Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Editor-in-Chief, NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS (Since 1982) Global Website: www.nationalforum.com
NATIONAL FORUM OF APPLIED EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNALVOLUME 26, NUMBERS 1 & 2, 201333Exploring Leader Behavior Informed by the Thirteen CoreCompetencies and Their Influenceon Teacher Job SatisfactionDetris Crane, EdDPrincipalShelby County SchoolsMillington, TennesseeReginald Leon Green,EdDProfessorUniversity of Memphis______________________________________________________________________________AbstractThe purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to determine if teacher job satisfaction isenhanced when principals value and exhibit behaviors informed by thirteen (13) corecompetencies. An analysis of data from the study revealed that principals in the study valued thethirteen (13) core competencies and frequently used them in the administration of their schools,as perceived by both teachers and principals. Leadership behavior, informed by the thirteen (13)core competencies, and teacher job satisfaction were significantly correlated. These findingssupport the assumption that leader behavior influences teacher job satisfaction. Principals whoperceive the thirteen (13) core competencies to be important and exhibit behavior informed bythe competencies are likely to have teachers who experience more job satisfaction.Keywords: core competencies; leadership behavior; teacher job satisfaction______________________________________________________________________________Public education remains under pressure to address the academic needs of all students.As the criticism intensifies, the search for practices and processes for use in improving theacademic achievement of students continues to be at the forefront. According to the NationalAssociation of ElementarySchool Principals (2001), the focus of the search has shifted to the roleof the principal. In the search for effectivepractices and processes, principals are being asked tobecome instructional leaders (Lashway, 2002). Part of the process of instructional leadership isthe monitoring and supervision of teachers.There is a strong relationship between student achievement and instructional leadershippractices (Bulach, Boothe,& Pickett, 2000). Edgerson and Kritsonis (2006) emphasize that aquality of effective schools is a principal who is an instructional leader. These principals areopen and effective, praise teachers’ efforts, convey high expectations for teacher and studentperformance, actively involve teachers in decision making and provide teachers with theautonomy to try creative approaches. As a result of these practices, they tend to have greatersuccess in leading instructional programs (Blase& Kirby, 2000).
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN34The shift to higher accountability has also placed greater demands on teachers. Teachereffectiveness has become a federal and state priority and a major topic of debate across thecountry (Darling-Hammond, 2010; Southern Regional Education Board, 2011). The issue ofteacher effectiveness has gained urgency as schools and districts have come under increasedpressure to raise student achievement. The public is demanding more information about theeffect individual teachers have on student learning (Sartain, Stoeling,& Brown, 2010). As aresult, policy makers have called for teacher evaluations that can identify a range of teachereffectiveness. This call is making it necessary for principals to evaluate teacher effectiveness,and principals must be able to establish and maintain positive relationships with teachers to beeffective in the evaluation process.Blase and Blase (1999) identified characteristics of school principals that positivelyinfluence classroom teaching, and, conversely, the characteristics that negatively influenceclassroom teaching. Their study focused on teachers’ perspectives on effective instructionalleadership. Findings in the study indicate that instructional leaders have the greatest effect onteachers when they collaborate with teachers to promote reflection and promote professionalgrowth.According to Edgerson and Kritsonis (2006), the relationship between teachers andprincipals can become strained when test scores fall below the established accountabilitystandards. Increasing pressure from principals for teachers to raise student achievement can beproblematic and can cause some teachers to experience lower morale, decreased job satisfaction,or even exit the profession (Hardy, 1999; Tye& O’Brien, 2002).Teachers comprise the largest portion of the professional body in a school, have the mostcontact with students throughout the day, and influence the environment of the school. Thereverse is also true; when teachers have negative feelings about their position, they maynegatively impact the students and the school (Eaker& Gonzalez, 2006; Edgerson&Kristonis,2006; Green, 2010). In most instances, when teachers feel positively about their position, theyhave a positive influence on the students and the school.Literature ReviewBehaviors of Effective School LeadersPublic demands for more effective schools have placed growing attention on the crucialrole of school leaders in promoting powerful teaching and learning (Blase& Kirby, 2000;LaPointe& Davis, 2006). The call for principals to become instructional leaders has soared to thetop of the educational renewal agenda (Lashway, 2002). Research suggests that effectiveinstructional leadership strongly affects the quality of teaching and student learning (Leithwood,Seashore, Anderson, &Wahlstrom, 2004; Waters, Marzano, & McNulty, 2003).Researchers have identified specific instructional leadership behaviors related toimproving the teaching and learning process (Blase&Blase, 1999). Andrews and Soder (1987)defined instructional leadership to include four areas of responsibility: (1) resource provider; (2)instructional resource; (3) communicator, and (4) visible presence in the building. Althoughleaders previously focused on resource allocation and process requirements, today’s leaders haveadditional responsibilities related to student achievement and the skills necessary to motivate andlead people who influence student learning (Green, 2010; O’Donnell & White, 2005).O’Donnell and White (2005) emphasized that the primary responsibility of the school
