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The Relationship of Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale

The Relationship of Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale

i The Relationship of Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the School of Education Liberty University In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Education By Keith A. Rowland March 2008 ii The Relationship of Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale by Keith A. Rowland APPROVED: COMMITTEE CHAIR Clarence C. Holland, Ed. D. COMMITTEE MEMBERS Samuel J. Smith, Ed. D. Mark Angle, Ed. D. CHAIR, GRADUATE STUDIES Scott B. Watson, Ph. D. iii Abstract Keith A. Rowland.

THE RELATIONSHIP OF PRINCIPAL LEADERSHIP AND TEACHER MORALE. (Under the direction of Dr. Clarence Holland) School of Education, March, 2008. This Study examined the relationship of the leadership practices of middle school principals and the morale of the teachers in these schools. Seven middle schools in a Metropolitan Atlanta school system participated in the study. The Leadership Practices Inventory was used to collect information on the principal practices and the Purdue Teacher Opinionaire was used to collect information on teacher morale.

Results indicated that principal leadership and teacher morale were significantly correlated and that the leadership practice of Enable Others to Act had the strongest positive correlation to teacher morale. These results imply that a principal’s daily behavior plays a vital role in the environment of the school. Implications for practice and recommendations for further research are also included. iv Dedication This dissertation is dedicated to my parents, Gary and Dinah, who have always supported me fully and have made it possible for me to achieve my educational goals.

Without them, this would not have been possible. v Acknowledgements The following people must be thanked and recognized for their contributions to this work. They have all helped to make the process of writing this dissertation successful. The committee chair, Dr. Clarence Holland, has provided encouragement and support throughout the research and writing. The committee members, Dr. Mark Angle and Dr. Samuel Smith, have both been excellent resources in the completion of this dissertation. The committee’s guidance and suggestions were invaluable. Ms. Jillian Hughes has provided excellent assistance with editing.

Additionally, the principals and district administrators are acknowledged for their approval of the research project. Lastly, the participants must be thanked; the 210 teachers who took their time to complete surveys and make this research project possible are greatly appreciated. vi Contents Page Abstract ………………………………………………………………….. …………………………………….. iii Dedication ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. iv Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………. List of Tables ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ix Chapter 1 Page Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………… 1 Background of the Study …………………………………………………………………… 2 Statement of the Problem…………………………………………………………………… 4 Research Questions………………………………………………………………………….. Significance of the Study…………………………………………………………………… 5 Overview of Methodology…………………………………………………………………. 5 Definitions……………………………………………………………………………………….. 6 Organization of Study ……………………………………………………………………….. 7 2 Review of Related Literature …………………………………………………………………… 8 The School Principal…………………………………………………………………………. Leadership……………………………………………………………………………………….. 9 Teacher Morale ………………………………………………………………………………. 14 Factors that Affect Teacher Morale …………………………………………………… 14 Achievement …………………………………………………………………………………. 16 Leadership’s Effect on Morale………………………………………………………….. 16 vii Summary of Literature Review…………………………………………………………. 1 3 Methodology……………………………………………………………………………………….. 22 Research Perspective ………………………………………………………………………. 23 Research Context …………………………………………………………………………… 23 Subjects …………………………………………………………………………………………. 24 Instruments…………………………………………………………………………………….. 5 Procedures……………………………………………………………………………………… 29 Data Analysis …………………………………………………………………………………. 31 Summary of Methodology ……………………………………………………………….. 32 4 Results………………………………………………………………………………………………… 33 Research Question 1 ……………………………………………………………………….. 8 Research Question 2 ……………………………………………………………………….. 41 Research Question 3 ……………………………………………………………………….. 41 Research Question 4 ………………………………………………………………….. …… 44 Research Question 5 ……………………………………………………………………….. 44 Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………….. 6 5 Summary and Discussion………………………………………………………………………. 47 Summary of Results………………………………………………………………………… 48 Discussion ……………………………………………………………………………………… 54 Relationship to Prior Research………………………………………………………….. 63 Theoretical Implications ………………………………………………………………….. 66 viii

Implications for Practice ………………………………………………………………….. 66 Limitations …………………………………………………………………………………….. 67 Recommendations for Future Research ……………………………………………… 68 References ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 70 Appendices…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6 Appendix A: The Purdue Teacher Opinionaire ………………………………………… 76 Appendix B: Permission to use the Leadership Practices Inventory ……………. 82 Appendix C: The Leadership Practices Inventory …………………………………….. 84 Appendix D: Sample Permission to Perform Research Form …………………….. 89 Appendix E: Table E1: Significant LPI Mean Differences ………………………… 91 ix Tables Table Page 1. Number of surveys Distributed……………………………………………………………………… 25 2.

Returned Surveys ………………………………………………………………………………………… 26 3. PTO Category Questions ……………………………………………………………………………… 28 4. LPI Category Questions……………………………………………………………………………….. 29 5. PTO Means and Standard Deviations …………………………………………………………….. 34 6. LPI Means and Standard Deviations………………………………………………………………. 37 7.

Pearson Correlation Coefficients …………………………………………………………………… 39 8. Significant PTO Mean Differences………………………………………………………………… 42 D1. Significant LPI Mean Differences ………………………………………………………………. 92 Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 1 Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study Education and educational theory are constantly evolving; new curriculum and new methods of improving the educational program offered to students are always on the forefront of educational discussions.

The ever-present challenge is to find better ways to reach students. There are millions of dollars spent yearly in the attempt to find new curricular or instructional methods and techniques to meet this challenge. One of the most fundamental concepts to improve a school is by improving teacher motivation, which can be largely affected by feelings about the school or the environment provided at the school (Evans, 1997; Hunter-Boykin & Evans, 1995). These feelings can be described as morale, which can greatly affect the motivation and achievement of students.

Teachers are the largest professional body in a school, have the most contact with students throughout the day, and influence the environment of the school greatly. When teachers feel positively about their position, feelings referred to as teacher morale, they have tremendous positive influence on the students and the school. The reverse is also true; when teachers have negative feelings about the school, they may negatively influence the students and the school. Teachers have the power as a group and as individuals to greatly influence a school’s environment.

