Term of Award

Fall 2010

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

Linda M. Arthur

Committee Member 1

Missy Bennett

Committee Member 2

Paul Brinson

Abstract

The impact of teacher absenteeism is all encompassing. Teacher absenteeism affects student achievement and behavior as well as the morale of other teachers. It strains an already overburdened school budget and poorly trained substitute teachers are with students for as much as one whole year of the time that students are in school from kindergarten to twelfth grade. The primary purpose of this study was to determine what leadership practices affect teacher attendance at school. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to conduct this study. A school culture survey, which included items addressing three major areas, tasks, processes and relationships, was administered to teachers. The teachers were employed in two middle schools, one with a high rate of teacher absenteeism and one with a low rate of teacher absenteeism. There were 103 surveys completed and returned to the researcher. The researcher analyzed the data and used a t-test to determine if there were any statistical differences in the answers of the respondents. Data analysis revealed that teacher absenteeism was lower at the school where the culture was more positive. The qualitative portion of the study involved both individual and focus group interviews. Seven teachers per school were chosen at random from a list of teachers. Individual interviews as well as the focus group interviews were conducted using a series of questions designed to elicit responses about leadership practices regarding discretionary absence at their particular school.

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