struggling learners (Elik, Wiener, & Corkum, 2010; Stanvoich & Jordan, 1998, as cited in Cornoldi et al., 2018). Ka v ale and Reese (1991) studied tea cher beliefs and perceptions of students with disabilities. This study found that teachers who primarily work with students who have learning disabilities were well i perceptions concerning the nature and characteristics of learning disabilities were found to be concrete rather than influenced by traditional knowledge. Teachers expected students with learning disabilities to perform poorly in class. These teacher beliefs must be taken into consideration, as they impact actions taken in addressing learning disabilities (Clark, 1997; Clark & Artiles, 2000; Wood & Benton, 2001, as cited in Woolfson & Br ady, 2009). Chapman and Boersma (1980) had teachers predict the academic achievement of students with and without learning disabilities. Teachers predicted that students with learning disabilities

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11 would perform more poorly than typical students in all a cademic areas. Teachers generalized that students' future failure in these areas. They also believed that this academic failure would impact other subjects, such as science, social studies, and language arts. Most teachers established these expectancies by the time the child with a learning disability reached third grade. Deemer's (2004) at these concepts of and loci of control. For the current study, t hree theoretical frameworks facilitate further exploration of teachers' beliefs. L g disabilities (Williams et al., 2016), so these three theoretical frameworks will be used to evoke a further discussion on the topic. The first theoretical framework, attribution theory, comes from an individual's beliefs about the causes Examining these constructs helps to understand the third framework of teacher self efficacy 1991) self efficacy theory These teacher beliefs are important to study theory of intelligence have been found to be connected to their self efficacy beliefs (Brady & Woolfson, 2008; Deemer, 2004; Leroy, Bressoux, Sarrazin, efficacy is 1986; Moore & Esselman, 1992, as cited in Tschannen Moran & Hoy 2001). The Framework for Attribution Theory This motivational interpretation is used to understand a cause or causes in an attempt to understand behavior. Attrib

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12 a s in why individuals exhibit certain behaviors. possible without It is important to first understand an attributions in order to influence change. tered and modified as more is discovered about the psychology of humans (Weiner, 1985). One of the first causal structure s of attribution theory was proposed by Heider (1958), who was recognized as the originator of the attributional approach in psychology Empirical research has identified three dimensions of causal behavior (Clark, 1997) dimensional taxonomy. The attributions are classified as locus of causality (locating the cause as either internal or external to the individual), stability (causes are viewed as either a consistent trait or temporary state), and controllability (how much control an individual has over the cause) (Brady & Woolfson, 2008). The third attribute of controllability was added when looking at the weakness of the other two dimensions coordination are not, so controllability is a necessary attribution (Weiner, 1985, p. 551). The theoretical framework for attribution theory used in this study largely comes from have co ntributed to understanding the dimensions of learning (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2002, as link between attribution theory and the facets of learning further emphasizes the need to study this theory with in th e framework of Bar Similarly, Weiner (1985)

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13 examined the causal dimensions of attribution theory through two lenses: the intrapersonal theory which addresses how individuals see their own cau s al behaviors, and the interpersonal theory s al behaviors (Tollefson 2000, as cited in Woodcock & Vialle, 2011). While tea interpersonal attributions of students with learning disabilities of students with l earning disabilities is important to examine as this may impact both their self efficacy and response to the struggling learner population (Woodcock & Vialle, 2011). a ttributions The attributions that an influential adult, such as a teacher, ho lds are often communicated to their students, either directly or indirectly (Graham, 1990, as cited in Georgiou, 2008). According to Butler (1994), once students reach elementary grade levels they attributional beliefs about their achievement (as cited in Georgiou, 2008). The negative attributions that students hold about their achievement is speculated to do more damage to their motivation and self image than any other s tereotype (Reyna, 2002, as cited in Georgiou, 2008). There has been a vast amount of research examining teacher locus of causality regarding in Woolfson Grant & Campbell, 2007). A teacher with an internal locus of causality views failure or success as factors within the students, such as their ability or effort. A teacher with an external locus of causality views student failure or success as due to outside factor s, such as the teaching method or curriculum (Brady & Woolfson, 2008). Research has found that educators are placing more emphasis on within learner variables, such as ability and effort, rather than on

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14 external factors, such as the teacher or curriculum ( Georgiou, Christou, Stravrindes, & Panaoura, 2002; Medway, 1979; Tollefson & Chen, 1988, as cited in Woolfson et al., 2007). Western cultures have been found to place a larger emphasis on student ability, while Eastern cultures were seen to place more emp hasis on teacher effort (Stevenson & Stigler, 1994, as cited in Georgiou, 2008). Simmons, Kameenui and Chard (1998) also confirmed this finding the role of learners to be fundamental to learning, placing significant responsibility for learning on the learner. When examining the causes of learning difficulties, Westwood (1995) f ound that 62% of surveyed Australian teachers stated student factors as the main issue, 14% mentioned family or cultural background, and 8% said curriculum factors. More research is needed to examine the attributions of stability and controllability in te achers specifically (Weiner, 1985). a ttributions of s tudents with l earning d isabilities A vast amount of s et al. 1998; Westwood, 1995; Woolfson et al. 2007; Georgi ou, 2008), however, more research is needed to research lays an important foundation for examining learning disabilities. This theoretical framework examines (p. 957). Sickness is viewed by many individuals as an internal, stable, and uncontrollable of disability, that is, they can be seen as a condition, needing diagnosis, that is centered within the

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15 1993, as cited in Clark, 1997, p. 71). Learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, have historically been viewed as a genetic condition (Anderson & Meier Hedde, 2001; Scerri & Schulte Krne, 2010, as cited in Enchegaray Bengoa, Soriano, Ferrer, & Joshi, 2017) While some ha ve begun to challenge this medical model (Speece, 1993, 1994, as cited in Clark, 1997), traces of this perspective may still linger in the current classroom (Enchegaray Bengoa et al., 2017). It may not be a stretch to see some carryover from this medical/genetic model to teachers conceptualizing learning disabilities as internal, stable, and uncontrollable (Clark, 1997) disabilities, negative outcomes (Clark, 1997 ability is fixed and will lead teachers to expect less of these students (as cited in Woodcock & Vialle 2011). This may explain the attributions a teacher holds for a student with a learning disability as these students are often experiencing more negative outcomes than that of typical students. Australian, pre service teachers were found to hold negative attribut ions for the failure of their students with learning disabilities. Failure being viewed as an internal and uncontrollable cause (Woodcock & Vialle, 2011). In contrast, these teachers attributed student success to their own influence (Bennett & Bennett, 199 4, as cited in Woodcock & Vialle, 2011). When examining the attribution of locus of causality, research has suggested that teachers view the causes of difficulties for special need s learners as lying within the child. By identifying the cause of failure as within the student, a teacher does not have to expend emotional energy in self as cited in Deemer, 2004). One study found teachers to have an internal locus of cau sality

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16 attribution for 67% of students with learning disabilities (Medway, 1979, as cited in Brady & Woolfson, 2008). The Project Team on Educational Support for Children Who Experience Learning Difficulties (2000) surveyed 28 principals and 97 teachers on their perception of students with learning disabilities in Japan. The research showed that both principals and busy schedule and teaching pressures were associ Another study found that Australian teachers believe learning disabilities are related to students' characteristics, while Japanese teachers believe cultural factors to be more influential (Kataoka, Van Kraayeno ord, & Elkins, 2004). These various perspectives show the cultural difference in the attributions of learning disabilities. Regarding the attribution of stability, Woolfson et al., (2007) reported that general education teachers held a more stable attribu tion for students with learning disabilities than special education teachers. General educators held more stable attributions regarding this population, while special educators held a greater belief in a propensity for change for students with learning dis abilities. When examining the attribution of controllability, previous studies have found that teachers believe students with learning disabilities will perform poorly in class and that this is uncontrollable (Clark, 1997; Clark & Artiles, 2000; Wood & Ben ton, 2001, as cited in Woolfson & Brady, 2009). were studied to further education teachers in publ ic schools. Clark used eight vignettes describing hypothetical boys with and without learning disabilities who just failed a test. Each vignette contained three student effort (high or low)

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17 e xpended, (3) and if the student had a learning disability. Teachers rated their responses. A that teachers rewarded those with learning disabilities more, fel t less anger, and had more pity regarding their test failure compared to typical students. The study also found that there was a higher expectancy for future failure for students with learning disabilities. These findings support the view that learning dis abilities are viewed as internal, stable, and uncontrollable. It was speculated that teachers would respond to students with learning disabilities exhibiting high ability, low effort in the same way as their nondisabled matches. However, teachers still ten ded to reward, rather than punish, students with learning disabilities, suggesting that teachers see learning disabilities as an uncontrollable cause of failure. Clark found that the attributional message to students was that they are less competent and wi ll achieve less than that of their peers by the more recent finds of Gray (2002), Georgiou et al., (2002), and Woodcock & Vialle (2011), as cited in Deemer (20 04). Drawing on attribution theory Georgiou (2008) researched elementary school teachers (n=54) and pre service teachers (n=159) convictions about inborn ability compared to effort. It was hypothesized that more experienced teachers would be less likely to rely on internal attributions, such as intellectual ability, than less experienced teachers. However, the opposite was found to be supported The more inexperienced or pre service teachers believed more in the role teachers have on student learning and in the importance of student effort. The more experienced teachers emphasized biologically determined intellect and expressed that intelligence was uncontrollable and stable (Georgiou, 2008). Similarly, Woolfolk, Davis, and Pape (2006) found that more exp erienced teachers believed that learning is dependent on factors

