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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1796

Title: A phenomenological study of instructional leadership and preparation: perspective of urban principals
Authors: Ruffin, Cassandra A.
Keywords: Education;Leadership;School management and organization
Issue Date: 5-Sep-2007
Abstract: The role of the principal as an instructional leader has continued to change since the 1970s. Our understanding of the complexity and ambiguity of the role has grown and the focus shifted from management and supervision to one of building capacity for shared leadership and implementing second order change. This phenomenological study was undertaken to uncover perceptions of urban principals have regarding their view and implementation of instructional leadership and challenges that affect implementation. Qualitative methods of in depth interviewing, on site observation and artifact collection were used to collect data from 10 elementary and 2 middle school principals. An analysis of interview data revealed several themes regarding how principals view their instructional leadership role and how they implement the role. First, principals perceive 1) themselves to be the instructional leader of their school; 2) the role to be important, complex and multifaceted; and 3) it as only one of many roles they have. Second, they perceive themselves implementing the role through 1) provision of professional development; 2) monitoring instruction; and 3) building relationships. Principals perceived their instructional leadership to be challenged by 1) limited time to monitor instruction and 2) not having enough staff for the delegation non-instructional duties. Artifact analysis revealed that principals do provide professional development and monitor instruction. Overall, artifacts did not show the content, format or context in which professional development occurred. Evidence of professional development linked to building capacity in others toward shared leadership or to address second order change was also not present. A major recommendation of this study recognizes that university programs designed to prepare principals for instructional leadership have not kept pace with changes in the role. The recommendation suggests that universities might consider using the principles of second order change to design preparation programs characterized by a thoughtful mixture of research, theory, practitioner voices, course work, reflections and authentic learning experiences that will result in principals being prepared to 1) effectively build capacity in others to participate in shared leadership; and 2) lead deep change in schools that will result in increased numbers of students achieving at higher levels.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1796
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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