Term of Award

Spring 2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Mallory, Barbara

Committee Member 1

Paulette Harris

Committee Member 2

Anne Marshall

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to understand hiring practices used by rural high performance Georgia school principals. The study used a qualitative design. The researcher utilized semi-structured interviews and reviews of documents related to hiring to understand hiring practices currently being used by rural Georgia school principals, hiring practices perceived to be working best to attract teachers, hiring practices most influential to the final selection of the teacher, and principals suggested improvements to the hiring process. Each of the three participants was purposefully chosen for the study, was assured confidentiality, and was given a fictitious name. The accounts of personal experiences of each of the rural principals were presented through direct quotes to provide richness in detailing experiences. Findings revealed that principals involved in the study had little formal training on hiring teachers and employed traditional hiring methods. With an understanding of the benefits of rural life and the need to communicate these benefits to attract potential new hires, the principals relied heavily on word-of-mouth. There were varying perceptions as to which element of the hiring process was essential to the final selection of the teacher, but rural principals indicated that each element was important. According 2 to rural school principals, improvements to the hiring process could be made by increasing compensation for teachers, conducting district level recruitment fairs, and providing training to personnel on hiring practices. The rural school principals suggested that novice principals hire only the best teachers, use their gut intuition, and ask difficult questions of potential hires. Colleges of education, professional organizations, and local Boards of Education may wish to explore the findings of this research study to provide training on best hiring practices. The training will enable school leaders a better understanding of the hiring process. Clearly, finding the best teacher is a critical element of the schools success and the success of the principal.

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