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN35leader is to facilitate teaching and learning with an overall mission of enhancing studentachievement. However, for the most part, previous studies have addressed school climate,instructional and leadership standards, school structure, data analysis, and the use of instructionalstrategies. As a result, there is a void in terms of definitive characteristics of individuals who areexpected to provide this leadership.Public Impact (2008), in a report funded by the Chicago Public Education Fund, soughtto clarify the most critical competencies that enable school leaders to be successful in attempts toturn failing schools around. The study yielded four clusters of competencies: driving for results,influencing for results, problem solving, and showing confidence to lead. Davis, Darling-Hammond, LaPointe, and Meyerson (2005) reported that attributes of effective school leadersinfluence student achievement through two important pathways — the support and developmentof effective teachers and the implementation of effective organizational processes. Leithwood etal. (2004) outlined: developing people, setting directions for the organization, and redesigningthe organization as three core leadership practices of high-quality leaders.Consequently, Green (2010) identified thirteen (13) core competencies that schoolleaders must believe to be important and exhibit behaviors informed by them if they are tobecome effective instructional leaders. The competencies are aligned with the ISLLC Standards.The ISLLC standards focus on six (6) areas: (1) vision; (2) school culture; (3) management; (4)collaboration; (5) ethical integrity and fairness, and (6) political, social, economic, legal, andcultural context (Darling-Hammond, 2007; Prince, 2007). The ISLLC Standards outline sixspecific skill sets principals must acquire, understand, and be able to implement to effectivelylead 21stcentury schools (CCSSO, 1996; Green, 2009; Waters &Grubb, 2004). The standardsalso identify leadership practices that should take precedence if a school leader is to effectivelymeet the challenges of 21stcentury schools (Waters & Grubb, 2004).Perhaps the most obvious evidence underpinning the competencies is Waters et al. (2003)identification of twenty-one (21) responsibilities that positively affect achievement and thespecific behaviors and characteristics associated with those responsibilities. The findings of theseresearchers indicate that effective school leaders can have dramatic influence on achievement ofstudents. As leadership ability increases, so does student achievement. All of Green’s(2010),thirteen (13) core competencies reference behaviors that require the leader to be aware ofand informed of details and to be able to use the information to address current and potentialproblems. The competencies also describe the expectations and responsibilities that successfulleaders of 21stcentury schools must exhibit. A brief description of each of the competencies islisted below:1. Visionary Leadership: Effective leaders demonstrate energy, commitment, and anentrepreneurial spirit; they communicate values and a conviction that all children willlearn at high levels and inspire others with that vision.2. Unity of Purpose: Effective leaders collect and utilize data to develop and clarify apurpose that focuses on student learning; praise teachers’ efforts; convey highexpectations for teacher and student performance; actively involve teachers indecision-making, and provide teachers with the autonomy to try creative approaches.3. Learning Community: Effective leaders demonstrate a dedication and willingness toassist teachers in improving their instructional skills by furnishing needed resources
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN36to teachers; create a school climate where the primary focus is on teaching andlearning; place emphasis on instruction, and view parents as partners in theirchildren’s education.4. Instructional Leadership: Effective leaders facilitate the application of currentknowledge in learning and human development; they use data to make instructionalprogram decisions that meet the needs of all students.5. Curriculum and Instruction: Effective leaders keep school personnel focused onstudent learning and are able to put into practice curriculum that contains research-based strategies to meet the needs of all students.6. Professional Development: Effective leaders demonstrate commitment to their ownprofessional development and the professional development of others.7. Organizational Management: Effective leaders skillfully implement procedures andprocesses to govern the workflow; establish clearly defined, school-wide academicand behavioral standards to promote high expectations, and hold teachers andstudents accountable for learning.8. Assessment: Effective leaders conduct assessments and identify needs of students, aswell as strengths and weaknesses of teachers.9. Reflection: Effective leaders set aside time to think about their professional practicesand decisions with a focus on improvement.10. Collaboration: Effective leaders engage teachers in dialogue about instructionalstrategies and student performance; they allow teachers and other stakeholders toparticipate in decision making.11. Diversity: Effective leaders create an environment in which the ethical and moralimperatives of schooling are valued; they recognize and eliminate unfair treatmentand inequalities.12. Inquiry: Effective leaders conduct inquiry into effective school research; acquire adeep understanding of change and know how to initiate, lead, and sustain the change;examine current research to identify leadership best practices, and align their actionswith the goals and visions of the school.13. Professionalism: Effective leaders are diligent in implementing ethical standards ofthe education profession through their daily activities.The thirteen (13) core competencies outline behaviors that principals should exhibit to besuccessful school leaders. The literature clearly supports these competencies. There is little doubtthat leadership effectiveness is the result of interaction between the style of the leader and thecharacteristics of the environment of the schoolhouse (Gray & Stark, 1988). Consequently, the
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN37prevailing assumption is that when school leaders believe these competencies to be importantand exhibit behaviors informed by them, the students in the schools they lead will achieveacademically.Strong school leadership is known to be a key factor in supporting student achievement;however, what is less clear is how that leadership affects teachers’ job satisfaction (Wahlstrom&Louis, 2008). In addition to enhancing student achievement, school leaders must also create thekind of school environment and exhibit the type of behavior that promotes teacher satisfaction.Teacher Job SatisfactionA growing body of research on effective schools has consistently pointed to theimportance of responsible, assertive, visible school leadership for school success (Sergiovanni,1999). School leaders have a direct influence on teachers and the effectiveness of the teaching-learning relationships (Cotton, 2003; Mulford, 2003). Researchers have investigated therelationship between school