ERIC Number: ED428443
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Feb
Levels of Openness and Trust: Do Principals "Walk the Talk"?
Bulach, Clete; Peterson, Tom
This paper investigates the levels of openness and trust that exist between teachers and their principals and whether gender has any effect on levels of openness and trust. For the study, 116 graduate students (98 female, 18 male) in a leadership-preparation program in Georgia were asked to respond to a 5-point Likert scale regarding their principal's expectations on 30 behaviors associated with openness and trust. The results indicate an overall lack of trust between principals and teachers. Furthermore, teachers did not perceive an overall openness between principals and teachers. Even so, teachers tended to disagree on the presence of behaviors associated with the telling and listening dimensions of the openness construct, and there was agreement on teachers sharing positive thoughts with the principal and on teachers accepting the principal's comments and reactions. However, the character dimension scored the lowest of the five dimensions in the trust construct, and this, coupled with the low scores on the listening and telling dimensions, could lead to a situation where both teachers and principals are unaware of what each really thinks about what is happening in the school. These levels of openness and trust could be a result of teachers and administrators receiving no training in this area. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association (Hilton Head, NC, February 1999).