Teacher and Principal Leadership: Florida Teachers of the Year and Their Principals


Educational Leadership; School principals; Teacher/principal relationships; Teachers


The overall purpose of this study was to identify and illustrate leadership practices of exemplary teachers and their principals. Specifically investigated were the perceptions of Florida's Teachers of the Year 2000 and their principals in the context of the Kouzes and Posner (1993, 1995, 1997) Model of Leadership. The research population consisted of 67 Florida Teachers of the Year 2000 and 60 respective principals. The problem of the study was to explore the extent to which: (a) principals and Teachers of the Year perceived themselves as leaders, (b) principals' perceptions and teachers' perceptions differed regarding their principals' leadership, and (c) principals facilitated leadership in their Teachers of the Year. The study focused primarily on the identification of the five leadership practices of Challenging the Process, Inspiring a Shared Vision, Enabling Others to Act, Modeling the Way, and Encouraging the Heart. Data derived from the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI-Self and LPI Observer) were used in the analysis of the first four research questions. Percentages, means, range of scale scores, standard deviations, and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were employed. Research questions five through eight were investigated using descriptive data acquired during oral and written interviews. Responses were recorded, categorized and discussed. It was concluded that Teachers of the Year and their principals perceived themselves as leaders and that they used all of the leadership practices to some extent. Teachers cited their own frequent use of Encouraging, Enabling and Modeling practices. Principals identified Enabling and Modeling as their most frequently used practices. They, more than their teachers, believed they served as enablers and modeled the behaviors associated with these two practices. Teachers, regardless of school level, shared similar perceptions of their principals' leadership practices. It was 'Concluded that while teachers and principals used Modeling most often to describe teacher leadership, Enabling and Encouraging were the major actions of principals that contributed to the leadership of the teachers in this study. Blocks identified were related not only to organizational "lack of administrative support," but also to inherent conditions such as "equal status," "stress," "lack of opportunity," "lack of time" and "lack of reward." Findings and conclusions of this study support previous research on the connections between teacher and principal leadership. Outcomes show that increased understanding of leadership practices could be used to design conditions fostering teacher leadership. Implications for practice include administrative and teacher leadership training, leadership mentors, increased communication, leadership visibility and collegial exchange. A critical need was demonstrated to extend the variety of leadership practices principals employ. Increased development of leadership practices among principals will ultimately contribute to teacher leadership in Florida schools.


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Graduation Date



Lynn, Mary Ann


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Instructional Programs and Educational Leadership




181 p.



Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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