A Mixed Methods Study of North Carolina Principals’ Perceptions of the Roles of School Social Workers Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Scott, Deirdre
    • Affiliation: School of Education, Educational Leadership Graduate Program
  • This dissertation examined North Carolina (NC) principals’ perceptions of the roles of school social workers through the lens of an Ethic of Care (EoC). The researcher argues that principals may not fully understand the role for a variety of reasons. One such reason is that the role developed outside of the school setting. Role clarity is needed to ensure the strategic and effective use of the role. The findings were used to define the role of school social workers in terms of the roles most important to the educational outcomes of students. Also, the study analyzed principals’ perceptions to determine if factors about the school (i.e., grade span, locale type) and/or factors about the principal (prior experience with school social workers, years of experience, race/ethnicity, and gender) yielded statistically significant differences. Furthermore, the study examined principals’ perception of caring as the most important role of school social workers. The researcher used two research strategies: quantitative analysis of closed-ended questions and qualitative analysis of open-ended questions. Survey research methodology was performed to collect data from a self-administered online survey. The findings indicated that principals’ perceptions are impacted by factors about the school and the principal, but only for certain roles. Also, NC principals defined the role in terms of social casework and liaison activities. Insofar as role clarity leads to the creative and strategic use of the roles of school social workers, the researcher hopes that stakeholders will utilize this information to prepare school administrators and school social workers for effective interdisciplinary practice.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Marshall, Catherine
  • Galassi, John P.
  • English, Fenwick
  • Chavis, Annie
  • Brown, Kathleen
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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