Principal leadership, collective teacher efficacy, and high reliability organization principles : creating high-performing high schools

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


The purpose of this multiple embedded case study is to understand how principal leadership develops and maintains collective teacher efficacy (CTE) in rural high schools, and how CTE and high reliability organization (HRO) principles contribute to the development of a high-performing rural high school. Four Montana high schools were selected for this study based upon students above average composite ACT scores and graduation rates for two consecutive years. The third criterion was that each school's principal had to have been in that leadership position longer than four years. Each school completed Goddard and Hoy's Collective Efficacy Scale (2003) to ascertain the level of the teaching staff's collective efficacy and provide descriptive data. The principal and a teacher focus group from each school were then interviewed separately. From the data analysis, three themes emerged across all four schools. First, principals had developed 'situational awareness' to effectively manage their schools. Second, principals had well established and effective formal and informal channels of communication. Third, principals had a continuous school improvement process in place to make improvements. Principals have a key role to play in the development of CTE as well as the implementation of HRO principles in their schools to create a high-performing school. The results of this study can provide new insights on how principals develop collective teacher efficacy (CTE) and utilize the five high reliability organization principals to create a high-performing high school in rural Montana.




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