Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Principals' perceptions of superintendents' leadership practices and its impact on school climate in selected South Florida public school district areas
by McFarlane, Donovan A., Ed.D., St. Thomas University, 2010, 287; 3421056
Abstract (Summary)

Purpose. This research study sought to determine the leadership practices of area superintendents in selected South Florida public school district areas based on principals’ perceptions and assess school climate impact using descriptive and inferential approaches.

Methodology. The Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) 360 Online was used along with demographic questionnaire to collect data from public elementary, middle, and high school principals and area superintendents. School climate data based on ratings by faculty/staff, parents, and students was collected from secondary-available public source. The LPI 360 and demographic questionnaire were administered to 3 area superintendents and 224 elementary, middle, and high school principals representing the three public school district areas. There were 224 potential participants with 90 principals from Area 1, 69 principals from Area 2, and 65 principals from Area 3. There was a total of 129 respondents.

Data analysis. Leadership data from the school district areas were analyzed using the five leadership practices of Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart (Kouzes and Posner, 2003) through the LPI-Online 360 and SPSS software. Demographic and school climate data were also analyzed using SPSS. Four research questions and 4 hypotheses were analyzed and tested by LPI scoring software and SPSS using descriptive (means and standard deviations) and inferential statistics (MANOVA, ANOVAs, and t-tests).

Findings. The findings from this research were: (1) the selected public school district area superintendents practiced exemplary leadership; (2) there was significant differences among areas on the perceived leadership practices; (3) there were no differences among elementary, middle, and high school principals’ perceptions of leadership practices; (4) there were significant differences between the five practices of this study and the Kouzes-Posner leadership norms; and (5) there were differences in school climate grades by respondent type and area.

Recommendations. (1) provide superintendents with feedback on their use of the five leadership practices; (2) encourage exemplary superintendents to serve as coaches and mentors as part of leadership success planning; and (3) engage in further leadership development in light of current school challenges to meet the needs of 21st century public schools.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ogazon, Agueda G.
School: St. Thomas University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 71/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Florida, Leadership, Principals, Public schools, School climate, School district areas, Superintendents
Publication Number: 3421056
ISBN: 978-1-124-19045-7
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