Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding principals' and lead teachers' perceptions of distributed leadership in three high-performing public high schools: An exploratory multiple case study
by Zener, Karl R., Ed.D., California State University, Fullerton, 2011, 241; 3459306
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative, exploratory multiple case study was to determine principals' and lead teachers' perceptions regarding the theory and practice of distributed leadership as it emerged in three high-performing high schools, Working within the developing theoretical framework of distributed leadership, this study examined the interactions of three high school principals and their respective leadership teams to determine the extent to which leadership roles and responsibilities were being stretched across each school site for the purposes of improving instruction and increasing student achievement. Data collection and analysis of semi-structured principal interviews, critical incident reports, and document reviews yielded three major themes: (a) high school principals demonstrated an understanding of the concept of distributed leadership and reported integrating it deliberately into their administrative practices; (b) principals were gradually operationalizing distributed approaches to promote instructional improvements by building collaborative, rather than competitive, school cultures; (c) teacher leaders were generally unfamiliar with distributed leadership theories and practices and several disputed being empowered by their principals; (d) principals focused their distributed leadership practices on instructional improvements such as increasing in high school students' Annual Yearly Progress, Annual Performance Index, and standardized test scores; and (e) principals and teacher leaders identified contextual conditions influencing their decisions to distribute leadership with some site-specific situations accelerating and other site-specific situations inhibiting distribution. Overall, the study revealed that while principals endeavored to develop distributed leadership cultures in their school sites, teacher leaders perceived more disadvantages than advantages to implementing these approaches.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lee, Joyce
School: California State University, Fullerton
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 72/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School Administration, Secondary education
Keywords: Distributed leadership, High school, Principals
Publication Number: 3459306
ISBN: 978-1-124-69795-6
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