Teachers' Perceptions of Principal Style and Sense of Autonomy in Differentially Effective Schools.
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling
The purpose of this study was threefold. Phase I involved a reconstruction of the Change Facilitator Style of Principal (CFSP) instrument developed by Bost and Ruch (1986). Phase II was an ex post facto study that investigated teachers' perceptions of their principals' change facilitator style and of their autonomy, and Phase III encompassed the collection of qualitative data. The questionnaire originally developed by Bost and Ruch (1985) had some inadequate psychometric properties. These inadequacies were uncovered and further explored by examining the frequency distributions of the items from a previous study, and by conducting a construct validation of the instrument. During Phase II, the reconstructed CFSP questionnaire was administered to teachers to investigate their perceptions of the predominant and mixed change facilitator styles of principals. The Attitudes of Professional Autonomy questionnaire, developed by Forsyth and Danisiewicz (1985), was also administered to the same teachers to explore their perceptions of interpersonal and organizational autonomy in their schools. The independent variables for Phase II were school level socioeconomic status and effectiveness level, and the dependent variables were teachers' perceptions of principals' change facilitator style and their perceptions of autonomy. Results from Phase II confirmed and expanded Evans' (1988) findings, which indicated that more Responders were present in ineffective schools. There was evidence that teachers perceived their principals as exhibiting mixed styles. The three most popular mixed styles selected were: Initiator-Manager, Manager-Initiator, and Responder-Manager. After separating the data into principals with greater than and less than twelve years experience, other hypothesized and auxiliary findings were also confirmed. Principals with greater than 12 years experience were more likely to be perceived as Initiators in effective schools, and as Responders in ineffective schools. Results from the autonomy questionnaire indicated that teachers in middle-SES schools perceived themselves as having significantly more interpersonal autonomy than teachers in low-SES schools. Phase III encompassed the collection of qualitative data from an effective middle- and an effective low-SES school. Findings reaffirmed the importance of context and the experience of the principal. Findings also indicated that leadership style is a developmental or evolving process.
Hebert, Corinne Falterman, "Teachers' Perceptions of Principal Style and Sense of Autonomy in Differentially Effective Schools." (1994). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 5875.