It is very important for educational leaders to be aware of factors that affect teacher morale and how they may affect student achievement. Principals have the power to influence the teacher morale in their school by the actions or daily practices they exhibit (Hunter-Boykin & Evans, 1995; Lester, 1990; Rhodes, Nevill, & Allan, 2004). Often teachers feel they are not treated as professionals, Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 2 are not appreciated, or are overworked, thus causing low teacher morale.

On the other hand, some teachers with a high morale level may say their principal is very supportive or that they are able to teach instead of having to perform an abundance of clerical tasks. In addition to the many roles of the position, principals must also understand they have a tremendous influence on the morale of the teachers. This dissertation is a report of a research study that correlated teacher morale and principal leadership practices. It is based upon the results of two surveys that questioned middle school teachers on their morale level and their principals’ leadership practices.

The first chapter of this dissertation describes the background of the study, details the statement of the problem, discusses the professional significance of the study, briefly overviews the methodology, and defines specific terms as they pertain to the study. Background of the Study The study was performed to address two distinct areas: the morale of teachers and the actions of the school’s principal. In the extremely dynamic field of education, the role of the principal has drastically changed. Principals are no longer able to simply manage a school and the employees of the school.

It is now vital that the school principal effectively leads the school. In addition to the changes in the principal’s role, the teacher’s role has changed with the increase in accountability. Expectations for teachers have changed moving the focus from what the teacher is doing to what the students are learning. The teacher is no longer expected to follow a set of structured criteria for teaching a lesson as outlined in an educational textbook; rather, the teacher is expected to facilitate learning in the classroom so that the students will grasp information and learn skills in order to perform Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale well on standardized exams. With this shift to higher accountability, teachers experience greater pressures and demands. These pressures and demands can be very burdensome and can cause teachers to have a lower morale level or even to exit the profession (Hardy, 1999; Tye & O’Brien, 2002). Many teachers also find student discipline a reason for a low morale level. Teachers who have difficulty handling discipline issues as they arise in the classroom or teachers who receive little support from their administration while handling discipline issues may have a low morale level and may even leave the profession (Tye & O’Brien, 2002).

It is important for principals to make their teachers feel they are supported in order to keep quality teachers in the profession and maintain morale in the demanding field of education. Principals have the power to influence many factors of a school. They have a myriad of roles included in their job. One of the most important and influential is the effect the principal has on the teachers of the school. A good teacher will be successful in spite of a bad principal. This good teacher knows how to handle the pressures of the profession and ignores the incompetence of this principal.

This teacher is interested primarily in what is good for the individual students in the classroom. For the others -the teachers who need some support, a little guidance, or just the occasional pat on the back — the principal plays a vital role in their morale. Blase and Blase (1994) stated that praise by the principal provides teachers with an increased efficacy, self-esteem, and creates greater motivation. Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale Statement of the Problem The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of a principal’s 4 leadership practices and the morale of the school’s teachers.

Did the leadership of the principal have a significant correlation to the morale of the teachers? The leadership of the principal was determined by the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI, 2003). Teacher morale was determined by the Perdue Teacher Opinionaire (PTO, 1972). The study looked at the correlation between principal leadership and teacher morale using the two surveys. The study addressed the following research questions to evaluate the stated hypotheses. Research Questions 1. How strongly are teacher morale and principal leadership practices correlated?

Hypothesis: There will be no significant correlation between teacher morale and principal leadership practices. 2. Which of the five leadership practices correlates most strongly with teacher morale? Hypothesis: There will be no significant correlation between the five leadership practices and teacher morale. 3. Is there a significantly higher overall teacher morale level in some schools? Hypothesis: There will not be significantly higher levels of morale in some of the schools as compared to others in the study. 4. If some schools have a higher morale level, is this related to the school’s LPI scores?

Hypothesis: Any difference in morale level will not be correlated to LPI score. Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 5. Do low LPI scores have a significant correlation to teacher morale levels? Hypothesis: Low LPI scores will not significantly correlate to teacher morale levels. Significance of the Study The study is significant to the field of education in that it builds upon the 5 available body of knowledge relating teacher morale and principal leadership. There have been several studies that look at the relationship between teacher morale and principal leadership.

The present study focuses on a geographically unique school system with unique characteristics and challenges. The school system has experienced and continues to experience enormous increases in enrollment and the urban sprawl from Atlanta. Many challenges to keep up with the growth including facilities and the hiring of staff have been present for this school system. This study also focuses on the middle schools of this school district to provide an in-depth look into this challenging level of education. Much of the present research focuses on elementary education, high school education, or a combination of levels of education.

In addition to the significance for the field, the study is important to the school system where the study was performed. The study can lead to improvements in the principal preparation program in order to raise the morale level for teachers. With the demands on this growing school system to hire and retain teachers, this sort of principal preparation program improvement could be very beneficial. Overview of Methodology To address the problem of the study and attempt to answer the research questions by evaluating the hypotheses, the study used a correlational research design.

The Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale variables studied were researched with two survey instruments distributed to the 471 middle school teachers in this school system. The PTO was used to determine a quantified representation of the teachers’ morale. The LPI was used to quantify the 6 principal’s daily practices. This survey asked teachers to respond with their impression or observation of their principal’s practices. The faculties of each of the seven middle schools of this school system were randomly split and assigned to receive one of the two surveys.

The surveys were distributed to the teachers at their individual schools with instructions and an explanation of the research. The researcher collected all surveys from the schools and analyzed the data using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (Pearson r). The correlation coefficients were calculated for the overall scores of each survey as well as each category of each survey compared with each category of the other. Additionally, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) tests were used in combination with Least Significant Differences (LSD) tests to determine the significant differences between schools for both surveys.

