Principal Decision Making Through Decentralized Teacher Selection

England, Staci, Administration and Supervision - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Eddy Spicer, David, Cu-Leadshp Fndns & Pol Studies, University of Virginia

Effective teachers are crucial to student success (e.g. Kane, Rockoff, & Staiger, 2008; Metzler & Woessmann, 2012), thus it is crucial that principals hire well, yet teacher hiring practices are still under-researched (e.g. Engel, 2012; Mason & Schroeder, 2010; Rutledge et al., 2008). In this capstone project I researched teacher hiring among elementary school principals in a district that prides itself in site-based management. Principals in my study have the autonomy to create a teacher selection process distinctive to their school. Through my research, I identify how these elementary school principals design the process to hire a teacher with good fit to their school and how their interview processes compare with structured interview practices in industry.

I collected data in the spring of 2018 using a mixed methods approach. I used an electronic survey to collect quantitative data regarding logistics of the hiring process and tools used and six principals participated in semi-structured interviews and provided me with their interview documents from their most recent teacher hire.

As I began the study I hypothesized that hiring practices would be designed to uniquely meet each elementary school’s need. My research indicated, however that principals in my study usually follow the process typically used in the US and Canada (Rutledge et al., 2008). They gather information solely through screening, interviews, and reference checks in order to decide whom to hire. The variation in their processes mostly occurred in the questions that they asked vis-à-vis the quality and depth, as well as focus. They incorporate some components of a structured interview, but completely fulfill the requirements of only two, namely including others on the interview team and asking all candidates the same questions. These principals partially implement job analysis, use better types of questions, and train interviewers, and rarely incorporate anchored rating scales or rating the answer to each question. I was unable to determine if the BCPS principals in my study were interviewing for good PO fit and this is an area for further study.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
teacher selection, teacher hiring process, structured interview, fit
Issued Date: