Beginning Urban Principals: Cultivation of Trust With Teachers

Date of Completion

January 2011


Education, Leadership|Education, Administration




This study investigated the use of Hoy and Tshannen-Moran's five facets of trust as a theoretical framework for examining beginning urban principals' cultivation of trust with teachers. Qualitative methods, including comparative case studies using a specific coding paradigm, were used to analyze the ways that urban principals cultivate trust with teachers to both initiate and sustain school reform. The sample included five principals and 15 teachers from two urban school districts in which the principals were either in their first or second year. Data collection methods included semi-structured interviews with each principal, with follow-ups as needed, as well as interviews with teachers from each school, observations, and a review of school documents. Findings in this study differed from Hoy and Tshannen-Moran's theoretical framework. In this study, only one of the Hoy and Tshannen-Moran's facets was found and that was honesty. This research identified other important facets for establishing trust for principals and these included personal characteristics, communication, and developing relationships. For the teachers in the study, the most important facets were their principal's instructional leadership and personal characteristics. The importance of this research emerged in both the suggestions that emanated from the principals and the teachers as well as the implications to improve practices for beginning principals regarding the levels of trust they believe they can create in their schools to achieve strong academic achievement for all students. ^