The Challenges of a Change in Practice: the story of an experienced principal's journey through the change process at a struggling urban elementary school

by Amato, Eileen Ann

Abstract (Summary)
This study examines the challenges and complexitites within the role of a building principal during a time of reform. Presented from the lens and voice of an experienced principal who came to a struggling urban elementary school, this portrayal represents three years of key moments of change as collected, described and interpreted from the lens of the principal. Compiled as a series of narrative accounts, the storied snapshots were crafted from personal jopurnal notes along with the supporting details obtained from sources such as meeting notes, emails, surveys and other day-to-day documents reflecting a change in practice. Organized around several collections of "key moments of chsange", rich description and additional narrative devices are used to examine variuos human experiences related to leading during change. A representation of stakeholders within a building are portrayed- teachers, support staff, parents. Along with a description of the external environment and context from this single instance of change, the underlying emotions, hopes, reactions and moral dispositions of the building level leader interacting with others is examined and interpreted. This study reveals that leading during change holds unique challenges that are frequently in conflict. Both a sense of rigidity needed to meet the present accountability required from schools yet a flexibility to deal with the diverse human side of teachers, students and parents is required within the role. Throughout the study, specific examples of these paradoxes and dichotomies are described and interpreted.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Joseph Werlenich; Sue Goodwin; William E. Bickel; Charlene Trovato

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:administrative and policy studies


Date of Publication:06/27/2008

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