Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

First Advisor

Charles B. Teddlie

Abstract

This study applied network analysis to the exploration of the structural characteristics of differentially effective elementary schools within the framework of school effectiveness research. The study took place in two parts: a Pilot Study, using archived data, and a Field Study, using data from a stratified sample of differentially effective schools. The Centrality-Cohesiveness Model of School Effectiveness, developed through the Pilot Study, defined a communication structure as a function of the leadership status of the principal (defined by the principal's centrality) and the cohesiveness of the faculty (defined as network density). Quantitative results from both the Pilot Study and the Field Study indicated that there are mean differences in the leadership position of the principal within differentially effective faculty networks. Three of six comparisons were significantly different at the $p<.05$ level on one measure of centrality, one measure of centralization and one measure of density. In addition, sociograms from both studies fit the expected patterns within the defined Centrality - Cohesiveness Model. These results indicate that there are differential characteristics to the patterns of communication in differentially effective schools. Principals in effective schools are more often indicated as leaders than principals in ineffective schools. There was no indication that there are differences in differentially effective networks being more central around one individual. Both classifications of networks appear to be centered the same, but there are significant differences in who is the most central individual. The results of this study support the conclusion that the properties of faculty network that can be observed and illustrated graphically, may not have the statistical or measurement parameters adequately defined as yet. The results of this study support further definitions of effectiveness within a network perspective and the exploration of a set of structural parameters within which effectiveness seems most likely to operate. This study initiated one structural conceptualization of school faculties and the results: (a) provide direction for the refinement of this conceptualization (b) support the hypothesis that differentially effective schools have different structural configurations and (c) indicate that though these differential configurations are observable, they are complex and contextual in nature.

ISBN

9780591133509

Pages

219

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