leader behaviors and teacher satisfaction (Davis & Wilson, 2000;Lester, 1990; Pearson &Moomaw, 2005; Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 2000;Tye& O’Brien, 2002). According to Barth (2006), the nature of relationships among teachers andprincipals has a greater influence on the culture of that school and on student achievement thananything else. Barth goes on to say that if the relationships between administrators and teachersare trusting, helpful, and cooperative, then the relationships between teachers and students,between students and students, and between teachers and parents are likely to be the same.While leadership is a critical component of an effective school, Goodlad (2004) warnedthat it would be a mistake to identify the school leader as the main factor influencing teachersatisfaction; however, leader behavior is one of many factors that influence teacher jobsatisfaction. The challenge is to identify those factors that school leaders can control leading toteacher job satisfaction.Some factors that lead to teacher job satisfaction are rooted in the work of Herzberg,Mausner, and Snyderman (1959) who identified the satisfying and dissatisfying factors.According to Herzberg’s two-factor theory, people in the work force are influenced by two setsof factors: motivation factors and hygiene factors. On the one hand, motivation factors, such asachievement, recognition, responsibility, interest, and growth, if met, can lead to enhanced jobsatisfaction. These factors are directly related to four of the thirteen core competencies: unity ofpurpose, learning community, collaboration, and professional development. On the other hand,hygiene factors, such as salary, security, work conditions, quality of supervision, andinterpersonal relations, if neglected, will lead to increased job dissatisfaction. These factors canbe related to the competencies,organizational management and professionalism. Herzbergpostulated that the absence of hygiene factors does not necessarily lead to enhanced satisfaction.Bogler (2001) suggests that leaders must address motivation factors in order to improve jobsatisfaction.The fact that 50% of new teachers drop out of the profession in the first five years haspropelled improving teachers jobsatisfaction to the top of reform initiatives (Woods &Weasmer,2004). Waddell (2010) conducted a study to examine critical components that cause teachers toremain in urban schools past the five-year attrition mark. The results of this qualitative studyindicate the need for school leaders to provide environments in which teachers are supported andregarded as valued decision makers in their schools. Waddell’s (2010) study also reveals twomajor categories of leadership behavior influence: external and internal. External themes
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN38included: (a) relationships with coworkers; (b) relationships with principals, and (c) relationshipswith students. Internal themes that emerged were (a) perseverance; (b) self-efficacy; (c) service,and (d) a sense of ownership. Of the external themes, the two that were experienced by allparticipants were relationships with co-workers and relationships with principals.Teacher job satisfaction is increased through supportive school leaders, teachersparticipating in decision making, collegial relationships, quality professional development, andcollaborative work (Waddell, 2010). A teacher’s satisfaction with his or her career may influencethe quality and stability of instruction given to students (NCES, 1997). In fact, teachers who donot feel supported in their work may not be motivated to do their best work in the classroom.Using nationally representative samples for public school teachers and principals, Shen, Leslie,Spybrook, and Ma (2012) inquired into whether principal background and school processes arerelated to teacher job satisfaction. The authors found that school processes, particularly careerand working conditions, staff collegiality, administrative support, and to a lesser extent, positivestudent behavior and teacher empowerment, are positively associated with teacher jobsatisfaction. Of the thirteen (13) competencies, learning community, organizationalmanagement, collaboration, and professionalism speak to these factors.Wynn and Brown (2008) found that beginning teachers relate principal leadership,mentoring, and professional learning communities to their job satisfaction. Administrativesupport and leadership, student behavior and school atmosphere, and teacher autonomy areworking conditions associated with teacher satisfaction; the more favorable the workingconditions were, the higher the satisfaction scores were (NCES, 1997). Of the thirteen (13)competencies, learning community and collaboration speak to these factors.Futernick (2007) reported positive relationships among teachers as a key contributor toteacher retention and job satisfaction. Teachers in his study experienced greater job satisfactionbecause of strong collegial support, input in the operation of the school, and input into what theyteach. Additionally, experienced teachers were drawn to schools with high-quality professionaldevelopment and effective principals.Bogler (2001) stated that teachers who experience lowlevels of involvement in decision making generally experience low levels of job satisfaction. Ofthe thirteen (13) competencies, unity of purpose, professional development, learning community,and organizational management speak to these factors.In a study to examine the effect of administrative support on teachers job satisfaction andintent to stay in teaching, administrative support was found to be the most significant predictor ofteachers job satisfaction, while teachers job satisfaction was the most significant predictor ofteachers intent to stay in teaching (Tickle, Chang, & Kim, 2011). Likewise, three intrinsicmotivators --personal teaching efficacy, working with students, and job satisfaction --wereperceived to significantly influence satisfaction and retention (Perrachione, Petersen, & Rosser,2008). Of the thirteen (13) core competencies, instructional leadership, curriculum andinstruction, and professional development support these findings.Teacher job satisfaction is paramount in fulfilling the mission of education. In his studyon teacher occupational perceptions and job satisfaction, Bogler (2001) found that teacherperceptions of occupational prestige, self-esteem, autonomy at work, and professional self-development contribute the most to job satisfaction. Teachers reported feeling highly satisfiedwhen their work gave them a sense of self-esteem, provided them with opportunities for self-development, gave them a feeling of success, and allowed them to participate in determiningschool practices. The competencies that speak to self-development are professional developmentand reflection.
