Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

High School Professional Learning Communities in California High Schools: The Significance of the Principal’s Leadership Behaviors
by Ramirez, Jose Alonso, Ed.D., University of La Verne, 2020, 157; 28092088
Abstract (Summary)

Purpose. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe how high school principals adjust their leadership behaviors when supporting or directing professional learning communities (PLCs) based on teachers’ motivational needs through the perspective of high school administrators in Southern California.


Theoretical Framework. This study described how high school principals match their leadership behaviors when supporting teachers based on the performance needs of professional learning communities. The theories used in this study to help school site leaders support high school PLCs are Robert House’s path-goal leadership theory and Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation.


Methodology. A phenomenological study was used to explore the following research question: how do high school principals match their behaviors with the performance needs of professional learning communities within high schools? The qualitative study investigated school principals’ behaviors through semistructured interviews and a questionnaire with public high school principals. For this study, the researcher utilized a purposeful sampling approach by interviewing 4 participants who had served as a public high school principal for 3 years or more. Each participant also took a 20-item questionnaire to identify his or her leadership behavior tendencies (Indvik, 1988).


Results. The findings uncovered perspectives from school leaders who are successful in implementing PLCs at the high school level. The study provides insight into how leaders provide direction by continually reassessing the situation, including follower motivation, task structures, and environmental factors and matching their behaviors appropriately (House & Mitchell, 1974). The themes uncovered in this study are communicating with teachers, motivating teachers, building teacher capacity, and establishing trust. These leadership behaviors align with PLCs core principles: shared mission, vision values, and goals; commitment to continuous improvement; collaborative culture; collective inquiry; supportive and shared leadership, supportive conditions, and result orientation (Reichstetter, 2006).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Whitney, Rich
Commitee: Kalisek, Anne, Rutherford, Gary
School: University of La Verne
Department: LaFetra College of Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Organizational behavior, Educational leadership, Education
Keywords: Expectancy theory, Leadership, Motivation, Path-goal, Professional learning communities
Publication Number: 28092088
ISBN: 9798664799293
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