Date of Award

6-2018

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership: M.S.

Department

Educational Administration and Higher Education

College

School of Education

First Advisor

Frances Kayona

Second Advisor

James Johnson

Third Advisor

Bradley Kaffar

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Abstract

The problem of the study was to examine the current state of the level of trust of Ukrainian public school teachers regarding other teachers, parents, students, the principal, and the practice of mindfulness as important conditions for public school transformation. The research objectives were to identify the current state of the perception of trust between teacher-to-teachers, teacher-to-principal, teacher-to-parents, and teacher-to-students to identify how mindful the Ukrainian public school teachers are, and to identify existing patterns for trust and mindfulness in the Ukrainian public schools.

The review of literature helped to clarify the direction of the study. It includes articles and books on organizational culture, individual trust and mindfulness, organizational trust and mindfulness, professional learning communities, leadership, and collaborative culture. The study relies on the concepts of trust and mindfulness developed by Hoy et al., Langer, Weick et al. and Bryk and Schneider.

The study adopted a quantitative research design with some elements of qualitative analysis. The participants were K-12 teachers of the Ukrainian public (rural and urban) schools. Non-probability sampling was used; the teachers were approached through e-mails. A database of e-mails was formed through school websites.

A 40-item survey instrument was used to collect the data. Two open-ended questions included in the instrument gathered additional perceptions of teachers regarding school culture presented in their schools. For refinement and validation, the instrument was piloted to 20 teachers; feedback received contributed to a final instrument design.

The study data were analyzed by each item of the instrument with the help of descriptive statistics. Responses to the open-ended questions were read and common themes were distinguished and coded. Results of the qualitative analysis are presented in the form of tables. The researcher translated all data into English from Ukrainian, which was the language used during data collection.

The study revealed a significant level of ambivalence regarding perceptions and practices of trust and mindfulness present in Ukrainian public schools. The current practice of trust and mindfulness among teacher-to-teacher, teacher-to-principal, teacher-to-student, and teacher-to-parent needs improvements. Analysis of data shows that the following factors are the most important for a school culture of trust and mindfulness: trust and collaboration among stakeholders, role and approach of the principal, responsibility of stakeholders, partnership with parents, and teacher competence. Moreover, teachers consider levels of bureaucracy, lack of autonomy in finance, management, and teaching, and low teacher status as factors that restrict the practice of trust and mindfulness.

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