Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Principal preparation: Learning to become an effective leader of people through the lens of emotional intelligence
by Church, Craig F., Ed.D., University of Washington, 2009, 114; 3377338
Abstract (Summary)

Aspiring school principals look to university leadership programs to prepare them for their future career. Course requirements often include practical topics such as finance, law, instructional leadership, as well as others that influence the manner in which a school principal responds. For the purpose of this project, I was interested to look at the manner in which school leaders are prepared to work with people in their schools, and the complexity of emotions that are implicated in social interactions.

This inquiry involved an examination of four cohorts from Lake Union University's (pseudonym) principal preparation program. The current cohort was observed for elements of emotional intelligence that transpired during a weekly “reflective seminar.” A survey was developed to gauge the cohort member's preparation along the concepts of emotional intelligence in their instructional program as well as in the seminar. Interviews of former students provided a post-preparation perspective regarding their initial challenges as school leaders, their recollection of their preparation experiences in the program and the reflective seminar as it pertained to dimensions of emotional intelligence, as well as recommendations they have for program faculty.

These descriptive tools were used to locate themes regarding the fundamental question of the inquiry, namely:How are students being prepared to deal with the emotional challenges of school leadership with respect to the emotional dynamics defined by emotional intelligence?

Subquestions from this include: (1) How does the reflective seminar seem to support this development? (2) What can program faculty do to better prepare students for the challenges related to emotional dynamics of interpersonal interactions? (3) How important are the skills that make up emotional intelligence to the role of educational leader?

In the analysis of the information collected, there is a belief that these skills are critical to successful school leadership. The program's preparation supports aspects of their development well, and the reflective seminar plays a role in that development.

The results of this inquiry will be shared with Lake Union leadership program faculty as they look to revise the structure to better meet this dimension of leader preparation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Portin, Bradley
School: University of Washington
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration, Higher education
Keywords: Adult learning, Educational leadership, Effective leadership, Emotional intelligence, Leadership, Principal preparation, Reflective practice
Publication Number: 3377338
ISBN: 9781109395808
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