For a full discussion of the methodology, see Chapter 3. Definitions Teacher Morale: For the purposes of this study, teacher morale is the numerical representation of the teachers’ job satisfaction as reported on the Perdue Teacher Opinionaire. The survey reports the results as a total morale score as well as scores in 10 categories. Principal Leadership Practices: The Principal’s Leadership Practices is defined as the score on the Leadership Practices Inventory. The observer form was used to allow each Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale school’s teachers to report on their principal’s daily practices.

The LPI reports a total score as well as scores in five categories. Organization of Dissertation 7 After this introductory chapter, this dissertation is organized into four additional chapters. The second deals with the review of the literature. The third chapter then turns to a detailed discussion of the methodology used in this study. The fourth chapter presents the results of the research as they relate to the five research questions and the fifth and final chapter summarizes and discusses the findings of the study. Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 8

Chapter 2: Review of Literature The School Principal The role of the principal in American schools has been in a constant state of change since its emergence. The issue has been mostly around whether the principal is a manager of the building or a leader of the school. Additionally, there has been discrepancy in the expectations of the principal in regard to curriculum and instruction. The emergence of the school principal began in the mid-nineteenth century (Rousmaniere, 2007). With the formation of graded schools in urban areas, a head teacher emerged in many districts to help guide or lead the other teachers in the school.

As Rousmaniere points out, the lead teacher or principal teacher was the authority in the school, organized curriculum, was the disciplinarian, and supervised operations. With the continuation of urbanization in America, the development of the principal’s position continued through the end of the nineteenth century when most urban schools had a principal. The role was very diverse in that some systems had the principal as primarily a teacher with minor operational duties while others had the principal as simply a clerk with record keeping duties.

Into the twentieth century, the principal continued the emergence from teacher to administrator with professional requirements and licensing becoming required for the position of principal. For much of the twentieth century, the role of the principal was that of manager where the principal was expected to uphold district mandates, manage personnel, manage the budget, and handle other operational issues (Usdan, McCloud, & Podmostko, 2000). As American education moved into a new era of accountability in the Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 9 later part of the century, this role necessitated the inclusion of leadership.

As Cawelti (1984) stated: “Continuing research on effective schools has verified the common sense observation that schools are rarely effective, in any sense of the word, unless the principal is a “good” leader” (p. 3). Usdan, McCloud, & Podmostko (2000) further develop this role of principal by stating: “principals today must serve as leaders for student learning” (p. 2). They list the following items as the requirements for fulfilling this role: • • • • • Knowledge of academic content and pedagogy. Working with teachers to strengthen skills. Collect analyze and use data. Rally all stakeholders to increase student performance.

Possess the leadership skills to fulfill the role. Leadership Leadership is often difficult to define and evaluate. Leaders have a multitude of roles they fill and many duties they perform each day. There are many traits and behaviors that may create effective leaders. The research on leadership contains the following primary leadership theories: Great Man, Trait, Situational, and Transformational. These theories are briefly described and discussed below. The Great Man Theory The outdated Great Man Theory held that great leaders were born with qualities that made people naturally want to follow them.

The theory was based upon the assumption that great leaders were born predisposed to leadership. It was also thought through the Great Man Theory that these leaders would arise when the need was present. Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 10 That is, if a cause or situation was present that needed a leader, he would arise (Lippitt, 1969). The Trait Theory The Trait Theory of Leadership focused on traits such as personality, physical appearance, social background, intelligence, and ability (Taylor, 1994).

The theory believed that leaders were born with certain traits that made them naturally effective leaders. Hackman and Johnson (2000) stated that with many earlier studies performed to evaluate the specific traits of these highly effective leaders, researchers found inconclusive results, but with more advanced statistical analyses, recent researchers have shown that certain traits or attributes appear to be present in many effective leaders. Hackman and Johnson (2000) list the following three traits as the most evident in effective leaders: interpersonal factors, cognitive factors, and administrative factors.

These interpersonal factors contain items such as integrity, sensitivity, consistency, emotional stability, self-confidence, communication skills, and conflict management skills. Cognitive factors are said to be related to leadership in that more intelligent leaders are better at problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking, and creativity. The administrative factors are having the ability to plan and organize as well as being able to perform most of the tasks regularly required of the followers.

Situational Leadership Lippitt (1969) stated, “Leadership must be flexible in style to meet the need of a particular situation . . . ” (p. 2). In situational leadership the methods to lead an organization are dependent upon the situation or organization. The following four situational approaches are briefly discussed below: Fiedler’s Contingency Model, Path- Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 11 Goal Theory, Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership, and Leader-Member Exchange Theory. In Fiedler’s Contingency Model, three factors determine the influence a leader has over followers.

First, position power refers to the leader having the power to give reward or punishment. A leader with a higher position power will have greater influence over the follower. Second, task-structure refers to the flexibility or lack of flexibility in how a follower performs a task. Third, leader-member relations refer to the relationship -loyalty, affection, trust, and respect — between the leader and follower (Hackman & Johnson, 2000). The Path-Goal Theory is based upon the intersection of the follower’s needs, abilities, values, and personality, with the structure and clarity of the task.

The leader determines the proper communication approach in each situation depending on the structure of the task and follower’s experience, skill, confidence, and commitment. When an inexperienced or unsure follower must perform an unstructured task, the leader must use a directive communication approach. If the follower is skilled but lacks confidence or commitment while performing a structured task, the leader must use a supportive communication style. Next, if followers are unsure and the task is unstructured, the leader must use a participative communication style designed to elicit ideas from followers.

Lastly, if a skilled follower must perform an unstructured task, the leader must use an achievement-oriented communication style designed to show confidence in the follower to perform well (Hackman & Johnson, 2000). Similar to the Path-Goal Theory, Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership looks at the readiness level. In their theory, follower readiness level was the combination Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 12 of their skill and motivation. Followers with low readiness who were unskilled or unmotivated require the leader to use telling, which is providing specific instructions followed by close supervision.

