ERIC Number: ED432826
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Leadership within High School Communities: A Multiple Study Perspective.
Foster, Rosemary; Suddards, Carol
This paper explores high school leadership by examining how leadership was experienced and understood by students, parents, and staff members in two secondary schools. The general question that guided the research was: How do members within high school communities experience and understand leadership? A collective case study approach was chosen based on the belief that the perceptions of students, staff, and parents were instrumental in learning about leadership in high school communities. The study was conducted in two phases. The first stage consisted of independent investigations of two urban high schools. The study's second stage adopted the collective case-study approach. The major finding of the study was that staff and students at both schools regularly experienced, understood, and could communicate their understanding of constructivist leadership. They perceived the gemeinschaft-like (community-like) qualities of the schools to be crucial in supporting the reciprocal processes leading to the "sense-making" and development of shared purpose. The multiple definitions of leadership were characterized by a confusion between leadership and management, an elusive understanding of the nature of relationships and influence within organizations, and a lack of consensus about the specific qualities that constitute leadership. (Contains 82 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).