Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

EdD Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

Advisor

David Hvidston, Ed. D.

Second Advisor

Suzanne Young, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Leslie Rush, Ph.D.

Abstract

Principals in today’s schools face greater pressures regarding accountability and student performance. A focus on increased student achievement, higher graduation rates, and ensuring students are both career and college ready creates a challenge for principals. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of practicing principals in the state of Wyoming regarding their skill sets in instructional leadership and organizational management during their first three years in the principalship. As well, this study revealed areas in which those principals felt best and least prepared for their first principalship. Principals identified setting learning expectations and setting staff professionalism expectations as strengths in their instructional leadership skill sets while managing student behaviors and managing resources were strengths related to organizational management. Skill sets principals acknowledged as weaknesses related to instructional leadership were engaging stakeholders and developing teacher skills while delegating responsibilities and managing time were organizational management skill deficits. Principals also reported they felt best prepared in the areas of positive culture development, managing student behavior, and instructional leadership. Budgeting, managing staff behavior, and time management emerged as areas in which principals did not feel well prepared. The results of the study showed a significant relationship between principals’ perceptions of their novice instructional leadership skills and having previously worked with a mentor. This tells us that one potential support for novice principals would be ensuring they work with a mentor in their first three years as principals.

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