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ERIC Number: ED517394
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 114
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-1133-2
The Perceptions of Public School Leaders about the Role Spirituality Plays in Decision-Making
Massenburg, Masa J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Saint Louis University
The political doctrine of the separation of church and state is perhaps the major contributor to the lack of discourse on whether or not spirituality in any way affects the leadership of United States public schools. Similarly, the distinction between spirituality and religion seems to affect adversely the degree to which public school leaders are willing to discuss openly the effects of either on their decision-making. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to examine the perceptions of public school leaders, both teacher leaders and administrators, on the role that spirituality plays in their decision-making. Three essential research questions were investigated to discover personal reflections about spirituality relating to the decision-making of public school leaders who lead at different levels across the hierarchy of a school district. (1) What are the perceptions of public school administrators about the role spirituality plays in decision-making?; (2) What are the perceptions of classroom teachers about the role spirituality plays in decision-making?; (3) What are the similarities and differences in the perceptions of public school administrators and teachers about the role spirituality plays in decision-making? Utilizing a qualitative description research design, the researcher interviewed thirty-one public school leaders to ascertain their definition of spirituality, the way they made decisions in challenging circumstances, and their opinions on whether or not spirituality is useful in decision-making. Data were interpreted using the method of content analysis to determine dominant themes. Regarding the meaning of spirituality, the majority of teachers and administrators stated that their definition of spirituality evolved from their upbringing, specifically their religious background and influences from their parents and/or grandparents. In addition, one hundred percent of both teachers and administrators interviewed agreed that spirituality defined by the researcher as a set of beliefs and standards used to motivate one to do what is right, related to how they made decisions in tough circumstances and was useful in their decision-making. Therefore, the researcher concluded that, despite the controversy attached to spirituality in public school leadership, spirituality appears to be the driving force behind the decision-making for this sample of public school leaders. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States