Master's Theses


Advanced Education Programs

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)


The purpose of the research was to investigate the decision process at the executive or school superintendent level in education. The total sample size was 150 superintendents randomly selected from a list supplied by the State Department of Education for the school year 1987-88 in the State of Kansas. A survey from was mailed to the superintendents selected for the study. Of the 106 survey forms returned, 102 were complete and used in the study. The dependent variables were the scores for the 10 scales on the Decision Process Analysis of DPA. The independent variables were the superintendent’s years of administrative experience, teaching field background, level of formal education, and the population size of the school district in which the superintendent served. Four null hypotheses were presented. Each null hypothesis was tested employing three-way analysis of variance. There were 280 comparisons; of these, 14 different comparisons were found to be statistically significant. The results of the study appeared to support the following comparisons: 1. Superintends with education specialist degrees from all teaching fields except social science were significantly low or spent most of their time solving problems that they had little time for finding opportunities to plan or to make opportunistic decisions. 2. Superintendents from a social science teaching filed were significantly high in that they brainstormed, generated options, and had tolerance for complexity. 3. Well experienced superintendents from intermediate and large size districts were significantly high in projecting the outcomes or consequences of the decision options they considered. 4. In general, superintendents from larger districts were able to predict consequences of decisions significantly better than those from small districts. 5. Master’s degree superintendents, irrespective of their years of experience and district size, significantly better objectified and selected criteria for comparison when they considered the options prior to making a decision. 6. When only experience was considered, those superintendents with 16 and more years experience were significantly high when they selected criteria for comparison before making a decision. 7. Both superintendents with 15 years and less experience from small districts and superintendents with 16 years and more experience from larger districts were significantly decisive. 8. Few linear relationship in actually making a decision was found among years of experience, amount of formal education, and teaching field background. 9. Superintendents with doctoral degrees from a social science teaching filed and master’s degree superintendents from elementary education were significantly high as action oriented persons eager to know the outcomes of decisions. 10. When level of formal education was considered, doctoral degree superintendents scored significantly higher than education specialist degree superintendents in monitoring decision outcomes. 11. When teaching background was compared superintendents from a social science teaching field scored significantly higher than superintendents from a mathematics or natural science teaching field in monitoring decision outcomes. 12. Superintendents with 16 and more years experience from a mathematics or natural science teaching field significantly refined decisions much better than did those with 15 years and less experience from the same teaching fields. 13. There were few linear relationship in refining decisions among year of experience, amount of formal education and district size. 14. Superintendents with 16 and more years experience from a mathematics or natural science teaching filed, and superintendents with 15 years and less experience from an elementary education teaching flied significantly better refined the expectations of decisions that had been made to match new information.


Bob L. Chalender

Date of Award

Summer 1988

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1988 Charlene A. Dreiling


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