Principal and Teacher Assessment of the Leader-Constituent Relationship

Secondary Education    Principals/Superintendents

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TITLE: Principal and Teacher Assessment of the Leader-Constituent Relationship
RESEARCHER: David A. Rudman
College of Education
Northern Michigan University
Unpublished master’s thesis: April 2009

The purpose of this study was to assess the differences in perceptions of the leader-constituent relationship between principals and teachers.

The population included current administrators and teachers in a randomly selected number of school district across the state of Missouri during the 2006-2007 school year. Administrators (N=150) were randomly selected from urban/rural areas, as well as, large, medium and small school buildings via a list obtained from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and eight teachers from each school were asked to respond to a survey indicating their perception of their leaders’ effectiveness (N=1100). A total of 100 surveys were returned, involving 35 principals (23% response rate) and 65 teachers (6% response rate).

While the assessments by principals of their leadership practices were consistently higher than that provided by their teachers, the author concludes: “there is not a noteworthy difference between the scoring of the principals in their self evaluation and the teachers in their observer evaluations” (p. 56). Furthermore, the author recommends: “With the importance of the education leaders’ leadership practices in the success of today’s school environment it is imperative that an instrument like the Leadership Practices Inventory be used to assess building-level perceptions of educational leader effectiveness. Principals need to know how they rate themselves, as well as, how their direct reports rate them in the subgroup areas of the Leadership Practices Inventory” (p. 64).