Title

Principals' Leadership and School Culture in Catholic Schools in Lebanon

Date of Degree

12-2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program

Education

Advisor

Nancy Robbins

Advisor

Absael Antelo

Advisor

Dorothy Ettling

Advisor

Judith Beauford

Advisor

Marwan Tabet

Abstract

The purpose of the study is to examine the impact of principals’ leadership on the school culture of Catholic schools in Lebanon. Scratch the surface of successful schools and you are likely to find principals aware of their school culture. Peer into failing schools and you will find a leadership marginalizing and ignoring the school culture. A mixed methodology-sequential explanatory strategy-was developed to achieve the purpose of the research. In the quantitative phase, the Principal Leadership Questionnaire (Jantzi & Leithwood, 1996) and the School Culture Survey (Gruenert & Valentine, 1998) were run on a total of 544 teachers, employees, and parents randomly selected and 48 principals and administrators purposely chosen from 12 different Catholic schools in different regions in Lebanon. In the qualitative phase, 10 Lebanese Catholic educational leaders and principals were interviewed by using a semistructured interview. Quantitative data were aggregated and analyzed by using Pearson product-moment correlation and stepwise regression. Qualitative data were organized and analyzed according to the crafting profile concept in the form of lengthy narratives, interview highlights, common themes, and categorizing strategy emphasizing the phenomenological approach. The quantitative results show a correlation between principals’ leadership and school culture, and that Individualized Support, Providing Vision, and Fostering Acceptance are the three most influential factors of principals’ leadership on the six factors of the school culture of Catholic schools in Lebanon. The qualitative findings support the quantitative results and highlight two major concerns: Principals’ leadership in Catholic schools in Lebanon lacks professionalism in educational leadership and lacks continuity in school administration.

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