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18 outside of their own control. In Georgiou, Stavrinidies, and found that experienced teachers, in contrast to novice teachers, attribute low achievement to low abi lity. Implicit Theory of Intelligence their implicit theor y of intelligence for students with learning disabilities. Implicit theory of intelligence has its roots in two intellectual theor ies Kelly (1955) found that a major building block of personality is the personal constructs or nave assumptions that an individual holds about social reality. Kelly (1955) and Heider (1 985) believed that these assumptions act as a filter by which people are processed and understood (Dweck et al., 1995). Since then, implicit theor ies ha ve gained acceptance by both social and cognitive theorists (e.g., Carey & Smith, 1993; Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Epstein, 1989; Medin, 1989; Medin & Wattenmaker, 1987; Murphy & Medin, 1985; Ross, 1989; Wittenbrink, Gist, & Hilton, 1993 as cited in Dweck et al., 1995). There is conceptual overlap between attribution theory (Weiner, 1985) and implicit theory o f intelligence (Dweck & Legget, 1988) as both theor ies analyze behaviors. Like used for understanding motivation, personality, and social perception processes. The framework of implicit theory of intelligence explain s framework for attribution theory is used to interpret how teachers view ability, failure, and success. Teacher belief of intelligence influences studen t motivation and accomplishment (Dweck, 1999). Implicit theory of intelligence is used to understand two assumptions made about intelligence. Intelligence can be viewed as a fixed or nonmalleable quality, which is referred to

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19 as an entity theory of intelli gence. It can also be viewed as a malleable trait, which is referred to as an incremental theory of intelligence. Individuals with an entity theory believe that although individuals can learn new things, their underlying intelligence remains the same (Dwec k et al., 1995). An entity theorist views the attribution of intelligence as stable and uncontrollable (Weiner, 1985; Jonsson et al., in an entity theory of intelligence is to believe th at the ability to learn is innate and beyond (i.e., students change through their efforts). Student achievement is often attributed to internal factors, such a s biologically determined dispositions, or external factors, such as teacher or parent influence (Georgiou, 2008). Incremental theorists are found to explain student success and failure in terms of effort, motivation level, and persistence. Entity theorist s are more likely to explain success and failure in terms of intelligence (Deemer, 2004). They view failure as a lack of ability (Dweck et al., 1995). In addition to entity theorists holding stable and uncontrollable attributions (Jonsson et al., 2012), th is may also indicate that they hold an internal causality attribution for students. Entity theory and incremental theory have been found to exert influence o ver how people approach learning goals and how they achieve in learning contexts (Dweck, 1999). It has been repeatedly established that entity theory decreases motivation, learning, and achievement in opposition to incremental theory which improves these aspects ( Carr & Dweck, 2011, as cited in Jonsson et al., 2012). Research has shown that entity theo rists are more likely to react helplessly when achievement setbacks occur compared to incremental theorists (Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Henderson & Dweck, 1990, as cited in Dweck et al., 1995). Incremental theorists are found to

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20 focus on behavioral factors, su ch as problem solving, effort, and alternative strategies to combat negative achievement outcomes (Jonsson et al., 2012). Much of the research on implicit theory of intelligence has focused on student conception of intelligence. For example, research with students at the elementary, middle school, and college level showed that having an entity or incremental theory of intelligence influenced the theory of intelligence must b e addressed as the y Wells, Jones, & Datnow, 1997; Watanabe, 2006, as cited in Jones Bryant, Snyder, & Malone, 2012). Teachers are found to h old varying views of intelligence for students (Deemer, 2004). Traditionally, it has appeared that society has favored an entity theory of intelligence (Ahmavaara & Houston, 2007; Pramling & Slj, 2007, as cited in Jonsson et al., 2012). Georgiou (2008) s uggests that these entity beliefs come from an older traditional ideology, where achievement is viewed as determined. Shifting to an incremental theory of intelligence may come from what Buckmann (2003) deemed as n Georgiou, 2008). The socially desirable idea is that anything is possible through effort. Less experienced teachers seem to hold this ideal more than experienced teachers. Younger, less experienced teachers believe effort is instrumental in producing re sults while older, more experienced teachers believe that natural ability has a stronger influence on achievement (Jonsson et al., 2012). service and in service teachers, finding t hat approximately three quarters (77.9%) of their educator participants held an incremental view of intelligence. However, these teacher participants were enrolled in a

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21 college level education course at the time, which may have impacted their perception of intelligence. In Jonsson et al., (2012) research older, more experienced teachers and younger, less experienced teachers held more of an entity theory tha n the in between group of teachers. The belief in fixed versus malleable human attributes is a core assumption in an theory as a (Dweck et al., 1995, p. 269). implicit theory of intelligence for students with learning disabilities is a specific domain has not been widely researched. Self Efficacy Theory t heory of intelligence will be studied in relation to their self efficacy beliefs Self cognitive framework and perform a task. B regulatory systems lie at the very heart of causal processes. They not only mediate the effects of most external influences, but provide the very This motivational construct influ ences choices, goals, emotional reactions, effort, coping, and persistence (Gist & Mitchell, 1992). Like attribution theory (Weiner, 1985) and implicit theory of intelligence (Dweck et al., efficacy theory pos tulates that an i ability impacts their thoughts, actions, feelings, and motivation. The specific type of self efficacy studied in this research is teaching self efficacy. Teaching self or her own ability to execute actions that will accomplish instructional goals and influence efficacy beliefs are formed, it will

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22 be difficult for these perceptions to change. These beliefs can impact teacher behav ior in decision making, effort expended, and perseverance in adverse situations (Bandura, 1977). A higher sense of efficacy has been shown to positively impact student achievement (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Moore & Esselman, 1992, as cited Tschannen Moran & Hoy 2001). Individuals with high assurance of their capabilities approach difficult tasks with confidence, rather than avoidance. They sustain their efforts even during times of setback or failure. They are intrinsically motivated and set challenging goals ( Bandura, 1994). s elf e fficacy beliefs for s tudents with l earning d isabilities Regarding learning disabilities specifically, teachers with higher self efficacy were found to have the ability to work longer with struggling learners than teachers with low self efficacy (Gibson & Dembo, 198 4 ; Henson, Kogan, & Vacha Hasse, 2001). Guskey and Passaro (1994) discovered that teachers with high self efficacy held a stronger conviction in their ability to influence students with more challenging learning issues (a s cited in Tschannen Moran & Hoy, 2001). One study found that general educators with high self efficacy reported more success with their students who had learning or behavioral problems than those with low self efficacy. Teachers with high self efficacy ar e more likely to put strategies into place to help students with learning difficulties when they are experiencing failure (Pajares, 1999, as cited in Henson et al., 2001). Sociodemographic variables are found to play a role in teacher belief s of learning disabilities and self efficacy. Research on pre service teachers found that there was a correlation was found that educators who had more disability education were more likely to have positive attitudes towards students with learning disabilities (Sharma, Forlin, & Loreman, 2008). Echegaray Bengo a

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23 dyslexia) was positively correlated t o teacher age, general teaching experience, and teaching experience specifically with children who have learning disabilities. Knowledge of learning disabilities correlated with higher teacher self efficacy. Brady and Woolfson (2008) found that experience d teachers are more likely to view the causes of learning difficulties as located within the students. Dembo and Gibson (1985) reported that experienced teacher have lower self efficacy. Pajares (1992) found that experienced teachers beliefs are largely im pacted by their daily interactions with their students. Experienced teachers had more interaction with students than novice teachers leading to disillusionment. Georgiou (2004) explains this disillusionment. Teachers who gain more experience develop a more to 2004, as cited in Jonsson et al., 2012, p. 397). This disillusionment hypothesis can also be used to examine diminishing teaching self efficacy. At the b eginning of their teaching career, teachers other, larger factors influencing it. Novice teachers often come into teaching with high hopes, but then are struck with the reality of implementing growth (Georgiou, 2008). When examining the difference between teacher roles regarding self efficacy, it was found that general educators differed from special educators. General education teachers were found to expect les s growth for students with learning disabilities than special education teachers. This may be because special education teachers receive more specific instruction in working with students who have learning disabilities leading to higher self efficacy (Wool fson et al., 2007). Bender (1995) research on teacher attitudes found that teachers who had taken more courses on instructing students with learning disabilities had more positive attitudes

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24 towards mainstreaming. Relationships were found betwe en teacher attitudes and the instructional level they taught at school. Teachers who taught higher grade levels had lower teaching self efficacy than teachers who taught at the elementary level. The data also showed that teachers with more teaching experie nce had taken fewer courses on instruction of students with learning disabilities. This may be the result of the increased emphasis on students with learning disabilities in teacher programs in recent years (Williams et al., 2016). Relationship Between Te Efficacy learning disabilities relates to teaching self efficacy. Self principal assumption that psych ological procedures, whatever their form, serve as a means of therefore crucial to examine what psychological assumptions may predict teaching self efficacy. Self efficacy, attributions, and implicit theory of intelligence all deal with the perceived causes of successes and failures (Relich, Debus, & Walker, 1986; Schunk & Gunn, 1986, as cited in ce expectancies, emotions, self efficacy beliefs, e 2004, p. 75). this case, ca usal thinking) Furthermore, Bandura mediated almost entirely through changes in self efficacy beliefs Attributions are relate d to self efficacy beliefs (Waheeda & Grainger, 2002). The analysis involved in self efficacy

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25 Weiner, 1985, as cited in Gist & Mitchell, 1992). Attributions that tea chers make about their students can have important consequences on their teaching self efficacy (Brady & Woolfson, 2008). A teacher who attributes student failure in a test to external factors is often more willing to modify their teaching practices compared to a teacher who attributes failure y, & Stanvoich, 1997). In terms of their stability attributions, if a teacher views the holds an unstable attribution for student with learning disabilities, he/she believes more in their own ability to impact change (Brady & Woolfson, 2008). Weiner (1979) found that attributing student growth as stable can result in a student not expending as much effort With regards to the attribution of controllability, a teacher who sees a student as in control of his or her own progress may be less accepting of failur e, indicating a higher teaching self efficacy (Brady & Woolfson, 2008). Woolfson and experience, professional development training, and teacher self efficacy on the attributions of locus of ca usality, stability, and controllability. Teacher experience and training were not found efficacy was found to be a predicator of their attributions. A h igher teaching self efficacy predicated a positive attributional theory for students with learning disabilities. Lower teaching self efficacy w as found to predicate negative attributions.

