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teacher selection process, elementary education, Christian education, principals


Principals are the primary influencers in the teacher selection process. They have the opportunity to improve the quality their school each time a teacher vacancy occurs through the process of determining of their school’s need, recruiting candidates who might be a good match, and selecting what they hope will be a highly effective teacher. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare existing perceptions and practices that preschool through eighth-grade principals hold to during the teacher selection process. Specific characteristics of principals and the schools they serve were analyzed by the dimensions of a candidate’s personal traits, professional abilities, and aptitude to teach Christianly.

The entire population of preschool through eighth-grade administrators whose schools are members of Christian Schools International were asked to participate in the study. One hundred and eighty-three administrators, 51.4% of the population, responded to a researcher-developed survey. Respondents were asked to rate their degree of importance to the most frequently cited personal traits, professional abilities, and ways to measure candidates’ aptitude to teach Christianly as identified in the review of the literature. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, including means, standard deviations, t tests, one-way analyses of variance, and multiple linear regressions.

Analysis of the data revealed that administrators rated the interview as the most important procedure in the teacher selection process. Administrators identified enthusiasm and respect as the most important personal traits. A candidate’s ability to engage students in learning as well as establish a culture for learning were identified as the most important professional abilities. A candidate’s ability to demonstrate their personal faith as well as model a Christian lifestyle were identified as the most important ways to measure the candidate’s aptitude to teach Christianly. Of the administrators’ characteristics analyzed, age was identified as the only significant predictor in the dimensions of the teacher selection process. Finally, a strong positive relationship was found between personal traits, professional abilities, and the aptitude to teach Christianly.


  • A dissertation submitted to the graduate faculty of the University of South Dakota in partial fulfillment for the degree of DOCTOR OF EDUCATION
  • Dr. Doreen Gosmire, Ed.D., Committee Chairperson
  • © 2009 Timothy M. Van Soelen

Creative Commons License

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