ERIC Number: ED435124
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Through the Looking Glass: An Up Front and Personal Look at the World of the Assistant Principal.
Mertz, Norma T.; McNeely, Sonja R.
This paper focuses on a single assistant principal, her world and work. It examines the actions and feelings of the person in the assistant principal position, the way that person saw and managed the job, and how that person affects, and is affected by, the job. Operating as a "participant as observer," the assistant principal kept a comprehensive diary of her activities during her first year on the job. She teamed with an outside observer, and the two met weekly to discuss diary entries and to probe her interpretations of events. The essay discusses the background of the assistant principal, who is an African-American, and the context of her hiring. It also offers a detailed picture of the assistant principal's professional and private lives, offering examples of how she handles herself in the public and private spheres. Following an overview of the themes that dominate the work of the assistant principal, the results of the study are presented. The findings suggest that although the principal sets the assistant principal's agenda, the implication that the assistant principal has little opportunity to exercise control over the position may be inaccurate. (Contains 33 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).