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26 Self Efficacy The second framework in which to investigate teacher assumptions in relation to self theory of intelligence for students with learning disabilities. Implicit theory do es not ior, but rather act as a framework in which judgments and reaction s are fostered. Within this framework, it is important to study how these beliefs may play a role in the development of self efficacy beliefs. Leroy et al. ( 2007 ) determined that teachers who hold an incremental view of intelligence had higher self efficacy than those with an entity view of intelligence. The belief that intelligence can be developed and improve d prompts teachers to believe in the efficacy of their actions. Teachers who view student achievement as something that can be cultivated through effort, also believe in their ability to support growth. Komarraju and efficacy was connected to their theory of intelligence. A higher se lf efficacy indicated an incremental theory of intelligence. While correlations have been efficacy, these studies have not examined this relationship with in the context of learnin g disabilities. Summary overlooked in research (Greenfield et al., 2016; Echegaray Bengoa et al., 2017). Research has examined the importance of teaching self efficacy on achievement (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Moore & Esselman, 1992, as cited Tschannen Moran & Hoy, 2001) ; however, less research has examined the beliefs that may play a role in this relationship (Brown et al., 2008; Dah l, Bals, & Turi, 2005; Kornilova, Kornilov, & Chumakova, 2009, as cited in Komarraju & Nadler, 2013). Even less research has focused on these constructs

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27 in the framework of students with learning disabilities (Cornoldi et al., 2018). As students with learn ing disabilities are being readily identified and increasing in general classrooms (Cornoldi et al., Teacher convictions directly impact outcomes for students wit h learning disabilities (Greenfield et al., 2016). Therefore, it is essential to examine what these beliefs are and how they are connected to each other. Teacher beliefs are found to be correlated to teacher efficacy, which impacts student achievement (A shton & Webb, 1986; Moore & Esselman, 1992, as cited in Tschannen Moran & Hoy, 2001) It is paramount that teachers view themselves as capable of influencing growth for struggling learners. This study will examine the connection between teacher attribut ions and implicit theory efficacy for students with learning disabili ti es. To impact teacher behavior and student growth, it is first crucial to understand the fundamental opinions teachers hold for this vulnerable population.

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28 CHAPTER III METHODS Research Design For this research, a quantitative design was used to measure current educators attributions and implicit theory of intelligence on their teaching self efficacy. This research was su bmitted and approved by the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (COMIRB) for exempt research, submission APP001 1, protocol approval number 17 1893 (see Appendix A). Participants The current research surveyed K 12 teachers from Adams 12 Five Star School District and K 12 teachers attending the School of Education at the University of Colorado Denver. Adams 12 Five Star School District is located on the north side of Denver and primarily serves the cities of Broomfield, Federal Heights, Northglenn, Thornton and Westminster. There are 53 schools within Adam s s chool d istrict. Of the 38,870 students, 48% are white and 40% are Hispanic. Of the total population, 40% of the studen ts participate in the free or reduced lunch program and 7,082 of the students have limited Eng lish proficiency. Over 4,000 students are other research site, the University of Colorado Denver, is in downtown Denver. Teachers surveyed from th is location were not asked to provide the school district s they work in ; however the University of Colorado Denver draws from many school districts across Colorado ( ). All participants were current educators. Ou t of 267 teacher participants, t here was a total of 217 teacher s who fully completed the research survey Missing values were noted in 50 of the so these were not included in the research analysis. 177

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29 teacher particip ants identified as female and 40 identified as male. Of the surveyed population, r counselors. There was 216 teachers from Adams 12 Five Star School District and 51 teachers from the University of Colorado Denver ; however, not all of these responses were included in th is study as the questionnaires were not fully completed. Before pr oceeding with the research, t hi s study was submitted to and approved by the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (COMIRB) for exempt research (see A ppendix A ). The study was also approved by the Director of Assessment and Accountability, in the Ada ms 12 Five Star School District. Adams 12 principal s were then contacted and asked for their endorsement in sending the survey to teachers within their schools. The principals sent the survey out to teachers through their work emails. Teachers w ere asked f or their informed consent. T he informed consent detailed associated with name or the school in which they work was collected, t o further protect teacher identity. Teacher participants were also collected from the University of Colorado Denver in a similar fashion. Instructors approved the study and then administered it to current teachers in their classrooms through their school emails. Participation did not impact grade or standing in the class. Participants were asked for their informed consent. These teacher participants were informed of the study, including any possible harm, and asked for their consent. Once aga in, no personal information was collected during the survey process.

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30 Instrumentation Demographic questionnaire. Participants were given a demographic questionnaire for the purpose of better understanding the sample and how these demographic variables a re related to their attributions, implicit theory of intelligence, and self efficacy regarding students with learning disabilities. nt of Education n.d.). There has been limited consensus on the defining features of learning disabilities ; therefore it is important to create a defensible construct so that theoretical grounding is clear. The definition f rom the Colorado Department of Education does not indicate an ability to achievement discrepancy which is outdated in research (Williams et al., 2016). Th e Colorado definition was expected to be more familiar to the surveyed C olorado educators as they are likely to have been exposed it. Th e definition was given to participants on the survey before they were asked about their perspective on students with learning disabilities. This definition was meant to ensure that teachers ar e examining the intended population, rather than just students who struggle occasionally academically Previous studies have been done relating teacher belief s of intelligence and teacher attributions of learners to their teaching self efficacy, which d emonstrates reliability for these constructs (Brady & Woolfson, 2008; Deemer, 2004 ; Leroy et al. 2007; Woolfson & Brady, 2009; Woolfson et al., 2007). The following measures were used in the research: Teacher Attribution Scale, Theory of Intelligence Ques Efficacy Scale All of the measures that will be used in the study have been shown to have high internal validity (Woolfson & Brady, 2009; Dweck et al., 1995).

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31 Teacher A ttribution S cale (TAS; Brady & Woolfson, 20 08). The framework for this attributions for the causes learning controllability, and stability attributions. The scale (see A ppendix B) consists of four vignettes of hypothetical boys measuring three subscales in each, so the scale consists of twelve items total. The measure refers to only male students in order to remove gender as a confounding variable (Carr & Kurtz, 199 1, as cited in Woolfson & Brady, 2009). In two of the vignettes, it is made clear that students are receiving help from a learning support (special education) service while the other two vignettes do not mention the hypothetical students receiving learni ng support. The reason for this is that the researchers wanted to examine the dimension of identified learning di sabilities by exploring differences in teachers views of students with identified learning disabilities that require ongoing support versus st udents who have problems in learning, but do not require additional support. There was high internal reliability obtained for the three sub scales with Cronbach alphas of .91 (locus of causality), .89 (stability) and .90 (controllability). This scale ori ginally use d in Scotland in replacement of was u sed as this is a more common term for US educators The measure asked participants to make attributions on a five style questions on hypothetical locus o f causality, stability, and controllability. In this study, low scores for locus of causality and stability indicate a positive attribution theory. However, a low score for the attribution of controllability indicate s a negative attribution theory.

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32 Theory of I ntelligence Q uestionnaire (Dweck, Chui, & Hong 1995). Dweck et al., (1995) theoretical model of intelligence examines how belief of intelligence influence s motivation and achievement o ne such motivational belief being self efficacy. This scale (see Appendix B) assesses parti particular domain of intelligence. The scale does not necessarily measure entity versus incremental theory of the person as a whole (Dweck et al 1995). Items indicating the incremental theory are not included in th e implicit theory measures, because respondents who h o ld an entity theory often choose the incremental views since they are more appealing (Dweck et al. 1995). The simple unitary theme of the measure explains the three item brevity of th e questionnaire. A disadvantage of this small item measure is that this can lead to low internal reliability. However, r esearchers have evaluated the psychometric properties of the scale empirically and have reported strong factorial validity and reliabili ty of scores (e.g., Dweck et al., 1995; Levy, Stroessner, & Dweck, 1998 ). T he implicit theory of intelligence measure has high internal reliab service and in service views of intelligence found that t he C ronbach's alpha for the data was excellent ( =.92) (Jones et al., 2012). In the current study, t his scale was mo dified to examine teacher beliefs about students with learning disabilities. It was adjusted from looking to belief of intelligence in students with learning disabilities. The questions were reframed fr Respondents rated their response to these three questions on a six In this

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33 study, a low score indicate s an incremental theory of intelligence and a high score indicate s an entity theory of intelligence. Woolfson & Brady (2009) adapted Tschannen Moran and Hoy Tschannen scale contained twelve items investigating specific outcomes in the general classroom, such as implementing alternative strategies or managing undesirable behavior. Teachers rated thei r effectiveness in achieving these outcomes. Tschannen Moran and Hoy 0 scale was revised to focus on self efficacy for teaching children who need additional support in t he classroom ( see A ppendix B .) The same twelve circumstances were included; however, the population was changed to emphasize students with learning disabilities Questions were s who show low p. 225). Factor analyses of this scale consistently ide student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management (Woolfson & Brady, 2009). Respondents answer on a nine point Likert scale ranging from nothing at all to a great dea Higher scores sho using this scale. Similar to the case of the Teacher Attribution Scale described above in Scotland, ed special educational needs learning or intellectual disabilities (Woolfson & Brady, 2009). For this reason, the scale was

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34 used term in the United States where the research w as performed. Method of Analysis The analysis was exploratory using SPSS statistical packaging (IBM Corp 2013 ). Analysis began with descriptive and reliability stati s were conducted to examine intelligence, and teaching self efficacy. To examine if differences between mean scores are seen based on demographic variables, t tests and analysis of variance ( ANOVAs) were performed A multiple regression analysis was also performed to further examine how the independent variables of teacher attribution and implicit theory of intelligence may predict the dependent var iable of teaching self efficacy Hypothes es and Plan of Analyses views of learning disabilities by exploring how their attributions and implicit theory of intelligence is connected to their teaching self eff icacy. This research also seeks to address which teacher demographic variables may be related to attributions, implicit theory of intelligence and teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities. T on teachin g self efficacy Research question 1(a). Do teachers with an external locus of causality (versus an internal locus of causality) for students with learning disabilities have a higher teaching self efficacy?

