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Findings of a study that examined the key elements necessary for administrative instructional leadership in elementary schools are presented in this paper, with a focus on the conflict between the use of power and collaboration. Interviews were conducted with 8 elementary school principals (3 men and 5 women) who were identified as exemplary instructional leaders and with 16 teachers, all from one midwestern state. Observation and document analysis were also conducted. Findings suggest that the key elements for successful instructional leadership include visioning, supervising and evaluating, forming close personal relationships, communicating, conducting meetings, initiating programs, and soliciting parent involvement. Principals identified teacher mind sets, state department mandates, time constraints, and parent opposition as barriers to instructional leadership. The main problem lies in power inequities between the principal and teachers, between teachers, and between the school and community. A framework for instructional leadership, based on collaborative power theory, is presented, in which power inequities are filtered through a gate of action/interaction strategies. The strategies include trust, collegiality, empowerment, diplomacy, and visioning. Collaborative power can be used by administrators to create a quality school where the focus is on teacher collaboration and child development. One table and one figure are included. (Contains 21 references.) (LMI)

Descriptors: Administrator Effectiveness, Administrator Responsibility, Administrator Role, Collegiality, Educational Cooperation, Elementary Education, Instructional Leadership, Leadership, Principals, Teacher Administrator Relationship

Autor: Harchar, Rayma L.


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