The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership: M.S.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Amy Christensen

Second Advisor

Frances Kayona

Third Advisor

Plamen Miltenoff

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The purpose of this study was to examine teachers’ perceptions of the practices of academic optimism in Niamey (Niger). The study used a non-experimental survey research design. School Academic Optimism Scale (SAOS), a 30-items Likert-type scale, developed by Hoy (2005) was utilized to collect the quantitative data from a small sample (14 middle school teachers). In this study using a French translated version of SAOS with 28-items Likert-type scale, an overall and strong reliability (α=0.83) was demonstrated for the three subconstructs of academic optimism. The WhatsApp application was utilized to administer the survey via Qualtrics software. The study used basic descriptive statistics to determine the extent the practices of the components of academic optimism (collective teacher efficacy, faculty trust in parents and students, and academic emphasis) are perceived by teachers.

A total of 13 middle school teachers completed the survey resulting in 93% of response rate. Using a six-point rating scale, the results of the survey indicated a combined mean score of 5.40 for teachers’ self-report perceived practices of collective teacher efficacy and eight of the 10 items of this subconstruct were rated five (Agree) to six (Mostly Agree). Next, using the same six-point rating scale, teachers’ self-report perceived practices of faculty trust displayed a combined mean of 4.80 and nine of 10 items were rated four (Somewhat Agree) to five (Agree). Finally, using a four-point rating scale, teachers’ self-report perceived practices of academic emphasis demonstrated a combined mean score of 3.40 and seven of the eight items of this subconstruct were rated three (often) to approximately four (Very Often).

According to the School Academic Optimism Scale (SAOS), this study found overall high perceptions of practices of collective teacher efficacy, faculty trust in students and parents, and academic emphasis. The high perceptions of academic optimism support the assumption of a relationship between a culture of high performing private schools such as the one in this study and the culture of academic optimism.


First of all, all praise is due to the Almighty God for blessing me with good health, patience, strength, understanding, and insight.

This work is the product of countless time and energy from people who successfully supported and guided me through this educational journey. At the beginning, this journey was daunting despite my dream of conducting thesis research which could be a gateway to my doctorate program. Thanks to the resolute determination of my committee members who provided me with genuine advice and guidance, this work comes to fruition.

Second, I could not have completed this thesis without the unwavering commitment, passion, and patience of my committee members namely Dr. Amy Christensen, Dr. Frances Kayona, and Dr. Plamen Miltenoff. Thank you all for your time, support, guidance, encouragement, and timely feedback which serve as fuel and light guiding me through the evolution of this thesis from sentences to paragraphs to chapters. I am very honored and grateful to have you all on my committee. A special thank you to Dr. Amy Christensen who has been my advisor for my master program and chaired my thesis committee. She is always available and supportive to me and my goals. She helped me tame my internal fears in the face of challenges and make me believe in myself.

Third, I would like to thank the Fulbright Program via the Institute of International Education (IIE) for giving me this opportunity to expand my educational experiences by funding my master's degree.

Fourth, my thanks and gratitude go to my brothers and only sister, Kadidja, for their support, encouragement, and belief in me. My especial thanks to my mom, my ever cheerleader who nurtured me, inspired me to follow big dreams, and instilled in me a sense courage, perseverance, and determination. Another especial thanks to my late father, my ever-best friend, who instilled in me high moral values.

Fifth, I acknowledged the prompt assistance of Dr. Chaibou Elhadji Oumarou from Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey (Niger) who assisted in the translation of School Academic Optimism Scale (SAOS) into French. I am also indebted to my friends and colleagues who provided me with emotional support namely Phil and Ruth Saksa, Djibrilla Tahirou Yacouba, Abdoul-Aziz Siddo Yacouba, Soumana Boubacar Ali, Chamsoudine Abdoul-Kader Idi, Mahaman Dandibi Aboubacar, Mr. Faissal Garba, Mohammed Hamdane, Yacine Soumare, Hadizatou Garba Mahamadou, Aminata Phoray-Musa, etc. My especial thanks goes to Hadizatou Garba Mahamadou, Djibrilla Siddo Yacouba, Suphi Altintasli, Ekram Elmoge, and Yacine Soumare for volunteering to take the pilot test of the survey on WhatsApp and their feedback greatly improved the formatting of the survey in Qualtrics and the process of sending the survey link to research participants.

Last but not least, I extend my thanks to all the participants in this study for their cooperation, understanding, and assistance without which this work would not be possible. My especial thanks goes to the owner of the school for granting me permission to collect data from teachers. I am also grateful for the support the principal, Mr. Togbé Kokou, provided me with to successfully conduct this study.



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