Award Date

August 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Shaoan Zhang

Second Committee Member

Dana Bickmore

Third Committee Member

Steven Bickmore

Fourth Committee Member

Katrina Liu

Fifth Committee Member

Gene E. Hall

Number of Pages



The three concurrent conceptualizations of induction include a phase in teacher development; a process of socialization; and the formal, programmatic structures. A major challenge faced by the beginning teacher during induction is reconciliation of expectations and realities. School leadership, through establishing and fostering an induction-conducive school culture, ultimately crafts effective induction. Using a paradigm and historical lens, current trends (the “fifth wave”), role theories, and a grounded theory methodology, this study examined the nature of expectations that preservice teachers hold regarding school principals through investigating from where, how, and why these expectations develop. The research design was a three-phase (conceptual ordering of questionnaires, interviews/re-interviews, and verification/theory generation) systematic grounded theory approach with data analysis concurrent and reiterative with data collection. The participants were preservice teachers in the field experience phase of their traditional teacher education program in a university in the Southwestern United States.

The findings showed that, rather than unrealistic optimism, preservice teachers expressed a realistic optimistic bias both in the general expectations of their early career and of the roles of the principal. Two main roles, manifesting as continua emerged: the school leader and the instructional leader. The continua reflected negative beliefs to neutral norms to positive preferences. The preferences were a positive extension of norms, whereas the negative beliefs were opposite of these. Positive preferences were more at the forefront of preservice expectations. Viewed in this way, the core phenomenon was seen as “hope”. Preservice teachers feared the negative possibilities and believed they could occur, they passively held the norms of the profession, but extended those norms into positive roles which they hoped their future principals would enact. Field experiences were found to impact initial expectations, developing the spectrum of specific expected roles. Implications for teacher education programs, induction programs, and practicing principals were discussed.


Beginning Teacher; New Teacher Induction; Preservice Teacher; Teacher Candidate; Teacher Expectations


Education | Educational Leadership | Teacher Education and Professional Development

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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