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«Investigating Teacher Trust towards Principal in High Performing Schools: Comparisons on Teacher Demographic Profiles Lokman Mohd Tahir1, Mohammed ...»

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Table 3 above presents independent t-test results for measuring teacher trust towards their principal. Based on the results, it clearly evident that there is no statistical significant difference between male and female teachers regarding their perceptions of trust towards their principal. Comparatively, mean score for male teachers indicated higher scores than their female counterparts, which is an indicative that male teachers have higher levels of trust compared to female teachers in high performing schools. Statistically, the F-value was observed to be insignificant. Therefore, it is concluded that there is no any differences based on teacher trust based on the on gender categories.

www.ccsenet.org/ass Asian Social Science Vol. 11, No. 5; 2015 Furthermore, we also examined teachers from the high performing schools regarding their assessment of trust based on their age, educational qualification, types of schools and teaching experience. For this reason, a one-way ANOVA technique was used to examine and compare teacher perceptions of trust onto the principal.

The results from the analysis showed that there are no significant differences on teacher trust based on teacher age, academic qualifications and teaching experience. However, teacher trust demonstrated statistically significant difference based on types of schools (F = 3.284; p = 0.012). Given the school type significance, post hoc analysis to determine the types of schools, which have differences in teacher perceptions was conducted.

Scheffe’s post hoc test was used for all types of schools. The result obtained showed that the significant difference between types of schools was between the premier schools and the sub-urban schools, which related to teacher trust scale (Mean difference= 0.44088; p = 0.042). Result from the post hoc test is presented in Tables 4 and 5 below.

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In measuring the relationship between teacher trust and demographic profiles, stepwise regression as the primary statistical test was performed. The result from Table 6 indicates existence of predictive power between teacher demographic variables and teacher level of trust. More specifically, data showed that, of the teacher demographic profiles, only teaching experience predicted teacher level of trust onto the principal. However, the other four demographic variables were observed to be insignificantly predictors of teacher level of trust. Thus, teaching experience is deemed as a significant predictor of teacher level of trust (Beta = 0.190; t = 2.079; p = 0.007).

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Even though, teaching experiences have linkage values with teacher level of trust, teacher demographic variables were considered as weak predictors of teacher level of trust based on the R2 and adjusted R2 values, which indicate about 0.03 per cent variance to teacher trust onto the principal at the significant level of 0.05.

5. Discussions This study was designed to examine whether teachers in high performing schools have high level of trust onto their principal. In order to obtain data related to teacher trust, a survey was administered to selected teachers from five types of schools, which were labelled as high performing schools. The examination of differences was examined from teacher demographic profiles including gender, academic qualification, teaching experience and school types.

Evidently, teachers from five types of high performing schools expressed their reflections that they substantially agreed that they have high level of trust onto their principal. The high level of trust was proved by descriptive analysis which entails 64.3 per cent of trust compared to only 10 per cent of teachers that seemed to mistrust their principal. Based on the findings, it also disclosed that teachers from five types of high performing schools were off opinion that their principals practised openness facet, which indicates that principals in high performing schools are able to make themselves vulnerable to teachers when relevant information were shared within their school compound and create reciprocal positive interactions which later builds teacher confidence in realizing the school vision and objectives. In addition, teachers also mentioned that principals in high performing schools also give much priority to the facet of reliability that clearly showed teachers in high performing schools were protected in the event of any problems raised. Thus, it can be proven that principals in high performing schools are reliable persons in leading the schools and always nurture and support teacher when needed. These findings also reinforced the opinion of the Davies and Davies (2013). The study therefore reached the conclusion that school principals should always put high expectations on the achievement of subordinate performance by forming distinctive comment of an efficient and effective principal. Getting trust, understanding, fair and reliable may encourage participation, consultation and provide information as necessary.

Conversely, feedback from teachers on the five principals also found to give less attention to benevolence facet.

It could thus be concluded that the principals in high performing give less properties of benevolence in their everyday routines. The results are in line with those of Mayer, Davis and Schoorman (1995), Short and Greer (1997), Hoy and Tschannen-Moran (2003), where principals are believed to remain loyal and faithful to the family, colleagues, school staff, country and religion. They do reveal important information in the benefits of self or others. They are also wise to avoid a conflict of interest between themselves and the organization. They are not prejudiced, discriminatory, or oppressive in allocating resources, determining the duties and the giving of rewards and punishment to the school community. This result does contradicts the finding of Abdul Ghani Abdullah (2008) study and Handford’s (2010) study that both studies outlined that as school principal, they have to display benevolence or sense of caring through the positive behaviours such as motivate and support teachers, give their sincere appreciation to teachers’ initiatives and practice equity while leading the school. They are also considerate and concern in performing duties. Besides that, they appreciate the award and favours without regarding success as a right. They are also willing to give recognition to the successful school community without any prejudice. However, in this study, the principals were found to be the least in terms of given priority to the aspect of benevolence that leads to higher degree of teacher trust.





The differences were measured based on demographic profiles of gender, age, teaching experience, types of schools and academic qualifications. The result obtained from t-test indicates that no significance difference in terms of teacher gender and their trust onto principals. This finding concurred with findings of Kursunoglu (2009), Ozdil (2005) and Bokeoglu & Yılmaz (2008) who conducted studies in different types of schools in different districts in Turkey. Even though, t-test results showed insignificant difference based on gender, mean score for male teachers was observed to be higher compared to the female respondents, which reflects that male teachers have higher levels of trust compared to female teachers in high performing schools even though their numbers were three times smaller than their female counterparts. Based on the descriptive finding, it is observed that male teachers have higher trust compared to female in the high performing school context.

