This qualitative study used multiple-case study methodology to explore the beginning principal support and induction experiences of six elementary principals. The study brings the voices of beginning principals to the body of knowledge about novice principal support and induction. In this study six beginning principals describe the types of support activities they participated in and how these activities helped them to perform the complex tasks of a 21st-century principal.
Current literature acknowledges the need for comprehensive and systematic support programs for novice principals. This study used role socialization theory as a lens to explore how novice principal support and induction activities assist new principals during the process of socializing to the role of principal.
The study's findings confirm that in order to make a successful transition to their new role of school principal, novice principals need support in many forms. The six principals in this study experienced mentoring, formal professional development activities for novice principals, and the opportunity to acquire administrative experience prior to being appointed to the principalship. Consistent with the literature are this study's findings that new principals welcome support from mentors, role models, and coaches and need professional development to help them to put theory into action in their daily work. The study also confirmed the application of socialization theory to addressing the problem of novice principal support. Surprising findings include the importance of providing a training ground of experience for aspiring administrators and the significance of a districtwide commitment to providing support for new school leaders.
Recommendations for policy and practice include designing multifaceted support programs for new principals that include job-embedded real-time coaching, informal mentoring, and formal professional development designed specifically for novice principals. Areas for future research include exploring the novice principal support outside of California and addressing the issue of generational differences when designing new principal support programs.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, School Administration|
|Keywords:||Mentoring, Novice principals|
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