ERIC Number: ED207178
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
The Urban Principal. Discretionary Decision-Making in a Large Educational Organization.
Morris, Van Cleve; And Others
This ethnographic study of 16 Chicago school principals explores the principal's effect on students and teachers within the school; on parents and laymen in the community; on their superiors in the administrative hierarchy; and on themselves as career-oriented professionals. A brief literature review relates studies examining the principalship of elements of the current study. Both elementary and secondary principals were found to spend most of their time in principal-initiated contacts with staff, faculty, and students. These principals affected their schools by balancing stabilization and enhancement, transforming attitudes that opposed school policy, and controlling the climate to foster uninterrupted learning. In the community, the principals had to diplomatically shape parent expectations of the schools' capabilities. Principals' responses to their superiors ranged from ignoring orders to overt disobedience in order to protect staff morale. The principals often short-circuited the system and used superiors' indecision to their schools' advantage. They shaped their jobs to suit their personal preferences and work styles. They relied more on one-to-one, face-to-face communications in contrast to businessmen who depend more on group meetings and written memoranda. This study also describes ways principals obtained and utilized professional information. (MMJ)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Behavior, Board Administrator Relationship, Decision Making, Ethnography, Information Utilization, Interprofessional Relationship, Principals, Public Relations, School Administration, School Attitudes, School Community Relationship, Student School Relationship, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Vertical Organization
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Chicago. Coll. of Education.
Identifiers: Chicago Public Schools IL