Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Education


The purpose of this study was to examine the role of the principal in a systems change effort. Utilizing Response to Intervention (RtI) as a means of studying principals as change agents, this researcher examined the principals' ability to implement and sustain a reform effort such as RtI as perceived by the principal, problem solving team, and teachers. This study examined how the perceptions influenced the change process and the extent to which the principal demonstrated characteristics of change such as knowledge of change, self-efficacy or their belief in their ability to make changes, and skills of change as supported and most often cited in the research.

In general, the content analysis of the interviews and observations with the principals showed that the principals demonstrated perceptions of themselves that were representative of having knowledge of change, self-efficacy of change, and skills of change. The content analysis of the interviews and observations with the PST members showed that the PST members had very similar perceptions of the principals' knowledge, self-efficacy and skills of change as the principals had of themselves. The quantitative findings indicated that five components were extracted from the survey using exploratory factor analysis. All five factors were individually reliable. The five factors were provides vision and models appropriate behavior, holds high expectations, fosters commitment to goals and individual support, provides vision and individual support, and individual support.

Overall, according to the perceptions of building principals, PST members, and general teaching staff, the principals at the three schools participating in this study demonstrate change characteristics of self-efficacy of change, knowledge of change, and skills of change. Therefore, the systems change efforts in these schools will likely demonstrate success in terms of increased student achievement and positive outcomes, according to previous literature. Recommendations for school leaders include the assessment and identification of change skills and characteristics among building principals and use of these skills in implementation of system change efforts.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.