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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Technical high school principals' perceptions of their use of transformational leadership behaviors
by St. Onge, Barbara, Ed.D., University of Hartford, 2009, 264; 3358970
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to investigate leadership practices of technical high school principals and to determine if any of these practices were consistent with Leithwood’s conceptual model of transformational leadership, which is exemplified by behaviors related to setting directions, developing people, and redesigning the organization. In that transformational leadership has been correlated to increased student performance on high stakes tests, this study contributed to current research regarding secondary principal leaders and the conditions that need to persist in today’s high schools.

This mixed-methods study examined twelve secondary principals representing technical high schools throughout a Northeastern State with school populations ranging from 400 to 850 students. The participants responded to a 42-item, web-based survey in which they provided self-ratings on leadership practices aligned with transformational leadership. Following the surveys, the twelve principals participated in one-hour interviews which provided additional information and descriptions related to the eight categories corresponding to the three areas of transformational leadership.

The conclusions were consistent in that the majority of principals reported ratings that supported transformational leadership behaviors in the areas of building a vision, setting goals, setting high expectations, providing individualized support, providing intellectual stimulation, modeling best practices and values, creating productive school culture, and fostering participation in decision-making. However, follow-up interviews revealed that some principals less frequently described explicit actions related to transformational behaviors, in particular in the area of redesigning the organization. Other leadership activities supported in contemporary research and reform policy including the use of data and parent and community involvement were also under-represented by the principals.

Recommendations included leadership preparation and administrator programs being updated to include contemporary practices and standards conforming to transformational leadership practices. Additionally, observational research should be conducted to provide authentic data allowing better understanding of secondary leadership practices for setting directions, developing people, and redesigning the organization in their school settings; field research should be conducted to help establish standards for incorporating transformational leadership practices into administrator preparation programs and on-going and professional development efforts for school administrators

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weinholtz, Donn
Commitee: Druzolowski, Anne, Intriligator, Barbara, Thermer, Clifford
School: University of Hartford
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: DAI-A 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration, Secondary education, Vocational education
Keywords: High school reform, Leadership, Mixed methods, Principals, Reform, Technical high school, Transformational leadership
Publication Number: 3358970
ISBN: 978-1-109-18389-4
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