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN39According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (1997), administrativesupport and leadership, student behavior, school atmosphere, and teacher autonomy are workingconditions associated with teacher satisfaction; the more favorable the working conditions were,the higher the satisfaction scores were. Additionally, the study found that teachers with greaterautonomy show higher levels of satisfaction than teachers who feel they have less autonomy.Administrative support, student behavior, and feelings of control were consistently shown to beassociated with teacher job satisfaction. All of the thirteen (13) core competencies speak to thesefactors as the core competencies influence leader behavior which leads to teacher job satisfactionand, consequently, effective instruction.In this era of increased accountability and pressure to improve student achievement,principals are being asked to focus on developing effective leadership behaviors as they face thechallenges of improving instruction and maintaining teacher job satisfaction. What we do notknow is which leader behaviors increase job satisfaction of teachers. If, as the literature suggests,principals’ behaviors influence teacher job satisfaction and teacher job satisfaction leads toenhanced student achievement, then determining the leadership behaviors of effective principalsthat lead to higher levels of teacher job satisfaction is imperative (Darling-Hammond, 2007;Lester, 1990; Prince, 2007). Given the current focus on leadership behavior and teacher jobsatisfaction, these researchers sought to determine if teacher job satisfaction is enhanced whenleaders exhibit behaviors informed by Green’s (2010) thirteen (13) core competencies.Theoretical FrameworkAccording to Yukl (1999), no single theory should be expected to include all aspects ofleadership behavior. He observes that much of the research over the last fifty (50) years hasinvolved dyadic (one individual to another specific individual) relationships between a leaderand a follower. Within this context, he goes on to look at a number of follower-based theories,including leader-member exchange which emphasizes the importance of the follower role to aleader.The Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory is one of the most recent theories ofleadership and one of the first to include the follower in leadership processes. The central focusof this theory is on the relationship or dyadic exchange between the supervisor and subordinates(Dansereau, Graen, &Haga, 1975; Graen&Scandura, 1987). Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) isgrounded partly in role theory, (Graen, 1976) focuses on the two-way relationship betweensupervisors and subordinates, and aims to maximize organizational success by establishingpositive interactions between the two (Trunckenbrodt, 2000).Leader-member exchange focuses on creating positive relationships between leader andmembers, thus increasing organizational success. The role of the leader is to create an engagingwork environment by establishing positive relationships.The quality of relationships between leaders and followers is often studied via LMXtheory and can be used to describe a reason for the development of positive and effectiverelationships (Harris, Wheeler, &Kacmar, 2009).The LMX theory conceptualizes leadership as a process that is centered on theinteractions between leaders and followers that lead to relationship development. The researchgives attention to the differences in the quality of those relationships. Relationships that arepositive lead to positive outcomes (Clemens, Milson, &Cashwell, 2009) and increased jobsatisfaction (Harris et al., 2009). The quality of LMX affects members’ work ethics, productivity,satisfaction, and perceptions. High-quality relationships are likely to develop to a point where
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN40there is a high degree of trust, mutual dependence, support, and loyalty. From the follower’sperspective, leaders who are perceived to be competent, experienced, fair, and honest are morelikely to be supported, thus leading to job satisfaction.The study examined the relationship between leader behavior informed by Green’s(2010) thirteen (13) core competencies and teacher job satisfaction. Figure 1 summarizes therelationship between leader-member exchange, leader behavior, and teacher job satisfaction in aconceptual model.Figure 1.The relationship between leader behavior and teacher job satisfaction.This figure provides a conceptual model for studying the relationship of LMX to leader behaviorand teacher job satisfaction.MethodologyPurpose of the StudyThe purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to determine: (a) the extent towhich school leaders perceive Green’s (2010) thirteen 13 core leadership competencies to beimportant; (b) the extent to which leaders exhibit behaviors informed by the competencies; (c)the extent to which teachers believe their principals exhibit behaviors informed by thecompetencies, and (d) the relationship, if any, between the extent to which teachers perceive thatLeader-TeacherRelationship(LMX)ReducedJob SatisfactionEnhancedJob SatisfactionLowQualityHighQualityLeader BehaviorInformed by 13CoreCompetenciesTeacherPerceptionof Leader BehaviorInformed by 13CoreCompetencies
