Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Transforming the Underperforming: Principal Perceptions of Support in Turnaround Schools
by Bournés, Stephen Derrick, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2017, 168; 10640877
Abstract (Summary)

Research on turnaround schools suggests that school districts have had limited success in effectively turning around underperforming schools including how districts support turnaround principals. Furthermore, the research makes an explicit connection between the success of a turnaround, the principal, and district support. Absent from the literature is how turnaround principals experience this support. In this qualitative study, I examine the experiences of turnaround principals and their perceptions of the district support provided them. My research questions are: “How do turnaround principals experience district support? What do struggling and successful principals say about the support process?” The primary data collection method consisted of interviews of 20 turnaround principals, 10 who were successful and 10 who were struggling. The data was analyzed using inductive thematic analysis, and the following themes emerged: distributed leadership, self-efficacy, and capability and capability development. There were five major findings: 1) There is an interrelationship between self-efficacy, capability development, locus of control, and the success of turnaround principals; 2) Turnaround principals want differentiated support from central office; 3) Successful turnaround principals employ distributed leadership practices; 4) Both successful and struggling turnaround principals need social-emotional support from central office; and 5) The capacity of the district’s central office to support turnaround principals is crucial.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McKee, Annie
Commitee: Jellig, Jerry, Waff, Diane
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 79/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational administration
Keywords: District support, Principal perceptions of district support, Supporting turnaround schools, Turnaround schools
Publication Number: 10640877
ISBN: 978-0-355-58867-5
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