Teacher and principal beliefs about principal leadership behavior

Mary Beth Morris

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine whether or not there is a difference between teacher and principal beliefs about principal leadership behavior using a 360- degree evaluation tool. The study also examined whether the difference between teacher and principal beliefs was related to the status of a school relative to the state growth target each school was expected to meet. The study also examined the effects of gender of administrator, number of years of administrator experience, and the performance status of the school that could be discerned through the use of a 360-degree evaluation tool. Significant research points to the connection between student achievement and the degree to which school leaders practice transformational leadership behaviors. Discrepancies exist between teachers' and principals' perceptions of the actual leadership behaviors displayed. Using a 360-degree evaluation instrument provided principals with feedback from teachers and strategies to increase transformational leadership behaviors, which have been shown to increase student performance and the likelihood of achieving adequate yearly progress in schools. The project was conducted in three months and involved 34 principal surveys and 238 teacher surveys from 18 districts across the state of Louisiana. Descriptive statistics and t tests were used to assess whether or not a statistically significant difference existed between principal and teacher beliefs about principal leadership behaviors in the leadership domains of employee development, commitment, and the workplace. The effects of independent variables of gender of administrator, administrator years of experience, and performance status of schools were also examined through independent t tests. The study showed that a statistically significant difference between principal and teacher beliefs about principal leadership behavior existed in the leadership domain of commitment. The study did not find a statistically significant difference between principal and teacher beliefs about principal leadership behavior in the leadership domains of employee development or the workplace. In addition, there were no statistically significant differences in the effects of gender of administrator, administrator years of experience, or performance status of the school.