Year of Publication

2017

Season of Publication

Spring

Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Department

Education

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Elinor A. Scheirer

Second Advisor

Dr. Warren Hodge

Third Advisor

Dr. Otilia Salmon

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Cheryl A. VanDeusen

Department Chair

Dr. Elinor A. Scheirer

Abstract

ABSTRACT

SECONDARY-SCHOOL PRINCIPALS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR

ROLE IN THE RETENTION OF NOVICE TEACHERS

Theresa J. Coker

Secondary schools in the U.S. face instructional challenges due in part to novice teacher turnover. Research indicates that new teachers remain in the profession due to: supportive principal leadership, an orderly school environment, classroom autonomy, and significant professional development (Grissom, 2008). The purpose of this study was to understand how secondary-school principals perceived their role in novice teachers’ professional development and retention. Qualitative research using in-depth, semi-structured interviews included 15 secondary-school administrators from an urban district in the southeast United States. Data analysis used Eisner’s (1998) four-part approach to educational criticism—description, interpretation, evaluation, and thematics—supported by Hatch’s (2002) typological analysis. Four typologies organized description and interpretation: principals’ early experiences as educators; principals’ perceptions of the recruitment process; principals’ view of the process of professional development; and life and duties of principals.

The thematics dimension of educational criticism indicated that principals’ lack of time led to their delegating leadership tasks to other staff regarding novice teachers’ professional development. Their descriptions of their interactions with novice teachers reflected a transactional leadership style and an approach of “leading from the middle” (Bolman & Gallos, 2011) to respond to both demands from above and needs at the school level. Further, these principals perceived all teachers new to their schools as novice, whether experienced or inexperienced.

Implications include considering transformational leadership when working with novice teachers and clarifying hiring and retention responsibilities regarding novice teachers. Such communication among all parties would support novice teachers’ development and commitment to the profession. Further research might focus on observing the interactions of both administrators and faculty with novice teachers to understand the complexity of the process of their professional development.

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