School: Preparing to Open and Beyond!

Secondary Education    Principals/Superintendents

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TITLE: School: Preparing to Open and Beyond!
RESEARCHER: William R. MacGregor
Graduate School of Education
Nova Southeastern University
Doctoral Dissertation: April 2000

To examine the evolving role of leadership; its impact on building a team of people that created a culture; and finally, an examination of both the current quality of that team and the culture – within the context of opening a brand new secondary school.

The setting for this study was the Rick Hansen Secondary School outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. The researcher was the initial principal of that school and this action research study took place between 1991 and 1999. Fifty-nine of a possible 77 people completed a series of surveys during a staff meeting in June, 1998. In addition to the Leadership Practices Inventory (Delta version), respondents completed the Team Development Wheel (Dornseif, 1996) and a Norms of School Culture Index (Saphier and King, 1985).

Pre- and post-test LPI scores over a 12-month period showed that 20 leadership behaviors improved, five declined and five remained the same. The author concludes: "Without firmly embracing these basic tenets of effective leadership, the researcher is convinced this study would not have been a success story" (p. 78).