Date of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Elaine Walker, Ph.D

Committee Member

Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D

Committee Member

Christine Lowden, Ed.D


education, community, collaboration, leadership, teacher



The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that contribute to teachers' sense of community within public, urban, elementary schools. Becauseprevious research has touted the benefits of teacher communities within schools(Kruse, 2001; Leana & Pil, 2006; Ware & Kitsantas, 2007) educational leadersare challenged with creating school environments that foster a sense ofcommitment and cohesiveness among staff within our current accountability climate in schools. Research that focuses on best practices of successful school principals in cultivating such things as teacher communities is scarce at the elementary level (Crum & Sherman, 2008). This study employed a descriptive, quantitative, cross-sectional research design. The data used for this analysis was from public elementary teachers' responses to specific questions from the 2003-2004 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) administered through the United States Department of Education's National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). The strength in using the SASS is that it provides a large sample of elementary teachers across the United States. In the first part of the study the independent variables of principal leadership behaviors, collaborative school structures and teacher empowerment were examined to see their influence on the dependent variable, teachers' sense of community. For the second part of the study, teachers' sense of community within a building was viewed as the independent variable to see the effect this sense of community had on teacher satisfaction and on their perception of state and district content standards (dependent variables). Hierarchical regression analysis was used on the data to determine relationships and predictabiiity of the variabies. Of ail the non-policy amenable and independent variables explored, principal leadership activities were by far the strongest predictor of teachers' sense of community. The principal leadership activities variable was also found to be the strongest predictor of satisfaction with teaching and perception of state and district standards.



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