ERIC Number: ED373393
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding the Principal's Contribution to Instruction: Seven Principals, Seven Stories. Case #1: Emma Winston, Principal of an Inner-City Elementary School.
Dwyer David C.; And Others
This case study presents findings from a year-long ethnographic study of an innercity elementary school principal. It concludes one of seven studies conducted in elementary and intermediate schools in urban, suburban, and rural settings to investigate the instructional management role of principals. Although previous research offers disparate viewpoints about the potency of principals as instructional leaders and managers, this series finds that principals can significantly alter their schools' instructional systems and students' social and academic experiences. Using observations of principals' activities and interviews with students and staff, the seemingly chaotic behavior of principals may be construed as purposive. Activities comprise nine categories (goal setting and planning; monitoring; evaluating; communicating; scheduling, allocating resources, and organizing; staffing; modeling; governing; and filling in). The nine purposes or targets behind principals' activities include work structure, staff relations, student relations, safety and order, plant and equipment, community relations, institutional relations, and institutional ethos. Principal Emma Winston's routine behaviors were predominantly acts of communication; a substantial number of her activities also involved monitoring, governing, and scheduling, allocating resources, and organizing. Winston's primary targets were work structure, safety and order, and student relations. Winston struggled to downplay ethnic and racial differences, emphasize students' common core of humanity, and provide students with a well-rounded education. (Contains 64 references.) (MLH)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Behavior Patterns, Case Studies, Communication (Thought Transfer), Disadvantaged Youth, Educational Environment, Elementary Education, Ethnography, Instructional Leadership, Interpersonal Competence, Leadership Qualities, Lifelong Learning, Principals, Qualitative Research, Racial Relations, Urban Schools, Work Environment
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, San Francisco, CA. Instructional Management Program.
Identifiers: California (San Francisco Bay Area)
Note: Prepared under the "Instructional Management Program". For Volume 1, ("Methodology") and the other case studies, see EA 025 987-994.