AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Support and mistreatment by public school principals as experienced by teachers: A statewide survey

by Diane Sue Huffman

Institution: Miami University
Department: Educational Leadership
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Keywords: Educational Leadership; School Administration; teacher mistreatment; workplace mistreatment; school culture; bullying; school climate; organizational culture; Dewey; pragmatism; mixed method; State of Ohio; teacher; principal; job satisfaction; self-efficacy
Record ID: 2058423
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=miami1430326406


Skillful teachers are key to developing good schools. Because of this, understanding the school as a workplace is necessary to investigate why teachers leave and what encourages them to stay. The relationship between the principal, as the boss, and the teacher, as the employee, is one under-researched component of the school workplace which is important for developing a broad understanding of teacher turnover. This cross-sectional study uses a definition of principal mistreatment behaviors from the literature in the development of an original mixed method survey and a random sample of teachers from public schools in the State of Ohio to investigate how often principal mistreatment behaviors are experienced by a random sample of teachers in K-12 public schools. Mistreatment behaviors were paired with an opposite principal support behavior using Likert-style response options and were specifically focused on the 2012-2013 school year. Open-ended questions were included which asked for more general experience with principal mistreatment behaviors, effects on the teachers health, opinions about school culture and student bullying, and the effects of principal treatment behaviors on the teachers sense of efficacy and job satisfaction. The result of the study suggests that principal mistreatment and lack of support behaviors are widely experienced by teachers in the sample; however, these behaviors occur at a low frequency. Almost half of the teacher experienced severe level principal mistreatment behaviors, as defined by past research, during the school year. Mistreatment behaviors experienced by teachers resulted in a variety of teacher’s health concerns. A majority of teachers considered the principal-teacher relationship as an important factor in their sense of efficacy and job satisfaction. It is recommended that the education of future teachers and principals include a model of administration leadership which is developed by actual teacher experience. Further research is warranted.