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Respect in principal–teacher relations at primary schools in Turkey

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Respect means consideration of actions and requests of others and confirmation of values of others. School is a social institution where students are equipped with knowledge and skills, as well as fundamental character attributes. Respect among students, teachers, administrators, parents, and other staff at schools is of importance. In this study, the focus group method, including 12 principals and 10 teachers at state primary schools, was employed to explore respect in principal–teacher relations. According to the findings, the participants generally developed professional respect understanding. The teachers presented different definitions of respect associated with hierarchical relations. The participants’ respect behaviors were commonly observed in positive communication and self-improvement. The principals displayed respect for teachers through some guarding behaviors, and the teachers displayed profession-related respect behaviors. The common respect expectations of the participants were as follows: self-improvement, establishment of positive social relations, and unbiased behavior. While the school principals expected obedience and complete fulfillment of assigned tasks from teachers, the teachers expected civility, justice, and guarding administration from principals. The participants regarded improper appearance, behaviors contradictory to rules of good manners and bad habits as disrespectfulness. The school principals regarded abuse of goodwill and false excuses by teachers as disrespectfulness; whereas the teachers regarded oral or behavioral insults by school principals and intervention in their private life as disrespectfulness.
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Keywords: disrespectfulness; expectation for respect; respect; respect at school; respect in principal–teacher relations; showing respect

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Educational Management, Supervision, Planning, and Economy, Kafkas University, Kars, Turkey 2: Department of Educational Administration Policy, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey 3: Department of Educational Management, Supervision, Planning, and Economy, Yüzüncü Yıl University, Van, Turkey 4: Department of Educational Management, Supervision, Planning, and Economy, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, İstanbul, Turkey

Publication date: 01 November 2013

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