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Superintendent and Principal Perceptions of Superintendent Instructional Leadership Practices in Improving School Districts

by Davidson, Frank.

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the instructional leadership practices of a statewide sample of Arizona school superintendents. Superintendents’ practices in 12 areas were analyzed in relation to the degree of district academic improvement over a three-year period, the relative size of the district, and the gender of the superintendent. Differences in principal-superintendent perceptions were also analyzed to determine the extent of these differences, and their correspondence to the level of academic improvement achieved by districts. Among superintendents that had served in the current district for at least three years, there were significant differences in their reported involvement in 2 of 12 areas. Superintendents in higher-performing districts reported being more involved in planning for instruction and developing principals as instructional leaders. While male and female superintendents reported similar instructional leadership practices, female superintendents reported being more involved in reviewing research and developing instructional policies. Male superintendents reported being more involved in developing principals as instructional leaders. 12 Superintendents in districts of different sizes responded similarly to the survey. The one exception was in the area of supervising instruction, in which superintendents in medium-sized districts reported being less involved. There were significant differences in the views of superintendents’ instructional leadership held by principals and superintendents. On the whole, principals perceived superintendents as being less involved in instructional leadership than did superintendents themselves. There were significant differences between the responses of the subjects of this study and Watts’ 1992 study. Superintendents in the present study reported being significantly more involved in seven instructional leadership tasks than their 1992 counterparts. The findings from this study may be of use to superintendents as they consider the many responsibilities they face in providing leadership for their districts. These findings may also be of interest to researchers who are concerned with better understanding the instructional leadership role of the school superintendent. 13
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School:The University of Arizona

School Location:USA - Arizona

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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