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35 Hypothesis 1(a). With respect to locus of causali ty, teachers with an external locus of causality are hypothesized to have a high er teaching self efficacy than those with an internal locus of causality for students with learning disabilities Rationale. In Brady and research, they deter mined that teachers with a higher teaching self d those with lower teach ing self efficacy Woolfson and Brady (2009) research found a positive relationship between exte rnal locus of causality and self efficacy. Research q uestion 1(b). Do teachers who hold an unstable attribution for students with learning disabilities have a higher teaching self efficacy than teachers with stable attributions for student growth? Hypothe sis 1(b). Regarding stability, teachers who believe students are more amenable to change ( an unstable attribution) are hypothesized to have a higher teaching self efficacy than those with a stable attribution Rationale. Efficacious individuals may be mor unstable (Bandura, 1994; Woolfson & Brady, 2009). If teacher s unstable, they may have more of an expectation of achievement for the student leading to higher teaching self efficacy (Woolf son & Brady, 2009). Both Brady and Woolfson (2008) and Woolfson and Brady (2009) determined there to be a positive relationship between an unstable attribution and self efficacy. Research q uestion 1(c). Do teachers that attribute learners with a greater d egree of control over their learning difficulties have a higher degree of teaching self efficacy?

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36 Hypothesis 1(c). With respect to the attribution of controllability teachers who attribute learners with a greater degree of control over their learning dif ficulties are hypothesized to have a higher teaching self efficacy. Rationale. Teachers with a high sense of self efficacy view students as capable of controlling their behavior (Bandura, 1994; Brady & Woolfson, 2008). Brady and Woolfson (2008) and Woolfs demonstrated a relationship between controllability and self efficacy Method of a nalysis (1(a), 1(b), 1(c) ) In this study, correlation s w ere conducted to determine if any relationships exist between locus of causality, cont rollability, stability, and teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities. y of intelligence on teaching se lf efficacy. Research q uestion 2(a). Do teachers view intelligence as a malleable or fixed entity in stude nts with learning disabilities? Hypothesis 2(a). Teachers are hypothesized to view intelligence as a fixed entity in students with learning disabilities. Rationale. Leroy et al., (2007) hypothesized that teachers feel students with learning disabilities c annot succeed because they view their intelligence as fixed. Teachers are found to expect more failure for students with learning disabilities (Ka v ale & Reese, 1991; Deemer, 2004; lligence is fixed, rather than malleable. Deemer (2004) found that there w ere varying views regarding teacher theory of intelligence. Method of a nalysis. A basic descriptive analysis was run to determine if teachers held a n entity or incremental view of intelligence for students with learning disabilities.

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37 Research q uestion 2(b). Does an incremental view of intelligence regarding students with learning disabilities relate to higher teaching self efficacy than an entity view of intelligence? Hypothesis 2(b). Regarding students with learning disabilities, it is hypothesized that y of intelligence is related to their teaching self efficacy. Rationale. a bility to influence change theory of intelligence and self efficacy (Leroy et al., 2007; Komarraju & Nadler, 2013). Method of a nalysis. This study will use correlational analysis to deter mine if relationships exist between implicit theory of intelligence and teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities. efficacy. Research q uestion 3. Does an external locus of causality, unstable attribution, controllability (positive attributional theory) and incremental theory of intelligence for students with learning disabilities positively predict teaching self efficacy? Hypothesis 3 Teachers who hold a positive attributio n theory and incremental theory of intelligence for students with learning disabilities are predicted to have a higher teaching self efficacy than teachers who hold a negative attributio n theory and entity theory of intelligen ce. Rationale. A few studies have use d a hierarchal multiple regression analysis to investigate self efficacy impact on locus of causality, stability, and controllability attributions. High teaching s elf efficacy was found to be a predicator of positive attributions (Brady & Woolfson, 2008; Woolfson & Brady, 2009). While less research has examined theory of intelligence as a

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38 predictor of self efficacy, a n incremental view of intelligence has been correlated with higher self efficacy (Leroy et al., 2007; Komarraju & Nadler, 2013). Method of a nalysis. In order to examine Brady and Woolfson (2008) and Woolfson & Brady (2009) used a hierarchical regression analysis. Similarly the current study used a multiple regr ession analysis to determine what attributions might predict teaching self efficacy. As a relationship has been found between implicit theory of intelligence and self efficacy (Leroy et al., 2007; Komarraju & Nadler, 2013), t he current stud y used a multiple regression analysis to determine if a implicit theory of intelligence predict s their self efficacy. Teacher d emographic variables on teaching self efficacy. Research q uestion 4 (a). Do teachers with more teaching experience hav e lower teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities than less experienced teachers? Hypothesis 4 (a). Teachers with more teaching experience are hypothesized to have a lower teaching self efficacy than less experienced teachers. Rational e. Georgiou (2008) found that more experienced teachers have lower self efficacy than less experienced teachers. It was hypothesized that this is due to experienced teachers having more interactions with students leading to greater discouragement Novice teachers may not experience as much disillusionment early on in their careers This disillusionment was connected to lower teaching self efficacy (Jonsson et al., 2012). Method of a nalysis. A t test was conducted to examine the difference between teaching experience on self efficacy. Research q uestion 4 (b). Do special education teachers have a higher self efficacy than that of general education teachers?

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39 Hypothesis 4 (b). Special educators are hypothesized to have a higher teaching self efficacy than gener al educators. Rationale. Woolfson et al. (2007) found that special education teachers expected more growth for students with learning disabilities than that of general education teachers. Special educators are hypothesized to have higher self efficacy be cause they have more specific instruction in working with students who have learning disabilities (Woolfson et al., 2007). Method of a nalysis. In order to measure the differences between teacher role on teaching self efficacy for students with learning dis abilities, an analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used Research q uestion 4 (c). Do teachers with higher degrees have higher teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities? Hypothesis 4 (c). Teachers with more education are hypothesized to hav e higher teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities than teachers with less education. Rationale. Increased teacher knowledge is found to correlate with higher teaching self efficacy ( Echegaray Bengoa et al., 2017). Method of a nalysis. In order to measure the difference s of teacher education level on their self efficacy, an analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted. Research q uestion 4 (d). Do special courses, profession al development, or licenses on learning disabilities relate to hi gher teacher self efficacy ? Hypothesis 4 (d). Professional development and training on learning disabilities is speculated to relate to higher teaching self efficacy tha n the teaching self efficacy of those without training in this area. Rationale. Echegar ay Benogoa et al., (2017) found that knowledge regarding learning disabilities correlated with higher teaching self efficacy.

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40 Method of a nalysis. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) measure d the difference between teacher s with and without trainin g on their t eaching self efficacy.

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41 CHAPTER IV F INDINGS The purpose of this chapter is to present the quantitative findings from the research. The scales used in the teacher questionnaire were grounded in the research work of Weiner (1985), Dwec k et al., (1995), and Bandura (1977). The teacher surveys were input into SPSS to examine the possible relationship between attribution s theory of intelligence and teaching self efficacy. On the attribution scale l ow er scores for locus of caus ality and stability indicate an external locus of c ausality and un stable attributions (the belief that the learner is more amena b le to change) H igh scores for controllability indicate that a child is attributed with more control over their learning diffic ulty On the implicit theory of intelligence scale l ower scores for theory of intelligence indicate an incremental theory of intelligence, while higher scores indicate an entity theory of intelligence. On the self efficacy scale, h igher scores show a high er level of self efficacy. Quantitative Findings Descriptive statistics. When examining locus of causality, stability, controllability, entity theory, and self efficacy, all variables are normally distributed based on skewness values between +/ 1. New mea n score variables were created for each construct. There was surprisingly large variance with fairly low mean scores for locus of causality, stability, controllability, and theory of intelligence. A higher mean score was found for self efficacy. The mean score for locus of causality is 2.48 with a standard deviation of .87. With an for students with learning disabilities, poor performance is not based largely on internal factors. This indi cates that teachers in this sample have an external locus of causality for students with learning disabilities.

