ERIC Number: ED380886
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
The Principal As Instructional Leader: Inducement or Deterrent to Teachers' Personal Professional Growth?
Wiggins, Robert A.
This paper presents findings of a study that examined the factors that hinder or promote teachers in taking greater responsibility for their professional growth and decreasing their dependence on principals' instructional leadership. The paper explores the consequences of an inservice collaborative activity between the principal and teachers in one elementary school. The principal-researcher designed the workshop to encourage reflective practice among teachers and adopted a facilitative, nondirective, rather than instructional leadership style. Data were gathered through audio- and video-taped inservice sessions, interviews with the 17 participants, teachers' written responses to the videotapes, and pre- and post- questionnaires. An unanticipated outcome of the project was that when the principal failed to exhibit traditional leadership behaviors, teachers complained that the program lacked focus and direction. After the program ended, the principal adopted a more regulatory role in defining the school's vision, but encouraged shared leadership roles among faculty. A conclusion is that instructional leaders can provide structure and guidance that promote professional growth without reverting to a training posture. It is recommended that future research focus on how the principal's leadership is co-constructed among the leaders and followers; specifically, how does a teacher's attitude toward the principal as instructional leader affect the way in which that teacher learns from the principal? (Contains 33 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Chicago, IL, March 19-22, 1994).