Trust, Transformational Leadership, and Collective Teacher Efficacy in an Urban School Setting
Stump, Melinda K.
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The purpose of this study is to show how together trust along with transformational leadership moderates the effect of economic disadvantage on instructional capacity, defined by collective teacher efficacy, in urban schools. More specifically, using survey and administrative secondary dataset from one large urban district (N=74 schools) applied in practice to make decisions, this study examines the relationship between faculty trust in principals, transformational leadership, independently, and as an interaction, on collective teacher efficacy. This study seeks to extend the literature through evidence of a greater effect of the interaction of trust and transformational leadership on collective teacher efficacy while lessening urban school context barriers. Schools often struggle to foster much-needed trust between site administrators and teachers, which influences instructional capacity. Transformational leadership behaviors provide many strategies toward enhancing capacity through various educational factors. One significant educational factor in the quest to improve instructional capacity is a school culture of trust (Adams, 2013; Adams, 2008; Adams & Forsyth, 2009; Bryk & Schneider, 2002; Forsyth, Adams, & Hoy, 2011; Leithwood & Jantzi, 1999; Tschannen-Moran, 2014). When leaders use transformational behaviors in fostering relationships with teachers, trust is enhanced, promoting a positive educational environment that leads to higher levels of instructional capacity (Bryk & Schneider, 2002; Forsyth, Adams, & Hoy, 2011; Tschannen-Moran, 2014). A vast quantity of research related to faculty trust in principals, a contributing component to collective trust, and transformational leadership behaviors exists; however, this study is examining, in particular, their individual and combined correlation relationships on collective teacher efficacy of a Midwestern urban school. Extending the scope of this multidimensional leadership, which is the interaction, lends itself to assisting practitioners in understanding faculty perspectives. The faculty perspectives of the leadership behaviors can help develop new strategies to implement into their leadership skillset to foster positive effects on collective teacher efficacy. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to quantitatively investigate transformational leaders’ behaviors on instructional capacity by focusing on faculty trust in principal leadership. This study provides correlational evidence between transformational leadership’s behaviors and instructional capacity via faculty perceptions of trust in principals. The findings for this study include ~8% variance explained for background variables on collective teacher efficacy. Faculty trust in principals and school background variables indicates ~18% variance explained on collective teacher efficacy. Transformational leadership and school background variables indicates ~24% variance explained on collective teacher efficacy. The interaction and the school background variables indicates ~26% variance explained on collective teacher efficacy. This study is necessary to expose new avenues for practitioners and organizations to guide more meaningful principal leadership behaviors which influence a school’s instructional capacity. Keywords: trust, transformational leadership, collective teacher efficacy, urban schools
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