Principals’ preferences when hiring teachers: a conjoint experiment

Jason Giersch (Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)
Christopher Dong (Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Publication date: 2 July 2018

Abstract

Purpose

What do principals look for when hiring teachers? The purpose of this paper is to extend the knowledge concerning what aspects of teacher quality are in demand among the individuals who administer schools and make hiring decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

Rather than employing interviews or surveys, the authors utilized a conjoint instrument that assembled teacher characteristics into fictitious applicant profiles. Participating North Carolina public school principals (n = 467) then chose among the computer-generated options and regression analysis allowed the authors to identify preferences in the aggregate.

Findings

Principals in this study preferred applicants with classroom experience, but those with 15 years were no more preferred than those with 5. They also preferred applicants with more education, but an advanced degree was no more preferred than a bachelor’s from a highly selective institution. Preference for teachers who are committed to state standards varied with schools’ performance on state tests.

Originality/value

Conjoint analysis is a useful tool for measuring preferences but is underutilized in research on education administration. This paper contributes not only to the body of knowledge about school principal behavior but also to the field’s familiarity of research techniques.

Keywords

Citation

Giersch, J. and Dong, C. (2018), "Principals’ preferences when hiring teachers: a conjoint experiment", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 56 No. 4, pp. 429-444. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-06-2017-0074

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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