Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

John Reynolds

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the differences of the teachers' perceptions and principals' perceptions of the principals' leadership practices in public schools of a small rural county in western North Carolina. The participants in this study included 207 certified teachers and 11 building-level principals. The researcher used the survey method of data collection in which the teacher participation was 70% and the principal participation was 92%.

The instruments used to collect data included a demographic survey and the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) (Kouzes & Posner, 2003a). The demographic survey was used to obtain teacher demographic characteristics. The LPI was used to record the teachers' perceptions and the principals' perceptions of the principals' leadership practices within the school setting.

Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential procedures. At the elementary level, teachers evaluated their principals lower in all five leadership practices than their principals evaluated themselves. At the high school level, the principals evaluated their leadership practices lower than their teachers in all five leadership practices. For the five leadership practices, the principals of elementary, K-8, and middle levels evaluated themselves significantly higher than the high school level. Among the teachers, the K-8 level evaluated their principals' leadership practices higher in all five leadership practices than all other levels. In all five leadership practices, the male principals evaluated their self-observed leadership practices lower than their teachers.