Abstract T. Jonson Saunders - Leadership Practices Preferred by Instructional Personnel and Implemented in a Middle School Setting

Leadership Practices Preferred by Instructional Personnel and Implemented in a Middle School Setting

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TITLE: Leadership Practices Preferred by Instructional Personnel and Implemented in a Middle School Setting
 
RESEARCHER: Tami Johnson Saunders
School of Education
Argosy University (Florida)
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: March 2009

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of the study was to determine the preferred leadership practices of the school faculty at one middle school in Florida as well as the leadership practices the faculty observed.

METHODOLOGY
The Highlands County School District (Florida) provided the research population and is located in a middle-to-low socioeconomic community. The school has a student population of approximately 628 and 68 percent receive free or reduced-price lunch.

Of the 49 instructional personnel at the school, 32 volunteered to participate in this research study by completing both the original and a modified version (focusing on “preferred” use rather than actual behavioral use) of the Leadership Practices Inventory – Observer about the school’s principal.

KEY FINDINGS
The most frequently engaged in leadership practice by the principal was seen as Enable, followed by Model, and closely by Inspire, Challenge, and Encourage. The most preferred leadership practices were Enable and Encourage, followed by Model and then Challenge and Inspire.

Based on these study findings, the researcher developed these recommendations:

Leaders should create a climate of trust within their organizations. Trust is the key to providing effective leadership from the top through the channels and into the classroom. Once trust is established within the organization, collaborative efforts among the individuals will enable accomplishment of great things.

One way to establish trust is to open the lines of communication between administration and instructional staff. Every person’s opinion should have value. The sharing of information will allow discovery and discussion of diverse points of view (pp. 44-45).

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