Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Principal leadership style and teacher commitment in the Indiana school choice scholarship program environment
by Forte, Jill D., Ph.D., Indiana Wesleyan University, 2015, 367; 3742966
Abstract (Summary)

Transformational leaders seek to make disciples of their followers. They strive to elevate followers to a position of empowerment in order to realize mutual goals. There is evidence that transformational leadership is effective during change initiatives. In the United States, the field of education is in constant flux as lawmakers address national educational concerns, particularly as students are compared with their peers internationally with disappointing results. Reform measures, standards-based education, and federal and state policies affect teachers, who are the leaders in their classrooms, and principals, the leaders of leaders. In education, as in other industries, organizational commitment is related to transformational leadership. In the state of Indiana, a 2011 law allowing state public funds to be utilized for school choice scholarships provided nearly 20,000 students in 2013-2014 the opportunity to choose which school to attend. The program continues to expand every year with 60% of Indiana students eligible for some level of scholarship. This choice opportunity for families and students has created an environment of uncertainty regarding enrollment numbers for principals and teacher-leaders in all schools. Furthermore, the culture of nonpublic schools may change as choice students go through the process of enculturation. Nonpublic school teacher-leaders may experience classroom management difficulties, parental concerns, and commitment loss during this process. The new environment of public schools may also create stress for principals and teacher-leaders as ambiguity—real or perceived—may affect the school as a whole.

This study’s purpose is to examine the leadership style of principals and the relationship of that style to the organizational commitment of teacher-leaders in the environment of educational change. This dissertation also addresses the question of determining the leadership style of principals in Indiana in the midst of a change environment. Additionally, if organizational commitment is related to transformational leadership style in other contexts, is that true in the state of Indiana in an environment of school choice? If Indiana principals’ predominant leadership style is not transformational leadership, then what is it? And is there a difference in leadership style or organizational commitment in public schools versus nonpublic schools in this environment?

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Freemyer, James V.
Commitee: Bush, Ella, Oliver, Brad
School: Indiana Wesleyan University
Department: Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 77/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education Policy, School administration
Keywords: Indiana, Organizational change, Organizational commitment, Principal leadership, School choice scholarships, Teacher-leaders
Publication Number: 3742966
ISBN: 978-1-339-35615-0
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