Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Identifying Leadership Potential: The Process of Principals within a Charter School Network
by Waidelich, Lynn A., Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2012, 231; 3502369
Abstract (Summary)

The importance of strong educational leadership for American K-12 schools cannot be overstated. As such, school districts need to actively recruit and develop leaders. One way to do so is for school officials to become more strategic in leadership identification and development. If contemporary leaders are strategic about whom they identify and develop as the next generation of educational leaders, they can be more confident of future success. However, studying the process of identifying teachers with leadership potential is new territory for educational researchers. This is not the case in business literature in which the study of talent management is an established trend. In this study, the researcher applied identified principles of talent management and identification from the business world to the field of education. The result was a narrative case study designed to explore the process principals in a charter school network use to identify potential leaders among their teaching staff and to understand how principals' personal experiences being identified as leaders influences their current practice of leadership identification.

In this study, there was evidence of a wide-range of processes principals use to identify teachers with leadership potential. These processes ranged on a spectrum from very concrete, systematic methods of leadership identification to identification based on instinct or intuition. Further, principals used two steps, either exclusively or collectively, to inform leadership identification. These steps included a review of an individual's past performance and a prediction of his or her future leadership abilities. Finally, in each case studied, the past experiences of the principals being identified as leaders shaped their current practice. Their leadership identification process was heavily influenced by the principals' own leadership abilities, personal and professional characteristics, experiences, and mode of assuming leadership. The parallels between existing and future school leaders have important implications for the charter school network involved in this study and should be considered in future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Clayton, Jennifer K.
Commitee: Armstrong, Tracey M., Howard, Lionel, Tekleselassie, Abebayehu A., Thessin, Rebecca
School: The George Washington University
Department: Educational Administration and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Charter schools, Educational leadership, Leadership, Leadership identification, Principal, Talent management, Teacher leadership
Publication Number: 3502369
ISBN: 9781267252975
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