Classroom Management Self-Efficacy in Elementary School Counselors

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Virginia Tech

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards specifically require school counselors to be competent in the use of effective classroom management strategies, differentiated instruction, and in designing school counseling core curriculum. While the existing inquiries have contributed significantly to the school counseling knowledge base regarding classroom management, our field lacks adequate research specific to the classroom management self-efficacy of elementary school counselors. This quantitative study utilized the School Counselor Self Efficacy Scale, the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale, and a demographic questionnaire to collect data from a cross-section of elementary school counselors working in Virginia public schools. Differences in elementary school counselors' self-efficacy in classroom management were examined across the following variables: (a) working in schools with a recognized ASCA model program (RAMP) designation, (b) working in a setting that uses school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS), (c) prior teaching experience, and (d) years of counseling experience. Analysis showed that elementary school counselors working in schools that participated in SWPBIS had significantly higher classroom management self-efficacy than did school counselors working in schools that did not implement SWPBIS. Surprisingly, elementary school counselors in schools designated as RAMP had significantly lower classroom management self-efficacy than those working in schools without RAMP status. No significant differences in classroom management self-efficacy by years of counseling experience or prior K–12 teaching experience were evident. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Self-efficacy, school counseling core curriculum, classroom management, elementary school