Study of the achieving styles of Massachusetts middle and high school principals to determine which styles they are using to implement the mandates of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act

by Charest, Gabrielle Marya

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study was to determine whether current principals in the middle and high schools of Massachusetts are using the achieving styles consistent with the Massachusetts Education Reform Act mandate of "participative decision-making." The third wave of school reform has fostered the development of new leadership models for principals, reflecting a newer, more relational and connective governance in schools. The Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 mandated participative governance to effect radical changes in the schools. An historical overview of educational administration and the role of the principal culminates in the connective leadership model developed by Jean Lipman-Blumen in 1992. This model transcends the biases of traditional models and stretches beyond transformational leadership to the establishment of interdependent structures such as alliances, networks, teams, and collaboratives involving all the stakeholders in the school community. A study, using the L-BL Achieving Styles Inventory, was conducted with 42 Massachusetts middle and high school principals to determine the styles they are using to implement participative governance into their schools. SPSS was employed for a 2-tail t-test of Significance to assess whether there was a relationship between achieving style and gender, years of experience as a principal, or school level. Results indicated no significant difference between the scores of males and females. A significant relationship was established between the competitive achieving style and school level at.030. High school principals were found to achieve significantly more competitively than middle school principals. A somewhat significant relationship of.062 was found between the collaborative achieving style and years of experience as a principal. Principals with fewer than three years of experience in the principalship have higher collaborative achieving scores. All groups scored highest in the relational domain. Scores in the instrumental domain, representing the extended skills of connective leadership, were the lowest, indicating a need for awareness and educational programs to expand principals' achieving styles.
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Massachusetts Amherst

School Location:USA - Massachusetts

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/1996

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