Title

The Effect of Principals' Leadership Style On Student Growth and Teacher Behavior In the Accountability Era

Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Wanda Maulding

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

What leadership behaviors should leaders exhibit to direct teachers to help meet the tremendous challenge of educating our youth? Does leadership really make a difference in schools? One seldom finds an effective school that does not have an effective principal (Kelly & Peterson, 2001). Bredeson (1996) notes that "there is ample evidence in the literature to indicate effective leadership can and does positively affect school and student outcomes" (p. 225). This study assessed teacher perception of leadership style and its effect on student growth. A sample of 149 teachers were the subjects for this study. The subjects were chosen from ten schools based on their accreditation level and status under the growth model of the Mississippi School Accountability System. Five schools are considered successful, exemplary, or superior performing and exceeded their growth based on the growth model. The other five schools are considered successful, exemplary, or superior performing but did not meet their growth under the growth model. Of the 149 teachers who responded to the survey 13% were males and 87% were females. The ethnicity of the participants were 6% Black and 94% White, no other ethnic group was reported. The participants mean age in the not met group was 42 ( SD = 10.4) and 38 ( SD = 10.1) for the exceeded group. The mean for years of experience for the not met group was 13 (SD = 10.0) and 11 ( SD = 8.1) for the exceeded group. The mean for number of years at current school was 9 (SD = 8.5) for the not met group and 7 (SD = 6.0) for the exceeded group. Approximately 48%, of the participants have an A level teacher certification, 48% have an AA level teacher certification, while 4% carry an AAA level or higher. Also, 44% of the teachers teach a subject that is part of the Mississippi School Accountability System while 56% did not teach a class under the accountability system. Of the participants, 20% report that they had previously coached a school-sponsored sport while 80% had not coached a school-sponsored sport. A quantitative research using the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire developed by Bernard Bass and Bruce Avolio (1997) was administered to participants in this study. This survey measures five dimensions of transformational leadership, three dimensions of transactional leadership, laissez-faire leadership, and three outcome factors. Data was observed using multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) and independent-samples t-test. Three of the five hypotheses were accepted in this study. There were statistically different perceptions of transactional and laissez-faire leadership between teacher from schools who have exceeded their growth and teachers from schools who did not meet their growth under the Mississippi Schools Accountability System. The teachers from schools considered successful, exemplary and superior performing that have exceeded their growth report giving an extra effort as a result of leadership behaviors at a statistically significant different level than teachers from schools considered successful, exemplary, and superior performing that have not met their growth. There was not a significant difference in the teachers' report of job satisfaction as a result of leadership behavior between the groups.