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ERIC Number: ED463908
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Networking for the Nuts and Bolts: The Ironies of Professional Development for Rural Principals.
Howley, Aimee; Chadwick, Kristine; Howley, Caitlin
Mentorship programs are a promising approach to the professional development needs of new principals. The Southeastern Regional Principals' Academy provides professional development and collegial support for early-career principals in the primarily rural schools of southeast Ohio. For its 1999-2001 pilot program, 19 principals were organized into study groups at 4 sites. At each site, an experienced principal served as mentor to a group of entry-level administrators, each of whom also selected a coach for day-to-day assistance. Groups had considerable latitude in selecting issues to explore, but all groups addressed the data collection and analysis needed to complete a state-mandated portfolio. Findings from participant surveys and focus group interviews suggest that early-career principals in rural Appalachian Ohio valued professional development options made available to them, particularly when activities focused on practical administrative issues and involved interaction with mentors and peers. The Academy seems to have reduced rural principals' isolation through the establishment of networks with experienced mentor principals, peers from nearby districts, and a statewide group of colleagues. Participants valued the support of mentors, the structure of study group meetings, and study group discussions of practical problems. However, participants saw little value in the portfolio activities, thought it inappropriate to expect beginning principals to sponsor data-driven school reform, and did not see a need for an explicit rural focus for their professional development. (Contains 29 references.) (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio