Principal involvement in teacher selection : practices and attitudes among elementary school principals
The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which elementary principals are involved in teacher selection and to determine the opinions of principals on : (a) procedures used in the selection process, (b) current status of their involvement, (c) who establishes teacher selection processes, (d) involvement of teachers in teacher selection, (e) their current level of preparation to effectively select teachers, and (f) the role of decentralized governance in teacher selection.The study sought to determine if principal involvement in teacher selection was governed by policy or superintendent regulations. Also, the study sought to determine if there was variance in teacher selection practices within a school district and possible reasons for such variance. Finally, the study sought to determine if any of three demographic variables (school district regional classification, school district enrolment, and governance structure) influenced principal involvement in teacher selection.Data were collected from 188 randomnly selected elementary principals in Indiana via a survey containing 28 items divided into 4 categories. Data were analyzed using an analysis of variance, and research decisions were based on the .05 level of significance.In general, the level of involvement of Indiana elementary principals in teacher selection is relatively high. Demographic variables incorporated in this study appeared to have little effect on principal's involvement. There were three exceptions. Where variance of practice occurred within a district, significance was found in paper screening of candidates, interviewing of candidates, and making recommendations for employment. Principals' involvement in teacher selection was not affected by regional classification, enrollment of the school district, engagement in decentralized governance, existence of regulations, or established board policy on teacher selection.Findings in this study suggested that principals were highly involved in many aspects of teacher selection with one exception, writing of the job vacancy announcement. It was also found that there was a majority of schools that did not have existing school councils. Principals believed that their involvement in teacher selection was important, yet their training in this area appeared to be limited.Based on the outcomes, recommendations for further study included assessing teacher selection practices at sites where school councils exist, examining discrepancies between perceived selfconfidence and formal training, and evaluating the role of the principal in writing job vacancy announcements.