The Instructional Role of Elementary School PrincipalsReport as inadecuate

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Canadian Journal of Education, v28 n3 p409-433 2005

To study elementary school principals' understandings and enactments of instructional leadership, we collected data through individual interviews, focus-group discussions, and in-school observations. Three categories captured principals' conceptualizations of instructional leadership: curriculum expertise, formal delivery of professional development, and informal culture building. Their enactment of instructional leadership was influenced by three dimensions: their personal style, degree of coherence in agendas and initiatives, and availability of enabling structures. We anticipated the influence of personal style, but not the impact of coherence and structure, which introduces a new dimension to the literature on contextual influences impinging on individual practice. (Contains 1 note.)

Descriptors: Principals, Instructional Leadership, School Culture, Elementary Schools, Context Effect, Administrator Role, Foreign Countries, Interviews, Observation, Focus Groups, Administrator Attitudes, Leadership Styles

Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), Suite 204, 260 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail: csse[at]

Author: Mitchell, Coral; Castle, Joyce B.


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