Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Cathryn W. White


Some Southwestern Pennsylvania middle school (MS) principals who employ the teaming model, an aspect of transformational leadership (TL), are meeting the state proficiency standards. There are schools in the same geographic region whose principals employ the teaming model but are failing to meet the state proficiency standards. The purpose of this study was to obtain principals' and teachers' perceptions on aspects of TL as demonstrated by principals in MSs meeting the state proficiency standards. Using Burns' (1978) conceptual framework of TL, specific characteristics such as idealized influence, individualized consideration, inspirational motivation, and intellectual stimulation, were explored using a collective case study. The criteria for selection of 3 MS sample sites were (a) employed the teaming model, (b) met the state proficiency standards, and (c) reflected similar demographic variables to the local MS target school. Thirteen teacher and 2 principal interviews were conducted using 3 sample sites. Data from the interviews were coded, analyzed, and categorized. Themes emerging from the categorization were: supportive leadership, mutual respect, trust, concern, collaboration, and encouragement. Teachers perceived that leaders understood the teacher's perspective, helped create value in roles and modeled collegial equality with staff. Principals perceived that leaders encouraged collaboration and communicated with staff to build relationships and professional confidence. The resulting project was a professional development (PD) workshop for school leaders to improve understanding of aspects of TL; thereby, improving student learning, providing expanded educational opportunities, and creating positive social change.