ERIC Number: ED336862
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Defining Principal Leadership in an Era of Teacher Empowerment.
King, Byron; Kerchner, Charles Taylor
Principals are witnessing major shifts in who is involved in making decisions while at the same time they receive mixed messages from their superiors about what a good principal should do. Researchers associated with Claremont Project VISION interviewed principals and administrator association leaders in school districts. Five school districts are the focus for this paper: Pittsburgh, Rochester, Louisville (Jefferson County), Cincinnati, and Miami-Dade County. Three general conclusions were reached: (1) principals have a reason to be concerned, because their jobs are changing and they face ambiguity; (2) district policies can contribute to a reduction in principal role strain and can encourage them to engage actively in reform; (3) a new set of job descriptions is emerging around principals who can provide leadership in highly collaborative decision making settings. Factors that make principals uncomfortable include lack of role clarity, fear of teacher union goals, mixed signals from district, and the lack of training for new roles. The next section discusses the impact of district policies on principal perspectives. Two main qualities of principals who embrace teacher professionalism are identified; these principals view themselves as empowered and as exercising more leadership than power. A general conclusion about principal's changing from control to commitment completes this paper. (20 references) (RR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).