Furthermore, we also analysed the significant differences based on other teacher demographic profiles; age, teaching experience, types of schools they worked in and their academic qualification. The findings revealed that all three demographic variables do not show significant differences when analysed using one way ANOVA. This implies that teachers were upholding similar perceptions in relation to their trust onto their principals with regard to age, teaching experience and academic qualifications. Hence, it can be assumed that three demographic variables did not exhibit much influence or strong predictive power with the levels of trust onto their principal www.ccsenet.org/ass Asian Social Science Vol. 11, No. 5; 2015 leadership style. However, types of schools yielded differences in teacher perceptions of trust to the principals when data showed significant difference in the F-value that implies differences based on school types. The ANOVA results clearly indicated that there were differences in terms of the five types of schools considered as high performing schools. Moreover, the results of Scheffe post hoc test revealed that trust demonstrated significant differences between teachers from the premier category school and teachers from the sub-urban category. These results, therefore, reached the conclusion that differences in teacher trust heavily relied on the difference of culture and types of schools that they worked in. Given the differences based on the school type, it is clearly evident that the difference in the school culture is an essential variable that influences teacher level of trust. In addition, the findings concluded that sub-urban school exhibited substantial difference in terms of school culture compared to the premier school that has long history of academic achievement, and have much bigger size compared to the sub-urban school even though both schools are being classified as high performing schools.

This finding coincided with Robinson et al., (2009); Rhodes et al., (2011) and Harris et al., (2013) which pointed that school culture plays a significant role on the school trust among teachers. Previous researchers of school trust, study less of the culture and types of schools that influence the teacher level of trust. This study contributed and added new body of knowledge in school types based on the literature that trust can be differentiation based on school culture, types and contexts.

Finally, the results of stepwise regression analysis confirmed that all demographic variables were weak predictors of teacher trust excluding teaching experience. Based on the table, teaching experience is most significant predictor for teacher trust. This contrasts the finding of Erden and Erden (2009) who studied Ankara schools and that some of teachers’ and managers’ demographic variables were observed to be significant predictors of teacher trust. In this study, it is claimed that the more experienced teachers are the more is their level of trust onto principals. This is so, because some of the teachers are having as much experience as that of their principals.

5.1 Theoretical Implications The study is an initial attempt to examine teacher’s level of trust among five high performing schools. The theoretical implications basically based on data that reflects on the teachers’ trust to their principals. Daly (2009) mentioned that trust existed in our schooling context even though there is a paucity that measure trust as part or sub-elements of schooling context. Findings of Daly’s (2009) study also revealed that the benevolence facet was perceived as the least trust facet in context of high performing schools. In essence, benevolence refers as a person with high integrity, honest and can be labelled as faithfulness. Therefore, emphasis on the facet of benevolence in principals’ training and workshops should be implemented by the Ministry of Education in order to produce aspiring principals and heads that have high sense of caring, positive intentions and always provide their supports as part of school’s improvement process.

In particular, this study is a replication of previous research work dealing with the teachers’ level of trust and detailed using teachers’ demographic profiles. This study, however, is considered as significant when the types of schools also being added and investigate as part of teachers’ profiles which previously often neglected by previous researchers. Based on the findings, it is clear that there is a strong linkage between school cultures and types with teachers’ level of trust since significant differences were observed when analysing the school’s type with teachers’ trust scale. Therefore, principals and heads should always study the school’s culture variable when leading and managing schools.

5.2 Research Implications It is proposed to future researchers to pay particular attention to some critical aspects in which the study obtained can meet real purpose. Following are some suggestions for further studies: The study was conducted in secondary schools of parents’ choice of high performing schools only. Therefore, further research may be applied to the primary and the other secondary, which includes boarding schools, religious schools, technical schools and other states and districts. Studies related to this topic can also be done by enlarging the sample size and study locations; for example, involving all secondary schools in the district or all secondary schools in the state of Johor. Increasing the sample size and the sample area may also be done so that the findings can be generalized to a larger population.

Further research on this topic can also be conducted using other methods of qualitative research. The observation, for example, can be done in depth in order to understand and advance findings on this topic. Further information on this research topic against more complex matters may not be rooted out through quantitative methods per se, but also through the use of qualitative methods. Findings would further increase the knowledge of management especially on schools management through a variety of research methods.

www.ccsenet.org/ass Asian Social Science Vol. 11, No. 5; 2015 References Abdullah, A. G. K., Ismail, A., & Ngang, T. K. (2008). Implication of principal’s misconduct behaviours to teachers. Unpublished research report, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Bokeoglu, O. C., & Yılmaz, K. (2008). Teachers’ perceptions about the organizational trust in primary school.

Kuram ve Uygulamada Eitim Yönetimi Dergisi, 54, 211-233.

Brewster, C., & Railsback, J. (2003). Building trusting relationships for school improvement: implications for principals and teachers’, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Retrieved September 1, 2014, from http://educationnorthwest.org/webfm_send/463 Brislin, R. W. (1970). Back-translation for cross-cultural research. Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1,185-216.



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