The effects of sex of teacher, sex of scenario principal and leadership style on the performance ratings of scenario principals by teachers

Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Administration and Supervision

First Advisor's Name

Lorraine R. Gay

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Stephen M. Fain

Third Advisor's Name

Allen Fisher

Fourth Advisor's Name

Sarah W. J. Pell

Date of Defense



This study was designed to address questions regarding the effects of sex and leadership style on teacher perceptions of principal effectiveness. On a researcher-designed instrument, middle school teachers rated the effectiveness of a scenario principal's response in several situations. The responses reflected varying levels of Task and Relationship Behavior.

The design incorporated two between subjects factors (Teacher Sex and Principal Sex) and one within subjects factor (Leadership Style) which was treated as a repeated measure. An analysis of variance revealed no significant effects except for Leadership Style. Overall, High Task/High Relationship behavior rated significantly higher and Low Task/Low Relationship rated significantly lower than the others. The null hypothesis concerning differences could not be rejected and the stated research hypotheses were not supported.

Additional analyses of variance were conducted substituting subject demographic variables for Teacher Sex in the research design. No significant interactions or main effects other than Leadership Style were noted when either Age or Ethnicity were substituted.

A significant two-way interaction was noted for Teacher Experience and Leadership Style (p = .0316). Less experienced teachers rated principal's performance lower when exhibiting High Task/Low Relationship style than did more experienced teachers. A significant three-way interaction was noted for Administrative Aspiration x Principal Sex x Leadership Style (p = .0294). Teachers who indicated an intent to enter administration differed more on their ratings between male and female principals exhibiting mixed styles of High Task/Low Relationship and Low Task/High Relationship than did teachers who indicated no or undecided.

Sex of the teacher appears less important than sex of the principal on performance ratings. Results suggest further study of the effects of teacher experience and teacher administrative aspiration on perceptions of principal effectiveness.



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