Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Virginia P. Foley

Committee Members

Cecil N. Blankenship, James H. Lampley, Pamela H. Scott


The characteristics of servant leaders as perceived by teachers who evaluated the leadership excellence of principals were the focus of this study. The essential ingredient of a leader was examined in all participating schools; the role of the principal was crucial to a school's effectiveness and was widely acknowledged.

Ten characteristics were discussed in the literature review. This dissertation was a quantitative study of teachers' perceptions, as well as principals' self-perceptions, of principals in rural Title I Schools located in southwest Virginia.

The exploratory question that originated from this study was: Was there a significant difference between the mean score on the Metcalfe Leadership Questionnaire for teachers and their school principals for each of the 10 survey variables (listening, empathy, awareness, healing, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community) for schools 1 through 17? In an attempt to answer this question, a Likert 5 scale survey was given to each principal regardless of years experience and teachers with at least 3 years of experience. This group of teachers was selected with the assumption that experienced teachers could better identify influential relationship that described true patterns in Title I schools. A one sample t-test was used to determine if differences existed between teachers' means and their principal's self-ratings.

The results showed a significant difference in the teachers' perceptions of their principal and the self-analysis by the principal in the servant-leadership characteristics as defined by Robert Greenleaf (1977). The null hypotheses relating to healing and persuasion were retained in more schools than rejected. The remaining 8 null hypotheses were rejected in more schools than retained. In most cases principals' self-ratings were higher than the means of teachers rating them. In at least two schools principals generally rated themselves lower than their teachers.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.