Masters Thesis

Strategies and Characteristics of Effective Leaders in Remote Environments

Since distance learning models of education are growing in number and popularity, there is a need to explore leadership in a remote setting because effective school leadership is directly tied to higher student achievement in schools. The researcher performed a study to investigate what strategies and characteristics are desirable in a remote leader. Previous research has extensively covered leadership in educational environments, but little has been done to explore what is needed to successfully lead in a virtual world. The researcher performed a convergent parallel mixed-methods study among 300+ teachers working at three identically-ran Independent Study Charter Schools in California. Using the quantitative and qualitative data the researcher discovered three stand-out themes: communication, relationships, and interaction. These themes arose as areas of focus and help to determine what effective leadership should look like in remote settings. Additional research around specific communication strategies and methods would be a logical next step of study in this area. Based on the information gleaned from this study, districts, schools and other areas of the workforce, who have remote leadership positions, would benefit in their overall effectiveness by acknowledging these strategies and characteristics.