Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The influence of principal gender, teachers' years of experience, and retention on teacher perceptions of principal leadership style, qualities, and job satisfaction
by Eddins, Gregg M., Ed.D., University of Missouri - Columbia, 2012, 407; 3537869
Abstract (Summary)

One main challenge for many school districts in these tough economic times is teacher retention and all the costs associated. This study looks the influence of principal gender, teacher years of experience, and teacher retention based on teachers’ perceptions of their principal’s leadership style, transformational leadership qualities, and job satisfaction. This study may help school boards and superintendents identify key skills to find more qualified principals and/or create training programs to transform present principals. Those principals may better fit climates and environments encouraging more satisfied teachers and retention.

This study reviewed the history of psychological and sociological aspects related to leadership styles, employee satisfaction, and leadership qualities. This study also reviewed literature related to the three survey instruments: the Job Satisfaction Survey, the Leadership Styles (Other) Survey, and the Principal Leadership Qualities Survey. Each was discussed with the rationale identified for selected usage. The three independent variables of principal gender, retention, and years of experience were added to the end of each survey by this researcher. Relevant dissertations were studied to determine the most recent research findings and to better understand aspects of teachers’ perceptions relating to their principals.

The basis of this study was to give each of three different school districts one of the three different surveys. A step-by-step timeline of the process this researcher used up until data collection is included to be helpful for others in analyzing this study and replicating it. This quantitative analysis explored perceptions teachers have about their principals leadership styles, transformational qualities, and job satisfaction as may be influenced by gender, years of experience and retention. Surveys were given from an online survey website to participating schools. Data was then collected and analyzed. Seven research questions attempted to answer questions from the actual surveys using three researcher-added independent variables and subscale breakdown scores. The intent of this meta-analysis was to help clarify and add to the existing depth of knowledge. A variety of statistical analyses were used to determine if differences existed between the independent variables relating to summary statistics, significances, and subs-scale breakdown. The three independent variables, added by this researcher, in many cases show differences in perceptions and subscale breakdown information.

This study found:

Leadership Styles Survey (LSS): 1. Teachers perceived the Structural leadership style as the dominant style used by principals. 2. Teachers rated male principals higher on most every leadership style in the areas of: Structural, Human Resource, Symbolic, and Political. 3. Teachers perceive male principals rated higher on most leadership style subscales: Analytical, Organized, Supportive, Participative, and Charismatic. 4. Mature teachers tend to rate principals lower, and are more critical of principals. 5. Teachers returning rated their principals the highest on leadership styles.

Principals (Transformational) Leadership Qualities Survey (PLQ): 1. Teachers perceive that principals use transformational qualities. 2. Teachers reported females were more transformational than males. 3. Teachers observed female principals were more transformational than males on the subscale qualities: Vision, Role Model, Group Goals, Support, Stimulation, and Experience. 4. Teachers returning rated their principals the highest on leadership styles. 5. Beginning teachers rated principals highest on the transformational subscales.

Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS): 1. Teachers are overall likely to be satisfied in their position. 2. Teachers perceived equal job satisfaction almost among principals of both genders. 3. Mature teachers tend to rate job satisfaction lower and are more critical of principals. 4. Teachers returning rated their principals the highest on most subscales: Communication, Nature of Work, Coworkers, Operating Conditions, Contingent Rewards, Supervision, and Promotion. 5. Teachers perceived principals split by gender equally on the job satisfaction subscales. Males (Operating Conditions, Coworkers, Nature of Work, and Communication) Females (Promotion, Supervision, Fringe Benefits, and Contingent Rewards).

The main findings of this study indicate: 1. Gender of principal influences teachers’ perceptions. 2. Teachers’ Years of Experience influences their perceptions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Messner, Phillip E.
School: University of Missouri - Columbia
Department: Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Gender, Job satisfaction, Principal leadership, Teacher retention, Years of experience
Publication Number: 3537869
ISBN: 978-1-267-99393-9
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