Mathematics Instructional Leadership

Self-Efficacy Development for Elementary School Administrators


  • Kelly Gomez Johnson University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Tamara Williams University of Nebraska at Omaha



Mathematics Leadership, Professional Development, Self-efficacy, Administrators


To optimize teacher support, administrators need subject-specific knowledge, skills, and beliefs to lead, not just manage, instructional change. Professional development (PD) is needed with the many roles administrators are already called to fill. In this study, 38 elementary administrators participated in PD in mathematics instructional leadership. Findings from the Administrator Self-Efficacy Survey for Mathematics, derived from the Principal Self-Efficacy Survey (Smith & Guarino, 2005), show that subject-specific, district-led PD designed around sources of self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977, 1982, 1986) had a significant impact on increasing administrators’ mathematics instructional leadership self-efficacy. Specifically, administrators increased their beliefs to influence effective mathematics practice, apply district PD to instructional leadership practices, and justify change during reform. These results show promise for future mathematics-specific instructional leadership development. Results from this study can inform PD design for districts and leaders aiming to promote and support school administrators as instructional leaders and advocates for evidence-based practice.


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Author Biographies

Kelly Gomez Johnson, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Kelly began her professional career as a high school mathematics teacher and Dual Enrollment Education and Mathematics instructor for local community colleges and the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). In 2013, she joined the UNO as a Secondary Instructional Coach for the Teacher Education Department and later transitioned to a STEM Instructor role teaching both undergraduate and graduate coursework. Kelly is currently an Assistant Professor of STEM Education.

Tamara Williams, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Tami Williams, EdD, is assistant professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the educational leadership department. She is former Director of Assessment, Research, and Evaluation of Millard Public Schools, also in Nebraska, where she supervised buildings, led assessment innovations, program evaluations, data storage and reporting, and data professional development. Williams has been an educator since the 90s with background as a teacher, behavior interventionist, assistant principal, and district administrator in Nebraska. Tami has also presented as several local and national conferences. Her research agenda includes social justice, program evaluation, and school improvement. Williams received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and teacher endorsement in secondary education from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She earned her master’s degree in educational leadership, principal certificate, doctorate in education, and superintendent certificate from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


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