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42 The mean score found for the attribution of stability is 2.7 1 with a standard deviation of .8 2 Mo st teachers in this sample believe student s with learning disabilities are amenable to change. The mean score of controllability attribution is 2.64 with a standard deviation of .8 8 This average shows that the surveyed teachers believe students with learning disabilities are less likely to have co ntrol over their performance. The mean score for theory of intelligence is 2.2 2 with a standard deviation of .96. This average score indicates that many teachers hold an incremental theory of intelligence regarding students with learning disabilities rat her than an entity theory of intelligence. The mean score for teacher self efficacy is 4.21 with a standard deviation of .5 2 This average score indicates that most teachers clicked influence in working with students who have learning disabilities. On average, these surveyed teachers have a high teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities. Table 4.1 Descriptive Statistics N M SD Locus of Causality 216 2.48 0.87 Stability 216 2.71 0.82 Controllabili ty 216 2.65 0.88 Theory of Intelligence 210 2.22 0.96 Self Efficacy 208 4.21 0.52 Relati onships between attributions, implicit theory of intelligence, and teaching self efficacy. In order to examine the relationship s between locus of causality, stability, controllability, implicit theory of intelligence, and self efficacy mean scores Pearson correlation w as conducted. All variables met normality assumptions. The significance level was set at 0.05.

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43 A weak, negative relationship was found between locus of causality and self efficacy, r(206) = .27, p <.001. A higher self efficacy correlate d with an external locus of causality, and a lower self efficacy indicate d an internal locus of causality. A weak, negative relationship was seen between stability and self efficacy, r(207) = .26, p >.001. Higher teaching self efficacy is relate d to an unst able attribution and lower teaching self efficacy is relate d to a stable attribution. No significant relationship was found between controllability and self efficacy. A weak, negative relationship was found between implicit theory of intelligence and self efficacy, r(208) = .23, p. <001. An incremental view of intelligence is, therefore, found to correlate to higher teaching self efficacy and an entity theory of intelligence is related to lower teaching self efficacy. A weak, positive relationship was f ound between locus of causality and stability, r(214) =.29, p <.001. This study found that an external locus of causality is related to unstable attributions and an internal locus of causality is related to stable attributions. A weak, positive relationshi p was found between locus of causality and controllability, r(214) = .26, p <.001. A high controllability (the belief that a student has control of their performance) is related to an internal locus of causality. A low controllability is related to an ext ernal locus of causality. No significant correlation was observed between stability and controllability A weak, positive relationship was found between locus of causality and implicit theory of intelligence, r(208) =.26, p <.001 An external locus of caus ality was related to an incremental theory of intelligence and an internal locus of causality was related to an entity theory of intelligence. A weak, positive relationship was found between stability and implicit theory of intelligence, r(209)=.27, p <.0 01. Unstable attributions are discovered to correlat e to an incremental theory of intelligence and stable attributions are correlated with an entity theory of

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44 intelligence. No significant relationship was discovered for implicit theory of intelligence and cont rollability. Demographic v ariables on l ocus of c ausality, s tability, t heory of i ntelligence, and s elf e fficacy To examine if differences between mean scores are seen based on demographic variables, t tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA) we re cond ucted. Assumptions were tested and met. For all significant t test results, homogeneity of variance was met ; therefore the equal variance t test was used. For all significant ANOVA results, homogeneity of variance was violated ; therefore Games Howell pos t hoc tests were used. Gender d ifferences on a ttributions, t heory of i ntelligence, and s elf e fficacy T tests were conducted to examine the difference between female and male teachers on their attributions, implicit theory of intelligence and teaching se lf efficacy for students with learning disabilities There w ere 40 male teacher s and 177 female teachers who participated in this research study A significant difference was found between male and female teachers on the attribution of locus of causality, (t)214 = 2.20, p =.03 Male teachers ha d a more internal locus of causality than female teachers ( Table 4.3 ). A significant difference was also found between male and female teachers on the attribution of stability, (t)215 = 2.66, p = 01. Male teachers ha d more stable attribution s for students with learning disabilities than female teachers (Table 4.3). No differences i n male and female teachers were seen for the attributions of controllability, theory of intelligence, or teaching self efficacy. There were also n o significant difference s for locus of causality, stability,

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45 controllability, implicit theory of intelligence, or teaching self efficacy between Adams 12 Five Star teachers and teachers attending the University of Colorado Denver. Table 4.3 Locus of causality and stability means and variability scores for male and female teachers Locus of Causality Stability N M SD M SD Males 40 2.78 0.94 3.05 0.84 Females 177 2.44 0.86 2.66 0.83 Teacher r ole on a ttribution s, t heory of i ntelli gence, and s elf e fficacy A one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted controllability, implicit the ory of intelligence, and teaching self efficacy A fifth category of both after reviewing the surveys A significant difference was found on teacher role and stability, F(4, 212) =3.60, p .0 1 eta = .06. There was moderate effect size for this model. General E ducators had more stable attribution for students with learning disabilities than Special E ducators (Table 4. 4 ). Teachers in the category were found to have the most unstable attribution for students of all the examined teacher s in this sample ; however, this should be interpreted with caution as these sample sizes were small (Table 4. 4 ) No significant differences were seen between teacher role on locus of causality, controllability, impl icit theory of intelligence, or teaching self efficacy.

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46 Table 4. 4 Means and variability scores for teachers' roles Teacher Role N M SD General Educator 145 2.83 0.89 Special Educator 32 2.67 0.69 General and Special Educator 32 2.58 0.79 Resource Teacher 6 2.48 0.58 Other 2 1 0 Equality of Variance, Games Howell post hoc tests were conducted. Differences were found between General Educators, Special Educators, Resource Teachers, and Other when compared to General and Special Educator on the attribution of stability However, thi s is not statistically significant as there was only a sample size of two for General and Special Educator. E ducational s tatus on a ttributions, t heory of i ntelligence, and s elf e fficacy A one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to examine the differences of education level controllability, implicit theory of intelligence, and teaching self efficacy. A significant difference was seen between educat i on level and their teaching self efficacy, F(3, 206) = 2.8 1 p. 041, eta =.04. There was a moderate effect size for this model. were seen to have a higher teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities than te 5 ). Teachers with their Doctorate or reported tion as these populations had very small sample sizes (Table 4. 5 ). controllability, or implicit theory of intelligence.

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47 Table 4. 5 Means and variability scores for teachers' education level Education Level N M SD Bachelor's 60 4.06 0.48 Master's 137 4.27 0. 54 Doctorate 6 4.4 0.33 Other 7 4.35 0.29 Variance, Games Howell post hoc tests were used. Differences were found on self efficacy between teachers with Bachelor w ere no significant differences found between any of the other educational levels. Professional d evelopment on a ttributions, t heory of i ntelligence, and s elf e fficacy T tests were conducted t o investigate the differences between teachers with and without professional development regarding learning disabilities on their attributions, theory of intelligence, and teaching self efficacy. Differences were seen between the two groups on their teachi ng self efficacy (Table 4. 6 ). Those who had additional training had a higher teaching self efficacy than those who had not had training t(205) = 2.72, p = .01. A significant difference was also found on implicit theory of intelligence between the two gro ups (Table 4. 6 ). Surprisingly, those without learning disabilities training or professional development had a higher incremental theory than those with training, t(207) = 2.48, p =.01. No significant differences were seen for the attributions of locus of causality, stability, or controllability.

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48 Table 4. 6 Theory of intelligence and self efficacy means and variab ility scores for professional development Professional Development No Professional Development N M SD N M SD Theory of Intelligence 128 2.10 0.91 81 2.45 1.07 Self Efficacy 127 4.28 0.52 80 4.09 0.51 Other d emographic v ariables on a t tributions, theory of i ntelligence, and s elf efficacy No significant difference was seen for the grade that a teacher teaches ( Kindergarten Elementary Middle School or High School ) on locus of causality, stability, controllability, implicit the ory of intelligence, or teaching self efficacy No significan t differences were found for teaching experience, either for the general education population or students with learning disabilities, on locus of causality, stability, controllability, implicit t heory of intelligence, or teaching self efficacy Attributions and i mplicit t heory of i ntelligence predicting s elf e fficacy. Relationships y of intelligence, and teaching self efficacy ; therefore, t his research further s ought to understand if these constructs pre dict teaching self efficacy. In order to test these hypotheses, a multiple regression analys i s w as performed. The results of this analysis are reported below. Table 4. 7 Multiple regression analysis summary predicting Self efficacy from Locus of Causality, Stability, Controllability, and Theory of Intelligence Variable b(SE) R 2 Constant 5.02(.14) 0.15 Locus of Causality 0.10(.04) 0.17* Stability 0.12(.04) 0. 20 Theory of Intelligence 0. 10 (. 04) 0.18* p < .001

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49 As seen in Table 4. 7 the attributio n of locus of causality was seen to be a statis tically significant predicator of teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities ( =0.17. p <0.001). Stability was also found to be a significant predicator of teaching self efficacy for student s with learning disabilities =0. 20 p <0.0 01). was also a statistically significant predicator of teaching self efficacy for students with learning The attribution of controllability was included in the analysis, but fo und to be below the 95% confidence level ; therefore, it was removed as it was not a significant predicator of teaching self efficacy. In this model, the beta weights are relatively small, not having a large impact on self efficacy, which is not surprising as the r2 was only at 15%. Interestingly in this sample all the beta weights were relatively the same, meaning that one is not impacting the model more than another Locus of causality, stability, and implicit theory of intelligence are equally contribut ing to teaching self efficacy.