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN41their principals’ behavior is informed by the competencies and their level of teacher jobsatisfaction. The study was guided by the following research questions:1. To what extent, if any, do school leaders perceive the thirteen (13) core competenciesto be important?2. To what extent, if any, do the thirteen (13) core competencies inform the behavior ofschool leaders in the administration of their schools?3. To what extent do teachers perceive that the school leader exhibits behaviors informedby the thirteen (13) core competencies?3. Is there a relationship between the job satisfaction of teachers and the extent to whichthey perceive that their school leader’s behavior is informed by the competencies?Sample Population and DemographicsPrincipals and teachers in three school districts in the southeast United States wereselected to participate in the study. The three districts were chosen through conveniencesampling. According to district websites, the three school districts consist of 42 elementaryschools, 17 middle schools, and 11 high schools for a total of 70 schools, each with oneprincipal.With approval of each district’s superintendent, the Leadership BehaviorInventory(Green,2006)was sent to all 70 principals within the three districts. A total of 62principals responded to the surveys and provided information as to the importance they place onthe behaviors informed by the thirteen (13) core competencies and the frequency to which theyexhibit those behaviors. The responses resulted in an overall return rate of 88.7%.Demographics of the principal population were collected to guide the researchers duringthe analysis of data for this study and to provide data for future research regarding characteristicsand qualities that might have an effect on leader behavior. In regard to gender, the majority ofthe principals who participated in the study were female (76%). Seventy-nine percent of theprincipals had 10 or less years of experience as a principal. This demographic data is shown inTable 1.Table 1
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN42Principal DemographicsFrequency %GenderMaleFemale154724%76%Years of Teaching Experience1-5 years6-10 years11-20 years20+ years51320248%21%32%39%Years of Principal Experience1-5 years6-10 years11-20 years20+ years30197648%31%11%10%Note. N = 62InstrumentationTwo different questionnaires were used to collect data from principals and teachers: TheLeadership Behavior Inventory(Green, 2006) and The Purdue Teacher Opinionaire(Bentley&Rempel, 1980).The Leadership Behavior Inventory (LBI) was developed under the leadership of Dr.Reginald Leon Green, Professor at the University of Memphis, in 2006 (Green, 2006). Twoforms of the inventory were developed to assess the principal’s behavior: (1) the ―self‖ version,to be completed by the principal and (2) the ―teacher‖ version, to be completed by the teacherssupervised by the principal. Both versions contain the same questions.The independent leader behavior was measured using the Leadership Behavior Inventory.The inventory consists of 39 items, seeking responses on a Likert-type scale. For each item, theinventory asks respondents to indicate whether the school leader exhibits a specific behavioralmost always, frequently, occasionally, seldom, or never. Two versions of the LeadershipBehavior Inventory were used. One measured principals’ perceptions regarding their ownleadership behaviors [Appendix D], and another measured teachers’ perceptions regarding theleadership behavior of their principals [Appendix E]. Each competency was measured by threestatements, and the mean competency score was calculated for each category. The survey wasadministered online using ProQuest, a web-based survey collection survey.The Leadership Behavior Inventory was content validated by peer judgments made by 20school leaders and 136teachers in a study by Ivie (2007). The school leaders and teachers chosenwere asked to answer as to whether the statement accurately reflected the designated competencyand whether the question was easy to understand. Some of the wording of the questions waschanged after receiving feedback. The inventory was then field-tested by teachers (Ivie, 2007).
