Theses Doctoral

The Difference in Distributed Principal Leadership Practices According to the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning Between Teachers and School Leaders, Grade Level and Region

Freeman, Margaret

Leadership for learning has arisen as a robust framework for measuring principal leadership practices that impact student achievement by synthesizing fundamental theories of principal leadership, such as instructional leadership, transformational leadership, and shared instructional leadership. Research affirms the need for principals to prioritize leadership for learning practices based on the context. However, we know little about how context impacts which leadership for learning practices are prioritized by teachers and administrators in these different contexts of school level (elementary or secondary) and region (rural, small town, suburban, urban). The purpose of this dissertation study is to examine how differences in context affect specific leadership for learning practices. These differences will provide evidence for the need to revamp the principal evaluation systems that are currently in use and allow us to identify opportunities for preparation, support, and professional development for principals. I use the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) survey for this dissertation study as it combines recent research on principal leadership to measure specific leadership skills. Collected by the researchers of the CALL group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I use the 2016-2019 CALL dataset in the present study, which includes 281 schools with 536 administrators and 8,027 teachers. This dissertation study examines a) differences in teacher and administrator ratings within the CALL assessment, b) differences in secondary and elementary school level ratings within the CALL assessment, c) differences in administrator’s ratings by region within the CALL assessment. The results of this dissertation study show that a) administrator perceptions of the frequency of leadership for learning practices are always higher than teacher scores for any leadership for learning practice, b) elementary schools had fewer disagreements across the leadership for learning practices in comparison to secondary schools when comparing the perceptions of the frequency of practices in leadership for learning scores between teachers and administrators, and c) substantial differences occur in the perception of the frequency of leadership for learning practices between urban school administrators and administrators in other regional contexts (rural, small town, suburban), especially around issues of school climate, summative evaluation of teachers and students, and resourcing strategically.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Bowers, Alex J.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
July 27, 2020