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An Analysis of the Relationship Between Elementary School Teachers' Perceptions of Principal Leadership and School Climate
AuthorLaRoche, Sandra Y.
AdvisorThornton, Bill W.
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This study examined the relationship between principal leadership style and climate as perceived by teachers. Eleven elementary schools and 275 teachers participated in this study. The Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) assessed teachers' perceptions of principals' leadership styles. The Organizational Climate Description Questionnaire - Revised Elementary (OCDQ-RE) obtained climate data, measured as Open, Closed, Disengaged, and Engaged. Demographic data consisted of five categories: (a) Gender, (b) Years teaching, (c) Years with current principal, (d) Level of Education, and (e) SES and Star rating of each school. An analysis, utilizing Pearson's r correlations, indicated relationships existed between the five LPI and the six OCDQ-RE subscales for principal and teacher behavior. When teachers perceived exemplary principal behaviors, their perception of Collegial and Supportive climate indicators were very high and Disengagement low. Conversely, when teachers perceived low principal behaviors, their perceptions of Collegiality were low with high Restrictive climate indicators and high Disengagement. An analysis, utilizing MANOVA, indicated teachers who spent zero to two years with the principal or spent greater than six years with the principal perceived their principals in a similar manner. Teachers who spent three to five years with the principal scored the principal lower. An analysis of the SES and Star rating of the school indicated teachers from high SES schools with satisfactory achievement scored their principals higher than teachers from high SES schools with high achievement on four LPI subscales and one OCDQ-RE subscale. Findings support the proposition for continued research in the area of school climate and principal leadership.