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN43The Leadership Behavior Inventory reliability study was conducted through surveycompletion for teachers. Reliability was calculated for the instrument using means withCronbach’s alpha and split-half reliability. The Leadership Behavior Inventory had a high levelof internal consistency with an alpha of .905. The Cronbach’s alpha levels by individualcompetency domain were also high, ranging from .899 to .912. The split-half alpha ranged from.825 to .827, with correlation between .832, and the Guttman Split-Half Coefficient was .908(Ivie, 2007).The dependent variable, teacher job satisfaction, was obtained using the Purdue TeacherOpinionaire by having teachers indicate their degree of satisfaction on ten different subscales.Bentley and Rempel (1980) designed the opinionaire to measure teachers’ opinions about theirschool (work) environment and morale.The Purdue Teacher Opinionaireis a standardized instrument that asks teachers torespond to one-hundred (100) questions on a Likert-type scale, that scores and indicates how therespondents feel about certain questions or issues and investigates10 factors of morale thatinclude: teacher rapport with the principal; satisfaction with teaching; rapport among teachers;teacher salary; teacher load; curriculum issues; teacher status; community support; schoolfacilities and services, and community pressures. The end product is a subset of scores that helpsto determine an overall job satisfaction measurement.The reliability of the Purdue Teacher Opinionaire (PTO) was determined byadministering the survey to over 3,000 teachers in sixty Indiana schools and sixteen Oregonschools. After the initial administration, Bentley and Rempel (1980) waited four weeks andadministered the opinionaire again. Results indicated that the instrument’s reliability is verystrong, with a range of .62 to .88 for the various factors and a total score of .87.The validity of the PTO was established by having principals at the Indiana and Oregonschools report how they thought their respective faculties would respond to the factors. Medianscores were used to compare teachers’ responses with the responses of the principals. Resultsindicated that the scores were not significantly different.Data CollectionData were collected through surveys measuring the extent and frequency to which theschool leaders believe that they exhibit behaviors informed by the thirteen (13) corecompetencies, the extent to which teachers perceive that school leaders exhibit those behaviors,and teacher job satisfaction. Both surveys were administered online, and data were collectedonline using ProQuest, a web-based survey collection software.Data AnalysisQuantitative methods were used to determine if there is a relationship between the extentto which principals believe their behaviors are informed by the thirteen (13) core competencies,teachers’ perceptions of the principal’s behavior as measured by the Leadership BehaviorInventory, and teacher job satisfaction as measured by the Purdue Teacher Opinionaire. In orderto examine the results, descriptive data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the SocialSciences (SPSS version 20.0-not in references) to answer research questions one, two, and, three.Correlational analyses were used to determine the significant relationship among variables and toanswer research question four.
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN44ResultsPrincipals indicated the perceived importance they place on a specific behavior informedby the thirteen (13) core competencies using a 5-point Likert type scale (1 = unimportant, 2 = oflittle importance, 3 = moderately important, 4 = important, or, 5 = very important). Resultsrevealed that principals perceived behaviors informed by the thirteen (13) core competencies tobe important. The average mean score for each competency was 4.58 or higher. The top fourmost important core competencies, as perceived by the principals, were (a) assessment (M=4.81);(b) inquiry (M = 4.77); (c) learning community (M = 4.76)and, (d) professionalism (M =4.76).Overall, principals in this population place importance on leader behaviors informed byall of the thirteen (13) core competencies. Though all of the competencies were deemedimportant by the principals, the least amount of importance was placed on (a) collaboration (M =4.61); (b) curriculum and instruction (M = 4.60); (c) professional development (M = 4.60) and,(d) unity of purpose (M = 4.58). Figure 2 shows the mean score for principals regarding theextent to which they perceived behaviors informed by the thirteen (13) core competencies to beimportant to them in their role as school leaders.Figure 2.The importance principals place on the thirteen (13) core competencies. Thisfigure shows the average importance that principals placed on each competency.N= 62Principals indicated the extent to which they used behaviors informed by the thirteen(13)core competencies, using a 5-point Likert type scale (1 = never, 2 = seldom, 3 =occasionally, 4 = frequently, or, 5 = always). Results revealed that principals perceived that they4.814.77 4.76 4.764.714.69 4.684.66 4.654.61 4.60 4.604.584.454.504.554.604.654.704.754.804.85
