Date of Award

4-2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Patricia Reeves

Abstract

This study made inquiry into teacher leadership and its relationship with school climate in American public schools by using the data from SASS 2003-04 by National Center for Education Statistics. The study was focused on the statistical assessment of public school teachers' perceptions of teacher leadership in the areas of school operation and classroom operation. Another aspect to be inquired was teachers' perceptions of school climate in the dimensions of school leadership and teacher collaboration.

The results of descriptive analyses in the study indicated that the majority of public school teachers did not consider they had much influence over the areas of school operation; however, they felt they had a great deal of control over the areas of classroom operation. With regard to school climate, teachers were satisfied about their school leadership. The results from discriminant function analysis indicated that school teachers' perceptions of school climate and teacher leadership could statistically reflect their school membership (elementary and secondary schools). The results from canonical correlation analysis revealed a statistically significant relationship between teacher leadership and school climate. The dimension of school leadership in the School Climate variable and the areas of school operation in the Teacher Leadership variable were the major components that contributed most to the multivariate relationship.

This study has provided support to the existing literature on the factors that affect teacher leadership development. It adds to the knowledge base in the field of teacher leadership and its relationship with school climate with quantifiable evidence at a national level. The findings of this study also pose a challenge to the previous literature regarding the notion that teacher leadership was flourishing in American schools. This study has suggested that there seems to be a latent conceptual gap between what researchers consider to be effective school leadership including substantial support of teacher leadership and what school teachers consider to be supportive principal behaviors excluding the elements of involving teachers in the school decision-making process.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access