Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Anthony Annunziato

Second Advisor

Richard Bernato

Third Advisor

James Campbell


The purpose of this qualitative case study is to examine teacher perceptions of empathy in educational leadership and its impact on school culture and climate. While research has started to emphasize the role of empathy among educational leaders, there is a lack of discussion on teacher perceptions of empathy among educational leaders and how they perceive it may actually affect school culture and climate. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the field of education started experiencing an increase in job stress due to “inadequate school funding, balancing school management with instructional leadership, new curriculum standards, educating an increasingly diverse population, shouldering responsibility that once belonged to home or in the community, and then facing possible termination if schools don’t show instant results” (Hargreaves & Fink, 2006, p.12). Reports as early as 2008 indicate a trend in teachers leaving the field of education resulting in an onset of a teacher shortage. The disruption to education due to the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and has only added more stress to an already high-stress profession. The key findings in this study reveal that empathy among educational leadership serves as a pilar for positive school culture and climate, thus giving merit to its importance. In relation to the research questions, the findings have identified viable leadership practices and supportive leadership qualities that ultimately influence student progress within elementary schools.