Principals' knowledge of their legal rights and responsibilities in Newfoundland and Labrador

Penney, Cecil J. (1988) Principals' knowledge of their legal rights and responsibilities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The major purpose of this study was to assess the current knowledge of school principals in Newfoundland and Labrador (hereafter referred to as Newfoundland) concerning their legal rights and responsibilities. Secondly, it attempted to determine if principals’ knowledge of school law varied according to certain personal, professional and situational characteristics such as age, gender, and training. As a basis for the study, a review of the legal rights and responsibilities of principals in Newfoundland was undertaken. -- Information for review was obtained from a number of sources: (1) Federal and Provincial statutes, (2) Department of Education and school board regulations, (3) The Newfoundland Teachers’ Association collective Agreement, and (4) principles established in case law relating to education. -- Data were collected from these principals through a self-developed school law questionnaire. Included in the development process was validation by a panel of experts in school law. The questionnaire was also piloted with a number of principals for further refinements. The final draft consisted of two sections with 45 questions: Section A with 30 true-false, and Section B with 15 multiple-choice. A checklist requesting information concerning respondents’ personal, professional and situational characteristics was also included. -- The questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 300 principals, representing more than one-half of all principals in the Province. Included were a covering letter, general instructions for completion, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Follow-up procedures were taken to ensure a maximum number of questionnaires (73 percent) were returned. -- Data were analyzed chiefly be relating the independent variables to the dependent variables by means of person product-moment correlation coefficients, and comparing them through stepwise multiple correlation. -- The findings from the study indicated that principals know only bits and pieces about school law and perhaps not as much as they should know, given the litigiousness of our changing society. The overall mean score for the entire sample was 67.5 percent. -- Results of the testing of the Hypotheses indicated that principals’ knowledge of school law is positively correlated with age, teaching experience, school size (defined by enrolment), teaching certificate level, Master’s degree in Educational Administration, course(s) in school law, in-service training in school law, and principalship experience. However, the most significant contributors to their knowledge of school law were Master’s degree and level of teaching certificate. -- It is hoped that the results of this study will help clarify the legal rights and responsibilities of principals. Furthermore, by conducting a study such as this, principals may become more aware of their level of knowledge in this area and be prompted to take steps to educate themselves in the areas that are lacking. -- The findings of this study have implications for pre-service and in-service programs offered by educational institutions and by teacher/administrator associations.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4343
Item ID: 4343
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 171-182.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1988
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: School principals--Legal status, laws, etc.--Newfoundland and Labrador;Educational law and legislation--Newfoundland and Labrador

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