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN45frequently exhibited behaviors informed by all of the core competencies (M = 4.27 or higher).The top four most frequently used core competencies, as perceived by principals, were (a)assessment (M = 4.61); (b) organizational management (M = 4.53); (c) inquiry (M = 4.50), and(d) learning community (M = 4.48). The competencies used least by principals in the populationsample were: (a) unity of purpose (M = 4.31); (b) professional development (M =4.31); (c)collaboration (M = 4.31), and (d) curriculum and instruction. Figure 3 shows the mean scores ofthe principals regarding the frequency they perceived that they exhibited behaviors informed bythe thirteen (13) core competencies.Figure 3.The frequency principals exhibit the thirteen (13) core competencies. This figureshows the average frequency that principals used behaviors informed by the thirteen (13)competencies.N= 62Results reveal that teachers believed that their principals frequently exhibited behaviorsinformed by all of the thirteen (13) core competencies (between M =4.05and M =4.59). The topfour competences exhibited most often by principals, as perceived by teachers, were: (a)assessment (M =4.59);(b) curriculum and instruction (M =4.55);(c)unity of purpose (M =4.47),and (d) collaboration (M =4.46). Although teachers believed that their principals frequentlyexhibited behaviors informed by the thirteen (13) core competencies, instructional leadership (M=4.05) was perceived by teachers to be the least used by principals. Figure 4 shows the meanscore for teachers regarding their perceptions on the extent to which their principals exhibitedbehaviors informed by the thirteen (13) core competencies.4.614.534.5 4.48 4.48 4.47 4.454.404.374.31 4.31 4.314.27184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN46Figure 4.The frequency teachers perceive principals exhibit behavior informed by the 13core competencies. This figure shows the average frequency that teachers perceivedprincipals used behaviors informed by the thirteen (13) competencies.N=346Of the top four competencies indicated by teachers, principals also believed that theymost frequently exhibited behaviors informed by assessment (M = 4.61). Teachers indicated thatthe competency used least by their principals was instructional leadership (M = 4.05). Principalsidentified unity of purpose (M = 4.58) as the competency least used. Table 2 shows comparisonsbetween principals’ perceptions and teachers’perceptions regarding the frequency principals usedbehaviors informed by the corecompetencies.Teacher Perception and Teacher Job SatisfactionWhenexamining the relationship between teacher job satisfaction and the extent to whichprincipals exhibited behaviors informed by the thirteen (13) competencies, a significantcorrelation was found between teacher job satisfaction and teachers’ perceptions regarding thefrequency of which principals exhibited behaviors informed by the thirteen (13) corecompetencies (r =.616, p < 0.01). The significance of this correlation provides strong evidencefor the presence of a significant relationship. This suggests that the higher the teacher’sperception regarding the extent to which a principal exhibited behaviors informed by the thirteen(13) core competencies, the higher the teacher’s job satisfaction.4.594.554.47 4.464.39 4.37 4.37 4.35 4.35 4.344.294.254.053.83.918.104.22.168.22.214.171.124
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN47Table 2Correlations Between Teacher Job Satisfaction and Teachers’ PerceptionsRegarding the Importance of and the Extent to which Principals ExhibitBehaviors Informed by the thirteen (13) Core CompetenciesPearson’s r pImportanceFrequency.616.645.000.000Note. Correlation is significant at the 0.01level (2-tailed).N= 346 for each group.Pearson r2value (.379) indicates that approximately 38% of the variability of teachers’job satisfaction is related to their perceptions of the frequency in which the principal usedbehaviors informed by the thirteen (13) core competencies. This value represents a moderateeffect size for the relationship between these two variables. Overall, the results imply thatteachers in this study have higher job satisfaction when they perceive their leaders exhibitbehaviors informed by the thirteen (13) core competencies.The findings also revealed a statistically significant positive relationship between teacherjob satisfaction and the importance principals place on behaviors informed by the thirteen (13)core competencies (r = .645, p <0.01). According to Waddell (2010), effective principalsprovide environments in which teachers are supported and regarded as valued decision makers intheir schools. The findings indicate that teachers in this population sample believe principals tovalue and use behaviors informed by the thirteen (13) core competencies.DiscussionThe Importance of the 13 Core CompetenciesThe study sought to determine theextent, if any, to which school leaders perceived thethirteen (13) core competencies to be important. Analysis of the data revealed that principalsfrom the population sample believe the thirteen (13) core competencies to be important in theadministration of their schools. In the literature, the top competencies that leaders need to have inorder to enhance teaching and learning and to transform underperforming schools are to: (a)articulate a clear vision for high student achievement; (b) demonstrate the ability to analyze anduse data to identify student needs, inform instruction, and provide high-quality professionaldevelopment; (c) develop, implement, and evaluate rigorous curricula to accelerate studentachievement; (d) support the development of all teachers; and (e) manage resources andoperations that support student learning. Principals’ perceptions mirror the literature reports inregard to competencies needed by leaders in 21stcentury schools.
