Date

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership

First Adviser

White, George

Other advisers/committee members

Sperandio, Jill; Beachum, Floyd; Rismann-Joyce, Stacie

Abstract

The educational leadership literature has identified core practices in which principals engage to positively impact student achievement. The core practices are categorized in four domains; 1) establishing and communicating vision, mission, and goals 2) understanding and developing staff 3) developing effective organizational structures 4) focusing on the instructional program. Principals, through their interactions with teachers, are in a position to influence teacher behaviors, thus effecting positive student academic achievement. Principals in international schools largely employ the same core practices that have been identified with successful schools. Thus, the purpose of this study was to ascertain the practices employed by principals that teachers perceive to help improve their instructional practices. The targeted population for this study was K-12 teachers working in international schools in Egypt and attending the AdvancEd education conference in Egypt on November 14, 2015. The Principal Core Practices Questionnaire (PCPQ) is the survey instrument developed for this study to measure teacher perceptions of the principal practices that are most helpful to improving their instruction. Results of the study were analyzed using a series of statistical tests including paired t-tests, regression analysis, and a series of MANOVA’s to determine if there is a correlation in responses due to the respondents’ teaching assignment, experience, teaching credentials, and gender. A qualitative data analysis approach was used to analyze the open-ended question asking respondents to list other principal practices teachers deem helpful. The results indicated that the five most helpful principal practices as perceived by teachers were 1) develops policies to ensure an orderly environment, 2) supports teacher requests to attend out of school professional development activities, 3) ensures necessary instructional resources are available, 4) collaborates with teachers to establish clear instructional goals for student academic improvement, 5) organizes professional development based on teacher needs.” Results of the paired t-tests showed a significant difference between the top five practices and the bottom five practices teachers deemed helpful to improving their instruction. When grouped items were examined in components, the data showed no significant difference in the way teachers perceive the helpfulness of the Focus on the Instructional Program (FIP) component compared to the Understanding and Developing Staff (UDS) component. The analysis also showed no significant difference in the way teachers perceive the helpfulness of item two of the CSAG component, “the principal develops and communicates high expectations for student achievement,” and the FIP component and item two of the CSAG component and the UDS component. However, the data showed that teachers’ perception of item one of the CSAG component, “the principal collaborates with teachers to establish clear instructional goals for student academic improvement,” as more helpful than the FIP component is statistically significant. Moreover, the data show that teachers’ perception of item one of the CSAG component as more helpful than the UDS component is statistically significant. Data results indicated no statistical significance in teachers’ perceptions of the helpfulness of principal practices based on grade level taught, teacher education background , number of years of experience, and gender. Therefore, according to the data of this study, the grade level at which a teacher teachers, the teacher’s educational background, the teacher’s number of years of experience, and the teacher’s gender are not predictors of teachers’ perceptions of the helpfulness of effective principal practices.

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