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The timeline of self-efficacy: changes during the professional life cycle of school principals

Yael Fisher (Graduate school of Educational Administration, Achva Academic College, Tel Aviv, Israel)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 28 January 2014




The first purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between principal self-efficacy and work experience. The second purpose of this paper is to re-study the structure of a multidimensional and hierarchical Principal Self-Efficacy Scale (PSES).


PSES was measured using the Brama-Friedman scale (PSES) (Brama and Friedman, 2007). During the 2010 school year, 123 principals participated. Exploration of PSES was based on Facet Theory (Guttman, 1959).


The findings show that the highest levels of the PSES were found with principals that were at their first year of leading the school. The levels of PSES drop significantly during the second year and up to the fifth year of work experience. The levels of PSES start to rise after the fifth year, and stabilize after ten years. Furthermore, the findings show that PSES is comprised of organizational leadership, educational, and pedagogical leadership and external and communal relations.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was relatively small and mostly from the center school district of Israel. The second limitation was that the sample included only Jewish principals. Since 20 percent of the population in Israel is Arabs, further studies should include all minorities in order to enlighten the issue.

Practical implications

Understanding the relations between PSES levels and work experience could assist policy makers with decisions concerning continuing professional development (in-service training) of principals.


Little is known about the relations between perceived self-efficacy of principals and their work experience.



Fisher, Y. (2014), "The timeline of self-efficacy: changes during the professional life cycle of school principals", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 52 No. 1, pp. 58-83.



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