The Principal’s Role in Defining a Student Success-Based School Culture: The Impact of Specific Behaviors on School-Level Teacher Working Conditions

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Richard Dale Ellis (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Kenneth Jenkins

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine principal behaviors that influenced working conditions. Further, the relationship between those behaviors and student success indicators was explored. Qualitative research methods were used to explore the research questions related to the study. First, detailed profiles of the schools were developed using historical student success indicators. Second, detailed individual interviews with case study school principals were conducted. Third, focus group interviews were conducted to collect data from school certified staff. According to principals and teachers at the case study schools, the school culture influenced student success outcomes positively when a vision of high expectations was realized in the schools, when the school subscribed to a learning-centered focus, and when the school genuinely believed in parental involvement as a cornerstone of success. Study participants revealed that specific behaviors of the principal influenced teacher satisfaction levels. When the principals valued staff, including their planning and instructional time, and when the principals listened to staff, their behaviors influenced teacher satisfaction. Principals influenced teacher satisfaction in a positive manner when they empowered staff, were visible within the school, and valued staff development, including the use of Professional Learning Communities. Study participants also revealed that the work environment influenced student success indicators positively or negatively. The work environment influenced outcomes positively when the principal placed a high value on teacher satisfaction, when the principal valued and built positive relationships, and when the principal communicated positively within the educational environment. A comprehensive analysis of student success indicators and qualitative data from principal and staff interviews revealed that principal behaviors influenced school culture and student success. Further, implications for practice and suggestions for further research are presented.

Additional Information

Ellis, R.D. (2010). The Principal’s Role in Defining a Student Success-Based School Culture: The Impact of Specific Behaviors on School-Level Teacher Working Conditions. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2010
Teacher Working Conditions, Teacher Satisfaction, Teacher Self-Efficacy, Principal Behaviors Impacting Teacher Satisfaction, School Leadership Impacts on Teacher Working Conditions

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