Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling

First Advisor

Dianne L. Taylor


The current study investigated teacher selection in elementary schools which differ by school type, community type, and socioeconomic status (SES). The qualities sought, procedures utilized, and problems encountered by principals during teacher selection were examined. Statistical analyses were used to determine whether school types differ significantly on variables regarding teacher selection. The present study involved collecting both qualitative and quantitative data, and was conducted in four phases. In Phase I, all elementary schools in the state were classified by community type, student body SES, and "effective" and "typical" status. Phase II consisted of 12 site visits to "effective" schools which differed by community and SES contexts. Principals and teacher interviews were conducted, and the "effectiveness" of the schools was verified via classroom observations. Phase III utilized interview data to develop and pilot a questionnaire that was distributed across the various "effective" school contexts. Finally, in Phase IV, the questionnaire was distributed to principals of "effective" and "typical" schools, and the data were analyzed to address research questions regarding teacher selection. The quantitative data analyses revealed that there are differences between the qualities that principals of effective and typical schools seek. Also, there are differences regarding problems encountered between principals of low- and middle-SES schools. The qualitative data revealed findings regarding qualities with respect to classroom management, creativity, flexibility, concern for children, and enthusiasm. A teachers' teaching background, ability to get along with others, and believing that children can learn as well as whether a teacher is a parent and a teacher's morals and values are discussed. With regard to procedures utilized, the qualitative data revealed findings with respect to checking references, observing a teacher, recruiting student teachers, and using a relaxed talk and hypothetical questions. Also, contacting references, especially past principals, investigating personnel files, and using a selection committee are highlighted. Regarding problems encountered, one mainly associated with middle-SES schools and five associated with low-SES schools were highlighted. Also, several problems associated with central office involvement are discussed.