Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

12-2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Barbara Weschke, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Jill Bonds, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Dana Sims, Ph.D.

Keywords

servant leadership, teacher satisfaction, teacher retention, listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, growth, community

Abstract

Given the importance of qualified teachers, research has explored teacher retention. One of the most influential ways to retain qualified teachers is through teacher satisfaction. Research has consistently indicated that leadership can influence teacher satisfaction positively or negatively. This qualitative case study explored the influence of one leadership style: servant leadership. Among the many leadership styles, servant leadership is well-suited for the education setting, which naturally focuses on serving and growing people. Therefore, this study used 10 principles of servant leadership (Greenleaf 1970, 1996, 2002) as the conceptual framework, exploring the influence of servant leadership on teacher satisfaction and longevity. Six teachers with longevity at their school were individually interviewed to gather their perceptions and experiences of school leaders that influenced the teachers’ satisfaction and longevity. Then the participants were presented with information on servant leadership and asked to use a rubric to assess their leaders’ servant leadership. This was followed by a final individual interview focusing on each participant’s perceptions of his or her leader’s servant leadership, incorporating the participant’s assessment. Results of this study supported previous research indicating that servant leadership does influence teacher satisfaction, which in turn influences retention. This may have implications that school leadership might want to consider the importance of servant leadership to better support teachers.

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Education Commons

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