Date of Conferral
Kathleen M. Lynch
Teachers' perceptions of leadership are often based on the leaders' behavior, and what leaders model daily. The problem in this case study was that teachers' perceptions of school leadership were not well enough understood to leverage as a tool for school improvement. The purpose of this study was to explore how teachers' perceptions of school principal's leadership style, and behavior affect school culture. The conceptual framework was based on literature of 3 key dynamics: leadership styles, and approaches, school culture, and influences of leadership on teachers' perceptions of school culture. The primary research question explored how teachers' perceptions of school leadership style, and behavior influenced the culture, and work of the school. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit 15 elementary, middle, and high school teachers from across the United States who taught during the 2014-2015 school year. Data were collected using email interviews, and surveys. Data were coded using computer assisted data analysis and analyzed for themes using an inductive process. Emergent themes for school culture were identified as collaboration, teacher support, and professionalism. Leadership themes included equity and fairness, communication, and trustworthiness. Results suggest that teachers' perceptions of school principals influenced school culture and affected teacher's work. As a result, training is recommended for school leaders in the areas of ethics, professionalism, and school culture. Implications for social change are that leadership staff may become more knowledgeable and influence the teachers' perceptions of school leadership, thereby promoting school culture, resulting in improved student achievement, profiting both the community, and society.