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Principal Leadership Behaviors, School Climate and Teacher Retention

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TITLE Principal Leadership Behaviors, School Climate and Teacher Retention
 
RESEARCHER Mary Shell
Graduate Faculty
Argosy University
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: June 2015

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine if a school principal's leadership behaviors have an effect on teacher retention and school climate.

METHODOLOGY
The sample for this study was drawn from a population of principals, academic coaches, and certified teachers from 51 elementary schools from three different school systems (Charlottesville, VA, Winder, GA, and Jacksonville, FL). Thirty-three of 35 from Florida participated, four of eight from Virginia participated, and all eight from Georgia participated. 

Fifty-one schools from three different school systems were contacted to complete the survey.  A total of 111 surveys were completed, consisting of the Leadership Practices Inventory - Observer (in regards to their school’s principal), the Organizational Health Inventory (Hoy, 2003), with scales related to Collegial Leadership, Resource Influences, Teacher Affiliation, Academic Emphasis, and Institutional Integrity, and several questions related to retention. 

KEY FINDINGS
The five leadership practices were significantly correlated with the “collegial leadership” scale from the Organizational Health Inventory.  Multiple regression analysis found that Model and Inspire accounted for 38 percent of the variance (R2) around collegial leadership, with Challenge, Enable, and Encourage not adding any additional explained variance. 

The five leadership practices were significantly correlated with the “resource influence” scale from the Organizational Health Inventory.  Multiple regression analysis found that Model accounted for 30 percent of the variance around collegial leadership, with the remaining leadership practices not adding any additional explained variance.

The five leadership practices were significantly correlated with the “teacher affiliation” scale from the Organizational Health Inventory.  Multiple regression analysis found that Challenge accounted for 33 percent of the variance around collegial leadership, with the remaining leadership practices not adding any additional explained variance.

The leadership practices of Model, Challenge, Enable and Encourage were significantly correlated with the “academic emphasis” scale from the Organizational Health Inventory.  Multiple regression analysis found that Enable and Inspire accounted for 25 percent of the variance around collegial leadership, with the remaining leadership practices not adding any additional explained variance.

The five leadership practices were significantly correlated with the “institutional integrity” scale from the Organizational Health Inventory.  Multiple regression analysis found that Enable accounted for 11 percent of the variance around collegial leadership, with the remaining leadership practices not adding any additional explained variance.

The five leadership practices were significantly correlated with the statement “I am considering changing schools.”  Multiple regression analysis found that Model accounted for 29 percent of the variance around collegial leadership, with the remaining leadership practices not adding any additional explained variance.

The five leadership practices were significantly correlated with the statement “I am considering leaving the teaching profession.”  Multiple regression analysis found that Encourage accounted for 21 percent of the variance around collegial leadership, with the remaining leadership practices not adding any additional explained variance.

The author concludes:  “The findings of this study suggest that certain principal leadership behaviors have an effect on school climate and teacher retention” (p. 52).

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