Abstract Burleson - Getting Extraordinary Things Done

Getting Extraordinary Things Done: Perceptions of Behaviors That Superintendents Use to Obtain and Manage Additional Resources in Ways That Result in Improved Student Learning

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TITLE: Getting Extraordinary Things Done: Perceptions of Behaviors That Superintendents Use to Obtain and Manage Additional Resources in Ways That Result in Improved Student Learning
 
RESEARCHER: Susan W. Burleson
School of Educational Management
University of La Verne (California)
Doctoral Dissertation: August 1998

OBJECTIVE
To identify and describe the leadership and management behaviors that four California school superintendents in low wealth school districts used to acquire and manage additional resources in ways that resulted in improved student learning.

METHODOLOGY
The research was descriptive and ex post facto. Four superintendents and eight consultants were included in this exploratory study, using three data sources: face-to-face interviews, archival records, and completion of the Leadership Practices Inventory. The consultants served as both observers and constituents, and in addition to being interviewed, also completed the LPI-Observer.

KEY FINDINGS
Two of the four superintendents and seven of the eight consultants identified Inspiring a Shared Vision as a behavior most often used by superintendents. A similarly strong relationship was found for Challenging the Process and Enabling Others to Act.

“The leadership and management behaviors demonstrated by these superintendents linked more closely with improved student learning when they: (1) communicated the importance of student learning in ways that made the goal meaningful to constituents and gained their participation and support in reaching the goal, (2) used position (cosmopolitan) behaviors to build alliances in the community and obtained resources focused on improving student learning, and (3) demonstrated follow-through that indicated that additional resources were used to achieve the priority goal of student learning.”

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