Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Rosalba Corrado Del Vecchio

Second Advisor

MaryEllen Freeley

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Gil


A high level of trust within the school, as perceived by its faculty is indicative of a healthy, organized, and efficient school (Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 1999, 2003; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2000). Researchers Tschannen-Moran and Hoy analyzed trust as an agent for school change through the theoretical framework of collective trust formation. This study defined faculty trust in the principal as the confidence of the faculty members “that the principal will keep his/her word and will act in the best interests of their colleagues” (Hoy et al., 1991, p. 93). Schools will simply not improve without trust (Forsyth, 2011).

This dissertation explores faculty trust in the principal and instructional collaboration as two fundamental building blocks for any school improvement effort. The relationship between the two variables, faculty trust in the principal and instructional collaboration, were calculated and specific attention was given to the two sub-categories of trust (1) trust as affect and (2) cognitive trust and to the four sub-categories of instructional collaboration as (1) dialogue, (2) decision-making, (3) collective action, and (4) collective evaluation.

Utilizing a quantitative approach, 126 elementary teachers from an urban-suburban school district in New York State participated by electronically completing Tschannnen-Moran and Hoy’s (2001) Omnibus T-Survey and the Teacher Collaboration Assessment Survey (TCAS). Descriptive and correlational statistics were calculated that revealed a significant positive correlation between the variables and sub-variables of faculty trust and instructional collaboration. The sub-variables of faculty trust include affect and cognitive trust, while the sub-variables of instructional collaboration include dialogue, decision-making, action, and evaluation. A cross tabulation was analyzed between a teacher’s position and the frequency of collaboration that resulted in significant correlation across all sub-variables. The role of the principal in the process of establishing trust and instructional collaboration as reciprocal processes were considered. Generally, findings indicated that instructional collaboration was significantly correlated to both cognitive and affect trust. As such, it was concluded that there was a strong association between faculty trust in the principal and instructional collaboration among elementary schools in the urban-suburban district.