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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Leadership Practices of Elementary Principals in Urban Inner-City Schools of South Los Angeles That Impact Successful Implementation of School Reform
by Benton, Robin L., Ed.D., Concordia University Irvine, 2018, 170; 10749205
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study is to investigate the existing influences faced by today’s urban inner-city elementary school principals that impact the successful implementation of reform strategies as measured by student achievement data. The study examines dynamics such as the characteristics and qualities, leadership style and behavior, instructional leadership, school community, and political influences encountered by principals assigned to low-income urban inner-city schools and the impact of these forces on student achievement in South Los Angeles elementary schools. It utilizes a mixed method design phenomenological approach. The quantitative phase entails the use data from the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ)-5X from Mind Garden Institute and the Principal Instrumental Management Rating Scale (PIMRS) authored by Hallinger (1982). Information was collected from interviews with principals, assistant principals, and approximately 30% of classroom teachers at two underperforming schools. Grounded within the Coherence Framework by Fullan and Quinn (2015) and the Public Education Leadership Project (PELP) Coherence Framework by Childress, Elmore, Grossman, and King (2011), the study provides an insight into the effectiveness of the principal position and its impact on school reform efforts. The findings of this study revealed the transformative style of leadership is most preferred as it allows stakeholder voice in decision-making. Data also verified that urban innercity principals devote the least amount of time in their day to instructional leadership activities. These activities are focused on framing the school’s goals and coordinating the school curriculum and require emphasis on engaging in the behaviors that develop the school’s learning climate. Moreover, several themes emerged from the study. These included (a) teacher “voice” in school-wide decisions impacts reform efforts; (b) the school community severely impacts the principal’s decision-making towards school improvement; (c) the principal’s style of leadership influences teacher commitment; (d) the political/district influences can limit reform efforts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Karge, Belinda
Commitee: Cunningham, Helene, Duenas, Cecilia
School: Concordia University Irvine
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education Policy, Educational administration
Keywords: Administration, Culture, Inner-city schools, Principal leadership, Urban schools
Publication Number: 10749205
ISBN: 978-0-355-78035-2
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