Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Academic achievement; Elementary school principals; School environment; Teacher-principal relationships;


The purpose of this study was to determine within an elementary school context (a) the relationship among teachers' perceptions of their principal's school's vision, of their sense of autonomy, and of the school climate; and (b) how these core variables were associated with student achievement and student socioeconomic status. Leadership and effective schools literature link the visionary principal with a variety of school-related variables including those in this study.

Data were collected using three survey instruments and a questionnaire administered to fourth grade general education teachers in the sample. The principals of the schools included in this study were also asked to complete a questionnaire. A total of 69 teachers and 66 principals returned the questionnaires mailed to them. This represented a match of 39% of the elementary school buildings in the study having both a principal and at least one general education teacher returning information for analysis.

Analyses of the data included an investigation into the demographic characteristics of the respondents and statistical analyses related to the research questions and hypotheses. Pearson correlations were calculated for school vision, teacher autonomy, and school climate; for the subscales of the three core variables; and for the demographic variables selected for investigation. Multiple regressions were used to further analyze the relationships among the subscales of the core and demographic variables.

Results of the study indicated that while positive correlations were found to exist among a principal's vision, teacher autonomy, and school climate at the descriptive level, the only statistically significant correlation was established between teacher autonomy and school climate. Teacher autonomy and school climate were also significantly correlated with student achievement and socioeconomic status. In an investigation of the relationship of the subscales of the three core variables, correlations were found to exist. The autonomy and school climate subscales correlated with the highest number of other subscales.

Findings indicated that as determined by teachers' perceptions, a principal's vision was not found to be correlated with school climate or teacher autonomy as total concepts. It was found that specific subscales, representing subconcepts of the total concepts, were correlated. Further research is warranted.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies


Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling

First Advisor

William P. Callahan


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Date Original


Object Description

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