Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, PhD


School of Educational Studies

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Philip H. Dreyer

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

David E. Drew

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Susan M. Robb

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Anne V. Castagnaro


educational technology, self-efficacy


Sixth grade is a pivotal time in school, as students culminate their elementary school years and anticipate junior high school. At this age, students become more involved in trends, especially technological trends. When students can utilize the same type of technology inside and outside of school, their self-efficacy may increase. Hypothetically, even within an academic setting, a sixth grader's self-efficacy will subconsciously elevate with these familiar tools. This mixed methods study evaluated the link between the use of educational technology in the sixth grade classroom and students' self-efficacy.

To facilitate data collection for this study, after parental consent was obtained, students completed an online questionnaire via Survey Monkey on their classroom laptops. At a predetermined date, time, and location, teachers of the participating students met with the researcher in focus groups. Before the meeting date and time, the focus group agenda was emailed to the teachers for their perusal. The results of the questionnaire were analyzed using SPSS, specifically examining links between questions pertaining to technology use and questions resulting in high self-efficacy. The results of the focus groups were analyzed for themes within the teachers' comments and served as essential narrative in the results and conclusion sections of the dissertation.

The results of the questionnaire and focus groups produced several implications regarding educational policy and future research. Significant, positive correlations emerged among variables within the established self-efficacy domain and the use of laptops and Smart/Interwrite boards in the classroom, iPods, iPads, and smart phones outside of class, and using educational technology in writing and math during class. No significant differences emerged between boys' and girls' self-efficacy, as corroborated by the teachers' focus group responses. Variables within the self-concept domain emerged as predictors when multiple regression analyses were run with self-efficacy dependent variables. Conclusions that were drawn from this study include the need for educational technology during math instruction, iPads for instruction during class, and further study regarding gender differences in response to technology.