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50 CHAPTER V DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH Discussion The objective of this research was to better understand what may influence or predicate a efficacy for students with learning disa bilities. A quantitative approach which employed a questionnaire, was used to assess attributions, implicit theor y of intelligence, and teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities. Relationships were tributions, implicit theory of intelligence, and teaching self efficacy. locus of causality attribution, stability attribution, and implicit theory of intelligence were further found to predict their teaching self efficacy. There were also a numb er of statistically significant correlations between variables which were not directly related to the correlations between teacher attributions and implicit theory of intelligence. The results from this study are furt her presented in detail below Interpretation of Results Teachers attributions for students with learning disabilities. Surveyed teachers were found to hold an external locus of causality and unstable attribution for students with learning disabilities These positive attributions were surprising as past research has found that teachers hold negative attributions for struggling learners (Woodcock & Vialle, 2011; Woolfson & Brady, 2009). However, in line with past research (Woodcock & Vialle, 2011), t hese surveyed teachers attributed less control to students with learning disabilities. Further research is needed to understand why these surveyed teachers held positive attributions regarding locus of causality and stability, but a negative attribution for con trollability.

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51 In this study, the surveyed teachers were found to have an incremental view of intelligence regarding students with learning disabilities These teachers view ed intelligence a s malleable in theory of intelligence has not been widely researched regarding the specific population of students with learning disabilities ( Deemer, 2004 ). This incremental mindset may come from a cultural shift away from an entity theory of intelligence regarding performance and achievement (Buckmann, 2003, as cited in Georgiou, 2008). efficacy for students with learning disa bilities. In this sample, t eachers h ad a high teaching self efficacy for students with le arning disabilities. This was not a surprising result after finding teachers held positive attributions and an incremental theory of intelligence for students with lea rning disabilities Research q uestion 1 : Relationship between t eacher attributions and self efficacy There was a significant r elationship found between locus of causality and their teaching self efficacy As hypothesized, teachers who attr failure or success have a high er teaching self efficacy T eachers who attribute student failure or success to internal factors were found to have lower teaching self efficacy This is in alignment with prior research f indings ( Brady & Woolfson, 2008; Woolfson & Brady, 2009) This finding adds support to the claim that te achers who view a child factors, such as curriculum or teaching methods, feel more competent in teaching children with learning disabilities. Teachers believe in their ability to mak e a difference when they belie ve they can influence the outcome.

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52 A significant relationship was also found between a stability and their teaching self efficacy. Teachers with h igh teaching self efficacy were found to have more confidence in students with learning disabilities amenability to change Teachers with lower teaching self efficacy were found to hold more stable attribution s regarding students with learning disabilitie s. This is consistent with prior research (Woolfson & Brady, 2009). If teachers are certain that student s cannot change they will not feel optimistic about their c a pability to i nfluence growth. Surprisingly, t here was no significant relationship seen be controllability attribution and their teaching self efficacy. This is not in alignment with prior research which has found teachers who attribute learners with more control over their learning difficulties to have a higher self efficacy ( Brady & Woolfson, 2008; Woolfson & Brady, 2009 ). Relationships between attributions. A positive relationship was seen between and stability In this sample, t eachers with an ex ternal locus of causality viewed stud ents with learning disabilities a s more amenable to change (an unstable attribution) Whereas t eachers with an internal locus of causality held more stable attribution s for students with learning disabilities. A significant relationship was also found bet ween controllability. A n internal locus of causality was associated with a controllable attribution (positive attribution) for students with learning disabilities. A teacher who views the cause of a s within their control also views the difficulty as stemming from internal factors. While this finding is unanticipated it may be plausible to assume that a teacher who believes that students learning difficulties are internal to them may also believe that these student s will have more control over their outcomes. On the other hand a teacher with an

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53 external locus of c ausality believes student outcomes are based more on their efforts and the students themselves have less control over their lea rning difficulties. attribution s student amenability to change and a control ove r their behavior is not connected. This is a surprising discovery as the attribut ions of locus of causality, stability, and controllability have a high internal consistency reliability (Weiner, 1985; Brady & Woolfson, 2008). E mpirical research has identifi ed these three attribut ions when examining the dimensions of causal behavior (Clark, 1997 ; Weiner, 1985 ) Research q uestion 2 : Teacher belief s of intelligence and teaching self efficacy. There was a significant imp licit theory of intelligence and their teaching self efficacy. An incremental theory of intelligence relate d to higher teaching self efficacy and an entity theory of intelligence correlated with lower teaching self efficacy. Significant relationship s we re found between the attribut ions of locus of causality and stability on teacher implicit theory of intelligence. In this sample, t eachers with an incremental theory of intelligence are found to have an external locus of causality and unstable attributions for students with learning disabilities. Teachers with an entity theory of intelligence regarding students with learning disabilities hold an internal locus of causality and stable attribution. Jonsson et al., (2012) research found that an entity theory o f intelligence was connected to the However, n o significant relationship was seen attribution of controllability.

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54 predicting teaching self efficacy. A predicators of their teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabil ities. An external locus of causality and unstable attribution predicts higher teaching self efficacy. An internal locus of causality and stable attribution predicts lower teaching self efficacy. t with a learning disability directly impacts their teaching self efficacy. Research q uestion 4 : Teacher demographic variables on attributions, theor y of intelligence and teaching self efficacy. There were d ifferences found for teacher demographic vari able s regarding their attributions theory of intelligence, and teaching self efficacy. P rofessional development There w ere difference s seen between teachers with and without professional development regarding their teaching self efficacy for students wi th learning disabilities. Teachers with more professional development were seen to have a higher teaching self efficacy than teachers with out professional development Echegaray Bengoa et al., (2017) also found that more knowledge of learning disabilities correlated to higher teaching self efficacy. There were no significant differences found for teachers with or without teacher training in relationship to the attributions they held. A significant difference was found between teach ers with and without trai ning on their implicit theory of intelligence. Surprisingly, those without learning disabilities training or professional development h ad a higher incremental theory than those with training The type of training that these teachers participated in was no t collected in this study so these trainings may not have focused on cultivating a growth mindset. An entity mindset may have been unintentionally reinforced during professional development as the

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55 culture tends to favor an entity mindset regarding intelli gence (Jonsson et al., 201 2 ). Further research is needed to understand what type of training teachers are getting and how that may impact their beliefs. Teach ing e xperience This current study did not find any difference for teaching self efficacy based o n their amount of teaching experience. There w ere also no significant difference s or implicit theory of intelligence. This is not consistent with past research findings (Georgiou, 2008; Woolfo lk et al., 2006; Georgiou et al., 2002 ). Georgiou (2008) found that novice teachers held more of a positive attribution theory than experienced teachers. Woolfolk et al., (2006) reinforced this finding as rning was outside of their control. These than specifically teachers of students who have learning disabilities, which may explain some of the differences see n Teacher role Teacher role was not seen to influence teaching self efficacy. However, t here w as a difference found between special educators and general educators on the attribution of stability for students with learning disabilities. It was found that special educators had a more unstable attribution for students with learning disabilities than general educators. Woolfson et al., (2007) also found special educat ion teachers to anticipate more growth for students with learning disabilities than general e ducation teachers. No differences for teacher role w ere found on locus of causality controllability or implicit theory of intelligence. Grade that a teacher instructs The grade that a teacher instructs ( Kindergarten Elementary Middle School o r High School ) was not found to differ regarding their

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56 teaching self efficacy attributions, or implicit theory of intelligence for students with learning disabilities. Teacher educatio n level A significant difference was seen between teacher educa t ion level and their teaching self efficacy Teachers with their found to have a higher teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities than teachers with only their This further confirms the initial hypothesis that i ncreased educational knowledge relates to higher teaching self efficacy ( Echegaray Bengoa et al., 2017) There were intelligence. Gender. Male and female teachers were found to have no significant differences regarding their teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities Differences between male and female teachers were found on attributions of locus of causality and stability. M ale teachers had more of an internal locus of causality and stable attribution regarding students with learning disabilities than female teachers. No differences between male and female teachers were seen for the attribution of controllability or theory of intelligenc e. Limitations Th e quantitative method used in this study employing scales can not fully encompass a teacher belief system For example, the hypothetical vignettes used in the Teacher Attribution Scale ( Brady & Woolfson, 2008 ) may not fully capture the complexity of a student with a learning disability or his or her learning environment. As stated by Woodcock & Jiang (2013), It is l ikely teacher participants would make many and varied inferences about students with learning disabilities ( Woolfson & Brady 2009) which may not come across in a

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57 quantitative study. Similarly, Dweck and m easure of intelligence (Lynott & Woolfolk, 1994). Th is research looks at a limited scope of teacher beliefs. Attribution and implicit theor y of intelligence make up a small portion of teacher belief s of those with learning disabilities system s more aspects should be explored. T he nature of the survey questionnaire, a self reporting quantitative instrument, also lends itself to so me scrutiny during the analytical process. Teachers may unconsciously give self serving answers to present their best side, especially regarding this vulnerable population of students with learning disabilities (Johnson & Christensen, 2014). Strengths of this Study This study ha s a strong theoretical foundation as it drew from the established theor ies of Weiner (198 5), Dweck et al., (1995) and Bandura (19 77 ). This study also examines relationships between constructs (attribution theory, implicit theory of intelligence, and self efficacy) that have been studied in past literature ( Brady & Woolfson, 2008 ; Deemer, 2004; Woolfson & Brady, 2009). The study was designed as a quantitative study, using validated and reliable scales ( Woolfson & Brady, 2009; Tschann en Moran & Hoy, 2001; Dweck et al., 1995 ). The advantage of the quantitative design, when appropriately carried out, is it s reliability (ACAPS, 2012, as cited in Choy, 20 1 4). The numerical data collected through quantitative research facilitates clear comp arisons between the examined constructs ( Johnson & Christensen, 2014 ). Another strength of the study is that it drew from two different sample populations. Teachers from Adams 12 Five Star School District and teachers attending the University of