If the follower is willing but does not have the proper skill, the leader must use selling, which is explaining then providing opportunity for clarification but requires less supervision. If a follower is skilled and able but has low motivation, the leader should use participating, which gets the follower involved in the decision-making creating more motivation. Lastly, if the follower has high skill and motivation, the leader should use delegating. In delegating a leader simply gives the follower the responsibility to make decisions and implement the decisions (Hackman & Johnson, 2000).

The Leader-Member Exchange Theory focuses solely on the relationship the leader and follower develop. Near the time followers join an organization, they either become part of the leader’s in-group or part of the leader’s out-group. Simply stated the in-group contains followers who are trusted and allowed to participate in decisionmaking and have input into the organizations future. Members of the out-group are simply expected to perform their duties but are not allowed the autonomy or participation that the members of the in-group are allowed (Hackman & Johnson, 2000).

Transformational Leadership The most current leadership theory that has the most abundant presence in the current literature is that of Transformational Leadership. Transformational Leadership is about getting everyone involved in decision-making. “The overriding element of successful leadership is to involve people in the process of leading” (Horan, 1999, p. 21). Most explanations of Transformational Leadership begin with distinguishing it from Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 13 Transactional Leadership.

In Transactional Leadership the leader is concerned with the basic needs of the person through a reward system in exchange for favorable group or organizational outcomes. While Transformational Leadership also seeks to reach these needs for the follower, its aim extends to reaching the higher level needs through empowerment and inspiration. Theories of Transformational Leadership had the following five common leader characteristics: creative, interactive, visionary, empowering, and passionate (Hackman & Johnson, 2000).

In a very well known transformational theory, Kouzes and Posner (2002a) list and describe the following as the five practices of exemplary leaders: Model the Way (interactive), Inspire a Shared Vision (visionary), Challenge the Process (creative), Enable Others to Act (empowering), and Encourage the Heart (passionate). Model the Way refers to leading by example; exemplary leaders motivate followers by setting the example through direct involvement in the organization’s mission.

Inspire a Shared Vision means the leader is able to formulate, verbalize, and create enthusiasm for a vision of the organization. To create a desire to strive for the organization’s goals, the leader must motivate the followers by relating to their personal goals and ambitions. Challenge the Process is the leader’s ability to look for and choose innovative ways to improve the organization. The leader must study the organization and its people to determine the best course of improvement to lead the organization to become more.

The category Enable Others to Act is the leader’s ability to create teamwork and trust and to empower followers to work toward the organization’s goals. Lastly, Encourage the Heart refers to the leader’s resilience to keep motivating and encouraging the followers through the exhaustion and frustration that often occurs with change. Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 14 Teacher Morale Teacher morale has been defined by Bentley and Rempel (1980) as “the professional interest and enthusiasm that a person displays toward the achievement of individual and group goals in a given job situation” (p. ). They discuss morale as being the interaction between individual needs and the organization’s goals. Thus, a high morale would result only when the process of achieving the organization’s goals also reaches the individual’s needs. Morale is an internal feeling a person possesses free from the perceived reality of others. Morale is not an observable trait; rather it is an internal feeling or set of thoughts. “Low staff morale results from professional lives that have little meaning; from frustration and the inability to change what is happening” (Wentworth, 1990, p. ). Factors that Affect Teacher Morale There are many researchers who have studied teacher morale and the effects of certain factors on teacher morale. Cook (1979) discussed five major areas that effect teacher morale. In the first area, Administrative Leadership, a positive morale is reached when teachers feel their administrator is competent. Next, Administrative Concern deals with the teacher’s need to feel appreciated. Personal Interaction is the need for individuals to communicate and have support from other teachers and the administrators.

Opportunity for Input recognizes the teachers’ needs to be a part of decisions affecting them. Lastly, Professional Growth deals with teachers’ needs to continue their education or professional development. Tye and O’Brien (2002) surveyed several teachers who had left the profession. Respondents gave the following rank of reasons why they had become dissatisfied with Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 15 teaching and changed professions: accountability, increased paperwork, student attitudes, lack of parent support, unresponsive administration, low professional status, and salary.

Hardy (1999) stated the following as the reasons teacher are leaving the profession: low pay, poor professional status, interactions with students, and relationship with administrators. Liu and Meyer (2005) list student discipline as the number one factor leading to a low teacher morale and salary as the number two factor. Wentworth (1990) listed the following as the essential factors that determine teacher morale: • Input into decision-making that directly affects curriculum, instruction, and school climate. • • Recognition and appreciation of teacher and student achievement.

A school climate that reflects a feeling of unity, pride, cooperation, acceptance of differences, and security. • • • • • Good communication. Opportunities for meaningful professional growth. Clear, shared goals. Strong, supportive leadership. Quality time for collegial interaction: planning, educational dialog, decisionmaking, problem solving. • • • • Well-maintained physical environment. Good human relations, both within school and between school and community. Encouragement and reward for risk taking, innovation, and good teaching.

Attention to professional needs such as salary, benefits, etc. Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 16 • Attention to personal needs such as stress management, good health, and social interaction. Achievement In addition to the research on teacher morale and the factors that influence teacher morale, there is a body of research that relates teacher morale to student achievement. Hunter-Boykin and Evans (1995) stated that a better academic environment is a result of high teacher morale. Wentworth (1990) stated that low morale has a negative affect on student achievement.

Araki (1982) performed a three-year study to examine leadership in the public and private schools of Hawaii. He found that both the perceived leadership of the principal and teacher morale level were significantly correlated to student SAT scores. Houchard (2005) analyzed the effect teacher morale has on student achievement measured by the North Carolina End-of-Course Test scores. He found that teacher morale was positively correlated to these test scores. Leadership’s Effect on Morale The research includes several studies that address a principal’s influence on teacher morale and teacher job satisfaction. Clearly, the Principal is the key figure in raising teacher morale and commitment” (Lester, 1990, p. 274). Others have concurred that a school’s leadership has a vitally important role in the total climate of the school and the morale of the school’s teachers (Kelley, Thornton, & Daugherty, 2005; Butt, Lance, Fielding, Gunter, Rayner, & Thomas, 2005; Rhodes, Nevill, & Allan, 2004; Evans, 1997). Many researchers have studied specific factors of educational leadership from practical and theoretical backgrounds to determine their effect on teacher morale. Egley

Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 17 and Jones (2005) performed a study analyzing the relationships of elementary teachers and their principal. They found that Inviting Leadership affected teacher morale. Inviting Leadership entails a principal focusing on compassion and the respect for the individual through collaboration and mutual respect. In a much older study, Bidwell (1957) examined the role expectations that teachers had for their principals. He found that a convergence with this role theory was accompanied by job satisfaction while a divergence was accompanied by the lack of job satisfaction.

