Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Carla Sparks

Second Advisor

Dr. Daniel Buckman


The historical and current dispute on how to educate middle grade students continues to puzzle today’s leaders of school systems nationwide. As a result of conflicting research on academically high performing schools, scholars and school decision makers continue the discussion on the influence of grade span configurations on academic performance. The purpose of my mixed method case study was to explore how teachers and school principals perceive the role of collective efficacy as influencing academic performance for grade eight students in the school under study. My study obtained input from school principals, district leaders, and teachers guided by the following research questions; How do faculty perceive a level of collective efficacy within the K-8 school model? How do teachers and the principal in the school acknowledge and share their efforts to establish a climate of collective efficacy in order to promote student achievement in the K-8 grade configured school? Does the school staff believe there are unique components in a K-8 school model that increase academic performance? Do teachers perceive a climate of trust among instructional staff within the K-8 school model with respect to teacher collaboration? How do eighth grade students perform academically in a K-8 school model in both reading and math from year to year over a five-year span? As a result of the findings, the school under study did not have an academic influence on grade 8 students, but did show a positive relationship regarding collective efficacy among faculty and staff members.