College of Education Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Andrea Kaufman

Second Advisor

Dr. Sally Ann Julian

Third Advisor

Dr. Darrick Tovar-Murray

Abstract

Researchers argue that Emotional Intelligence (EI) plays a key role in effective and successful leadership (Goleman et al., 2004; Rosete & Ciarrochi, 2005; Chan, 2007). Although other researchers claimed that these assertions lean "little empirical support" (Ciarrochi, Deane & Anderson, 2002), Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee (2004) assert that EI is essential for leadership because leaders work through emotions and their primal job is emotional. With most of this research done in the business world, this study focuses on the role of EI in educational leadership. The purposes of this study are to explore and to construct new knowledge regarding educational leaders' perceptions of EI and how it affects their professional practice. This is a Mixed Method study. The quantitative part of the research uses a Likert scale questionnaire that was sent to 42 educational leaders: 20 in the US Midwest and 22 in Israel. The qualitative part comprised Narrative Inquires of five educational leaders. From my findings I have learned that EI has a meaningful effect on the educational leader's role. The role of the educational is emotional, not only, but mainly because of the stress and pressure that the role contains. Additional findings were that interviewees developed their understanding about EI as the interviews progressed. The study was summed up by the conclusion that educational leaders do not know enough about EI and by developing their awareness about the importance and knowledge of EI, might give them a professional tool to lead and deal more effectively with the multiple demands that the role contains.