Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Leadership and Trust: A Mixed Methods Study of the Rural Elementary Principal
by Adams, Sherry Ann, Ph.D., Northwest Nazarene University, 2017, 157; 10274386
Abstract (Summary)

Principals who are able to develop a high level of trust and establish positive relationships with teachers in a given school have greater opportunities to increase student achievement. This study reviewed the leadership factors that can increase or decrease the level of trust between teachers and the principal in rural elementary schools. A mixed methods study allowed for the most thorough review and interpretation of the data. Quantitative data was gathered from surveys regarding trust level and leadership styles. The results from the quantitative data indicated significant differences in faculty trust in the principal and the leadership styles between two principals from the six studied. This provided two schools in which to conduct the qualitative research. Interviews were held with the principal and four teachers at each school. The interviews provided rich data for analysis regarding the factors that enhance or decrease the faculty trust in the principal. Four themes were found to impact the faculty trust: relationships, communication, interpersonal skills, and a direct style of leadership. Of equal value were the development of relationships and possessing good communication skills. Having the potential to greatly influence both relationships and communication was the interpersonal skills of the principal. A principal who used a direct style of leadership and watched too intently for the mistakes teachers make was determined to have a negative impact upon trust. It was demonstrated that trust takes time and consistency to develop, but it may be destroyed easily. All of this was evaluated within the unique environment of the rural elementary school.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Quilici, Sarah
Commitee: Grover, Andrew, Roberts, Ryan
School: Northwest Nazarene University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Idaho
Source: DAI-A 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Educational leadership, Elementary principals, Rural schools, Trust
Publication Number: 10274386
ISBN: 9781369775891
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