A Comparison of the Role of the Principal in Elementary Schools of Different Size and Location
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Thom, Carl G.
The purpose of the research was to discover whether the role of the elementary school principal differed significantly in public schools of different size (small, medium, and large) and location (urban, suburban, and rural areas). Small schools had an enrollment of less than 250 students. Medium size schools had an enrollment of 250 to 500 students. Large schools had an enrollment of over 500 students. A questionnaire developed by John M. Foskett of the University of Oregon was sent to potential respondents in Wisconsin, Illinois, and thirteen other states. Respondents included principals, teachers, parents, superintendents, and school board members. The four role categories of the Foskett inventory had to do with the way in which principals act toward teachers (Role 1), toward pupils and parents (Role 2), toward the profession (Role 3), and toward the community (Role 4). Major findings included the following: (1) No significant differences were found for the for role categories of the Foskett inventory because of the size of the schools. (2) No significant differences were found for the way principals act towards teachers because of the location of the schools. (3) Location did significantly influence the role of the elementary school principal as the principal acts toward pupils and parents, the profession, and the community. (4) No significant interaction between size and location was found to influence the role of the principal as the principal acts towards teachers, the profession, and the community. (5) Significant interaction between size and location was found for the role of the principal as the principal acts towards pupils and parents. The study also detected some of the relationships among urban, suburban, and rural schools which were responsible for the significant differences due to location and also, some of the size and location relationships responsible for the significant interaction found between size and location. Some of the greatest differences in the way respondents from urban, suburban, and rural schools answered selected items from the questionnaire were also presented in the study.