These findings imply that principals who meet the expectations of teachers for their role in the school can positively affect the morale of that teacher. Similarly, Schulz and Teddlie (1989) found that teacher morale and the principal’s use of Referent Power were correlated. Referent Power refers to the leader having traits that the follower identifies with and wishes to emulate. Additionally, Blase, Dedrick, and Strathe (1986) found that teachers who perceived their principal as exhibiting helpful traits maintained higher levels of job satisfaction.

Hipp (1997) performed a qualitative study on thirty-four teachers examining the relationship of leadership to teacher efficacy. By her use of the term, efficacy encompasses teacher morale. The study consisted of scripted interview questions designed to probe into teacher efficacy issues and principal behaviors. The following principal behaviors were found to influence teacher efficacy: modeling behavior, inspiring group purpose, recognizing teacher efforts and accomplishments, providing personal and professional support, managing student behavior, and promoting a sense of community.

Thomas (1997) performed a meta-analysis probing into leadership, leadership theory, leadership style, the effect of principal leadership and its relationship with teacher Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 18 morale. The findings supported that the principal’s leadership style had an effect on teacher morale. Specifically, a collaborative leadership style had the most impact on teacher morale. That is, schools with shared decision-making were found to have higher teacher morale than schools allowing less input into decision-making.

Nguni, Sleegers, and Denessen (2006) studied the effects of transactional and transformational leadership on teacher morale. They found transformational leadership traits to have a positive correlation to teacher morale while transactional leadership traits did not. Transactional leadership motivates through simple rewards such as exchanging work for financial compensation. Transformational leadership motivates the follower to greater levels by moving beyond the exchange level to the level of self-actualization. Evans and Johnson (1990) surveyed middle and high school teachers and found conflicting results.

They concluded from their research that principal leadership did affect the stress level of teachers, but the correlation between principal behaviors and teacher job satisfaction was not significant. They concluded from this that principals do not have much of an impact on teacher job satisfaction. It is important to note that only one group of teachers, Physical Education teachers, were surveyed in this study. Andrew, Parks, and Nelson (1985) performed a study to determine the factors that determine morale, identify an instrument to measure morale, and produce a handbook to aid schools in improving their morale.

In schools with high morale levels, principals displayed the following traits or behaviors: outgoing, friendly, organized, enthusiastic, available, fair, and a good listener. In schools with poor morale the traits or behaviors were as follows: disciplinarian, inconsistent, unsupportive, formal, and impatient. Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 19 Through the study, they developed the following list of administrative practices that maintain positive teacher morale: • • • • • • • Be open and have good morale yourself. Communicate at many levels.

Involve others in setting objectives, planning, and decision-making. Set planning priorities. Your job is to get things done, not to do them yourself. Know the values and needs of your community, your students, and your staff. Hold high expectations for staff, but recognize your responsibility to help them meet your expectations. • • • • • Give recognition to those who are helping to advance the objectives of the school. Have written policy developed for procedures and regulations. Exercise your authority. Provide resources needed to achieve the school’s objectives.

Do your best to obtain competitive salary levels so you can obtain the very best staff. Bhella (1982) performed a study that correlated the Perdue Teacher Opinionaire and The Principal Leadership Style Questionnaire. The study found a significant relationship between teacher/principal rapport and the principal’s concern with people and production. The results indicate that a principal who shows a high level of concern for people and for the product has a better rapport as reported by the faculty. The focuses of the final studies included in this review are directly related to the current study.

The instrumentation, method of data collection, and statistical methods of Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 20 these two studies are closely related to the current study. Both of these final studies used the Perdue Teacher Opinionaire. Both used a questionnaire for leadership; the final study used the Leadership Practices Inventory as in the current study. Hunter-Boykin and Evans (1995) examined the relationship between high school principals’ leadership and teacher morale. Again, the study used the Perdue Teacher Opinionaire to collect data regarding the morale level of teachers.

The instrument used to collect data for principal leadership was the Leadership Ability Evaluation. The sample for the study included 40 high school principals and 411 high school teachers. The results of the study indicate a low positive correlation between the principal’s leadership style and teacher morale. An important note about the design of this study is that the principal’s leadership was self-reported rather than teacher-reported. The final study included in this review examined the relationship between principal leadership, teacher morale, and student achievement (Houchard, 2005).

The instruments used in the study were the Perdue Teacher Opinionaire, the Leadership Practices Inventory, and the North Carolina End-of-Course exams. The participants of this study consisted of the teachers who voluntarily responded. The population consisted of 134 teachers with 113 responding to the Perdue Teacher Opinionaire and 115 responding to the Leadership Practices Inventory. The population consisted of eleven administrators, but no information was included on the number of administrators who responded to the Leadership Practices Inventory. There were several significant relationships found in the study.

First, the morale aspect of Rapport with the Principal correlated significantly with the leadership aspect of Enabling Others to Act and Encouraging the Heart. Next, a significant correlation was shown between the morale Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 21 aspect of Satisfaction with Teaching and the leadership aspect of Inspiring a Shared Vision and Enabling Others to Act. Thirdly, a significant correlation was shown between the morale factor of Rapport with Teachers and the leadership aspect of Enabling Others to Act and Encouraging the Heart.

