An Analysis of Perceptions of Job Specifications for Secondary Principals as Viewed by Principals and Teachers in Selected Minnesota Secondary Schools

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine what differences in perception existed between teachers and principals when they viewed the job specifications of a secondary school principal. Further purposes were to determine if any differences existed between teachers and principals in their perceptions of a secondary school principal's general job categories and to attempt to identify those educational and demographic variables whose presence significantly affected the respondents' perceptions.

Procedure: The population of the study was limited to 253 public secondary schools in the state of Minnesota. The study sample included 169 principals and 273 teachers. The teachers and principals were asked to complete a questionnaire designed for this study relating to thirty-five job specifications of a secondary school principal. The survey form also requested the respondents to provide selected educational and demographic data. The survey was conducted through the use of the U. S. Postal Service during the middle of school year 1975-76.

Statistical techniques employed in the study included the chisquare, one-way analysis of variance, and a stepwise forward multiple regression. The .05 level of significance was selected a priori.

Results and Conclusions: Statistically significant differences at the .05 level were found between teachers' and principals' perceptions of twenty-two of the thirty-five job specifications of a secondary school principal as identified in the study. The study showed that the differences were caused more by the intensity of agreement than by the amount of disagreement in the perceptions of the respondents.

Perceptions by the respondents of four job specifications containing the words "responsible" or "accountable" indicated the possibility of a semantic differential existing among the respondents which could have acted as a masking variable.

Differences between the perceptions of teachers and principals concerning items related to inter-personal relationships were significant. The teachers apparently agreed with the principals concerning such relationships between a principal and his staff, but disagreed when the relationships were between the principals and students and principals and groups from outside the school.

The teachers and the principals differed significantly in their perceptions of the ranking of two of the six general categories included in the study. The size of the schools of the teachers seemingly was an important factor, as the teachers of large schools generally agreed with principals in their perceptions of the general role of the principal as an educational leader. When the teachers and principals viewed the job of the principal as an ombudsman, there was also significant disagreement. This disagreement may be attributable to the newness of the role to the principalship and the accompanying difficulty in composing a definition.

The role of the principal in assisting in teacher-school board negotiations as a resource person was perceived by just over half the principals as being important. The large minority of the principals possibly have not seen the necessity of assisting in the formulation of teachers' contracts.

Statistically different perceptions were discovered among all respondents as they viewed the general job areas of professionalism and educational leadership and their corresponding job specifications. It was concluded that this phenomenon may have been caused by an inability to differentiate between the specifications for these two job areas.

The test of demographic variables against the job specifications showed that measurable variance among the teachers' perceptions were caused primarily by the sizes of the schools involved. The roles of the principal as an administrator and as a conflict mediator, however, were apparently perceived differently by male teachers than by female teachers.

1. Principals should define their task areas and specific jobs for the teachers in their buildings. 2. Principals and teachers should cooperatively define and overcome their differences in perception of educational leadership. 3. Teachers should be made more aware of the need for a principal to have inter-personal relationships with groups other than the professional staff. 4. The state and national principals' associations should identify the need for either increasing or decreasing the importance placed on principals' participation in teacher-board negotiations. 5. Principals of small schools should make an effort to be identified as educational leaders more and as administrators less. 6. Superintendents and school boards of small schools should determine if assigned tasks of secondary principals keep them from becoming educational leaders. 7. A more precise definition of the role of the principal as an educational leader needs to be made. 8. Before attempting a staff evaluation of the building-level administration, principals should be aware that teachers often do not fully understand the job of a principal. 9. Further study should be conducted in order to determine if other demographic variables have a more significant effect upon the perceptions of teachers and principals. 10. The study should be replicated in another area of the country to determine if the results would be duplicated. 11. The study should be conducted on a "Real-Ideal" basis in an attempt to prevent any bias from affecting the results.

This document is currently not available here.