Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Vincent A. Anfara, Jr.

Committee Members

Autumn K. Cyprès, Colleen P. Gilrane, Dulcie L. Peccolo

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative, multi-site case study was to investigate the principal’s role in facilitating the development of classroom management skills of novice teachers. Classroom management is a leading factor affecting the quality of instruction provided to students in public schools. The role of the administrator in supporting the novice teacher’s development as a classroom manager has limited research available, therefore, creating a gap. The rationale of investigating the principal’s role in new teacher classroom management effectiveness was achieved by using the conceptual framework of the principal as an instructional leader. An Instructional Leadership Checklist was utilized to identify three elementary principals within one district that exhibited leadership characteristics as defined by Blase and Blase (2004). The principals and their 20 novice K-5 teachers participated in semi-structured interviews and observations. Cross-case analysis was conducted to determine what leadership behaviors the principals exhibited when supporting novice teachers in classroom management and how the perceptions of new teachers and principals were similar and different. With strong evidence of the behaviors exhibited by principals, five themes were developed: collaboration, communication, professional development, instructional support and discipline support. These five themes and two additional themes (expectations and teacher recognition and feedback) were developed when addressing the similarities and difference of new teacher and principal perceptions of principal support in classroom management. Three findings were found to have common perceptions shared by both principals and teachers: collaboration, instructional support, and professional development. Two findings, communication and expectations, were perceived by principals to be more valuable methods of support. Finally, discipline support, feedback and positive recognition were deemed more vital as supports for teacher classroom management to teachers than principals. As elementary principals strive to support novice teacher classroom management they can benefit from recognizing the impact of their leadership behaviors. Principals can foster new teacher management by cultivating their ability to collaborate and communicate with teachers about classroom management, providing classroom management professional development, setting behavioral expectations, offering instructional and discipline support, and giving new teachers recognition for effective management and specific feedback which can be used to improve management strategies.

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