Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Distributed Leadership and Its Effect on Rural Teacher Job Satisfaction and Intent to Leave or Move

Jordan C Engle, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Leadership in rural schools is well studied and empirical research in teaching retention, job satisfaction, and burnout is also abundant. In the rural school setting, a particular set of challenges exists for administrators to oversee the operations of a school with limited administrative personnel, isolation, and a small population from which to recruit teachers. Principals in rural schools may be able to help themselves two-fold by distributing leadership to teachers. First, if teacher job satisfaction and burnout measures are improved by the distribution of leadership to able teacher leaders, the principal will have a better chance of maintaining a highly qualified teaching staff. Second, with the breadth of demands placed upon administrators in rural schools, distributing leadership to teachers will allow principals to lessen the overall burden placed upon them by the multifaceted demands of running a school. This study utilizes a structural equation model using data from the National Teacher and Principal Survey form the National Center of Education Statistics 2020-21 survey (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2022c). The models are designed to show the effect of distributing curricular and managerial leadership to teachers on the satisfaction and burnout of the same teachers. The burnout and job satisfaction of teachers is then related to the intent of teachers to leave the profession or move to a different teaching job. The results indicate that both curricular leadership and managerial leadership in teachers has a positive effect on teacher job satisfaction and a sizable decreasing effect on teacher burnout. The findings also validate satisfied teachers with less burnout are more likely to remain in their positions. These findings are significant as they demonstrate the positive consequences of principals in a rural setting considering a delegation of duties to teachers beyond the obvious benefit of administration being less encumbered with job duties. This study also notes opportunities for future studies observing the effects of teacher leadership on a broader basis.

Subject Area

Educational administration|Psychology|Educational leadership

Recommended Citation

Engle, Jordan C, "Distributed Leadership and Its Effect on Rural Teacher Job Satisfaction and Intent to Leave or Move" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI30575773.