Date of Award

August 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Karen C. Stoiber


Response to Intervention, Teacher Knowledge, Teacher Professional Development, Teacher Self-efficacy


This study was designed to address a crucial organizational construct for implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI), ongoing teacher professional development, by examining its effect on teacher knowledge and self-efficacy. Twenty-five teachers from rural Illinois participated and were randomly assigned to either receive a 10-week professional development course in RTI or a single after-school condensed training session. The teachers completed self-report measures of knowledge and self-efficacy in RTI prior to their first instruction and 1 week following the end of their instruction. A mixed ANOVA analysis was used for comparison of the two groups from pre- to post-test and showed significantly greater improvements in knowledge and self-efficacy for the ongoing professional development group when compared to the single after-school session professional development participants. Assumptions of homogeneity of variances were not met for the self-efficacy analysis which may have compromised the results. The teachers receiving the 10-week course were assigned homework assignments with the aim of deepening their understanding and application of their learned knowledge. The relationship between the homework assignment grades and improvement in knowledge and between homework assignment grades and improvement in self-efficacy gains were non-significant. The results from this study support the need for ongoing professional development when implementing RTI and demonstrate the benefits of intentional and ongoing training on teacher outcomes especially in comparison to single after-school trainings. Future research is needed to examine the effects of professional development on teacher and student outcomes and to explore further whether teacher assignments are useful for improving related teacher and student outcomes.