Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this study was to determine the status of the Kansas elementary principal for the school year 1958- 1959, to determine what the status of the Kansas elementary principal should be and to make a comparison between the two. The study was limited to only those public elementary principals who spent the entire day in the elementary school. After the necessary omissions were made present status information concerning 901 Kansas elementary principals was used. The areas of information concerning each principal, as found in “The Kansas Elementary Principal’s Building Report”, Form 94, were as follows: salary; degrees held; last year of college attendance; total number of graduate hours; number of years in present position; total number of years of school experience; membership in professional organizations; time spent in supervision, administration, and teaching; number of students in the school; and number of teachers in the school. The recommended status of the Kansas elementary principal was determined by information from an 86 per cent return on one hundred questionnaires distributed equally over the state among principals from first and second class city schools and county and third class city schools. The same questionnaire was distributed to fourteen college personnel who were or had been closely associated with the public schools or school administration and this data was used to validate the information taken from the principals' questionnaire. Evidence provided by the study indicated that an elementary principal should have a master degree. Furthermore, it was found that 26.5 per cent of the Kansas principals were deficient of this qualification. It is possible, with selected courses, for the principal to become certified by presenting a bachelor degree with an elementary education major and 25.1 per cent of the principals in Kansas have that degree, 72.4 per cent have a master degree, and .4 per cent has an Ed.D. or equivalent. In the opinion of the educators canvassed the minimum long range educational goal should be a master degree plus thirty semester hours. Only 4.3 per cent of the principals have now attained that goal. However, 40.2 per cent of the Kansas elementary principals were enrolled in institutions of higher learning in 1958. From this it may be assumed that many principals are interested in self-improvement and in attaining a higher educational goal. Elementary school administration should be the area of college preparation for the elementary principle according to 84 per cent of the questionnaire results and 63 per cent suggested that a minimum of five years (not the presently required two) teaching experience be acquired at the elementary school level. The prospective elementary principal who holds an administrator provisional certificate may now become an elementary principal by having only secondary school training and two years teaching experience in a secondary school. The state requirements are not high enough for the elementary principal nor in every instance do they demand preparation at the proper levels of training. The median number of students in the four or more teacher Kansas schools that had a qualified principal who met the requirements of this study ranged from 201 to 250. The median recommended enrollment for an ideal elementary school was 350. Considering the Kansas schools 31 per cent have an enrollment of 150 or less. This percentage was figured on only the schools used in this study as there are more than twelve hundred one teacher schools and many schools with two to four teachers in Kansas. The respondents indicated that schools employing twelve or more teachers should establish a full time principalship if maximum school improvement is desired. It was also suggested that no school in Kansas employing four teachers allow less than 30 per cent of the school day for administrative and supervisory duties by the principal. At least 56 per cent of the Kansas elementary school principals do not have enough school time to devote to the necessary supervisory and administrative duties of the school. Without knowing the exact degree and experience of the Kansas elementary teacher it was impossible to make a comparison between the salary of the teacher and principal with like qualifications. A comparison was made, however, between the median Kansas elementary teachers' salary and the median Kansas elementary principals' salary and it was discovered that the principal received 133 per cent of the teachers' salary (61.2 per cent of the teachers as compared to 97.4 per cent of the principals have a bachelor degree or more). It was recommended by the respondents in this study that the principal should receive 130 per cent of the teachers' salary with comparable degree and experience. The canvassed educators agreed almost unanimously that the elementary principal should belong to the local, state, and national teachers' and principals' professional organizations. Information in this study revealed that 77.6 per cent of the elementary principals in Kansas belong to less than six professional organizations. Furthermore, only 48 per cent were members of the Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals and only 38 per cent were members of the Department of Elementary School Principals. If maximum growth is desired principals must take a more active part in their professional organizations.


Committee Chair

Date of Award

Summer 1959

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1959 Charles O. Stones


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