Relational trust and rural education: a qualitative study on how educational leaders can enhance levels of trust in an elementary setting
The current study examines the concepts that impact relational trust in a rural elementary setting from the perspective of school personnel. The trust relationship between school staff and the principal is emphasized in this investigation. The findings are significant because they contribute context-specific data that educational leaders can use to inform practice and enhance a culture of trust within their settings. Qualitative methodology and content analysis were used in this study. Open-ended written response surveys were used to collect data from teachers and support staff working in four elementary schools in the interior of British Columbia. Findings show that factors that influence trust in the rural education setting complement the existing research done in the urban environment. These factors include: promotes an inclusive environment, demonstrates effective communication skills, models best practice, demonstrates strong leadership skills, is a person of integrity, has a growth mindset, takes time to build and maintain personal connections, is approachable, and has a strong work ethic, emerged as central themes impacting relational trust in the school environment. To strengthen the results of this study and generalize the results to other rural areas, it is suggested that similar research be conducted in elementary schools located in other small towns in British Columbia.
Identifier (Other)DOI: 10.25316/IR-1142
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