Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sustainable School Improvement: Suburban Elementary Principals' Capacity Building
by Clark, Alison J., Ph.D., Concordia University Chicago, 2016, 206; 10106124
Abstract (Summary)

The increase of intense pressures to ensure long-term education reforms have created a challenge to school leaders as they direct and nurture the abilities of others. Although there is no single model of successful leadership, there is a common repertoire of values and actions used for sustainable school improvement. Raising capacity is a key task for principals. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand and describe suburban elementary principals’ practices and perceptions as change leaders related to capacity building. The study further explored the reciprocal effects model on how principals responded to the changing environment. Three principals, their superintendents and one teacher for each case provided data collected through interviews, documents, and a researcher journal. Inductive and deductive analysis were used, first within-case and then through a concluding cross-case. Findings confirmed that building capacity is all encompassing. As principals seek to build capacity, there are many interconnected actions. Results demonstrated varied practices, skills, and responsibilities used among principals, including: setting goals; professional development; collaboration; teacher leadership; and shared responsibility. This study can provide guidance to universities, Boards of Education, and other administrators. Recommendations for further research include expanding the sample to include secondary principals and to explore capacity building in rural and urban settings. Additionally, there should be continued research on the reciprocal effects model using mixed methods.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Blaess, Donna
Commitee: Hollywood, Kathryn, Richard, Veronica
School: Concordia University Chicago
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Capacity building, Reciprocal effects model, School improvement, School leadership
Publication Number: 10106124
ISBN: 978-1-339-69574-7
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