Trust in Educational Leadership in Times of Crisis
McCarthy, Karen L. “Trust in Educational Leadership in Times of Crisis”, Boston College, 2022. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:109583.
Schools are complex organizations where teachers and principals must work together toward common goals. Research has established that trust is an essential element for effective relationships and that, without trust, cooperation suffers. Furthermore, a high level of trust within a school has been correlated with higher academic achievement. While studies have shown correlations between principal qualities or behaviors and the trust of teachers, less is known about how teachers and principals understand their interactions with each other or what influences their propensity to trust. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate the ways in which teachers and their principals experience and build trust with each other and to determine what influences their perceptions of each other’s trustworthiness. Findings indicate that teachers and principals may value trust-forming characteristics within their relationships differently, based on their role as a teacher or school leader, and that the perception of the role of the principal may pose a unique barrier to trust formation. Implications of this case study suggest that principals and teachers may value different trust-forming traits based on the vulnerabilities in their roles. In addition, the perception of the principal role may provide a unique barrier to trust in schools and therefore might benefit from further exploration.