Title

Perceived Effectiveness and Pre- and Postservice Training Among High School Principals in Manitoba

Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

W. Lee Pierce

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

Since the dawn of the effective schools movement in the early 1980s, stakeholders have sought to isolate those factors that account for effective schools. Much of the study efforts have recognized the critical roles of the principal, but have not taken into account myriads of factors and conditions that make any principal effective. This study examined what role adult education plays in principal training by investigating whether there is a statistically significant difference in perceived effectiveness between certified and noncertified principals in Manitoba. It also compared the principals' self-perception of effectiveness and the teaching staffs' perceptions of their principals' effectiveness. Ancillary investigations attempted to isolate factors that might be significant predictors of principal effectiveness. Conducted among public and funded private or independent schools in Manitoba, the study constituted a sample size of n = 38 principals and n = 149 teaching staff. Among the principals, 65.8% were certified while 34.2% were not certified. Participants were drawn from a cross section of Manitoba high schools, including large and small schools, urban and rural schools, young and old schools. Using one-way Analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests, the study found no statistical significant difference in perceived effectiveness between certified and noncertified principals. The tests also revealed that the principals' perception of their effectiveness does not significantly differ from the staffs perception of their principals' effectiveness. In addition, stepwise linear regression analysis was conducted to isolate environmental factors and principals' demographics that might be used to predict perceived principal effectiveness. Principal experience entered the model, but only as a weak predictor (17%). Finally, a simultaneous linear regression analysis was used to investigate the extent to which the teaching staffs perceptions of principal effectiveness could be predicted using the staff's credentials and experience. The linear combination of the variables was not significant. The study casts doubt on the effectiveness of pre- and postservice training among principals and their certification process. Certified principals do not seem to have any advantage over their noncertified colleagues, a situation which seems to acknowledge the impotence of certification. However, further studies are recommended to identify the factors that make certification attractive and worth pursuing.