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58 Colorado Denver were surveyed. A diverse range of perspectives and experiences w ere represented within the study Teachers at tending the University of Colorado Denver may have more awareness and experience as they are studying e ducation at the graduate level ; ther efore, it was essential to also study teachers from Adams 12 Five Star School District who were not all pursuing higher education. For Future Theoretical and Practical Research There is still much to learn about the construct of learning disabilities W ithout a clear consensus of learning disabilities, ( Williams et al., 2016 ). There is a lot of disagreement regarding the etiology (origin ) and nature of learning disabilities (Cornoldi et al., 2018). While this study further attempts to add to the literature, more The qual itative method should be utilized. discover if teacher beliefs about students with learning disabilities was connected to teaching self efficacy beliefs ; however other relationships between attributions and implici t theory of intelligence were discovered. One unexpected finding was that t he attribution of controllability was not correlate d with the attribution of stability, implicit theory of intelligence, or teaching self efficacy. It was found to relate to the att ribution of locus of causality, indicating that an internal locus of causality for students with learning disabilities was correlated with a controllable (positive) attribution. More research is needed to ntrollability attribution and their other beliefs. While most teacher demographic findings were consistent with what was hypothesized, t eachers without professional development were found to have more of an incremental theory of

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59 intelligence for students with learning disabilities than teachers with training. This unanticipated finding must be further examined in research. Teachers beliefs and practices are not formed in isolation, but rather influenced by the larger sociocultural and political climate (G iangreco, Broer, & Edelman, 2006, as cited in Cornolid et al., 2018). There may be subtle messages transmitted throug h professional development, education, or other training that may reinforce an entity theory of intelligence regarding students with learni ng disabilities. This study did not investigate the type of training teachers received, so this finding is difficult to interpret. Overall, more research is needed to examine theory of intelligence for students with learning disabilities. Past r esearch has found cultural differences regarding teachers attributions for students with learning disabilities ( Brady & Woolfson, 2008; Kataoka et al., 2004 ) This survey did not collect ethnicit ies or cultural background s demographic variab les. Future research is needed to understand how ethnicit ies pla y a role in their beliefs of students with learning disabilities. Additional research is needed to fully understand convictions regarding students with learning disabilities Although this study explores possible beliefs that may influence teaching self efficacy, it will not determine how these beliefs relate to instructional practice s or effectiveness in working with students who have learning disabilities. A mixed methods approach using interviews and observations would help to dig deeper into teacher beliefs of learning disabilities and how these beliefs may be connected to teacher practices. Implications and Conclusion This study has wid beliefs regarding students with learning disabilities remains only partially answered (Williams et

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60 al., 2016) This research adds to the current literature and seeks to further encourage exploration on about students with learning disabilities. The hope is that this study will encourage more research on the varying dimensions of learning disabilities. Although pas t research found that teachers hold negative beliefs regarding students with learning disabilities ( Cornoldi et al., 2018; Enchegaray Bengoa, 2017 ; Williams et al., 2016; Woolfson et al., 2007 ) this study found teachers to hold positive attribution s (exte rnal locus of causality and unstable attribution), an incremental theory of intelligence, and high teaching self efficacy for students with learning disabilities. This carries wide implications for reframing the dialogue about students with learning disabi lities. Teachers have more positive beliefs and a greater belief in their ability to influence change for students with learning disabilities than past research may suggest ( Cornoldi et al., 2018; Enchegaray Bengoa, 2017; Greenfield et al., 2016; Woodcock & Vialle, 2011; Woolfson et al., 2007 ). The majority of the examined constructs of locus of causality, stability, and implicit theory of intelligence, excluding the attribution of controllability were found to positively predict teaching self efficacy. These findings hold important implications for understanding efficacy beliefs for students with learning disabilities as self efficacy beliefs are Moran & Hoy, 2001). By positively changing a students with learning disabilities, their teaching self efficacy may increase. Once established, a efficacy beliefs are difficult to change (Bandura, 1977 ), so it is crucial to understand what predicates teaching self and subsequently impact student growth

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61 This research indicates that in order to make changes in the current education system for struggl ing learners it is important to first understand assumptions regarding these students In social cognitive theory, people are believed to be active agents in their lives rather than passive onlookers. Cognitive psychologists believe in the inter action between thought and action (Bandura, 1991). attributions and implicit theory of intelligence for students with learning disabilities impact s their self efficacy which in turn influences their teaching methods and ultimately student achiev ement ( Bandura, 1977, 1995; Tschannen Moran & Hoy, 2001 ). Educational growth for students with learning disabilities m ust first begin with understanding teacher beliefs

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62 R EFERENCES .d.). In Adams 12 Five Star Schools Retrieved from https://www.adams12.org/sites/default/files/uploads/documents/2018_Feb_FactSheet_EN G.pdf Bandur a, A. (1977). Self efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological review 84 (2), 191. Bandura, A. (1991). Social cognitive theory of self regulation. El sev ier, 50 (2), 248 287. Bandura, A. (1994). Self efficacy In V. S. Ramachaud ran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior (Vol. 4, pp. 71 81). New York: Academic Press. (Reprinted in H. Friedman [Ed.], Encyclopedia of mental health. San Diego: Academic Press, 1998). Bandura, A. (Ed.). (1995). Self efficacy in changing societies C ambridge U niversity P ress. Bar Tal, D. (1978). Attributional analysis of achievement related behaviour. Review of Educational Research, 48 259 271. Bender, W. N., Vail, C. O. & Scott, K. (1995). Teachers attitudes toward mainstreaming: Implementing e ffective instruction for students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 28 (2), 87 94. Brady, K. & Woolfson, L. (2008). What teacher factors influence their attributions for children's difficulties in learning? British Journal of Educational Psychology, 78 (4), 527 544. Chapman, J. W. & Boersma, F. J. (1980). Affective correlates of learning disabilities. Lisse, The Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger. Choy, L. T. (2014). The strengths and weaknesses of research methodology: Comparis on and complimentary between qualitative and quantitative approaches. IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR JHSS), 19 (4), 99 104. Clark, M. D. (1997). Teacher response to learning disability: A test of attributional principals. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 30 (1), 69 79. Cornoldi, C., Capodieci, A. Diago, C. C., Miranda, A., & Shepherd, K. G. (2018). Attitudes of primary school teachers in three western countries toward learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 51 (1), 43 54. University of Colorado Denver Retrieved from http://www.ucdenver.edu/about/WhoWeAre/Documents/CUDenver_facts.pdf

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64 Henson, R. K., Kogan, L. R., & Vacha Hasse, T. (2001). A reliability generalization study of the teacher efficacy scale and related instruments. Educational and Ps ychological Measurement, 61 (3), 404 420. Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal relations New York: Wiley. IBM Corp. Released 2013. IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 22.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp. Johnson, R. B. & Christensen, L. (20 14). Educational Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Approaches (4th Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Jones, B. D., Bryant, L. H., Snyder, J. D., & Malone, D. (2012). Preservice and inservice teachers' implicit theory of intelligence. Teacher Ed ucation Quarterly, 39(2), 87 101. theory of intelligence: influences from different disciplines and scientific theory European Journal of Teacher Education, 35 ( 4 ) 387 400. Jordan, A., Lindsay L., & Stanovich, P. (1997). Interactions with students who are exceptional, at risk and typically achieving. Remedial and Special Education, 18 82 93. Kataoka, M., Van Kraayenoord, C. E., & Elkins, J. (2004). Principals' and teach ers' perceptions of learning disabilities: A study from Nara prefecture, Japan Learning Disability Quarterly, 27 (3), 161 175. Kavale, K. A., & Reese, J. H. (1991). Teacher beliefs and perceptions about learning disabilities: A survey of Iowa practition ers. Learning Disability Quarterly, 14 (2), 141 160. Komarraju, M. & Nadler, D. ( 2013 ) Self efficacy and academic achievement: Why do implicit beliefs, goals, and effort regulation matter? Learning and Individual Differences, 25 67 72. Leroy, N., Bress theory and perceived pressures on the establishment of an autonomy supportive climate. European Journal of Psychology of Education 22 (4), 529 545. Levy, S. R., Stroessner, S. J ., & Dweck, C. S. (1998). Stereotype formation and endorsement: The role of implicit theory Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 74 (6), 1421 1436 theory of intelligence and their educ ational goals. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 27 253 264.

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65 Project T eam on E ducational S upport for Children Who Experience Learning Difficulties. Gakushu konnanji ni taisuru kyouiku sienkatsudou: Jittai to isiki tyousa. [The survey of educational support and assistance for children with learning difficulties in regular classrooms] (2002). Bulletin of Educational Research and Teacher Development of Kagawa University, 1 151 164. Pull e n, P. C. (2017). Prevalence of LD from parental and professional perspectives: A Journal of Learning Disabilities, 50 (6), 701 711. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expe ctancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monograph, 80 1 28. Simmons, D. C., Kameenui, E. J., & Chard, D. J. (1998). General education teachers' assumptions about learning and students with learning disabilities: De sign of instruction analysis. Learning Disability Quarterly, 21 (1), 6 21. Sharman, U., Forlin, C., & Loreman, T. (2008). Impact of training on pre attitudes and concerns about inclusive education and sentiments about persons with disabi lities. Disability & Society, 23 (7), 773 785. Specific Learning Disability. (n.d.). In Colorado Department of Education. Retrieved from http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/sd sld Tschannen Moran, M. & Hoy, A. W. (2001). Teacher efficacy: Cleaning up a messy construct. Teaching and Teacher Education 7, 785 805. Waheeda, T. & Grainger, J. (2002). Self concept, attributional style and self efficacy beliefs of students with learning disabilities with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Learning Disability Quarterly, 25 (2). Weiner, B. (1972). Attribution theory, achievement motivation, and the educational process. Review of educational research, 42 (2), 203 215. Weiner, B. (1979). A theory of motivation for some classroom experience s. Journal of Educational Psychology, 71 3 25. Weiner, B. (1985). An attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion. Psychological Review, 92 548 573. Weiner, B. (1993). On sin versus sickness: A theory of perceived responsibility and soc ial motivation. American Psychologist, 48 (9), 951 965. Weiner, B. (1994). Integrating social and personal theory of achievement striving. Review of Educational Research, 64 557 573.