Next, there was a significant correlation between the morale factor of Teacher Load and the leadership factor of Inspiring a Shared Vision and Enabling Others to Act. Lastly, a significant relationship was found between the morale factor of Facilities and the leadership aspect of Inspiring a Shared Vision and Enabling Others to Act. This review of the related literature includes several resources that show a link between the leadership of the principal and the morale of the teachers. There was also research included that showed a significant relationship between teacher morale and academic achievement.

Thus, the leadership of the principal plays a vital role in teacher morale and affects student achievement. In nearly every case, the literature shows that positive leadership traits or behaviors are accompanied by positive teacher morale; therefore, the review of the related literature implies there is a significant relationship between teacher morale and principal leadership. It is the purpose of this study to determine if this relationship is present in the specific population studied. Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 22

Chapter 3: Methodology The methodology of the study is fully explained in this chapter. Detail is used in the explanation of the context of the study, the participants, the instruments, and the methods used in gathering the data. The chapter concludes with an explanation of the analysis of the data. The problem studied was as follows: Did the leadership of the principal have a significant correlation to the morale of the teachers? To investigate this problem, the following research questions and research hypotheses were analyzed: 1.

How strongly are teacher morale and principal leadership practices correlated? Hypothesis: There will be no significant correlation between teacher morale and principal leadership practices. 2. Which of the five leadership practices correlates most strongly with teacher morale? Hypothesis: There will be no significant correlation between the five leadership practices and teacher morale. 3. Is there a significantly higher overall teacher morale level in some schools? Hypothesis: There will not be significantly higher levels of morale in some of the schools as compared to others in the study. . If some schools have a higher morale level, is this related to the school’s LPI scores? Hypothesis: Any difference in morale level will not be correlated to LPI score. Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 23 5. Do low LPI scores have a significant correlation to teacher morale levels? Hypothesis: Low LPI scores will not significantly correlate to teacher morale levels. Research Perspective The study was quantitative in nature using a correlational research design. It correlated the results of two surveys to attempt to answer the research questions by evaluating the hypotheses.

Each respondent’s survey was scored to produce an overall score and categorical scores. The Perdue Teacher Opinionaire contained ten categories and the Leadership Practices Inventory contained five. The correlation coefficients were then calculated for the relationships of the two surveys as well as for the relationships of each of the categories. Additionally, analyses were performed to determine significant differences between the scores for each school on each survey. Research Context The study took place in a school system located in metropolitan Atlanta. The school system will not be identified by name.

This system served approximately 27,000 students for the 2007-2008 school year and employed over 1900 teachers. Approximately 10% of the students of this district are identified as students with disabilities, 30% are identified as economically disadvantaged, and nearly 2% are English Language Learners. The school district contains 29 schools: 17 elementary, 7 middle, and 5 high. The research was performed in the seven middle schools of this district. To protect their identity, the schools will be labeled as follows: MS 1, MS 2, MS 3, MS 4, MS 5, MS 6, and MS 7.

This labeling was assigned randomly. The list of schools was paired with random numbers and ordered according to the random number. This random generation Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 24 was separate from the random assignment of the letter A-G used during survey distribution as described below in the procedures section. Subjects The population of the proposed study was all middle school teachers in this school system. The faculties of these seven schools contained a combined 471 teachers. The sample for the proposed study consisted of all respondents from these 471 teachers.

The middle school teachers have an average of 9. 6 years experience in education. Eleven percent of the teachers are in their first year of teaching, 54% have 1 to 10 years experience, 23% have 11 to 20 years experience, and 12% have more than 20 years of experience. Twenty percent of the middle school teachers are male and 80% are female. The ethnicity of the population is as follows: 93% white, 5% black, and 2% other. Fiftyfour percent of the middle school teachers have a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree, 37% have obtained a master’s degree, and 9% have a specialist or doctoral degree.

Teachers were assigned to receive either the LPI or the PTO. To assign teachers to one of these groups, the researcher obtained a list of the teachers from each of the seven schools. Using a random number generator, the researcher paired each teacher with a random number. Next, the list was arranged for each school according to the random number. A coin toss determined the instrument assigned to the first teacher on each school’s list. Then the researcher alternated through the list of teachers in assigning them to a group. For the breakdown of surveys distributed at each school, see Table 1.

The total return rate for both surveys at all schools was 45%. That was a total of 210 surveys returned. The return rate was 47% with a total of 111 returned for the LPI. Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 25 Table 1 Number of Surveys Distributed School Number of Teachers MS 1 MS 2 MS 3 MS 4 MS 5 MS 6 MS 7 Total 60 72 77 65 67 70 60 471 Number of LPI distributed 30 36 39 33 33 35 30 236 Number of PTO distributed 30 36 38 32 34 35 30 235 The PTO was returned at a rate of 42% for a total of 99 surveys. For the detailed return rates and numbers of each school, see Table 2.

Instruments The instruments used in this study were the Perdue Teacher Opinionaire (PTO) and the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI). The PTO was developed in the 1960s and has been used in many studies over the past decades (Houchard, 2005; Hunter-Boykin & Evans, 1995; Bhella, 2001). The LPI was developed by Kouzes and Posner and is in its 3rd edition (2003). Many researchers have used the LPI for data collection (The Leadership Challenge, 2007). The PTO (Bentley & Rempel, 1972) consists of 100 questions ranked on a 4 point Likert scale. The 100 items relate a teacher’s morale in ten areas. The validity of the

Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 26 Table 2 Returned Surveys LPI School Number MS 1 MS 2 MS 3 MS 4 MS 5 MS 6 MS 7 Total 11 11 19 18 12 23 17 111 Percent 37% 31% 49% 55% 36% 66% 57% 47% Number 7 17 13 14 14 17 17 99 Percent 23% 47% 34% 44% 41% 49% 57% 42% Number 18 28 32 32 26 40 34 210 Percent 30% 39% 42% 49% 39% 57% 57% 45% PTO Total instrument was based upon the design purposes and specificity through content validity. It was designed solely as a measure of teacher satisfaction and morale. Bentley and Rempel (1980) established reliability when they performed a test-retest reliability measure.

