An Exploratory Study of Teacher Empowerment and Technical Education in Kentucky
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between teachers’ perceptions of empowerment and principal use of power within career and technical education in Kentucky. The researcher posits that, with the continual process of educational reform, principals need to understand what empowers teachers to perform as additional expectations and responsibilities are being mandated. The researcher used a mixed methods design to examine power bases that career and technical education teachers perceived were used by their principals to identify teachers’ perceived empowerment, as well as influencers and barriers. Data were collected with a survey and two open-ended questions from teachers within area technology centers in the state of Kentucky. The findings indicate that most teachers perceive themselves as operating from self-efficacy empowerment subscale, while their principals were using the legitimate power base. In addition, teachers determined that the power base of referent was related to the empowerment subscale of professional growth. This research identifies a relationship between teacher empowerment and principal power bases and suggests that principals know how to utilize leader power effectively, as it will affect student success and school effectiveness.