Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2024

Document Type

Dissertation (799 registration)

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Kristen Carlson


school leadership, educational leadership, effective school leadership


This qualitative study was conducted to understand the perceptions of school leadership through the lens of P-12 educational leaders (superintendents and principals/assistant principals) and P-12 teachers. The focus was on the perceptions of important qualities and characteristics of effective school leaders. The study examined how P-12 educational leaders and P-12 teachers viewed leadership and what they identified as important skills and characteristics for effective educational leadership. The Minnesota Department of Education Teacher Evaluation of Principals was used as a guide to understand the characteristics and skills P-12 school leaders are expected to demonstrate. An email was sent to schools in the state of Minnesota requesting teachers and school leaders to participate in an interview to learn more about the perceptions of each group of educators, teachers, and school leaders. Demographic information was collected and compared with variables based on years in the field, degree attained, and role in education. The results from this study found that communication is perceived to be a highly important skill for school leaders, and integrity, trustworthiness, building positive environments and sense of community, and understanding diversity and cultural responsiveness are perceived to be important. It also found there were similar perceptions of changes in leadership since the pandemic. These results can help lead to more knowledge and understanding about effective educational leadership and the skills necessary for school leaders today. This study specifically explored and compared the perceptions of P-12 teachers to those of the P-12 administrators. The focus was to compare these perspectives to determine if there are differences and similarities in these perceptions. It will benefit the field of education, support programs that teach administrative courses, and school districts. It is significant for educational programs and leaders to understand the needs of those they serve and to provide opportunities to help support the need for school leaders.



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