Executive Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
First Committee Member
Teresa S. Jordan
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Fifth Committee Member
Sixth Committee Member
Number of Pages
This study implemented a Sequential Transformative Mixed Methods design with teachers (as recipients) and principals (to give voice) in the examination of principal talk in two different school accountability contexts (Continuously Improving and Continuously Zigzag) using the conceptual framework of Motivating Language Theory. In phase one, teachers were surveyed using the ML Toolbox. The survey was administered using the Dillman Tailored Design Method, and the return rate was 67.48%. The major findings that emerged were: (a) significant differences in Motivating Language (ML), Direction-Giving Language (DG), Empathetic Language (E), and Communication Competence (CC) variables between the Continuously Improving and Zigzag Clusters; (b) no significant differences in Meaning-Making (MM) Language, Communication Satisfaction (CS), Job Satisfaction (JS), and Worker Performance (WP) variables between the Continuously Improving and Zigzag Clusters, and (c) Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) yielded four factors. The factors were Empathetic, Direction Giving, and Meaning Making, with a previously unidentified factor of Guidance. In phase two, the collection of qualitative data was gathered from principals purposefully selected from the two clusters of schools. The interview protocol contained questions from a review of literature, the eight factor analysis items, and scripted data from observations of principals engaged in principal-to-teacher talk. The major themes that consistently emerged from principals' talk were: (a) the strategic use of praise, (b) the connection of talk and written media, (c) a high level of administrative expectations, (d) an emphasis on collaborative practices, (e) the use of leader initiated structures, (f) the use of Direction-Giving Language to communicate administrative expectations, (g) the use of distributed leadership, (h) a system of data-driven goals and cycle of continuous improvement, (i) instructionally focused leadership, (j) a family-oriented school culture, and (k) the use of clarifying questions across all Motivating Language constructs. These themes emerged differently across the two achievement clusters of schools.
Academic achievement; Educational leadership; Motivating language; Motivating language theory; Principal Leadership; Principal talk; School principals; Sequential transformative; Student achievement; Teacher-principal relationships
Communication | Educational Leadership
Holmes, William Tobias, "The Motivating Language of Principals: A Sequential Transformative Strategy" (2012). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 1740.