Examining principal perceptions of self-efficacy and emergent bilingual student’s achievement in K-12 public schools
The purpose of this qualitative inquiry study examined principal perceptions of self-efficacy and EB’s student achievement. This study collected interview data from a purposeful sample of six elementary, six middle school, and six high school principals from the Region 4 Education Service Center, Harris County area, in the state of Texas utilizing an interview protocol. An inductive coding process was implemented to discover emergent themes that arose from semi-structured interviews. The findings are based on principal perceptions regarding the impact of their self-efficacy on EB student achievement, facilitation of EB student learning, shared vision for EB students, and motivating teachers with EB students. The data analysis revealed 10 themes and 13 subthemes, which were deeply rooted within the vast literature on principal leadership constructs. The findings illustrated the expansive skills and competencies necessary for principals to lead teacher teams and focus on student achievement. Considering principal perceptions regarding the impact of their self-efficacy on EB student achievement, 100% (n = 18) agreed principal’s confidence influences EB achievement. The data revealed that the principal’s leadership can either improve or decrease student achievement based on the decisions that are made. When examining the perceptions of principals concerning the impact of their self-efficacy in the facilitation of EB student learning, four emerging themes developed. These themes are: (a) Ensuring Teacher Quality (b) Promoting High-Quality Instruction (c) Understanding the Unique Needs of EB Students (d) Navigating Accountability. Based on the summary of findings, implications are warranted for principals, district leaders, teacher preparation programs, and state leaders. It is recommended principals build collaborative teams with different experts to help set goals and participate in the planning sessions to support students. District leaders could benefit from the findings by ensuring staffing support is available at each campus since EB enrollment numbers are increasing, and districts need to consider varying levels of staffing support for campuses with different English proficiency levels such as new arrivals or long-term EBs. Also, district leaders could benefit from the findings by providing and designing professional development opportunities that target the needs of EL students in instructional leadership and coaching.