ERIC Number: ED332837
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Modernization of a Rural School: A Leadership Research Study.
Mesa-Johnson, Delcine; Cox, John
This case study identifies the leadership styles of an experienced principal in his first year at a new position within a rural school cooperative. "Fred" is a 33-year-old male who was hired by the school system to bring in current instructional methods and management techniques, encourage student involvement, and strengthen the academic program. Data collection methods used were an interview guide, observation, and artifact collection. Changes initiated by the new principal included: (1) evaluating teaching strategies and providing inservice training; (2) organizing committees to develop new instructional objectives; (3) adopting a plan for "progressive discipline"; and (4) soliciting input from the community. Leadership style was analyzed in terms of authority and power within the school organization. Fred used the authority modes identified as charismatic, traditional, expert, and legal in various combinations throughout his school relationships. He preferred to use methods based on trust and expert knowledge, but, with reticent staff members, he used the power devices of "keeping to the contract" or "bestowing of technical resources." Leadership workstyles can be divided into four orientations which typify the principal's function in the school organization. Fred exhibited a leadership workstyle and saw himself as a staff motivator. While encouraging exploration of new teaching methods, his focus was not on technical tasks, but on overall performance. (KS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Research and Evaluation Conference of the Washington Educational Research Association (18th Tacoma, WA, March 15-16, 1990).