ERIC Number: ED466021
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
The Solomonic Pathway: Critical Incidents in the Elementary School Principalship.
Zalman, Carmen Currey; Bryant, Miles T.
This qualitative study investigated the types of conflict elementary principals encounter and the behaviors of the principals that led to successful or unsuccessful results of those conflict situations. The Critical Incident Technique was used as the means of gathering data for this study. Data were gathered from 32 principals in a midwestern school district. Principals were asked to describe incidents with high levels of conflict that led to satisfactory or unsatisfactory outcomes. Fifty-eight separate incidents were described, in three categories: (1) conflict with parents; (2) conflict with students; and (3) conflict with staff. Each principal was then asked to describe the actual behaviors they employed in dealing with the situation. A total of 273 behaviors were identified by these principals. Examples of behaviors leading to successful outcomes were listening, gathering lots of information, and meeting in a neutral area. Examples of behaviors leading to unsuccessful outcomes were making assumptions, authoritarian decision-making, and inappropriate meeting arrangements. The findings of this study have implications for practicing elementary administrators, particularly those in their first year or two. The study holds the promise for contributing to the administrative tools that principals can use to cope with conflict. (RT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2001).