Date of Award
Dr. Mary Chandler
The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate if generational differences exist among teachers’ perceptions of the leadership practices of Boomer and Gen X principals. Leadership practices of principals have been studied for decades in education. This research study analyzed data of eight dimensions of leadership practices from the 75 item School Improvement Opinion Survey (2006). The critical literature suggests that generational differences do exist among Boomer, Gen X, and Millennial teachers and their perception of the leadership practices of Boomer and Gen X principals. This study found statistically significant differences in the mean scores among the three generations of teachers depending on the leadership dimension, and whether they were led by a Boomer or Gen X principal. The dimensions of principals’ leadership practices analyzed included: assessment, curriculum, instruction, leadership, planning and organization, professional learning, school-family-community, and school culture. The pattern that emerged from the data analyses indicated in greater frequency (70 of the 75 items) that there were no statistically significant generational differences of perceptions among teachers of the leadership practices of Boomer principals. However the data analyses indicated statistically significant generational differences (5 of the 75 items) in the leadership dimension of school-family-community and school culture. Statistically significant generational differences occurred in greater frequency among Boomer and Millennial teachers, followed by Boomer and Gen X teachers, and only one occurrence among Boomer and Gen X teachers. The pattern that emerged from the data analyses indicated a greater frequency (31 of the 75 items) were statistically significant generational differences of the perceptions among teachers of the leadership practices of Gen X principals. The data analyses indicted statistically significant generational differences were in the leadership dimensions of: assessment, curriculum, instruction, leadership, planning and organization, professional learning, and school culture. The statistically significant generational differences occurred greater frequently among Millennial and Gen X teachers (30 of the 75 items), followed by Millennial and Boomer teachers (7 of the 75 items), and one occurrence among Boomers and Gen X teachers. Principal leadership practices that are capable of addressing generational contingencies have the potential of increasing teacher effectiveness. To achieve this goal, principals will need to adjust their leadership practices to be conducive to collaboration, mutual respect, diversity, professional growth, innovation, and building relationships among the generations of teachers.