Linda Echard

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2007


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Leadership Excellence (ILEAD)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Derek Whordley

Committee Member

John Lozosky

Committee Member

Joseph Kush


opinions of principals, preparation of elementary teachers, teacher preparation


This study examines the opinions of the elementary principals in Pennsylvania with respect to the preparation of new teachers. A survey questionnaire was used to collect 211 responses from elementary principals currently employed in Pennsylvania. Principals responded to questions pertaining to the overall preparation of newly hired teachers during the 2001-2002 and 2005-2006 school years. The principals were also categorized as principals of elementary professional development schools and as principals of traditional elementary schools. Additionally, principals were asked to rate newly hired teachers on their readiness to demonstrate a mastery of eleven important pedagogical skills related to successful teaching. The responses of the principals were compared to survey responses given by other groups of educators to the same questions as part of an earlier study by the Governor's Commission on Training America's Teachers in Pennsylvania. In this earlier study superintendents of schools, deans from schools of education, and teachers were surveyed. Results of the study show that all principals have some concerns about the preparation of new teachers in Pennsylvania. Two of the greatest areas of concern are using assessment data to meet the needs of students and using differentiated instruction to respond to the needs of a diverse population of students. Overall the Pennsylvania principals are of the opinion that new teachers are well prepared to deliver content knowledge, use technology and plan lessons. When comparing the opinions of the elementary professional development school principals and the opinions of the traditional elementary school principals the results indicate that there is no significant difference between the beliefs of these two groups. A comparison between responses made by the principals and the superintendents, deans from schools of education, and teachers shows that there are significant differences in their beliefs about new teacher preparation. Although the deans appear to have the perception that new teachers are excellently prepared in all areas, there was no direct conclusion made about their responses due to the fact that they were few in number and could not be statistically compared to the other groups.