The need for strong school principals is great as more and more U.S. schools struggle to meet the requirements of federal regulations and as districts search for school leaders who can effect systemic and sustainable organizational change. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012) predicts that the U.S. will need an additional 10%, or 23,100 more principals between 2010 and 2020 at a time when the number of available principals is shrinking. In addition to needing more principals, U.S. schools also need more principals who are highly effective. Unfortunately, the turnover rate for principals is drastically high, close to 50% (ERS, 1998) in all schools, and higher still in high-poverty schools (Branch, Hanushek, & Rivkin, 2008; Gates, Ringel, Santibanez, Guarino, Ghosh-Dastidar, & Brown, 2006). High turnover rates, coupled with a diminishing pool of principals, an increasing need for more principals, and the now popular trend of using temporary or turnaround principals, illustrate the school leadership crisis that is enveloping our educational system (Norton, 2002). An open question in the field is how and whether effective school leaders can be purposefully cultivated. Drawing on literatures in the fields of efficacy and school leadership, school leadership development, and optimism, this constructivist study applied qualitative research methods to explore how one novice school leader in an urban PK-5 elementary school learned to lead over an extended period of time, one-and-a-half years. The study investigated the contextual and mediating variables that influenced this novice principal’s choice-making in a watched school in need of improvement. Data collection consisted of regular interviews and observations. By capturing the voice and experience of one principal, this study contributes to the fields of efficacy in school leadership, optimism, and school leadership development a rich example of a principal learning to lead in practice (Darling-Hammond et al., 2007). The study also contributes a new construct, an initial articulation of “assumed possibility” as a theoretical stance. School leader’s enactment and execution of vision are still burgeoning fields of study and this study offers a glimpse into one leader’s attempt to transform his school.
|Advisor:||Ravitch, Sharon M.|
|Commitee:||Kaminstein, Dana, Lytle, James H.|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Educational and Organizational Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, School administration, Early childhood education, Elementary education|
|Keywords:||Leadership development, Leadership efficacy, Optimism, School leadership, School transformation, School turnaround|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be