Teacher's perception of the leadership effectiveness of female and male principals

Antoinette Love, Tennessee State University


This study investigated teachers' perceptions of leadership effectiveness of female principals compared to male principals. The sample group were teachers from a school district in Middle Tennessee. The survey instrument for this study was the abbreviated version of the Diagnostic Survey for Leadership that consisted of 12 Likert-scale items. This version of the DSLI was used by Gore (2000) and Bess (2001). In addition, a demographic questionnaire was also used in this study. The purpose of this study was to explore how effective teachers perceived their male or female principal to be in the workplace. Teacher participants scored their principal in the areas of supervisory activities, participatory activities, student interactions, staff interactions, daily school affairs, instructional issues, and long term organizational issues. They were also asked to indicate how often they thought effective leadership behaviors occurred and how often they thought each behavior should occur. Two hundred surveys were sent to elementary, middle, and high school teachers in twelve schools. Women principals headed six of the schools, and male principals headed six of the schools. The 200 teachers were randomly selected, and 132 responded to the survey. Ten hypotheses were tested using independent sample t-tests. It was found that teachers with male principals reported more areas where male principals were effective. When teachers were asked their preference of male or female principal, male and female teachers reported having "No Preference" in relation to gender of the principal. The teacher's years of experience did not have a significant main effect on the principal's perceived leadership effectiveness. Based on a 2x4 Multiple Analysis of Variance (MANOVA), it was further found that male principals scored higher on effective leadership behavior currently occurring in their schools.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Antoinette Love, "Teacher's perception of the leadership effectiveness of female and male principals" (2007). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3259046.