Date of Award
Action Research Project
Master of Arts in Education
Montessori Early Childhood, Montessori Elementary Education
"The purpose of this action research was to study whether a change of actions in school leadership, specifically leading with empathy, would effect faculty morale in a Montessori school. There is a common understanding that actions of school leadership are critical to creating a positive work environment. From the literature reviewed, while there are many factors that influence the morale of faculty, the actions of school leadership had the most significant impact and were also the simplest to implement in terms of cost and resources. The theory of servant leadership provided a framework for this research because it supports my personal belief that compassion and empathy are key attributes of a successful leader and are a necessity in building positive morale among teachers in their schools. The findings show a relationship exists between empathetic leadership and faculty morale, and despite this study being of short duration and a small sample size, it also uncovered some additional factors that are important to teachers in a Montessori school and therefore affect their feelings towards their jobs. These include facilitating a healthy work/life balance, reducing the amount of mundane administrative tasks they are responsible for, and allowing teachers to focus more on their work with children, which brings them great joy. It would be beneficial for all leaders in Montessori schools to strive to lead with more empathy, as there is no downside to treating the faculty with deeper respect and appreciation for the incredible work they do with children."
O'Brian, Andrea. (2022). The Effects of Leading with Empathy on Faculty Morale in a Montessori Setting. Retrieved from Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website: https://sophia.stkate.edu/maed/474