ERIC Number: ED373397
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding the Principal's Contribution to Instruction: Seven Principals, Seven Stories. Case #5: Jonathan Rolf, Principal of a Suburban Elementary School.
Dwyer, David C.; And Others
This case study presents findings from a year-long ethnographic study of a suburban 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 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 Jonathan Rolf's routine behaviors chiefly involved acts of communication; monitoring; scheduling, allocating resources, and organizing; monitoring; governing; filling in; and goal setting and planning. Rolf's primary target was work structure. In a contentious setting, Rolf acted as a buffer between teachers and parents and nurtured students oppressed by parental aspirations. His instructional leadership task was to maintain the status quo. (Contains 64 references.) (MLH)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Behavior Patterns, Case Studies, Communication (Thought Transfer), Early Adolescents, Educational Environment, Ethnography, Instructional Leadership, Interpersonal Competence, Junior High Schools, Leadership Styles, Parent Aspiration, Parent Teacher Cooperation, Principals, Qualitative Research, Suburban Schools, Work Environment
Publication Type: Reports - Research
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.