Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eric S. Glover

Committee Members

Elizabeth Ralston, Pamela H. Scott, Virginia P. Foley


The problem of this qualitative study is to assess teacher perceptions of the leadership practices of female principals. The focus of this study was at the elementary school level. The data were collected from the teachers about their perceptions regarding the female principals with whom they work. This qualitative study was conducted by interviewing 8 teachers from 3 elementary schools in northeast Tennessee. The teachers were interviewed to understand their perceptions of effective leadership practices exhibited by female principals.

During the data analysis, 7 constructs were identified after examining and coding the data for related themes. These 7 constructs were: (a) vision, (b) student growth, (c) staff development, (d) organization, (e) communication, (f) caring, and (g) community. In addition to the themes, participants shared perceptions of disadvantages, advantages, and effective leadership characteristics of female principals.

Based on the research the following conclusions were drawn. Teachers want to have clear expectations, organization, and follow through in the school environment. This could be accomplished through clear communication and expectations by the principal. Teachers would also like a caring work environment that is created by a principal who listens, respects, and understands others. Each teacher has a variety of different responsibilities and they would like acknowledged. Most of the teachers want a school vision that is focused on providing a productive learning environment for all the students.

Recommendations for future research included the following:

  1. Only teachers were interviewed in this study. Additional research in this area could be the study of principals' perception of effective leadership practices. This information could be used to determine the similarities and differences between what principals and teachers view as effective leadership practices.
  2. Interview teachers from middle and high schools to assess their perception of effective leadership practices. There could be a difference in the leadership practices of elementary, middle, and high school female principals.
  3. Additional research in this area needs to be conducted in a variety of elementary schools. This would provide a larger sample of participants.
  4. Interview teachers from elementary schools to compare their perceptions of male and female principals.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.