Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick M. Jenlink


This study used student ratings to examine relationships between instructor personality and teaching effectiveness for technical college faculty. Research was specifically conducted to address three questions: (1) what personality traits are associated with effective teaching, (2) do the personality profiles of effective teachers differ by academic area, and (3) are there personality dimensions that distinguish above average from below-average instructors.

Students enrolled in classes taught by instructors randomly selected from the accounting, computer information systems, marketing, and office occupations departments at five Wisconsin technical colleges rated their instructors on 29 personality traits and 18 teaching behaviors. Pearson product-moment correlations were used to explore the relationship between personality and teaching ability. The 29 personality variables were subjected to a factor analysis in order to simplify comparisons between academic areas and effectiveness groups using analysis of variance techniques.

Survey data on 46 instructors teaching 102 different courses were collected from 1,306 students. Findings indicated that technical college students strongly associate teaching ability with an instructor who is sociable, fun-loving, intelligent, objective, and showing leadership. Five personality factors or dimensions were derived: (1) Positive Approach, (2) Extroversion, (3) Systematic, (4) Achievement Oriented, and (5) Insecurity. Based on these dimensions, significant differences were found to exist between the personality profiles of instructors from the four academic areas. Significant, but less noteworthy, differences were also identified between highly effective teachers and their less effective counterparts.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access