Denise Bryan

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Campus Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department or School

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

Dr. Ronald Williamson, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Barbara Bleyaert

Committee Member

Dr. Gary Marx

Committee Member

Dr. Nelson Maylone


An Australian study (Penrose, Perry & Ball, 2007) identified Emotional Intelligence levels in teachers as a predictor of teacher self-efficacy, with significant impact on student achievement outcomes. Sutton and Wheatley (2003) asserted the role of emotion in influencing teacher work and, therefore, student outcomes. The purpose of this study was to investigate a correlation between Emotional Intelligence (EI) and teacher self-efficacy by examining moderating factors including sex, age, years of experience, level of education, and certification status.

The methodology for this non-experimental correlational study focused on a random sample of currently practicing elementary teachers in southeast Michigan who were contacted through publicly available email addresses and presented with a link to an online survey. The survey instruments included the Teacher Efficacy Scale (TES) short form (Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993), which was used to investigate teacher perceptions of self-efficacy. The TES mirrors an earlier, more extensive scale (Gibson & Dembo, 1984) that was used in the Australian study. This research also used the Reactions to Teaching Situations (RTS) instrument (Perry & Ball, 2004) to measure levels of Emotional Intelligence in teacher participants. The online survey instrument presented 56 items to teacher participants in three segments: demographic information, the TES instrument and the RTS instrument. All responses were completely anonymous. Survey results were analyzed using IBM® SPSS® software.

Although the Australian study, which also used the RTS to investigate levels of EI, produced a significant positive correlation between EI and teacher self-efficacy, the results were not corroborated by this study. A significant inverse relationship was demonstrated between EI and teacher self-efficacy. Teachers with the highest levels of EI, as measured by RTS, were those teachers with the lowest self-efficacy as measured by TES. Although the existence of a significant correlation between EI and teacher self-efficacy was confirmed, this study did not isolate EI as a factor to be considered in teacher evaluation, merit pay, leadership, or advancement opportunities. The researcher explored several other factors that may have been responsible for the divergent findings between the Australian and American studies. The researcher outlined recommendations for professional development, highlighted implications for teachers and school principals, and explored possibilities for additional research.