Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of selected elementary school principals' leadership behavior held by selected experienced, effective elementary school teachers in Minnesota. Understanding the views and needs of these teachers should help principals increase their leadership effectiveness and thus positively affect the performance and morale of such teachers.

Thirty-three experienced, effective teachers were asked to respond to the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire-Form XII (LBDQ-12) by rating their principals' actual leadership behavior and their perceptions of ideal leadership behavior of principals. Resulting data were statistically treated by the jt-test for repeated measures for significant differences at the .05 level. Five teachers working with principals whose leadership behavior approximated what the teachers perceived as ideal leadership behavior (congruent situations) and five teachers working with principals whose leadership behavior deviated significantly from what the teachers considered ideal (disparate situations) were interviewed. The interview data were reported verbatim, and generalizations were formulated.

Findings showed that there were statistically significant differences on every subscale of the LBDQ-12 between what the thirty- three teachers perceived as actual and ideal leadership behavior. The congruent group reported that their principals were visible in their schools, available to consult with teachers, considerate, involved teachers in decision making, and respected the autonomy of teachers. However, this group generally perceived their principals as having inadequate knowledge of curriculum.

The disparate group reported that their principals were unavailable or unwilling to consult with teachers, inconsiderate, unwilling to involve teachers in decision making, and uninformed about curriculum. All teachers interviewed indicated that they valued autonomy and expected to have a voice in decisions related to their work. Needs for specific expressions of appreciation from principals and for more and better communication with principals were uniformly expressed by the teachers.

Conclusions drawn from the results were that the teachers surveyed were generally not satisfied with the leadership behavior of their principals. The teachers in congruent situations appeared to view their principals' leadership behavior more positively than did the teachers in disparate situations. All teachers interviewed valued principals who were adept at the leadership behavior measured by the LBDQ-12.