ERIC Number: ED384963
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Preparing School Leaders: What Works?
Leithwood, Kenneth; And Others
Connections!, v3 n3 Spr 1995
This paper describes the results of a study that investigated the nature and consequences of a unique set of university-sponsored school leadership preparation programs. Begun in 1987, the Danforth Foundation Program for the Preparation of School Principals (DPPSP) was part of a two-pronged effort to more fully develop the potential of school leaders to contribute to school reform. Three groups at each of the 11 program sites completed surveys: the site coordinators, program graduates in each site, and teachers or "colleagues" currently working with the program graduates. Overall response rates were 44 percent for graduates and 30 percent for teacher-colleagues. The two survey instruments included: (1) The Principal Preparation Programs Survey (PPPS), which assessed leaders' perceptions of the value of the preparation program; and (2) The Survey of Leadership Practices (SLP), which asked program graduates' colleagues about the effectiveness of their principals' leadership. Findings indicate that formal school-leadership preparation makes a significant difference in leadership effectiveness and that good theory is of considerable value to school leaders. Regarding the forms of instruction used in the program, the graduates assigned highest ratings to participation in seminars, reflection, and problems-based learning. Colleagues generally perceived program graduates as demonstrating effective leadership. While there was very little variation in respondents' ratings of program characteristics, these small amounts of variation had important consequences for leader effectiveness. Finally, effective leadership programs provide authentic experiences, stimulate the development of "situated cognition," and foster real-life problem-solving skills. Contains 17 references. (LMI)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Danforth Foundation, Clayton, MO.