Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

E. Adrienne Hyle


Preparing students, in the K-12 pipeline and in higher education institutions, will require new skills, soft skills, to ensure success in a 21st century workforce (Wagner, 2008). Soft skills, defined as being able to communicate effectively, to collaborate with others, to think creatively, and to have strong ethics, are challenging for teachers to address in a traditional classroom setting. While traditional instruction systems focus primarily on quantifiable results, project-based learning (PBL) is a proven instructional delivery system in which teachers facilitate instruction to assist in the acquisition of soft skills. Through the lens of teacher self-efficacy, a tenet of academic optimism (Beard, Hoy, &Woolfolk Hoy, 2010), the purpose of this qualitative study was to examine and describe how teacher self-efficacy assisted in the successful implementation of PBL and the acquisition of 21st century skills. Specifically, this study focused on investigating teacher self-efficacy of six respondents who implemented project-based learning at an intermediate school in the southwestern part of the United States. The research revealed several factors influenced self-efficacy in the PBL classroom. The factors included the course content, the classroom setting, teachers' self-efficacy, and the formation of peer relationships.


Education | Educational Leadership


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington