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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring the Leadership Role of Principals in Arts Integrated Magnet Schools
by Peterson, Sara Elizabeth, Ph.D., Concordia University Chicago, 2016, 186; 28316927
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to explore how building principals interpret their prior experiences with the visual and performing arts in preparation for their leadership in an arts-integrated magnet school. Three research questions guided this study: 1.) How does prior experience with the visual and performing arts influence leadership in arts-integrated magnet schools, 2.) What are the characteristics of leadership practices among principals in arts-integrated magnet schools, and 3.) How do principals of arts-integrated magnet schools interpret experiences that prepare them for their current leadership roles? A grounded theory methodology to research was utilized to address the research questions, and in-depth interviews were used to collect data from six K-5 magnet school head principals. Data analysis was completed through phases of initial and focused coding, and six conceptual categories were drawn from the analysis and synthesis of the data. These conceptual categories included: arts-based experiences, contextual experiences, program knowledge, program representation, leadership challenges, solution-focused practices, and preparations for leadership. 

Findings from the study indicated that principals build knowledge from their art-based and contextual experiences, and used this knowledge to guide their leadership practices. Principals in the study recognized this knowledge influenced the leadership practices they employed in their arts-integrated magnet school. These experiences were found to have an influence on the arts-integration style adopted by the school. Principals of arts-integrated magnet schools assumed the traditional managerial and instructional leadership roles, but are also responsible for marketing their program and representing the program to the public. Often times they are also required to serve as a logistical coordinator for the arts-integrated opportunities in their buildings. Those principals who worked with an arts-coordinator were able to delegate this logistical work and focus on instructional leadership practices. Limitations of this study include the sample size used for data collection and restrictions placed on schools for their selection in the study. Implications from this study considered the principal the frontline of the school, where roles, responsibilities, content knowledge, and contextual knowledge as an extension of the role. Future research is suggested on the sustainment of magnet school programs and how the instructional leadership role changes based on the contextual setting of the school. Recommendations for future practice include the development of a contextual framework model to assist principals to translate their own contextual settings and identify strategies to help them adapt to new environments. Recommendations also suggest preparation programs for teachers and students consider new coursework that prepares principals for leadership in an arts-integrated magnet school and other contextual settings.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rajan, Reka
Commitee: Farrenkopf, Patricia , Soljaga, Dara
School: Concordia University Chicago
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership, Art education, Educational administration
Keywords: Arts-integration, Contextual experiences, Instructional leadership, Principal
Publication Number: 28316927
ISBN: 9798582518273
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