Abstract Dunn - Principal Leadership for Equity and Excellence

Principal Leadership for Equity and Excellence

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TITLE: Principal Leadership for Equity and Excellence
RESEARCHER: Victoria F. Dunn
College of Education
University of Houston
Doctoral Dissertation: May 2000

This study examined the leadership behaviors and skills of the principal at a consistently exemplary school, as well as the instructional practices, in order to better understand the relationship between leadership and school performance.

The Mayfield Elementary School reflects an ethnic and economic diversity illustrative of the vast majority of schools in Texas, and on that basis, as well as its exemplary rating for five consecutive years from the Texas Education Agency, was chosen for the case study. The principal completed the LPI-Self, while the LPI-Observer was completed by the instructional and support staff. Thirty-nine LPI-Observers were distributed and 29 were returned, of which 24 were usable (74% response rate). Qualitative data were obtained through observations and semi-structured interviews, as well as examination of archival and institutional/culture artifacts.

The rank order of leadership practices between the principal and her observers was relatively consistent, with Modeling and Enabling being the most frequent and Challenging and Encouraging the least frequently used practices. Responses from observers were normatively high (above the 70th percentile), which was also true for Inspiring, Enabling and Modeling for the principal (self).

“This study supported the relationship between leadership skills and interpersonal communication competencies generally and for educational leaders specifically” (p. 123).