Engaging Teachers to Improve Administrator Support in an Urban Middle School: an Action Research Study
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Michael F DiPaola
Steven M Constantino
Abstract High teacher turnover in urban schools, such as at the school in which this study was conducted, has persistently negatively impacted school reform efforts aimed at closing the achievement gap (Donaldson & Johnson, 2011; Ronfeldt, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2013). Since effective teachers have the greatest direct impact upon improving student achievement, high teacher turnover rates in low-performing schools that serve large populations of minority and low-income students help perpetuate the low performance of those schools (Ingersoll, 2002; Ronfeldt et al., 2013; Stronge, 2010; Wright, Horn, & Sanders, 1997). Furthermore, research indicates that teachers tend to stay in schools where a positive, supportive, collaborative school culture exists and where teachers play a role in decision making (Ado, 2013; Boyd et al., 2011; Ingersoll, 2002; Johnson, 2011). The purpose of this mixed methods action research study was to identify and explore a potential systemic intervention that would improve teachers’ perceptions of administrator support in order to eventually improve teacher retention in an urban middle school. By comparative analysis using a t-test of the pre- and post-survey results from the administration of the Principal Support Survey (DiPaola, 2012) that included the addition of three open-ended questions relating to teachers’ experiences with and wishes for administrative support, the study results indicated that after four months, implementation of a weekly observation and coaching protocol yielded a statistically significant increase in teachers’ perceptions of appraisal support. Recommendations included providing ongoing, individualized coaching support to teachers and to those coaching teachers, in addition to revising external accountability measures to ensure time for coaching and to reduce teacher stress.
© The Author
Kimzey, Barbara R., "Engaging Teachers to Improve Administrator Support in an Urban Middle School: an Action Research Study" (2019). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. William & Mary. Paper 1563898771.