Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Campus Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

Ronald Williamson, Ed.D., Chair

Committee Member

Barbara Bleyaert, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Gary Marx, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Nelson Maylone, Ed.D.


This study investigated the relationship between high school principals' leadership style and teacher efficacy. A mixed method study was conducted using an online survey of current public high school teachers in southeastern Michigan. The quantitative portions of the survey consisted of the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale TES, short form (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk-Hoy, 2001) and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Avolio & Bass, 2004). Investigation of correlations, if any, were calculated by using Pearson's r to understand the aspects of a transformational leadership style that were correlated to high teacher self-efficacy. A factor analysis and reliability investigation indicated that the data generated with the chosen instruments was highly reliable for measuring principals' leadership style and teacher efficacy. Finally, in the qualitative part of the survey, study participants provided answers to an open-ended question about the single most negative factor impacting teacher self-efficacy in today's schools.

All teachers' self-efficacy mean scores on a Likert-type scale of 1 to 5 on the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale (TES), short form, ranged from 3.25 to 5, indicating relatively high to high sense of self-efficacy. There were no participants whose self-efficacy mean scores ranged from 1 and >3.25, indicating a relatively low to low self-efficacy rating. Weak to moderate positive correlations were found between teachers with relatively high to high self-efficacy ratings and principals who have transformational leadership styles, especially the characteristic of Intellectual Stimulation.

Because all teachers rated their sense of self-efficacy to be relatively high to high, and with no data available to compare relatively low to low scores and principals' leadership style, the data regarding the existence of a relationship between the variables was inconclusive, and the null hypothesis was accepted. No significant relationship exists between high school principals' leadership styles and teacher self-efficacy.

In the qualitative portion of the survey instrument, teachers responded to an open-ended question about negative impacts on their sense of efficacy in schools. Comments were analyzed and grouped into themes that included governmental mandates, regulations, and budget cuts; quality of school administration; and parent and community perceptions of education. In general, teachers want to feel valued by parents, the community and the public; they look to their principals for support, guidance, consistency, and acknowledgement. Finally, the mandates and legislative changes that have taken place in Michigan have had a negative impact on teachers’ self-efficacy. These responses provided greater understanding of the opinions of the teacher participants in this study.

The results of this study have implications for leadership at the district and building level. Building principals who have a transformational leadership style are more likely to foster teachers with high self-efficacy ratings; this, in turn, creates an environment for higher levels of student achievement. It is important that district-level leaders hire transformational leaders and encourage such approaches in existing principals through focused professional development. This study's results have implications for principal preparation programs, encouraging courses that support the development of transformational leadership skills and recognizing the research-based connection to leadership style and high teacher self-efficacy.