Some studies of rural education in the United States suggest there are unique features of rural communities that affect schooling and student outcomes. Appalachia has been a special interest of many studies. Chenoweth and Galliher (2004) measured the influence of three cultural factors associated with Appalachia on the college aspirations of rural West Virginia high school students: (1) localism, a sense of connection to the land, (2) historicism, the sense of understanding one’s place in the family and region where born, and (3) familism, the tendency to maintain close family ties geographically and interpersonally. A key influence in creating effective schools is the principal. One factor associated with effectiveness is the sense of self-efficacy (Tschannen-Moran and McMaster, 2009). Perceptions of principals in rural West Virginia were measured using two surveys: (1) the Principal Sense of Efficacy Scale or PSE (Tschannen-Moran and Gareis, 2004), and (2) the Cultural Influences Survey (CIS) developed by the researchers to measure the perceived effects of Appalachian cultural features on student performance. A brief questionnaire provided demographic information. Data were collected and mean scores for responses on the survey items analyzed. Regression analyses were conducted to investigate the relationships of perceptions of cultural features to sense of efficacy. Some weak to moderate relationships were found in some areas, but the study did not provide strong support to the effects of cultural influence on principals’ sense of efficacy in the schools of southern West Virginia. Suggestions for further studies were included.
Watts, L., Kolsun, C., Cline, V., & Williams, L. (2011, September 27). Watts, L., Kolsun, C., Cline, V., & Williams, L. (October 2011). Principals’ Sense of Efficacy and Cultural Factors In Rural West Virginia Schools. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/m41135/1.3/