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Why teachers trust school leaders

Victoria Handford (Theory and Policy Studies, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)
Kenneth Leithwood (Theory and Policy Studies, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 15 March 2013

4665

Abstract

Purpose

Trust among teachers in schools is significantly related to student achievement and trust in school leaders is an important influence on such trust. The purpose of this study is to identify leadership practices which teachers interpret as signs of trustworthiness on the part of their principals.

Design/methodology/approach

Evidence for the study was provided by post‐observation interviews with 24 randomly selected teachers in three “high trust” and three “low trust” schools selected from a much larger sample of schools included in a national study. Coding of interview data was guided by a framework of trust antecedents identified through a wide‐ranging review of empirical research.

Findings

Results demonstrated that teacher trust in principals is most influenced by leadership practices which teachers interpret as indicators of competence, consistency and reliability, openness, respect and integrity.

Originality/value

These results, generally consistent with previous research, specify, in much greater detail than has been reported to date, leadership trust‐building practices.

Keywords

Citation

Handford, V. and Leithwood, K. (2013), "Why teachers trust school leaders", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 51 No. 2, pp. 194-212. https://doi.org/10.1108/09578231311304706

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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