Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

8-2019

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Jillian Skelton, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Derrick Tennial, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Dion Jones, Ed.D.

Keywords

principal–counselor relationship, Kuwait, international American schools, Middle East, school counseling, educational partnerships, professional rapport

Abstract

This qualitative, descriptive multiple case study examined principal and school counselor descriptions about characteristics that contribute to effective and ineffective professional relationships between school counselors and principals in American, private K–12 schools in Kuwait. Eight participants (four principal–counselor dyads) made up the sample. Participants were purposefully selected based on criteria: they were fluent in English, had worked with their principal/counselor for at least one year, and were currently employed as a principal/counselor in Kuwait. Thematic analysis was used to examine data from semistructured open-ended interviews, open-ended questionnaires, and observational field notes. The results revealed seven themes. The principals and school counselors articulated a strong need for: (a) collective insight, (b) professional leadership, (c) social competence, (d) intentional communication, and (e) mutual respect to have effective professional relationships, and suggested that having a (f) lack of adequate training/professional development, and (g) organizational constraints led to ineffective professional principal–counselor relationships. The results of this study are important for principals, school counselors, and stakeholders associated with American, private K–12 schools in Kuwait. The findings can be used for reflection and discussion, to develop practices, and to advance schoolwide improvements. The researcher made recommendations for future research to examine principal–counselor relationship development over time, the quality of the principal–counselor relationships, as well as effective strategies that principals and school counselors can use to sustain development.

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