A relational study of elementary principals' leadership traits, teacher morale, and school performance

Carla Jean Raines Evers

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to determine if a significant relationship existed between elementary principals. leadership traits and teacher morale. The study sought to identify the impact of the principal-teacher relationship on school achievement as it relates to student performance on state standards as outlined in the Mississippi state academic frameworks and as measured using the Quality of the Distribution Index (QDI) on the Mississippi state end-of-grade test, Mississippi Curriculum Test, Second Edition (MCT2). The end-of-year assessments, collectively known as MCT2: Reading-Language Arts and Mathematics, administered to students in grades 3 through 8 in the spring of each school year, provided additional quantitative data for the study. Further, the study identified whether a correlation existed between the way principals and teachers perceive the principals. primary leadership traits. A quantitative survey-design method was used to conduct the study. The Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) -Self and -Observer were used to measure the principals. leadership traits that have been associated with organizational effectiveness. The Purdue Teacher Opinionaire (PTO) was used to measure teacher morale as defined by two selected factors, rapport with principal and job satisfaction. School performance was measured by the end-of-grade state assessment for Mississippi, MCT2, which measures what students know and are able to do in the areas of reading-language arts and mathematics. State statisticians use the collectives schools. and districts. scores to develop Quality of the Distribution Indexes for each participating entity. Findings indicated that classroom-based study participants perceived that each of the Leadership Practices Inventory's five subscales of leadership traits correlated to the variable Teacher Satisfaction, whereas their Rapport with the Principal correlated with three of five subscales. Study participants also perceived that neither principal's leadership traits nor teacher morale predicts school performance, which disputes current research. Further, analysis of the data indicated that classroom-based participants did not agree with their principals regarding the principals. primary modes of leadership by rating the principal lower on the LPI than their principals who rated themselves higher in each of the five factors.