They found the scores to be correlated with a reliability coefficient of . 87. Due to the age of the instrument, no permission for use was necessary. Copyright for this instrument had expired. See Appendix A for a full copy of the PTO. It is also important to point out that this instrument was carefully analyzed to ensure its age would not hinder its validity. The language used in this survey was consistent with current educational language so that responses were not hindered by the age of the instrument. The items on the PTO relate to ten factors according to Bentley and Rempel (1980).

The number of questions in each category varied. See Table 3 for the title of Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 27 each category and a list of the questions contained in that category. The titles for the categories provide a good description of the category. The LPI (Kouzes & Posner, 2003) consisted of 30 questions answered on a tenpoint scale. The version of the survey used for this study was the observer form completed by the teachers regarding their principal’s behavior. The inventory had content validity in that the questions were closely related to the leadership characteristics they were designed to measure.

The reliability of the inventory was established through testretest reliability. The categories of the instrument returned consistent and stable results with reliability coefficients between . 88 and . 92 (Kouzes & Posner, 2002b). Permission to use this survey was obtained in writing from the authors (see Appendix B). See Appendix C for a full copy of the LPI. The LPI contained questions pertaining to five categories of leadership titled as the Five Practices of Exemplary Leaders by Kouzes and Posner (2002a).

The five categories are as follows: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart. Modeling the Way is best described as leading by example. These questions pertain to the leader being an active member of the organization. Inspiring a Shared Vision consists of the leader being the visionary and being able to motivate others to move the organization toward their goals. The questions in this category are very future-oriented and pertain to the organization’s bigger picture.

Challenging the Process refers to changing the status quo and finding innovative ways to improve the organization. Questions in this category surrounded the theme of taking chances, setting goals, and learning from success or failure. Enabling Others to Act refers to allowing organization members to do their part. A leader who Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 28 Table 3 PTO Category Questions Category Title: Rapport with Principal Questions: 2, 3, 5, 7, 12, 33, 38, 41, 43, 44, 61, 62, 69, 70, 72, 73, 74, 92, 93, 95. Satisfaction with Teaching 19, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30, 46, 47, 50, 51, 56, 58, 60, 76, 78, 82, 83, 86, 89, 100.

Rapport among Teachers 18, 22, 23, 28, 48, 52, 53, 54, 55, 77, 80, 84, 87, 90. Teacher Salary Teacher Load Curricular Issues Teacher Status (in the community) Community Support for Education School Facilities and Services Community Pressures (expectations) 4, 9, 32, 36, 39, 65, 75. 1, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 31, 34, 40, 42, 45. 17, 20, 25, 79, 88. 13, 15, 35, 37, 63, 64, 68, 71. 66, 67, 94, 96, 97. 16, 21, 49, 57, 59. 81, 85, 91, 98, 99. excels in this category would be exceptional at cultivating individual talents to aid the organization as a whole.

Questions here pertain mainly to relationships with others, listening to others, and empowering others. Lastly, Encouraging the Heart is solely about the celebration of accomplishments of the group or an individual. Questions in the category are aimed at the leaders’ actions in relation to celebrating accomplishments (see Table 4). Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 29 Table 4 LPI Category Questions Category: Model the Way Inspire a Shared Vision Challenge the Process Enable Others to Act Encourage the Heart Questions: 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26. 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, 27. 3, 8 13, 18, 23, 28. 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, 29. , 10, 15, 20, 25, 30. Procedures Permission to perform the study was first obtained from each of the principals. The associate superintendent was then supplied with information in order to grant permission from the district level. Once he had approved the research and the superintendent’s signature was obtained, the principals were contacted for faculty lists and to discuss the process for distributing the surveys. See Appendix D for a sample of the permission to perform research form. After obtaining a list of each school’s faculties, the researcher paired a random number with each teacher’s name.

He then ordered each school’s list according to these random numbers. A coin toss determined if the first teacher would be assigned to receive the LPI or the PTO. Then, the researcher alternated through the list assigning surveys. Teachers received an email from the researcher describing the purpose of the research prior to receiving the surveys. The email requested their participation and offered an incentive for participation. It was explained that their faculty would receive a Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 30 breakfast from the researcher if their school’s return rate was at or above 60%.

It was also stated that the surveys would be collected in approximately two weeks. Each teacher received a survey with a cover letter explaining the purpose of the research and requesting his or her participation. The cover letter also contained a confidentiality statement that guaranteed that any individual or school would not be identified and that all research records would be kept secure. Additionally, the cover letter contained an explanation that their participation was voluntary and would in no way affect their relationship to the researcher, the local school system, or Liberty University.

Lastly, the cover letter supplied contact information for the researcher and for Liberty University. The surveys were addressed to each individual teacher in a sealed envelope. A return envelope was also supplied to protect the anonymity of the respondents. Each school was coded using letters A – G. This coding was used to identify the specific school during the data collection only. As explained earlier, this coding had no relation to the numbering of the schools used when reporting results. The surveys were distributed on October 31, 2007. The researcher delivered the surveys to the schools along with a box for the return of the surveys.

The surveys were placed in the teachers’ boxes in each school’s mailroom. Two additional emails were sent to the faculties of the schools. The first of these was sent on November 7, 2007. It reminded the teachers of the surveys and the incentive, stated the procedure for returning the surveys, and offered to send an additional survey to any individual who may have misplaced the original one. Approximately 10 additional surveys were sent to teachers who requested one. The second additional email was sent Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 31 on November 15, 2007.

This email stated that the collection of all surveys would occur on November 16, 2007. It thanked the teachers for their responses and informed them that they would be notified if their faculty had earned a breakfast. The researcher personally collected the surveys from each of the seven schools on November 16, 2007. Analysis of Data Data Organization To compile the data, the researcher created a one-page summary sheet to score each respondent’s survey. Each survey was then given a unique identification code to pair it with a scoring sheet to allow easy matching in the event of a discrepancy.

