Using a theory of planned behavior approach to assess principals' Professional intentions to promote diversity awareness beyond the level recommended by their district
Landeck, Edith Suzanne
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The increasing population diversity in the United States and in public schools signifies a need for principals to promote diversity awareness as mandated by principal standards. A means to quantify and measure the principals? diversity intentions empirically is required. This study researched the possibility that the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991) could provide a theoretical basis for an operation measurement model. The instrument for the study was an electronic survey administered via e-mail to a random sample of 151 principals. This instrument incorporated the Professional Beliefs About Diversity Scale (Pohan & Aguilar, 2001) with the operationalized General Principal?s Diversity Model and the Professional Diversity Intentions sub-models. Three research questions guided the study: 1) Can a theory of planned behavior approach be used to assess school principals? professional intentions to promote diversity awareness? 2) What are the intentions of Texas principals to promote diversity awareness in general and among the five diversity dimensions of disabilities, gender, language, racial/ethnic, and social class in their campus community? and 3) Do these intentions differ among five demographic characteristics of race/ethnicity, gender, age, degree, and campus type? Findings of the study were: 1. The results of this study provided the scientific validation that the TPB approach can be used to assess public school principals? professional intentions to promote diversity awareness. 2. At present, Texas principals? intentions are only slightly more positive than the neutral midpoint, a 3.38 average score out of a possible 5.00 regarding intention to promote diversity awareness. Frequency analysis of the submodels indicated positive intentions for Gender (58 cases or 38.41 percent); Race/Ethnicity (78 cases or 51.66 percent); Social Class (79 cases or 52.32 percent); and Disabilities and Language each had 89 cases (58.95 percent). 3. Principals? intent to implement diversity decreases with age and higher academic degree held. 4. Hispanic principals are more likely than African American or White principals to promote diversity awareness. This study concluded that a Theory of Planned Behavior approach as operationalized in this study may be used to assess school principals? professional intentions to promote diversity beyond the level recommended by their district.