Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Kathryn K. Franklin

Committee Members

Cecil N. Blankenship, Eric S. Glover, Louise L. MacKay


The purpose of this qualitative study was to construct a theoretical framework explaining the connection between principal leadership practices and the phenomenon of teacher morale. The study also focused on principal leadership practices and the perceived effects that style has on how teachers feel about themselves and their jobs. First, a review of extant literature defined what constitutes effective leadership in school related environments. Second, the researcher defined teacher morale, both high and low, and how it relates to work performance. Third, the researcher attempted to explore how teacher morale and the leadership style of their principals relate.

This qualitative study was conducted using interviews of teachers from 7 public elementary schools. Post interview journaling was also conducted by the researcher to capture immediate author perspective. The teachers were interviewed to gain their perceptions of leadership practices that motivate them to enjoy their jobs and work beyond status quo. With information gleaned from teachers, the desired outcome of this research was for principals to self-evaluate their leadership strategies and style and to find importance in building high teacher morale for the betterment of everyone.

The researcher coded transcripts into themes, patterns, and the following theoretical constructs: (a) change, (b) leadership practices, (c) mandated testing, (d) stress, (e) communication, (f) acknowledgment, (g) professionalism (h) identifying with teachers, and (i) building community.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.