This study examined the effect of sustained principal development through membership in the BYU Principals Academy on collaborative activities and teamwork in schools. Principals who participated in the BYU Principals Academy received preparation and training to assist in the development and maintenance of professional learning communities in their schools. A 39-item online survey that focused on attitudes and experiences with teamwork and collaboration was disseminated to 12 teachers at each school where the principal was a member of the Principals Academy and where e-mail addresses were available. In addition, a control group of teachers from schools where the principal had no prior exposure to the academy also received the survey. Different cohorts were created depending on the year when principals joined the academy, ranging from 2002 to 2006. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis were used to investigate the dimensionality of the survey variables. The resulting variables were analyzed using a one-way ANOVA test followed by Fisher's post-hoc test. Open response data was subjected to themes-based content analysis. The factor analysis revealed several variables. Once these factors were analyzed further, significant differences for the derived variable Experiences with Teamwork were located between the 2002 and the 2003 cohorts and between the control group and four of the five cohorts. Content analysis of data generated by the open-ended questions revealed mixed experiences with teamwork and collaboration. Teachers reported either exclusively positive or negative experiences with teamwork and collaboration and teaming were most often connected to the every day tasks linked to teacher survival rather than student learning and assessment. Some differences in variables between the 2002 cohort and the 2003 cohort may be attributed to the unique composition of these cohorts. In the 2003 cohort, several teachers were from the Carbon School District, and in the 2002 cohort several teachers were from schools where the principal was a member of the Principals Academy steering committee. Differences between the 2002 cohort and the control group may be attributed to the longevity of exposure to professional learning community principles and ideas in the 2002 cohort and a lack of this knowledge in the control group. A follow-up study could concentrate on focused interviews of principals in the 2002 cohort to investigate how this cohort may be different from the other cohorts.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Leadership and Foundations
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Westerberg, Sarah, "The Effect of Sustained Principal Development on the Development and Maintenance of Collaborative Activities in Schools." (2008). All Theses and Dissertations. 1365.
professional learning communities, teamwork, collaboration, principals academy, professional development, teachers