Date of Award



© 2019 Melodee Carter-Guyette

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Marylin Newel

Second Advisor

Jennifer Galipeau

Third Advisor

Mary Anne Wichroski


Research shows that place-based learning is a proven methodology in supporting students in achievement of their academic and social needs. There are inconsistencies related to documenting its success with learning disabled students, especially in the area of self-efficacy. This study attempted to fill this gap in the literature by exploring the perception of educators regarding self-efficacy of students with learning disabilities who have experienced environmental science place-based programs. Elementary educators were recruited from a broad pool of participants via social media. One hundred seventy surveys were received from educators in the six New England states. Five participants provided in-depth information via semi-structured interviews. Across all areas of self-efficacy participants responded more favorably in the categories of Agree or Strongly Agree except for work completion. In all areas of academics participants responded more favorably except Math. Results indicated that educators’ perceptions about the effectiveness of place-based learning on self-efficacy skills in students with learning disabilities were affirmed. Recommendations include: training for teachers in increasing their knowledge of how to utilize place-based practices with standards-based curriculum and instruction, training for teachers in inclusion of self-efficacy skills in their instruction, more focused study of other specialized populations (for example, gifted students with learning disabilities) to understand the effect of utilizing place-based programs to develop self-efficacy, and further research of others’ perceptions (parents and students) in development of self-efficacy skills in students with learning disabilities.


Ed.D. Dissertation