The LPI scoring sheet reduced each survey to five categorical scores. The PTO scoring sheet reduced each survey to ten categorical scores. Each survey was scored and doublechecked to ensure accuracy. The raw data is discussed and presented in chapter 4. It was determined that the most readable form for the raw data would be a categorical mean presented by school for each survey. Charts are also used to display the raw data. Statistical Procedures To test the hypotheses of the study and evaluate the research questions, descriptive statistics were calculated for the data.

Specifically, for the first two research questions, the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (Pearson r) was used to calculate the correlation coefficients. The Pearson r was used to calculate correlation coefficients for the cumulative scores on both surveys, the cumulative of each survey compared with each category of the other, and the comparison of each category of the two surveys. The Pearson r correlation coefficients were then evaluated to determine if Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 32 the results were statistically significant for each of the relationships evaluated by the hypotheses.

To evaluate the other research questions and test their hypotheses, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) tests were used to determine if there were significant differences in the means of the surveys between middle schools. Then, to determine which schools exhibited the significant differences, Least Significant Differences (LSD) tests were used. All results are presented in Chapter 4. Summary of Methodology This chapter described and explained the methods used in this study. It stated the type of research and described the context for the research. A description of the participants of the study was given along with a description of both surveys.

The procedures were fully discussed then the data analysis explained. The next chapter presents the findings of the study then the final chapter discusses these findings. Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 33 Chapter 4: Results As stated in Chapter 1, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of a principal’s leadership practices and the morale of the school’s teachers. The research attempted to examine if the leadership of the principal had a significant correlation to the morale of the teachers. The results of the surveys are presented in this chapter.

First, the data will be presented in terms of each of the seven middle schools by looking at the means and standard deviations. Then the data will be presented for each of the five research questions. The chapter will conclude with a summary of the major findings of the research. Each survey was compiled and entered into statistical software for analysis. The means and standard deviations for the PTO are presented in Table 5. When looking at the results, it is important to remember that each category had a different number of questions. The results can be compared between schools but not across categories.

In the total morale score as reported on the PTO, MS 3 returned the highest score with a mean of 224. 00; MS 1 returned the lowest with a total mean morale of 199. 43. MS 4, MS 5, and MS 7 returned more consistent results with standard deviations ranging from 18. 13 to 22. 34 while the other schools had standard deviations ranging from 30. 84 to 35. 33. In category 1, Rapport with Principal, MS 4 had the highest mean with a score of 65. 14 and was also the most consistent in the category with a standard deviation of 7. 96. MS 3 and MS 7 also returned high means in the category with low standard deviations.

Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 34 Table 5 PTO Means and Standard Deviations School MS 1 N=7 MS 2 N = 17 MS 3 N = 13 MS 4 N = 14 MS 5 N = 14 MS 6 N = 17 MS 7 N = 17 Total N = 99 M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD Survey 199. 43 31. 76 218. 82 35. 33 224. 00 31. 06 216. 36 18. 13 205. 00 20. 87 208. 06 30. 84 216. 76 22. 34 213. 63 27. 82 Cat. 1 51. 00 16. 16 58. 53 15. 82 62. 08 12. 72 65. 14 7. 96 53. 93 12. 18 55. 59 14. 36 62. 29 9. 27 58. 89 13. 09 Cat. 2 63. 86 8. 65 69. 65 8. 03 67. 31 8. 06 65. 21 7. 37 63. 00 8. 06 65. 47 10. 83 65. 00 9. 42 65. 85 8. 77 Cat. 3 38. 43 4. 65 42. 71 8. 51 44. 77 6. 98 42. 93 6. 81 45. 9 4. 64 40. 65 7. 61 45. 35 5. 17 43. 24 6. 84 Cat. 4 20. 00 4. 69 18. 71 3. 97 18. 46 4. 77 16. 57 2. 17 16. 79 2. 58 19. 00 3. 82 16. 18 3. 17 17. 81 3. 72 Cat. 5 26. 14 5. 87 29. 24 6. 87 31. 38 5. 69 26. 50 3. 92 25. 50 5. 16 27. 35 6. 80 27. 94 5. 41 27. 84 5. 91 Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 35 Table 5 (continued) School MS 1 N=7 MS 2 N = 17 MS 3 N = 13 MS 4 N = 14 MS 5 N = 14 MS 6 N = 17 MS 7 N = 17 Total N = 99 M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD Cat. 6 13. 86 1. 86 14. 59 3. 92 14. 54 3. 15 13. 29 3. 58 14. 36 3. 13 14. 35 3. 59 14. 82 3. 61 14. 31 3. 38 Cat. 7 19. 29 3. 73 23. 18 5. 78 21. 69 3. 50 21. 00 4. 47 20. 3 3. 99 20. 59 5. 34 21. 24 4. 40 21. 30 4. 63 Cat. 8 12. 57 2. 51 14. 71 3. 31 13. 85 1. 86 13. 79 2. 78 14. 29 2. 61 13. 41 3. 28 15. 76 2. 68 14. 21 2. 88 Cat. 9 13. 86 2. 27 13. 65 3. 08 14. 31 2. 72 12. 29 2. 34 15. 29 2. 23 13. 06 3. 03 10. 24 2. 82 13. 10 3. 07 Cat. 10 13. 43 2. 23 14. 41 4. 03 14. 92 2. 33 15. 00 1. 52 13. 29 2. 34 15. 53 2. 29 13. 24 3. 29 14. 32 2. 84 Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale 36 MS 1 returned the lowest category mean with a 51. 00 but also had the highest standard deviation of 16. 16. In category 2, Satisfaction with Teaching, scores were much more consistent with standard deviations ranging from 7. 7 to 10. 83. MS 2 reported the highest mean score in this category while MS 5 reported the lowest. Category 3, Rapport among Teachers, had MS 5 with the highest mean of 45. 79 and MS 1 with the lowest mean of 38. 43. These two schools also had consistent results with the lowest standard deviations of the category. MS 7 also faired well in this category with a