Texas Tech University

Kamau Oginga Siwatu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Educational Psychology and Leadership

Email: Kamau.siwatu@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-834-5850

Office: Education 371

Kamau Oginga Siwatu, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the College of Education.  During his tenure at the university, Dr. Siwatu has taught a range of courses which include Educational Psychology, Cognition and Instruction, and the Foundations of Mixed Methods Research. While maintaining a highly visible research agenda, Dr. Siwatu has served on a number of thesis and dissertation committees. During the next phase of his career, Dr. Siwatu has dedicated himself to working more closely with K-12 teachers and students.  In addition to being on the board of directors for the Lubbock (TX) Boys and Girls Club, he currently volunteers each week at an elementary school where the kids affectionately refer to him as “The Professor.” 

Kamau Siwatu


  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Psychology (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Areas of Expertise

Dr. Siwatu’s research is grounded in social cognitive theory. A key construct within this theory is self-efficacy.  Bandura (1997) defined self-efficacy as, “beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments” (p. 3).  Stated differently, self-efficacy is a person’s judgment of his or her capabilities to perform a particular activity or task successfully.  He has researched self-efficacy in the context of: (1) teaching in K-12 educational settings, (2) teaching in post-secondary settings, and (3) conducting research. Dr. Siwatu is interested in studying self-efficacy in these various contexts for a couple of reasons. First, research suggests that individuals will engage in activities in which they are more confident in completing successfully and avoid those in which they are not. Second, self-efficacy can influence an individual’s career decision-making. For example, researchers suggest that individuals’ self-efficacy beliefs to successfully engage in tasks specific to the profession (e.g., teaching) may influence their decisions to pursue a career in a particular field and their decision to remain in the profession (Brown & Lent, 2006; Lent et al., 1994).

Dr. Siwatu has gained a national reputation stemming from publications associated with my primary research agenda which is focused on issues related to teaching, learning, and diversity in K-12 educational settings. Within this general area of interest, he has four distinct, yet interrelated, strands: (1) preservice teachers’ culturally responsive teaching self-efficacy beliefs and the factors that influence the formation of self-efficacy beliefs, (2) the context specificity of preservice teachers’ culturally responsive teaching self-efficacy beliefs, (3) the practice of culturally responsive teaching and its noted positive student and teaching outcomes, and (4) preparing prospective teachers to become culturally responsive and the role of educational psychology in preparing culturally responsive teachers.

Selected Publications

Siwatu, K. O., Putnam, M., Starker, T. V., & Lewis, C. (2015). The development of the culturally responsive classroom management self-efficacy scale: Development and initial validation. Urban Education. Prepublished September 9, 2015.

Kelley, H. M., Siwatu, K. O., Tost, J. R., & Martinez, J. A. (2015). The effects of culturally familiar reading tasks on culturally and linguistically diverse students' reading performance and self-efficacy. Educational Psychology in Practice.

Siwatu, K. O., & Chesnut, S. R. (2014). The career development of preservice and inservice teachers: Why teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs matter. In H. Fives & M. Gill (Eds.), International handbook of research on teachers’ beliefs (pp. 212-229). New York: Routledge.

Siwatu, K. O., & Starker, T. V. (2014). Preparing culturally responsive teachers.  In G. S. Goodman (Ed.) Educational psychology reader: The art and science of how people learn. Revised edition (pp.192-202). New York: Peter Lang.

Siwatu, K. O. (2011). Preservice teachers’ culturally responsive teaching self-efficacy forming experiences: A mixed methods study. Journal of Educational Research, 104, 360-369.

Siwatu, K. O., Frazier, P., Osaghae, O., & Starker, T. V. (2011). From maybe I can to yes I can. Developing preservice and inservice teachers’ self-efficacy to teach African American students. Journal of Negro Education, 80(3), 209-222.

Siwatu, K. O. (2009). Designing self-efficacy building interventions in the preparation of culturally responsive teachers. In R. Milner (Ed.), Diversity and education: Teachers, teaching, and teacher education (pp. 119-131). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publishers.

Siwatu, K. O. (2007). Preservice teachers’ culturally responsive teaching self-efficacy and outcome expectancy beliefs. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23, 1086-1101.