Secondary Education Principals/Superintendents
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between
Mississippi public school superintendents’ leadership behaviors and the level of
shared decision making in curriculum and instruction as perceived by principals.
From the population of Mississippi public school districts,
where superintendents had been in place for a minimum of two years (N=90),
sixty were selected, yielding a possible sample of 364 school principals. The
response rate was 55 percent (N=200). Respondents completed the Leadership
Practices Inventory- Observer form about their superintendent and the Shared
Education Decisions Survey-Revised (Ferrara, 1994), and provided demographic
information. The typical respondent had ten or less years experience as a principal
(65%), was male (56%), Caucasian (73%), and held a masters degree (67%).
Correlations were all positive and statistically significant
between the superintendent’s leadership behavior (challenging, inspiring,
enabling, modeling, and encouraging) and the level of shared decision making in
the area of curriculum and innovation (correlations ranged between .34 and .42).
Clearly, the researcher notes, “from the findings of this study, superintendents who
are risk takers, have a clear vision, empower others, model desired behaviors, and
are encouragers have school systems where principals feel like they have an
impact in what teachers are teaching and how they are teaching it” (p. 79).