Leadership and Management Skills of Preservice Teachers

Secondary Education    Teachers

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TITLE: Leadership and Management Skills of Preservice Teachers
College of Education
Claremont Graduate University
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: June 2008

The purpose of this study was to determine whether both leadership and management skills were practised inside the classroom by preservice teachers.

Of approximately 200 preservice teachers that were recruited from the California State University, Dominguez Hills Teacher Education program, 154 responded (77 % response rate). Eighty-four were subsequently matched to completed supervisor ratings and included in the study. The Leadership Practices Inventory was completed and their supervisors completed a nine-item survey assessing the classroom management skills of their preservice teachers. The typical respondent was female (66.7%), mostly in their 20s, of various teaching areas and backgrounds.

Four leadership practices of preservice teachers were significantly higher than the Kouzes and Posner normative database: Inspiring, Challenging, Enabling and Encouraging. This same pattern was true for Secondary preservice teachers and for Elementary-level preservice teachers all five leadership practices were higher. Accordingly, the Modelling scores of Elementary preservice teachers were higher than those from Secondary-level preservice teachers.

The only significant difference in classroom management skills was that Elementary preservice teachers scored higher on respect than Secondary preservice teachers. No significant correlations were found between the classroom management skills of preservice teachers and the five leadership practices. In addition, no significant relationships were found between gender and LPI scores.

The author suggests that “the most important finding of the present study supports the theoretical framework in this present study: Kouzes and Posner’s (2002) leadership theory and classroom management theories...the findings suggest that there may be an imbalance of leadership and management skills for classroom teachers. As such, perhaps more efforts need to be made to develop leadership skills in teachers” (p. 82).