Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Stephen Laws


A large urban public school system in the piedmont of North Carolina was the setting for this study. Individual school data as well as aggregated data from 25 studied schools were analyzed in order to form overall conclusion of perceptions of leadership for the elementary schools within the system. The purpose of this quantitative survey study was to examine principal perceptions of their leadership behaviors and determine if they aligned with teacher perceptions of these same behaviors using the five practices of exemplary leadership of The Leadership Challenge. The researcher disaggregated the data to identify areas of strength and weakness and compared the perceptions to the teachers they lead. The researcher also disaggregated data to determine the relationship of perceptions based on gender and teacher experience level to determine if either of leadership behaviors affect teacher perceptions of principal leadership. Through collecting research surveys of principals and teachers, the quantitative data were analyzed to determine if there was an alignment between teacher perceptions of leadership behaviors and leaders’ self-perceived behaviors. Three main findings resulted from the study. First, there was not a significant statistical difference in teacher perceptions of principal practices using the five exemplary leadership behaviors based on years of experience. Second, a gender difference emerged such that female principals were more likely to “challenge the process” than male principals. In other words, female principals showed a greater willingness to take risks and search for new opportunities (at least according to their own self-report). Third, teacher ratings of principal leadership behaviors aligned well with the principals’ own ratings.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.