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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Phyllis Hensley

First Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Second Committee Member

Bea Lingenfelter

Third Committee Member

Memeriyil Thomas


The fragmentation of teachers' work, through isolation and the absence of structures for collegial interaction, make teaching a very solitary and private kind of work that has far reaching implications. Although teacher isolation is recognized as an ongoing problem and a detriment to the teaching profession, empirical evidence of what principals are doing to reduce teacher isolation and to promote collegiality is limited. The purpose of this research study was to identify how elementary school principals are reducing teacher isolation, promoting collegiality, and facilitating beginning teacher induction. The researcher examined the perceptions of 331 public elementary principals throughout California regarding these issues. Data were gathered through a 72 item questionnaire designed for this research study based on the literature, and descriptive statistics were used to organize and analyze the data. In general, most principals indicated that they were implementing many practices discussed in the literature that contribute to reduced teacher isolation and greater collegiality. For example, most principals indicated that they have a collaborative leadership style, implemented collaborative professional development, engaged teachers in shared decision making, and considered collaborative time for teachers to be very important. Most principals also claimed that their teachers preferred to work with colleagues to develop lesson plans and teaching strategies, were involved in change initiatives, and collaboratively worked to meet school goals. Practices that should be more fully implemented include aspects of teacher and mentor release time, teacher observations and feedback, teacher leadership, professional dialogue, and principals' involvement in the induction process. For example, principals and teachers must have ample opportunity to observe teachers and provide constructive feedback, principals should share with teachers the responsibility of planning and leading faculty and collaborative meetings, and principals should not rely solely on an induction program like BTSA for supporting beginning teachers but rather exercise their leadership role by being actively involved in the induction process. Recommendations for further study included conducting a teacher survey and personal interviews with principals and teachers, because principals may have responded to the survey in an idealistic fashion that was contrary to their actual practices or philosophy.



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