This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Role of Hope in School Leadership




Weldon, Sharon

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore the relationship of hope in school principal leadership through (a) the administration of a self-report instrument that measures trait hope in the school principal, (b) the administration of an instrument that measures the faculty’s perception of the school principal’s hope, (c) the administration of a self-report instrument that measures the trait hope of the faculty, and (d) the collection of data from these instruments and interviews. This research is drawn from C.R. Snyder’s (1995) Hope Theory as well as the continued work of Shane Lopez, Jennifer Pedrotti, and C.R. Snyder (2015) and is focused on the development of principal behaviors and practices that effectively convey hope to the faculty. The Hope (Goal) Scale was administered online and data was collected from six principals and 98 teachers from the Cedar Woods School System in Alabama. Seventeen teachers and five principals participated in interviews with the researcher. Informative data from the interviews were coded, and categories and themes emerged describing characteristics and practices of hopeful principals. Because of the sample size, statistical significance was limited. Qualitative findings included important themes in goal-setting, pathway planning, and agency thinking for hopeful principals. In addition, teacher and principal interviews identified seven practices of hopeful principals including building relationships, effectively communicating, solving problems, offering and accepting feedback, maintaining priorities and focus, maintaining professional composure, and encouraging and modeling professional growth.