The cultural impact of the frontier myth and the Protestant ethic on principal leadership models and their influence on teacher commitment

Date of Completion

January 2006


Education, Administration




Historical, social, and economic development in the United States has resulted in the formation of cultural ideologies. Two of these cultural ideologies, the Protestant Work Ethic, and the Myth of the Frontier, have perpetuated a social context in which gender specific behaviors have become part of American cultural expectations. Public schools, like any organizations within the social context of American culture, are bound by and borne of the dynamics that created the culture. Ideologies and cultural expectations help define who and what American teachers look for in leadership. As a result, certain leadership behaviors practiced by principals may be more effective than others in promoting organizational justice, and commitment to the school. Androgynous and feminine leadership behaviors, in this study, were highly effective in promoting these factors and were generally preferred by teachers.^