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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tides of school reform: A case for servant leadership
by Betz, Natalie Christine, Ed.D., College of Saint Elizabeth, 2012, 534; 3507601
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative, narrative inquiry, case study explored the philosophy of servant leadership through the lens of a new high school principal and its impact on the culture of a suburban high school in New Jersey. This case study examined the impact the philosophy of servant leadership had on the school's culture by examining to what extent a) the formal study of servant leadership affected the leadership practices of a high school principal; b) the principal's leadership style influenced the culture of the school community; and c) how servant leadership impacted feelings of staff empowerment. Narrative Inquiry method is a process of gathering information for the purpose of research through storytelling. The field text sources for this qualitative case study included the use of autobiography, journals and field notes, archival data and focus group interviews.

The findings of the qualitative data presented a comprehensive picture of the principal's implementation of leadership practices that mirror servant leadership hallmarks. Secondly, the findings unveil a story of fostering an educational landscape at Mount Pleasant High School that centered on promoting a) building a consistent shared purpose among staff; b) a norm that staff reinforces the commitment of continuous school improvements and staff learning; c) creating staff ownership for student learning via building action plans and interim assessments; d) building a collaborative and collegial relationship through sharing and problem solving; e) implementation of technology professional development; and f) a commitment to professional development through staff and sharing of professional development practices.

Other significant conclusions on servant leadership practices and their impact on teacher empowerment collected through focus group interviews included behaviors and practices aligned to the framework of Laub's (1998) six categories of a leadership in an organization. The research concluded with further implications of educational practice that mirror servant leadership.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ciccone, Joseph
Commitee: Winters, Laura
School: College of Saint Elizabeth
Department: Education Department
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration, Secondary education
Keywords: Principal, School reform, Servant leadership
Publication Number: 3507601
ISBN: 978-1-267-32961-5
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