Principal Leadership Beliefs: Grit and Principals’ Sense of Self-Efficacy

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Fall 2020


Duckworth and Quinn (2009) identified grit as an influencing factor that could be connected to a principal’s self-efficacy. The researchers defined grit as “trait-level perseverance and passion for long-term goals” (Duckworth & Quinn, 2009, p. 166) and suggested that grit predicted achievement in challenging domains over and beyond measures of talent. The researcher determined whether a significant predictive relationship exists between the independent variables of grit, gender, number of years as a principal in the current position, level of school, and self-efficacy in a large, fast-growing district in North Texas. The principals were asked to answer survey questions that included the principal’s sense of self-efficacy (Tschannen-Moran & Gareis, 2004), which was used to assess their capability concerning instructional leadership, management, and moral leadership. In addition, principals responded to the Short Grit Scale Survey (Duckworth & Quinn, 2009) to determine their self-assessed level of grit. The survey also included demographic information such as gender, number of years as a principal in the current position, and level of school. A standard multiple linear regression was used to address the research question: Does a combination of Grit, gender, number of years as a principal in the current position, and level of school predict a principal’s sense of self-efficacy in instructional leadership, management, and moral leadership? Principals rated themselves above average in the three self-efficacy measures: instructional leadership (M = 7.50, SD = 0.77), moral leadership (M = 7.27, SD = 0.85), and management (M = 6.71, SD = 0.99). Out of the three self-efficacy measures, principals rated their self-efficacy as highest for instructional leadership, with a mean of 7.50. The principals also self-rated their self-efficacy in moral leadership as the second highest efficacy with a mean of 7.27. Of the three different domains of interests, participants reported having the lowest self-efficacy in management with a mean score of 6.71. In every situation tested, there was a positive, statistically significant relationship between principal self-efficacy and the predictors except for years of experience. Years of experience seemed to have little impact on a principal’s perception of his or her self-efficacy.


Chuck Holt

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision