Date of Award

12-1-1981

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Abstract

Purpose of the Study

The primary purpose of the study was to assess black and white faculty members' perceptions of the leadership behavior of black and white elementary principals in black, white, or racially mixed communities. More specifically, this study was designed to determine if there were differences in the way teachers perceive the leadership behavior of principals when the teacher and principal were of different races.

Design of the Study

The faculty perception of leadership behavior was measured by the Representation, Demand Reconciliation, Consideration, and Superior Orientation subscales of the Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ) Form XII. The validity and reliability of this instrument has been established through its wide usage in various settings. Principal race, teacher race, and the ethnic identification of the community in which the schools were located were the independent variables considered.

Method of Research

A descriptive survey research method was used to provide a case study of the relationship between the variables of ethnicity and perception. More specifially, the research design for this study utilized an ex post facto survey research method to determine the interaction of the independent and dependent variables of ethnicity and perception of leadership behavior.

Information for the study was gathered by use of the LBDQ Form XII questionnaire. Coded questionnaires were mailed to 350 teachers at the participating schools. After a three-day time period, all questionnaires were collected from each school. However, two questionnaires were discarded since it was decided not to include teachers of races other than black or white in this study. Further, twenty-five were incomplete and not usable, leaving a total of 323 questionnaires or 92.8 percent for analyses for this study.

The study was conducted during the 1980-81 school year in fourteen elementary schools located in the Atlanta Public School System and two elementary schools located in the DeKalb County School System. Six of these schools were located in white ethnic communities, six were located in black ethnic communities, and four were located in communities whose ethnic identification was designated as mixed. Eight of these schools had white principals and eight schools had black principals. Nine of the principals were male while seven were female.

Statistical Method Used in the Analysis

The analysis of variance procedure was used as the means of examining the effects that the independent variable (principal race, teacher race, and community ethnic identification) had on the dependent variable (teacher perception of principal) as measured by the various subscales of the LBDQ.

Hypotheses

The following general null hypotheses were the major focii of this study. Each of the null hypothesis, along with corresponding alternative hypothesis was examined in relation to each of the four LBDQ subscales: Representation, Demand Reconciliation, Consideration, and Superior Orientation.

Hypothesis 1

Ho: Principals serving in communities of the same ethnic identification as their own race will receive the same ratings by teachers on each of the four LBDQ subscales as principals serving in communities of different ethnic identification.

Ha: Principals serving in communities of the same ethnic identification as their own race will receive higher ratings by teachers on each of the four LBDQ subscales as principals serving in communities of different ethnic identification.

Hypothesis 2

Ho: Principals will receive the same ratings on each of the four LBDQ subscales by teachers of the same race as by teachers of a race different from that of the principal.

Ha: Principals will receive higher ratings on each of the four LBDQ subscales by teachers of the same race as by teachers of a race different from that of the principal.

Hypothesis 3

Ho: Principals will receive the same ratings on each of the four LBDQ subscales by teachers of the same race as the ethnic identification of the community as by teachers of a race different from the ethnic identification of the community.

Ha: Principals will receive higher ratings on each of the four LBDQ subscales by teachers of the same race as the ethnic identification of the community as by teachers of a race different from the ethnic identification of the community.

Findings

The following findings were reached in the analysis of the Representation, Demand Reconciliation, Consideration, and Superior Orientation subscales of the LBDQ Form XII.

1. On Hypothesis 1 — Principals serving in communities of the same ethnic identification as their own race received the same ratings by teachers on Representation, Demand Reconciliation, and Consideration as principals serving in communities of different ethnic identification.

On Hypothesis 1 — Principals serving in communities of the same ethnic identification as their own race received higher ratings by teachers on Superior Orientation as principals serving in communities of different ethnic identification.

2. On Hypothesis 2 —The null hypothesis was rejected on all four subscales of the LBDQ and the alternative was accepted. Therefore, principals received higher ratings by teachers of the same race than by teachers of a race different than that of the principal.

3. On Hypothesis 3 —Principals received the same ratings by teachers of the same race as the ethnic identification of the community as by teachers of a race different from that of the ethnic identification of the community on the subscales Representation, Demand Reconciliation, and Consideration.

On Hypothesis 3 — Principals received lower ratings by teachers of the same race as the ethnic identification of the community as by teachers of a race different from that of the ethnic identification of the community on the subscale Superior Orientation.

Recommendations

The following recommendations are made as a result of this research:

1. This study be expanded to include more school systems to provide a wider sample.

2. This study be expanded to include students of all levels.

3. This study be expanded to include middle and high school teachers and principals.

4. Studies of this type be ongoing so that knowledge and insight into teachers' perceptions of leadership behavior of principals is available.

5. This study be expanded to include all twelve subscales of the LBDQ Form XII.

6. This study be expanded to assess a faculty's perception of black and white principals (with the LBDQ Form XII) using the following variables.

a. Race and sex

(1) Black males vs. white males (2) Black females vs. white females (3) Black males vs. black females (4) White males vs. white females

b. Race and grade level of teaching

(1) Black kindergarten teacher vs. white kindergarten teachers (2) Black elementary teachers vs. white elementary teachers

7. This study include teacher's perceptions of the leadership behavior of black principals with predominantly white student populations or white principals with predominantly black student populations. This study would provide insight into race in perceptions of faculty and students which would provide valuable input to the principal.

8. Principals' supervisors take into account the fact that the race of the teachers rating the principal is a factor in the ratings given.

From the above recommendations, a researcher could analyze data that would uncover information valuable to those being perceived. Additionally, it is hoped that the tendencies and implications in this study will in some way contribute to the literature in the field of education administration.

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