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN48Leader Behavior Informed by the 13 Core CompetenciesIn addition to believing that the thirteen (13) core competencies are important, principalsin the study reported that they perceived that they frequently used behaviors informed by thethirteen (13) core competencies. Davis et al. (2005) identified three aspects of the principal’s job:(a) developing a deep understanding of how to support teachers; (b) managing the curriculum inways that promote student learning, and (c) developing the ability to transform schools into moreeffective organizations that foster powerful teaching and learning for all students. These findingsare reflected in the thirteen (13) core competencies, specifically, (a) professional development;(b) curriculum and instruction, and (c) organizational management. The thirteen (13) corecompetencies inform leader behaviors that focus on what is essential, what needs to be done, andhow to get it done to improve teaching and learning (Green, 2010).The Perception of Teachers Regarding the Behavior of Their PrincipalThe teacher perception data shows that principals frequently used behaviors informed byall of the thirteen (13) core competencies. Administrative support and leadership, schoolatmosphere, and teacher autonomy are working conditions associated with teacher satisfaction(National Center for Education Statistics, 1997). The more favorable the working conditionswere, the higher the satisfaction. Administrative support was cited in the literature review asbeing one of the top indicators of teacher job satisfaction (National Center for EducationStatistics, 1997; Shen et al., 2012; Waddell, 2010). Ross and Gray (2006) found that principalswho use transformational leader behavior (i.e. giving teachers opportunities to participate indeveloping school goals, diagnosing instructional needs, and providing appropriate professionaldevelopment) were likely to have a positive impact on teachers’ beliefs about their capacity andcommitment to organizational values. The top four most frequently used competencies, asidentified by both teachers and principals,describe the type of transformational leader behavioridentified in the literature.The Relationship Between Principal Behavior and Teacher Job SatisfactionThe results from the teachers’ perceptions of the principals’ behavior and the relationshipto job satisfaction are consistent with previous research indicating their importance. Schoolleaders must create the kind of school environment and exhibit the type of behavior thatpromotes teacher satisfaction (Wahlstrom& Louis, 2008). Waddell (2010) declared that teacherjob satisfaction is increased through supportive school leaders, teachers participating in decision-making, collegial relationships, quality professional development, and collaborative work. Price(2012) found that the level of job satisfaction among teachers is directly affected by therelationship with their principals. As evidenced by the strong correlation between teachers’perceptions of leaders’ behavior and teachers’ job satisfaction, if principals exhibit behaviorinformed by the thirteen (13) core competencies, teacher satisfaction will be enhanced.Goodlad (2004) emphasized the importance of identifying factors that school leaders cancontrol which lead to teacher job satisfaction. The current exploration of teacher job satisfactionand leadership behavior was based on three assumptions: (a) the relationship between teacher jobsatisfaction and the behavior of the school leader (Bishay, 1996; Bogler, 2001; Chong, 2010;Futernick, 2007; Tickle et al., 2011; Waddell, 2010; Wynn & Brown, 2008); (b) the thirteen
DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN49(13)core competences that inform school leader behavior for effective principals of 21st-centuryschools (Green, 2010); and (c) the relationship between principals exhibiting behavior informedby the thirteen (13) core competencies and the level of teacher job satisfaction will be enhanced(Green, 2010; Ivie, 2007).Limitations of the StudyThis study is restrictive in that the findings represent a convenience sample populationconsisting of school principals and teachers from three school districts in the southeastern UnitedStates. Therefore, the findings may not accurately represent perceptions of principals andteachers in all educational settings. Also, the study did not examine differences in teacherperceptions of principal behavior and teacher job satisfaction with respect to demographicinformation. Schools with different demographic information, such as age, gender, grades taught,education level, or years of teaching experience intheir current school, might reveal differentresults (Anderman, 1991; Darling-Hammond, 2010; Ingersoll, 2001). It should also be noted thatdifferences in principal behavior foster cultural differences within a school which could affectthe satisfaction level of teachers (Anderman, 1991).ConclusionThe findings of the study are significant to the rapidly changing era of standards-basedreform and accountability that has fueled a shift in the role of the principal. Principals can nolonger function solely as building managers. They are required to become leaders of learningwho can develop a team of teachers who deliver effective instruction (Dufour&Eaker, 1998;Dufour&Marzano, 2011; Wallace Foundation, 2011). Thirty years of research has shown thateffective principals can significantly influence student achievement and turn around failingschools (Leithwood et al., 2004; Marzano et al., 2005). Acquiring and mastering the necessaryskills to significantly influence student achievement can be challenging for principals. From apreponderance of the literature, Green (2010) identified thirteen (13) core competencies thatdescribe what school leaders should be able to do and inform the knowledge and skills thatresearch has concluded are necessary for effective practice in school reform. This studyconfirms past research stating that school leaders who exhibit behaviors informed by the thirteen(13) core competencies are equipped to create positive learning environments that enhanceteacher motivation, increase teacher job satisfaction, and increase teacher efficacy (Farmer,2010; Fee, 2008; Green, 2010; Ivie, 2007).The literature review included many studies that support the notion that leadershipbehavior clearly impacts teacher job satisfaction. Another theme that emerged from the reviewof existing research was that effective school leaders possess skills used to forge collaborativerelationships with their teachers. Results of this study indicate that principals place importanceon and use the thirteen (13) core competencies in their daily responsibilities as school leaders.Teachers in the study population indicated that they perceive that their principals frequentlydisplay behaviors informed by the thirteen (13) core competencies. The correlation of datarevealed that job satisfaction is enhanced when teachers perceive that their principals practiceleader behaviors informed by the thirteen core competencies.
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DETRIS CRANE and REGINALD LEON GREEN54AuthorsDetris Crane, Ed.D. is the principal of Lucy Elementary School, Shelby County Schools –Millington, Tennessee.Reginald Leon Green, Ed. D. is Professor of Educational Leadership in the College ofEducation at the University of Memphis. Dr. Green teaches courses in educational leadershipwith a focus on instructional leadership, school reform, and models for turning around lowperforming schools. His research interests include school leadership, team building for effectiveteaching and learning, superintendent/board relations, school district restructuring, and theeffects of nurturing characteristics on the academic achievement of students.