Perceptions of successful elementary school principals of effective school leadership practices: A portrait of school leadership
AuthorAbrams, Eric Regier, 1955-
AdvisorHendricks, J. Robert
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study investigated the perceptions of 11 successful elementary school principals from seven school districts in southern Arizona. The principals were identified by their district superintendent or assistant superintendent as exemplifying the eight characteristics of successful principals described by Joekel, Wendel and Hoke (1994). Qualitative methodology was used to inductively analyze and describe response data collected through in-depth interviews. These interviews consisted of open-ended questions regarding: effective leadership, school culture, vision, school improvement, empowerment, staff motivation, shared decision making, teacher instructional leadership, conflict, the changing nature of the principalship, and educational administration pre-service education. These perceptions were then compared to descriptions of effective practice as described in current literature on transformational leadership, leadership standards accepted by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, and current literature on educational administration pre-service reform efforts. The following are some findings that emerged from this study. These successful principals placed the needs of students in the center of all their decision making. This appeared to be the prime transformational behavior that awakened intrinsic motivation among staff members. Moreover, they demonstrated transformational leadership behaviors that included meeting intrinsic needs of followers, visionary leadership, building collaborative school cultures, and putting teachers in roles of instructional leadership. However, despite the presence of these behaviors, it appeared that they had a poor objective understanding of the transformational epistemology. Specific recommendations were made to better prepare school leaders to be the transformational leaders that researchers believe are necessary to successfully lead schools as we approach the turn of the century. The principals in this study believed their pre-service educational administration program was inadequate in preparing them for their role as principals. They believed pre-service programs need to define a body of knowledge and create a cohesive curriculum to teach the skills that administrators need to know to be effective leaders in their schools. Specific recommendations were made to improve educational administration graduate programs.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Educational Administration and Higher Education