Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Principals' Perceptions of Self-Efficacy as Crisis Planners

Giehll, Nicole (2020) Principals' Perceptions of Self-Efficacy as Crisis Planners. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (362kB) | Preview


Schools are entrusted to provide a safe and orderly environment for students each day. Should an emergency occur, it is expected that school leaders and staff respond immediately, deliberately, and effectively. Experts agree that it is imperative that schools are prepared for these events; however, crisis planning is complex and challenging work that can feel overwhelming to school administrators. While a substantial body of research has established that one’s efficacy beliefs determine aspirations, motivations, and accomplishments within a particular area, little is known about school leaders’ perceptions of self-efficacy in the area of crisis planning. This paper provides a descriptive analysis of elementary school principals’ perceptions of self-efficacy in their role as crisis planners.

Study participants included ten elementary school principals, currently leading public schools within the K-5 grade range and located in a Mid-Atlantic State, who have had experience(s) with crisis planning for their school or district. The participants completed a short demographic survey and a 45-minute semi-structured interview. Interviews included 14 open- ended questions exploring their thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to school crisis planning.

A review of the findings revealed that principals have a wide variety of lived experiences managing crisis incidents that impact their school communities. Yet, they have limited exposure to and understanding of comprehensive, multi-hazard crisis planning. Their involvement in crisis planning has focused almost exclusively on preparing for violent intruders. Given their experiences, many principals perceive crisis planning to be synonymous with implementing violent intruder/options-based security response protocols. Additionally, the study established that principals’ efficacy beliefs in the area of crisis planning have been heavily influenced by first responders, previous experiences both within and outside of the field of education, and their emotional responses related to school crisis incidents and planning experiences. Also revealed in the study is the troublingly limited role that district-level leaders play in developing principals’ sense of efficacy as crisis planners.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Giehll, Nicolenlg31@pitt.edunlg31
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKerr, Mary
Committee MemberTrovato, Charlene
Committee MemberLepore, Mark
Date: 2 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 July 2020
Approval Date: 2 September 2020
Submission Date: 27 July 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 81
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Self-Efficacy, Principals, School Crisis Planning
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 15:06
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2020 15:06


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item