Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Second Advisor

James R. Bliss

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Third Advisor

Robert Biggin

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if a significant relationship existed between principal leadership practices, as perceived by teachers, and teacher’s sense of self-efficacy. The target population was rural Appalachian teachers that worked for a principal that had been in administration for at least three consecutive years. This study utilized teacher responses from a survey consisting of the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES, Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk-Hoy, 2001) and the Leadership Practice Inventory – observer (LPI, Kouzes & Posner, 2003).

Results from the survey categorized levels of self-efficacy for teachers based on the works of Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk-Hoy (2001). Self-efficacy was broken down into three sub-domains (student engagement, instructional strategies and classroom management) and correlated to response items on the TSES. Overall, Appalachian teachers in the study scored high in perceived levels of self-efficacy (M = 7.1835, SD = .87641).

The LPI collected data to measure five leadership practices as observed by teachers. These practices are: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart. A close inspection of the data from the LPI revealed an issue with multicollinearity. Teacher responses did not measure the five leadership practices as intended but showed a consensus of exemplary leadership. This generalization made it impossible to perform a correlational analysis between teacher self-efficacy and perceived principal leadership practices.

The responses given from teachers in the study imply that principal leadership has the same meaning within the selected Appalachian schools. A similar leadership style based on principal preparatory programs, cultural expectation and individual upbringing could have played a role in limiting the variance in LPI responses. This equates to principal leadership practices not holding a direct impact on self-efficacy as hoped, but a more implied sense of indirect leadership qualities and traits that drive teachers to push students to higher levels of success.

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