Publication Date

Summer 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Gizelle Luevano

Second Advisor

Ian Menchini


Trust is essential between elementary school principals and teachers, for it is a necessary ingredient in well-functioning organizations, especially schools. The problem addressed in this phenomenological study was the lack of practical strategies for principals to build trust with teachers effectively and efficiently to facilitate positive change and, ultimately, to support student achievement. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to understand how elementary school principals can quickly build trust with their teachers to facilitate positive change. Through the literature review, the researcher examined historical definitions of trust and early trust studies, the creation of trust and strategies for developing trust, and trust and change process and contemporary trust studies. The researcher used a phenomenological approach to interview six elementary school principals who were employed by a high-performing, suburban school district in a western state. Through this study, the researcher uncovered many practical, useful, and effective strategies for principals to build trust with teachers. These strategies can be disseminated to new and veteran elementary school principals to help them to build and maintain trust with teachers. This study also revealed differences in the way that male and female leaders build trust with male and female teachers. The strategies that were discovered through these interviews can help principals build trust with teachers. In turn, this trust will create a positive school climate in which students will succeed.


Ed.D. Dissertation



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.