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66 Westwood, P. (1995). Teachers' beliefs and expectations concerning students with learning difficulties. Australian Journal of Remedial Education, 27 (2), 19 21. Williams, J. L., Miciak, J., McFarland, L., Wexler, J. (2016). Learning Disability Identification Criteria and Reporting in Empirical Research: A Review of 2001 2013. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 31 (4), 221 229. Woodcock, S. & Jiang, H. (2013). Teachers cau s al attributional responses of students with learning disabilities in China. Learning and Individual Differences, 2 5 163 170. Woodcock, S. & Vialle, W. ( 2011 ) with learning disabilities. Annals of Dyslexia, 61 223 241. Woolfolk, H. Davis, A. H., & Pape, S. J. ( 2006 ) Teacher knowledge and beliefs. In Ha ndbook of educational psychology, ed. P.A. Alexander and P.H. Winne, 715 37. London: LEA Woolfson, L. M. & Brady, K. (2009) An investigation of factors impacting on mainstream iefs about teaching students with learning difficulties, Educational Psychology, 29 :2, 221 238. Woolfson, L., Grant, E., & Campbell, L. (2007). A comparison of special, general and support Educational Psychology 27 (2), 295 306.

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67 APPENDIX A UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER COLORADO MULTIPLE INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (COMIRB) APPROVAL

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68 APPENDIX B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE Q2 : The definition for a learning disability is cited below to ensure that the intended population is being thought of, rather than just students who struggle occasionally academically. This definition may not completely encompass your belie fs of a learning disability or the disorder. According to the disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoke n or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and develo pmental aphasia. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of: visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; intellectual disability; serious emotional disability; cultural factors; environmental or economic di sadvantage; or limited English proficiency." o I have read this definition o I did not read the definition Q3 What is your sex? o Male o Female Q4 What is your current teacher role? General Educator Special Educator Resource Teacher Other, pl ease specify in the text box: Q 5. Are you currently a student in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Denver? o Yes o No Q 6. What grade do you teach currently? Kindergarten

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69 Elementary Middle School High School Q 7. Slide to t he appropriate number of years: How many year(s) have you been teaching? (1) How many year(s) have you worked with students who have learning disabilities? (2) Q 8. Have you had any special courses, licenses, or participated in professional developme nt related to working with students who have learning disabilities? o No o Yes, please explain in the text box below: Teacher Attribution Scale ( Brady & Woolfson, 2008) Instructions: Here are four vignettes about hypothetical children who have just failed a classroom test. Please read each one carefully and then rate how strongly you agree or disagree with each of the three statements by clicking the appropriate box. Please click your first reaction to the statement as your response. If none of the respons es exactly reflects your opinion, please click the response that's closest to it. There is no right or wrong answer on these items, so please be honest in answering the questions. Please ensure that you respond to all three statements about each vignette. Q 9 Christopher has ability below that of most children in the class. He always tries his best. Strongly Agree (1) Agree (2) Neither agree nor disagree (3) Disagree (4) Strongly disagree (5) poor performance on the test is due to fact ors within himself such as ability, effort etc, rather than due to external factors such as his teacher or the curriculum. o o o o o

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70 performance in class is likely to continue more or less the same. o o o o o It is within own control to improve his performance further. o o o o o Q1 0 Andrew is considered to have lower ability for academic tasks than most children in the class. He works hard in class. He receives special education services to help him in language and math. Strongly Agree (1) Agree (2) Neither agree nor disagree (3) Disagree (4) Strongly disagree (5) performance on the test is due to factors within himself such as ability, effort etc, rather than due to external factors such as his teacher or the curriculum o o o o o performance in class is likely to continue more or less the same. o o o o o It is within control to improve his performance further. o o o o o Q1 1 in his class. He work s hard in class. Strongly Agree ( 5 ) Agree ( 4 ) Neither agree nor disagree (3) Disagree ( 2 ) Strongly disagree ( 1 ) performance on the test is due to factors o o o o o

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71 within himself such as ability, effort etc, rather than due to external factors such as his teacher or the curriculum. performance in class is likely to continue more or less the same. o o o o o It is within control to improve his performance further. o o o o o Q1 2 He has difficulty with writing tasks which involve constructing sentences and spelling correctly. The special education teacher helps him with this. He always tries his best in class. Strongly Agree ( 5 ) Agree ( 4 ) Neither agree nor disagree (3) Disagree ( 2 ) Strongly disagree ( 1 ) performance on the test is due to factors within himself such as ability, effort etc, rather than due to external factors such as his teacher or the curriculum. o o o o o performance in class is likely to con tinue more or less the same. o o o o o It is within control to improve his performance further. o o o o o

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72 Theory of Intelligence Questionnaire (Dweck, Chui, & Hong, 1995) Q13 Rate these statements from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree": St rongly Agree ( 6 ) Agree ( 5 ) Somewhat agree ( 4 ) Somewhat disagree ( 3 ) Disagree ( 2 ) Strongly disagree ( 1 ) Students with learning disabilities have a certain amount of intelligence and they do much to change it. o o o o o o A learning disabled stude intelligence is something about him change very much. o o o o o o A student with a learning disability can learn new things, really change his basic intelligence. o o o o o o Teachers Sense of Self Efficacy Scale (Woolfson & Brady 2009) Q14 This questionnaire is designed to help us gain a better understanding of the kind of things that create difficulties for teachers with students with learning di sabilities Instructions: Please click your first reaction to the statement as your response. If none of the responses exactly reflects your opinion, please click the response that's closest to it. There is no right or wrong answer on these items, so please be honest in answering the questions. Please indicate your opinion about each of the statements below: Nothing (1) Very Little (2) Some influence (3) Quite a bit (4) A great deal (5)

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73 1. How much can you do to control the disruptive behavior of children with learning disabilities in the classroom? o o o o o 2. How much can you do to mot ivate students with learning disabilities who show low interest in school work? o o o o o 3. How much can you do to get students with learning disabilities to believe they can do well in school work? o o o o o 4. How much can you do to help your students with lea rning disabilities to value learning? o o o o o 5. To what extent can you craft good questions for your students with learning disabilities? o o o o o 6. How much can you do to get children with learning disabilities to follow classroom rules? o o o o o 7. How much can you do to calm a student o o o o o

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74 with a learning disability who is disruptive or noisy ? 8. How well can you establish a classroom management system with children with learning disabilities? o o o o o 9. How much can you use a variety of assessment strateg ies with children with learning disabilities? o o o o o 10. To what extent can you provide an alternative explanation or example when students with learning disabilities are confused? o o o o o 11. How much can you assist families of children with learning disab ilities in helping their children do well in school? o o o o o 12. How well can you implement alternative strategies for children with learning disabilities in your classroom? o o o o o

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75 APPENDIX C QUESTIONNAIRE CONSENT Study Title: The Role of Teacher Belief s of Learning Disabilities on Teaching Self Efficacy Principal Investigator: Breanna J. Stewart COMIRB No: 17 1893 Version Date: 10/14/17 You are being asked to be in this research study because you are a teacher. If you join the study, you will be asked to complete a short survey about your beliefs of learning disabilities. This study is designed to learn more about teachers' perception of students with learning disabilities. Possible discomforts or risks include inability to complete the survey due to time constraints. The survey is confidential with no personally identifiable information asked for including teacher participants' names, place of work, and email addresses. The survey will ask for teachers' sex, teacher role, education level, grade they teach, years of teaching experience, years they have taught students with learning disabilities, and professional development/licenses the y have earned. You have a choice about being in this study. You do not have to be in this study if you do not want to be. If you have questions, you can call Breanna Stewart at (720) 326 0016. You can call or email with questions at any time. You may have questions about your rights as someone in this study. If you have questions, you can call the COMIRB (the responsible Institutional Review Board). Their number is (303) 724 1055. By completing this survey, you are agreeing to participate in this research study. You may have questions about your rights as someone in this study. If you have questions, you can call the COMIRB (the responsible Institutional Review Board). Their number is (303) 724 1055. By completing thi s survey, you are agreeing to participate in this research study. o I agree to participate in the study o I do not agree to participate in the study

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76 APPENDIX D EMAIL INVITATION Project Title: The Role of Teacher Belief s of Learning Disabilities on Teaching Self Efficacy Principa l Investigator: Breanna J. Stewart COMIRB: 17 1893 Version Date: 11/15/17 Hello. My name is Breanna Stewart and I am a graduate student in The School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver. I am conducting research for my You are invited to participate in a research study examining teacher belief s about students with learning disabilities. If you agree to be part of the research study, you will be asked to complete an online survey. This survey will tak e about 10 15 minutes to complete. There are no consequences for your lack of participation in my study. The survey is confidential with no personally identifiable information asked for including teacher participants' names, place of work, and email addre sses. More additional information will be detailed on the first page of survey. Click here to go to the survey: https://ucdenver.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3t1DLxJydEslBnn If you have any questions at all about this study, please feel free to contact Breanna Stewart at Breanna.stewart@ucdenver.edu or 720 326 0016. You may have questions about your rights as someone in this st udy. If you have questions, you can call the COMIRB (the responsible Institutional Review Board). Their number is (303) 724 1055. Thank you! Breanna J. Stewart